How To Cite The Bible Chicago


Citing the Bible can be a complicated and intimidating process, particularly as the various religious manuscripts of the Bible have slightly different citations to follow. Fortunately, the Chicago Manual of Style (20th Edition) provides detailed instruction on how to properly cite religious texts, such as the Bible. Following the Chicago style, citing the Bible isn’t as hard as it seems – all you need to know is the short form or abbreviation of the book, chapter, and verse. This guide will explain how to cite the Bible in Chicago format for HTML documents, summarizing the essential rules for citing this important books.

Outlining Basic Requirements

The first thing to understand when citing the Bible in Chicago format for HTML documents is the basic requirements. When citing a Bible verse, the title of the book should be abbreviated according to the list of short forms provided within the Chicago Manual of Style. This includes the Old Testament, Apocrypha, New Testament, and other secondary works. The second part of the citation includes the chapter and verse, again using the abbreviations listed in the style manual. The third, and optional, part of the citation includes the name of the version of the Bible being cited, such as the New International Version (NIV).
Without the optional third part of the citation, a citation to Genesis 1:1 of the NIV Bible looks as follows:

Gen. 1:1 (NIV)

When citing a specific chapter or larger section of a Bible book, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends including the chapter or range of chapters before the verse numbers, for example:

Gen. 1–3

For citing the entire book, the short form is used, followed by a single reference to the version:

Gen. (NIV)

Formatting the Citation

The biggest challenge when citing the Bible in Chicago format for HTML documents is formatting the citation for display. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends italicizing the book title, so that it can be easily distinguished on the page. However, some HTML editors do not accept italicized text in the body of an HTML document. In these cases, you can use the HTML tags and instead of the italicizing tags available in most text editors. The following example shows how a Chicago style citation of Genesis 1:1 of the NIV Bible should look in HTML:

Gen. 1:1 (NIV)

If necessary, you can also add a quotation mark before and after the citation:

Gen. 1:1 (NIV)

When citing multiple citations within the same sentence, they should be separated by semicolons. For example:

Gen. 1:1; Ex. 3:14 (NIV)

Secondary Sources

When citing a source that references the Bible, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends using the small-caps abbreviation ‘qtd. in’ to indicate the source. This abbreviation can be used in HTML documents by adding the small-caps tag before the reference. For example:

qtd. in Gen. 1:1 (NIV)

If the source being quoted does not reference a specific Bible chapter or verse, then only the title of the book should be included in the citation. For example:

qtd. in Genesis (NIV)


Citing the Bible in Chicago style for HTML documents can be a tricky process. However, it can be made much simpler by understanding the three main components of a Bible citation: the book title, chapter and verse, and optional version of the Bible being referenced. By following the guidelines outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style, it is possible to easily and correctly cite the Bible in any HTML document.

Further Reading

Citing the Bible accurately is important for academics, religious scholars, and anyone who wants to use the Bible in their work. Understanding the Chicago style is essential and the Chicago Manual of Style provides the authoritative source of guidance. Additionally, many online writing services can provide additional support in citing religious sources, as well as providing further information on the Chicago style.

Related Topics

What Is the Chicago Manual of Style?

The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide published by the University of Chicago Press, often used in academia to provide guidance on how to format and cite texts. It outlines clear rules for spacing and punctuation, as well as instructions for citing sources and book references. The 20th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style provides instructions for citing religious texts, including the Bible, and is an essential reference material for anyone citing religious sources in an academic or professional context.

The Importance of Citing the Bible Correctly

Citing the Bible correctly is important in any academic or professional context, as it adds credibility and weight to any source of information. Citing incorrectly can damage the integrity of a text and be considered academic dishonesty. Additionally, citing the Bible in the appropriate style enables easy access to the source material and ensures that other readers can trace the source of any passage.

Different Versions of the Bible

The Bible has seen countless reprints and translations throughout history. Today, there are hundreds of different versions of the Bible in over 650 languages, ranging from traditional to modern translations. When citing the Bible, it is essential to include the version of the Bible being cited where possible, as this can make the source of a passage clearer.

Citing Other Religious Texts

The Chicago Manual of Style provides detailed guidance for citing the Bible, as well as other important religious texts, such as the Quran and the Buddhist scriptures. Understanding the correct citation style for each religious text is essential for anyone citing religious sources, as each text follows its own citation style. Understanding the various citation styles is important for any scholar or student researching religious sources.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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