The Bible is one of the sources you can use in research, and like other sources, it needs to be cited or referenced depending on your paper’s reference style. MLA bible citation has its own unique format. This comprehensive guide explores how to cite a Bible in MLA, providing clear instructions for accurate and respectful biblical citations with examples. Mastering the art of citing the Bible in MLA ensures proper acknowledgment in academic and theological scholarship.
Definition: MLA Bible citation
MLA Bible citation differs from other book citations. This is because the MLA bible citation format features the book, chapter, and Bible verse, instead of only a page number. In addition, the “Works Cited” entry should also feature the Bible version you used in your research.
Note: The guidelines on how to cite an online Bible in MLA differ from the print version.
Format of the print version:
Bible Title. Edited by Editor’s First and Last Name, Bible Version, Publisher, Year of Publication.
Format of the online version:
Bible Title. Title of Website/Organization, URL. Accessed Date.
How to cite a Bible in MLA: In-text citation
The MLA style recommends abbreviating the names of the different Bible books in your in-text Bible citation. Also, you should separate the chapter and verse numbers with a period (never a colon).
Also, you can use an en dash to show the range of verses. In contrast, if the range extends across different chapters, you should include the new chapter number after the dash.
Additionally, the first Bible citation in your text should feature the title of the Bible. It should be abbreviated if necessary and without “the” from the beginning.
Note that you can omit the Bible version in subsequent citations if you use the same version for all the citations. However, if you use multiple versions, each should include the title for clarity. Furthermore, include a distinct entry for each version in your Works Cited list.
How to cite a Bible in MLA: Works Cited entry
When learning how to cite a Bible in MLA, it is vital to learn the Works Cited entry format, as it differs depending on whether the version is already clear from the title or if it needs to be clarified afterward.
The clarification usually comes after the title. Moreover, the version information is capitalized but not italicized. Finally, use a period to separate it from the Bible title.
The basic guide on how to cite a Bible in MLA requires that you start with the ‘Works Cited Entry’ with the source title. If your source does not have a number, you should use an alternative locator like a chapter number, audio, or video source to identify the relevant passage in the in-text citation.
The difference is that a Bible citation in MLA features the book, chapter, and verse. In contrast, book citations in MLA only require the page number.
You need the title of the Bible, the editor’s name (if applicable), the Bible version, and publication information.
An in-text Bible citation in MLA needs the Bible’s title, book name, chapter, and verse numbers.