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APA Bible Citation Examples

Need to refer to religious scripture in your school paper? Take a look at these APA Bible citation examples for how you should format your references. Although students use APA 7 style for writing papers in social science subjects like psychology, economics, and sociology, these subjects may also include religious themes. As well, theology classes may require APA format for assignments. As always, follow your teacher’s guidelines to ensure you’re following the right format.

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How to Format Bible Reference Citations

Under the new APA 7th edition guidelines, you need to create a reference list citation for your Bible citations in your theology paper.  Prior to APA 7th edition, students didn’t need to cite religious work in their APA paper references list, only in-text. However, now that APA requires you to make a citation, it’s important to get it right.

Basic Bible Reference Citation Format

Title of the Bible. (Version information). (Year). Publisher. URL (Original work published xxxx)


King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/

How to Format Bible In-Text Citations

While a reference citation for the Bible is important, so are your in-text citations. In the 7th edition of APA, they also made some important changes to how you cite the Bible in the text of your work. Now, you include the title of the Bible, year, and the book chapter for direct quotes.

In-Text Basic Format Citation – Direct Quote

(Book Version, Year, Book Chapter: Verse)

Direct Quote APA In-Text Citation Example

(King James Version, 2017, 1 Col. 16:17)

“And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear” (King James Version, 2017, Matt 14:26 ).

Weaving Bible Citations Within Body Text

Young woman typing APA Bible citation examples

Integrating your biblical citations within your text helps to keep your reader focused on your words rather than the citation. Try to use this technique for all your APA in-text citations as much as possible.

In-Text Citation Example

In Eph 5: 22 (King James Bible, 2017), wives are told to “submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”



Understanding APA Bible Citations

Including biblical citations in your reference page is new to APA format 7th edition. The Bible and other religious texts fall under the “classical works” designation for the APA editorial style. Prior to the 7th edition, you only had to make an in-text citation when using the Bible. In addition to adding biblical citations to your reference page, APA also changed the way they format the in-text citations. Be aware of which form you are using when creating citations for your APA paper.

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