Where can I find a link that actually works for the document class/stye/package Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)? AFAIK all related threads in this forum and elsewhere are either broken or the link to the file is dead.


  • I googled it within seconds github.com/jackweinbender/sbl-latex – Martin H Nov 13 '13 at 18:05
  • I had visited that resource already. It has important files but all of them require a document class that is not available, for example "rcfsblpaper". – Nhaps Nov 13 '13 at 18:08
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    they are!! document classes end with *.cls. browse to sbl-latex/ Library/texmf/tex/latex/sbl/ in the repository. it is all there. the author put it in the correct tex-tree file structure already – Martin H Nov 13 '13 at 18:10
  • I am a newbie, sorry for that. The problem is that when I go to Raw and do a cut/paste to Texpad, it does not typeset because it lacks the document class, according to the error message. Don't know what I am doing wrong. What to download and to which directories for it to work? – Nhaps Nov 13 '13 at 18:14
  • Please note that the sbl-latex repo is forked from github.com/RobertFischer/sbl-latex and that I really haven't done anything to it. – jackweinbender Nov 13 '13 at 20:41
  1. Go to the link: Latex styles for the Society of Biblical Literature Handbook of Style (updated class and style files)
  2. Click the Download Zip icon on the lower right corner as shown in the image below: enter image description here

  3. This will ensure that you have all of the .cls files. Open the sbl-latex-master.zip file and extract all.

  4. Search in the folder: sbl-latex-master\Library\texmf\tex\latex\sbl. You should now see all of the class files as shown below: enter image description here

  5. To add new style files on MacTeX, see this link: How do I add a .sty file to my MacTeX/TeXShop installation?

  • Thanks very much! I got the zip file, but the readme info says: "Install the given files into those directories, either in the root of your filesystem or relative to your home directory" By home directory is it referring to the 1)MacTex directory or the 2)folder of my choice within the home directory? Can I keep class documents in any folder I want inside home? – Nhaps Nov 13 '13 at 18:56
  • @Nhaps Sure. But it would be nice to include these files in your localtexmf directory for your own custom files. Doing this will enable you to use the class files like any other. – azetina Nov 13 '13 at 19:00
  • @Nhaps Remember thought that if you include these in your local texmf (ie under \texmf\tex\latex\sbl), you will need to refresh your filename database (fndb). Note also that you will need to create the directory \sbl – azetina Nov 13 '13 at 19:05
  • Thanks @Martin H for your kindness in walking me through the process. Situation here is improving. Thanks azetina as well. BTW how do I refresh my filename database? – Nhaps Nov 13 '13 at 20:21
  • One of the contributors from Github, Jack Weinbender, was kind enough to send me an updated URL for SBL class:github.com/jackweinbender/sblhs-latex – Nhaps Nov 13 '13 at 20:24

The sbl-latex repo on github is owned by Robert Fisher. It uses a .bst file to compile the bibliography. it is very sophisticated and outputs really nice documents. I don't think it is still under active development.


However, when I wrote my thesis, I found a few things about it that I couldn't change easily, so I looked around and tried to find something a little more flexible for my own purposes. I ended up writing a class that extended the article class with minimal changes and packages. I used the CMS biblatex package for the bibliography and rely on Xelatex for unicode font support.


sbl-latex and sblhs-latex are completely unrelated.

I am not a developer, but this produced a decent looking thesis for me. Pull requests are welcomed. I'd really like to see others to contribute to this to provide a clean working class/style for SBLHS, particularly since there will likely be an SBLHS revision in the next few years.

  • That sbl-latex is no longer under active development is sad. Volunteers like @jackweinbender who post their adjustments to the style are to be commended. – Nhaps Nov 15 '13 at 12:57


David Purton and I (he's the genius behind it) have been actively involved in a brand new BibLaTeX standard template for SBLHS version 2. Progress is ongoing, with optimal results. Check it out at https://github.com/dcpurton/biblatex-sbl


I googled it by looking for the actual name of the class rcfsblpaper.cls

This seems to be the github location now


I am actively developing SBL-paper class from Robert Fischer and am porting biblatex-Chicago for SBLHS2. Contact me for early access

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