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Citing the Bible
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- Identify the version you used in the first citation of the text.
Example: (2 Cor. 5: 17 New International Version)
- You do not need to identify the version in subsequent references unless you switch to a different version.
According to the APA Publication Manual, reference entries are not needed for the Bible and other major classical works. However your lecturer may require full publication information; if you are not sure, ask.
Names of the books of the Bible are not italicised. Names and versions of the Hebrew and Christian bibles are capitalised but not italicised. Do not abbreviate books of the bible in the text of your paper.
Example: 2 Samuel 12 records the prophet Nathan's confrontation of King David.
Example: The identity of the author of the book of Hebrews is not certain.
Cite the Bible in footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical notes
You do not need to include the Bible in your bibliography.
When you are citing a particular passage of Scripture
Include the abbreviated name of the book, the chapter number, and the verse number - never a page number. Chapter and verse are separated by a colon.
Example: 1 Cor. 13:4, 15:12-19
Example: Gn 1:1-2, 2:1-3, Jn 1:1-14
Note that Chicago Style includes two lists of abbreviations for books of the Bible: a traditional abbreviation list and a shorter abbreviation list. These lists are located in the box on the right hand side of this page. You may use either list, but be consistent throughout your paper. Or if you like, you may check with your lecturer to see which form they prefer.
Include the name of the version you are citing
You may either spell out the name of the version, at least in the first reference, or you may use abbreviations without preceding or internal punctuation. After the first citation you need to indicate the version only if you quote from another version.
Example: 1. Ps. 139:13-16 New Revised Standard Version
Example: 2. Eph 6:10-17 (NIV)
Citing the Bible in your paper? Need to abbreviate a book of the Bible?
Chicago provides a list of Traditional and Shorter abbreviations for the books of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament¹.
¹Information taken from The Chicago Manual of Style: the Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, 16th ed., 2010, section 10.45 - 10.51, pp. 510-514.
This is held in the Reference section at Z253 UCP CM-17