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University of Portland Clark Library

APA Style (7th Edition) Citation Guide: Biblical Sources

Formatting

Note: All citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent in a Reference List.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Below is a link to an APA sample paper that contains instructions about how to format a hanging indent in a paper.

Bible Dictionary

Print:

Example:

Sarna, N. M. (2008). Exodus, book of. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale bible dictionary (Vol. 2, pp. 689- 700). Yale University Press.

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Sarna, 2008) 

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

(Sarna, 2008, p. 690)


Online:

Example:

Browning, W. R. F. (2009). Daniel, book of. In A Dictionary of the Bible (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199543984.001.0001/acref9780199543984-e-485

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Browning, 2009) 

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year) - if the online source does not provide page numbers then omit the page number from the in-text citation

(Browning, 2009) 

Single-Volume Commentary

Print:

Example:

Perkins, P. (1990). The gospel according to John. In R. E. Brown, J. A. Firzmyer, & R. E. Murphy (Eds.), The new Jerome biblical commentary (pp. 942-85). Prentice-Hall.

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Perkins, 1990)

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

(Perkins, 1990, p. 955) 


Online:

Example:

Franklin, E. (2001). Luke. In J. Barton and J. Muddiman (Eds.), Oxford bible commentary. Oxford University Press. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/uportland/reader.action?docID=10269141

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Franklin, 2001)

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number) - if the online source does not provide page numbers then omit the page number from the in-text citation

(Franklin, 2001) 

Multi-Volume Bible Commentary

Example:

Perkins, P. (1994). Mark. In L. E. Keck (Ed.), The New interpreter’s bible (Vol. 8, pp. 507-734). Abingdon Press.

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Perkins, 1994) 

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

(Perkins, 1994, p. 601) 

Book-Length Commentary in a Series

Print:

Example:

Vinson, R. B. (2008). Luke. Smyth & Helwys bible commentary. Smyth & Helwys. 

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Vinson, 2008) 

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

(Vinson, 2008, p. 302)


Online:

Example:

Vinson, R. B. (2008). Luke. Smyth & Helwys bible commentary. Smyth & Helwys. https://login.uportland.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=942774&sit e=ehost-live&scope=site

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Vinson, 2008) 

In-Text Quote:

(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number)

(Vinson, 2008, p. 302)

Citing the Bible

Citing the Version of the Bible

The first time you paraphrase or quote from the Bible, identify which version of the Bible that you used. Include both the original and republished publication dates in the reference. You do not need to repeat the version name in subsequent references. Then cite the Bible in your reference list.

Example:

King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ (Original work published 1769)

In the body of your paper, include a sentence similar to this:

The researchers consulted the Bible (King James Version, 1769/2017) to provide items for the development of their religious values assessment.


Citing Biblical Chapters and Verses

When referring to books of the Bible within the body of your paper:

  • If you're referring to the book of the Bible as a whole, or a chapter of a book of the Bible (but without specific verses), use the full name of the book of the Bible 
    • Example: Genesis, Luke 4, Revelation 1-3

  • If you're referring to a specific chapter and verse(s), abbreviate the name of the book of the Bible (see a list of abbreviations for the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament)
    • Example: Exod 2:1-3; Matt 13:12

Note: it isn't necessary to add a period after the abbreviated book name. Include a space between the book name and the chapter number, and include a colon between the chapter number and the verse(s).


Citing Introductions, Annotations, or Supplemental Content in the Bible

Bibles that have annotations, introductions, or other supplemental content should cite the editors in place of authors. If the supplemental content is written by someone other than the editors of the book, then cite the content as a chapter within a book.

Example:

Carr, D. M. (2010). Introduction to Genesis. In M. D. Coogan, M. Z. Brettler, C. Newsom, & P. Perkins (Eds.), The new Oxford annotated bible with apocrypha: New revised standard version (pp. 7-11). Oxford University Press. 

Kaiser, W. C., Jr., & Garrett, D. (Eds.). (2006). NIV archaeological study bible: An illustrated walk through biblical history and culture. Zondervan.

In-Text citations:

(Carr, 2010)

(Carr, 2010, p. 8)

(Kaiser & Garrett, 2006, Genesis 1:20)

(Kaiser & Garrett, 2006, footnote to Genesis 1:12, p. 4)


See the APA "Religious Work References" page for more guidance.

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