How To Reference The Bible Apa 7Th Edition

How To Reference The Bible Apa 7th Edition

With the 7th edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style, citing the Bible has just gotten easier. This new version requires you to include not only publication information but also the version and edition used. The reference to a Bible passage in the APA style is composed of three elements: author, year and page.

The most common Bible cited in APA 7th Edition is the New international Version (NIV) published in 2020. For the reference entry the title, location and publisher should be included. It should be noted that the Bible does not have an author or editor and is not normally italicized. If the Bible is not divided into sections you should give the book, chapter and verse number. If a version is divided into sections, such as modern translations like the NIV, then the section should be included in the reference.

When referencing single Bible verses, the reference list should include both the chapter and verse numbers. For example, John 3:16 is referenced as (John 3:16). The title should have a capital letter, like a book. When referencing multiple Bible passages the “to” is added to join the beginning and end of the passage. This is indicated with a hyphen between the citations. An example is referencing 2 Samuel 3:2-5 which is written as (2 Samuel 3:2-5).

When referencing articles in general or making in-depth citation of the Bible, APA 7th edition recommends using the Blue Letter Bible website. It offers a variety of features, such as search and access to multiple translations. It is also a great resource for tooltips, bible dictionaries and other explanations related to the referenced verse. Bible Gateway is an alternative that offers quick access to many language translations, books and reference options. This can be helpful to cite Bible references because some translated works may not be available in printed form.

In addition, scholars need to always include the version in the reference if they are citing a translated version of the Bible. For example, some scholars may choose to cite the King James Version (KJV), while others may choose to cite the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Informative captions and footnotes are also recommended especially for referencing. This way, the citation becomes more complete and useful to readers who are unfamiliar with passages or terms.

Formatting an APA 7th Edition Bible Reference

The basics of formatting a Bible reference in APA style consist of three elements: author, year and page. In the case of the Bible, this does not apply as there is no defined author. Instead, the title and the location of the passage is the main element for the format in this case. The format should be written in a full sentence and always start with the book. Every word in the Bible title should begin with a capital letter, except for prepositions such as “and” or “of”. For example: (Genesis 1:1). If a version is divided into sections then the section should be included in the reference. For example, a citation of John 15:8 in NIV would look like this: (John 15:8, NIV).

The publication date of the Bible version used is also important to include in the reference. This piece of information should always be included when referencing a Bible passage in the APA 7th edition format. The date is important to provide context for any changes between versions. The same passage in older versions can have slightly different language and interpretations.

Citing Different Bible Versions

Most Biblical references are to specific versions rather than the entire Bible. In this case, the version cited in the reference should include the publication year. Standard abbreviations such as NKJV, ESV, or NIV are used to make the reference easier to identify and to differentiate between editions.

In some cases, citations may refer to multiple Bible versions, such as NKJV (New King James Version), NLT (New Living Translation) and GNT (Good News Translation). A version should only be cited if the information is necessary to clarify the context of the reference. However, if multiple versions are used in a single study, then they should all be listed in the reference list. The reference list should be in the same order as the citations in the body of the work.

Some scholars may choose to use the Oxford Study Bible edition (OSB) for specific citations of a Bible passage. In this case, the title, publication year and section should be included when mentioning a verse or passage. For example, a reference to Isaiah 40:1-2 in OSB would look like this: (Isaiah 40:1-2, Oxford Study Bible edition, 2018).

Citing Specific Passages From Different Versions

When citing specific passages from different versions of the Bible, the reference should include both the book and version. For example, when citing Isaiah 40:1-2 from the NIV and NLT, the reference should look like this: (Isaiah 40:1-2, NIV; Isaiah 40:1-2, NLT). Each version should be listed in the same order as they are cited in the body of the work and the reference list should include both versions.

In some cases, an article may include Bible passages from multiple versions or multiple editions of the same version. In this case, the reference should include the edition in order to differentiate between them. The edition should be included in parentheses after the full title and publication year of the work. For example, if an article includes passages from the NKJV and NKJV-LXX, the reference should look like this: (New King James Version, 1984; New King James Version – LXX, 2013).

Choosing A Citation Style

For Bible passages, APA 7th Edition recommends citations in the footnote or endnote. This style is especially useful to refer to specific verses, chapters and books in the Bible. When citing a paragraph of more than one verse, it is recommended to use the full text citation. For example, when citing 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, it is recommended to use the full passage in the citation, rather than just citing the book and chapter.

Ultimately, the choice of the citation style will depend on the type of publication. Academic publications should stick to APA’s official guidelines and use the various referencing formats for different types of Bible citations. On the other hand, for less formal writing such as articles, books or blog posts, it is recommended to use the author-date or footnote-bibliography style. This style is especially useful when writing about culture or faith-based issues. It allows the writer to provide in-depth information about the reference and its context.

Including A Bible Citation In An Outline

When conducting research on Biblical issues, referencing the Bible correctly is very important. It is necessary to ensure that the right version is used as well as the most accurate citations. When creating an outline of your research, it is important to include any Bible references in the outline. This will help you ensure that all of the references are correct when completing the actual paper.

The best way to include Bible references in an outline is to use the “Cite” button in Microsoft Word. This will give you several different styles of formatting to easily fill in the Bible reference. Each style offers various ways to format the entry, including author-date, footnote-endnotes and APA 7th edition. Use the style that is most appropriate for your particular research paper.


To correctly reference the Bible in APA 7th edition, it is important to include the full title, publication year and section in the reference. In addition, when citing multiple versions of the Bible it is important to include the version and edition in the reference. It is also important to include informative captions and footnotes when referencing passages of the Bible. This way, the citation can provide context and clarity to unfamiliar readers. Including Bible references in an outline is also important to ensure that all of the references are correct when completing the research paper.

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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