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BCM 101: Introduction to the Old Testament

Cite Biblical Sources

Unlike most books, the Bible, the books of the Bible, and versions of the Bible are not italicized or underlined. However, individual published versions of the Bible are italicized. For example:

  • New International Version
  • Habakkuk
  • The Bible
  • The ESV Study Bible
MLA Citations of the Bible
  Format Example
First In-Text Citation (Individual Published Version, Book of the Bible 3:16). The boys mocked Elisha's bald head (The ESV Classic Reference Edition, 2 Kings 2:23).
Subsequent In-Text Citations (Book of the Bible 4:2) Two bears attacked the boys following Elisha's curse (2 Kings 2:24).
Works Cited Page Individual Published Version, Editor's Name, editor, Publisher, Date Published.

The ESV Classic Reference Edition, Crossway Bibles, 2001.

The New Jerusalem Bible, Henry Wansbrough, editor, Doubleday, 1985.


Format Example
In-Text Citation ("Article Title" Page Number) ("Tselem" 1460)
Works Cited Page "Title of Entry." Title of Concordance, edited by Editor's Name, Date, pp. 567-84.

"Tselem." Zondervan NASB Exhaustive Concordance, edited by Daniel L. Fox, Zondervan, 2000, p. 1460.

Cite one work of a multi-volume commentary like a book in a series.

  Format Example
In-text Citation (Author's Last Name Page Number) (Enns 418)
Works Cited Page Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. Title of Book. Edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Date. Title of Series.

Enns, Peter. Exodus. Edited by Terry Muck, Zondervan, 2000. The NIV Application Commentary Series. 

Cite biblical dictionaries and encyclopedias as you would general dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Format Example
In-Text Citation (Author's Last Name Page Number) (Stewart 116)
In-Text Citation, no author ("Article Title" Page Number) ("Shepherd" 116)
Works Cited Page Last Name, First Name of Article Author. "Title of Entry." Title of Dictionary or Encyclopedia, edited by Editor's Name, Date, pp. 567-84.

Stewart, Don G. "Mary, Mother of Jesus." The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, edited by Moisés Silva, Zondervan, 2009, pp. 116-22.

"Shepherd." Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, edited by Jack Beck, Zondervan, 2011, pp. 235-37.