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Theology and Religion: Citing Sacred Texts

Library resources for theology and religion

Citing Sacred Texts

Chicago Manual of Style: Citing Bible Chapter and Verse

"References to the Jewish or Christian scriptures usually appear in text citations or notes rather than in bibliographies. Parenthetical or note references to the Bible should include book (in roman and usually abbreviated), chapter, and versenever a page number. A colon is used between chapter and verse. Note that the traditional abbreviations use periods but the shorter forms do not. For guidance on when to abbreviate and when not to, see 10.46. For full forms and abbreviations, see 10.48, 10.49, 10.50."

Traditional abbreviations:

  •  1 Thess. 4:11, 5:2–5, 5:14.
  •  Heb. 13:8, 13:12.
  • Gen. 25:19–36:43.

Shorter abbreviations:

  • 2 Sm 11:1–17, 11:26–27; 1 Chr 10:13–14.
  • Jo 5:9–12; Mt 26:2–5.
Chicago Manual of Style: Versions of the Bible

"Since books and numbering are not identical in different versions, it is essential to identify which version is being cited. For a work intended for general readers, the version should be spelled out, at least on first occurrence. For specialists, abbreviations may be used throughout. For abbreviations of versions, see 10.51."

6. 2 Kings 11:8 (New Revised Standard Version).
7. 1 Cor. 6:1–10 (NRSV).
Chicago Manual of Style: Other Sacred Texts
"References to the sacred and revered works of other religious traditions may, according to context, be treated in a manner similar to those of biblical or classical works. Citations of transliterated texts should indicate the name of the version or translator. The Koran (or Qur’an) is set in roman, and citations of its sections use Arabic numerals and colons (e.g., Koran 19:17–21). Such collective terms as the Vedas or the Upanishads are normally capitalized and set in roman, but particular parts are italicized (e.g., the Rig-Veda or the Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad). For authoritative usage, consult History of Religions, an international journal for comparative historical studies (bibliog. 5)."
For more help citing the Bible, use "Citing the Bible -- Citing the Bible and other Biblical Resources" published by Grove City College