Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

MLA Bible Citation Examples

Although most editorial styles don’t require a bibliography entry for religious works, MLA 8 style does. Follow these MLA Bible citation examples to see how it is done. This means not only do you place parenthetical or in-text citations within your paper, but you also include a corresponding entry on your works cited page.

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MLA Bible Citation Format

Refer to these basic formats to cite biblical references in your MLA citations.

Works Cited Format

Title of the Bible, Version. Editor, Publisher, Year.

In-Text Citation Format

The first time you cite the Bible in-text, include the name of the version of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book, the chapter and verse(s).

(Title of Version, Book. Chapter.Verse)

For subsequent references, simply include the book, chapter, and verse.

(Book. Chapter.Verse)

Using the Correct Version Is Important

The Holy Bible showing MLA Bible citation examples

Let your reader know which version of the Bible you’re quoting, as they differ in wording.

Example Works Cited

The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Cambridge UP, 2004.

Example In-Text Citation

(Rom. 1.7)

Example Scripture

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Example Works Cited

Holy Bible. American Standard Version, Bible Domain Publishing, 2013.

Example In-Text Citation

(Rom. 1.7)

Citing MLA Online Bible Sources

Oftentimes, you’ll find Bible scriptures published online. Even full versions of the Bible are available. In these cases, simply add the URL of the source, just as you do for other MLA citations.

Example Works Cited

New International Version. Biblica, 1983, www.biblestudytools.com/niv/

Example In-Text Citation

(Gen. 25.8)

  • If the version is included in the title, you don’t need to add it again.
  • Include the URL, if you retrieved the information from an online source.
  • Do not add https:// to the URL.
  • After the first reference to a source, use the abbreviation in the text.


Using MLA Containers

These MLA citation examples give you a basic understanding of formatting works cited entries when referencing the Bible. Using the MLA 8 container system with its nine core elements allows for flexibility. However, make sure to include the Bible version in your citation.

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FAQ MLA Bible Citation Examples

How do you cite the Bible in MLA format?

To create a Bible citation in MLA format, include the title, version, editor, publisher, and published year in your works cited. To create an MLA citation in text, include the title of the version, book, chapter, and verse.

How do you cite the Bible in a works cited page?

To cite the Bible in your MLA works cited page, you will include the title, version, editor, publisher, and year. Be sure to end your citation with a period. For example:
The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.

How do you cite the ESV Bible in MLA?

The MLA 8 citation for the English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible would be formatted like:
Study Bible-ESV. English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2014.

What is a Bible citation?

A Bible citation is made in the body of your academic paper and in the works cited page when ideas or text is taken from the Bible.

Do you have to cite the Bible in MLA?

Yes, you do have to cite the Bible in MLA format. While most writing style formats do not require a biblical citation, MLA does require it to be cited on the works cited page and in-text.

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