Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. Dear CMOS, As a religious writer I am struggling with a recent (apparent) change. With the advent of computer spell-checkers, the term “biblical” when referring to the Holy Scriptures is no longer capitalized. Turabian seems to indicate that proper adjectives should be capitalized, whereas even older editions of the Oxford American Unabridged Dictionary (for instance) do not. It would seem to me, since the term “bible” when not capitalized can refer to a number of authoritative books in various fields, that the reference to the Holy Bible as a proper noun should be capitalized in its adjectival form. What say you? Thank you.

A. CMOS does not capitalize “biblical,” nor has it ever (see p. 12 of the first edition, published in 1906 and available here). (Turabian follows Chicago style for most matters, by the way, including this one.) If you must capitalize “biblical,” however, you have our blessing (as long as you do so in a consistent and logical manner).