I'm formatting a Bible study that includes Hebrew and Greek Words.

The PDFs of so many Bible studies were created long ago, and will be available as downloads on the site I'm REbuilding. I'm formatting the web text. I have a slight amount of leeway on correcting things.

Here are two examples:

  • "Notice that an overseer episkopos or pastor-teacher..."

  • "But an additional listed iniquity is the Hebrew word abomination toebah which is also..."

How should I treat this kind of thing? I plan to italicize the foreign word in any event. Should I enclose the foreign word in parentheses? Should I set it apart with commas or em dashes? The English word precedes the foreign word here, and the Chicago Manual of Style doesn't seem to address this situation.

  • 1
    Who is CMS? What do other sources do? – Mitch Aug 12 '15 at 2:37
  • Content management system. You should write to Logos for advice. – Blessed Geek Aug 12 '15 at 4:16
  • There are too many issues not related to the English language to fulfill your task. e.g. UTF-8 vs code page. How to mix LTR with RTL languages on the same line. This question should not be asked here, but in a web layout/designing forum. – Blessed Geek Aug 12 '15 at 4:18
  • I agree with @BlessedGeek that you should probably take this to another forum, but what might help is to ask, is the Greek/Hebrew necessary to understanding the Bible study's message? If it isn't, then I'd say skip it in the main text and use footnotes or separate glossary-like pages to give your students the extra information if they want it. – VampDuc Aug 12 '15 at 14:24
  • I edited this question to clarify that the poster was using CMS as an initialism for Chicago Manual of Style. – Sven Yargs Aug 13 '15 at 22:24

In print I’m comfortable with minimal differences

Notice that an overseer, 'επίσκκοπος, or pastor-teacher…
Notice that an overseer episkopos or 'pastor-teacher'...

but on screen I find it more helpful to have stronger emphasis, and more white space, especially if the page cannot easily be enlarged.

Notice that an overseer episkopos or pastor-teacher...
Notice that an overseer, 'επίσκκοπος, or 'pastor-teacher'

But this only works for the occasional word or half verse; it will look clumsy if there are chunks of Greek /Latin /Hebrew text.

One journal (Notes & Queries) gives the following guidance (but using underline, where this is italicised). And this would meet your case I think.

A word or phrase discussed individually should be underlined, and any interpretation of it put in single quotation marks. E.g.:

For Cain 1261 (misread as cam) he writes camp `battle'.

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If you are following Chicago style, you'll be interested to know that The Chicago Manual of Style, fifteenth edition (2003) addresses this very point in its subsection on "Square Brackets":

6.105 In translations. In a translated work, square brackets are sometimes used to enclose a word or phrase in the original language to avoid ambiguity. (Translators should use this device sparingly.)

The difference between society [Gesellschaft] and community [Gemeinde] will now be analyzed.

Applying the explicit guideline here about square brackets and the implicit one about italicizing foreign words yields the following forms for your two examples:

  • "Notice that an overseer [episkopos] or pastor-teacher..."

  • "But an additional listed iniquity is the Hebrew word abomination [toebah] which is also..."

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My version of CMS (14) doesn't have 6.105 - I suppose I should upgrade. Good to know. We went ahead and used parentheses.

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