Biblical Citations


It is common for papers in the fields of Bible and theology to reference the Bible throughout the paper. This is particularly true for exegetical papers that interact extensively with the biblical text. Rather than placing these references in a footnote, the department requires students to employ parenthetical citation following the citation or reference. 


Parenthetical Citation

Jesus made clear the necessity of spiritual rebirth when he told Nicodemus “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). 

If the reference appears in the sentence, no parenthetical citation is necessary. If the context of the discussion makes clear the larger context of the book, the parenthetical citation can include just the chapter and verse(s). 

In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Nicodemus you must be “born again” (3:3). Nicodemus responds with a sense of bewilderment and Jesus declares that he must “be born of water and the Spirit” (3:5).

Identify Bible Version

If you use one version of the Bible throughout the paper, identify the version in a footnote. A phrase such as “All references are from the NASB and for all future references unless noted” will suffice. If various versions are used, these must be identified with each reference in the parenthetical citation. 

Nicodemus responds with a sense of bewilderment and Jesus declares that he must “be born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5, NASB).

Listing Multiple Bible References

If multiple biblical passages are in a list, separate verses by a comma; chapters and books by a semicolon. Use an en dash to show a range of verses.

Matthew 6:16, 18; 17:21; 20:16; Mark 7:8; 16:9–20; Luke 11:2–6; John 7:53–8:11.


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