How to Cite the Bible in APA

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The Bible is a frequently used source of information for many types of papers, but is referencing it the same as citing a book? This page will help you format citations for the Bible based on APA 7th edition guidelines.

Guide overview

APA reference page entry for a Bible

Reference page citations for the Bible are similar to that of a book; however, Bible texts are treated as not having an author.

However, if an editor or translator contributed to the text, then they must be included following the same citation conventions as a book.

In terms of dates, you must include the current version’s date after the title. For the original publication date, include the republished date only (if provided), as the date of publication for the Bible and for other religious texts is uncertain.

Citing a Bible (print or ebook)

Reference page structure:

Bible name. (Year published). Publisher. URL (Original work published year)

Reference page PRINT Bible example:

King James Bible. (2019). Christian Art Publishers. (Original work published 1769)

Citing a translated Bible

Reference page structure:

Bible name (Translator’s F. M. Last name, Trans.). (Year published). Publisher.

Reference page example:

The holy Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate (R. Challoner, Trans.). (2017). Andesite Press.

Citing a Bible on a website

If there is no site/page published date, use “n.d.” which stands for “no date.”

Reference page structure:

Bible name. (Year published). Publisher or Website Name. URL (Original work published year)

Reference page PRINT Bible example:

Holy Bible – American Standard Version. (n.d.). (Original work published 1901)


APA in-text Bible citations

In-Text Citation Structure:

When quoting or paraphrasing specific excerpts from the text, use the name/version of the Bible, the year(s) (remember to write the original publication year, a slash, and then the year of the version you are using), the chapter name, the verse, and then the line.

(Version name, Year, Chapter name line:verse)

In-Text Citation Example:

The Bible extols the virtues of love; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (King James Bible, 1769/2019, 1 Corinthians 13:4).



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How do I cite a Bible verse in APA style?

To cite a bible verse in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the bible version, year, chapter number, verse number, and/or URL (uniform resource locator). The templates for in-text citations and reference list entry of a bible verse along with examples are given below:

In-text citation templates and examples:

Set the bible version in italics along with the year. Include the biblical abbreviation for the book, chapter number, and verse number. There is no need to include the page number.


Bible version (Year, Book Name Chapter #:Verse #)

GOD’S WORD Translation (1995, Ruth 4:1)


(Bible Version, Publication Year, Book Name Chapter #:Verse #)

(GOD’S WORD Translation, 1995, Ruth 4:1)

Reference list entry template and example:

Title of the Bible Version. (Year). Publisher. URL

GOD’S WORD Translation. (1995). Bible Study Tools.

Is the Bible italiczed in APA style?

The Bible is italicized both in the in-text citation and in the reference list entry.