Cover Image for How to Cite the Bible in MLA Style
Citation

How to Cite the Bible in MLA Style

Citing the Bible in MLA style is essential for students and researchers working with religious texts. This guide will cover the basic elements of an MLA Bible citation, including book, chapter, and verse, and how to handle different versions of the Bible and in-text citations.

Versions and Editions of the Bible

Identifying Different Versions

The Bible exists in multiple versions, including the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), and English Standard Version (ESV). Each version uses different wording, which can affect text interpretation.

Why Editions Matter

Bible editions can vary within the same version, often including study notes or commentaries. Identify your specific edition for accurate citations, especially when using study Bibles with additional annotations.

Citing the Bible in the Works Cited Page

Format for Print Editions

When citing a print edition of the Bible, the MLA format typically includes the title, version, publisher, and year of publication. For example:

The Holy Bible, New International Version. Zondervan, 2011.

This format clearly identifies the version and provides publication details for readers.

Format for Online Editions

Citing online editions of the Bible involves additional details such as the website and the date of access. For example:

The Holy Bible, New International Version. Bible Gateway, www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-International-Version-NIV-Bible. Accessed 5 June 2024.

This citation ensures readers can locate the exact online resource you used.

In-Text Citations for Bible References

Parenthetical Citations

In-text citations for the Bible require the book, chapter, and verse. Parenthetical citations are succinct and placed directly after the referenced text. For example:

(James 2:14-17)

This format helps readers quickly find the cited passage.

Integrating Citations in the Text

Integrating Bible citations within your text can enhance readability. Instead of using a parenthetical citation, you can weave the reference into your sentence. For example:

According to James 2:14-17, faith without works is dead.

This method maintains the flow of your writing while providing necessary citations.

Special Cases in Bible Citations

Citing Multiple Books or Chapters

When citing multiple books or chapters from the Bible, you can list each reference separately. For example:

(Matt. 5:16; John 3:16)

This approach ensures clarity and precision in your citations.

Citing Study Bibles and Annotated Editions

Study Bibles and annotated editions include additional material that requires special attention. When citing these, you must include the additional author or editor information. For example:

The NIV Study Bible, edited by Kenneth L. Barker, Zondervan, 2011.

This citation acknowledges the contributions of the editor or commentator.

Online Citation Tools and Resources

WriterBuddy can simplify the citation process. It can generate accurate citations based on MLA guidelines, saving time and ensuring precision.

FAQs

How do I cite the Bible in MLA format?

To cite the Bible in MLA format, include the version, book, chapter, and verse. For example:
(New International Version, John 3:16).

Do I need to include the publication year for online Bible citations in MLA?

Yes, when citing online versions of the Bible, include the version, website, and date of access. For example:
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Bible Gateway, www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-International-Version-NIV-Bible. Accessed 5 June 2024.

How do I handle multiple Bible citations in a single text?

When citing multiple books or chapters from the Bible, list each reference separately in your in-text citations, like this: (Matt. 5:16; John 3:16).

What should I do if I’m citing a study Bible or an annotated edition?

Include the editor’s or commentator’s information in your citation. For example:
The NIV Study Bible, edited by Kenneth L. Barker, Zondervan, 2011.

Conclusion

Mastering MLA citation for the Bible will enhance the credibility of your academic work and ensure proper attribution of religious texts. Remember to include the version of the Bible you’re using, cite book, chapter, and verse, and format your in-text citations correctly.

Stop Stressing, Start Writing

Join over 540,000+ happy users writing smarter with WriterBuddy. Try WriterBuddy for Free!

Copyright © 2024 WriterBuddy. All rights reserved.