Note: Classical religious texts, like the Bible, do not require a citation in the reference list in APA style. However, you must include an in-text citation anytime you reference these texts in your writing.
When quoting or paraphrasing specific excerpts from the text, include the “relevant names and/or numbers of chapters/verses/lines” in your in-text citation (Lee, 2009).
The Bible extols the virtues of love; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Cor. 13:4 New International Version).
Note: Remember, you only need to cite the version of the Bible used in the first general reference to or in-text citation of the source. In all other instances, leave it out.
- Use a colon (no space) to separate chapter from verse (Acts 4:12).
- Use an en dash between consecutive verse numbers (e.g. John 14:1–6).
- Use a comma to separate non-consecutive numbers (e.g. Acts 1:1–8,13–14).
- Use a semicolon to separate one chapter-and-verse reference from another. If the second chapter-verse reference is from the same book of the Bible, do not repeat the book’s name (e.g. Romans 3:23; 10:9; Ephesians 2:8,10).
- Unless the context seems to require it, it is not necessary to use an ellipsis (…) before or after a quoted portion of a Scripture verse.
- When quoting Scripture, place the full stop or comma after the brackets containing the reference: e.g. ‘My words shall not pass away’ (Mark 13:31). But if the quoted matter requires a question mark or exclamation mark, place it within the quote marks and then use a full stop after the brackets: ‘Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?’ (Mark 15:9).
- Arabic rather than Roman numerals should be used for book titles, e.g. 1 John, 2 Kings.
- Because different versions of the Bible may use italics differently, Scripture quotations should not be in italics.
- As a general rule, the source of the majority of Bible verses referred to in any one text should be specified somewhere in the work. Eg. on the publishing details page of a book, ‘Scripture quotations from the Modern King James Version or King James Version (AV) unless stated otherwise’. Add publisher’s details and a copyright notice only if required for that version (in this case, the AV is in the public domain and there are no crediting requirements or copyright restrictions). See The Bible Gateway for more information on Bible copyrights.
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