How To Cite A Bible In MLA – Guide & Examples

20.01.23 MLA examples Time to read: 3min

How do you like this article?

0 Reviews


The Bible is one of the sources you can use in research, and like other sources, it needs to be cited or referenced depending on your paper’s reference style. MLA bible citation has its own unique format. This comprehensive guide explores how to cite a Bible in MLA, providing clear instructions for accurate and respectful biblical citations with examples. Mastering the art of citing the Bible in MLA ensures proper acknowledgment in academic and theological scholarship.

In a nutshell: How to cite a Bible in MLA

  • Learning how to cite a Bible in MLA includes knowing the format: the book, chapter, and verse are the most important components. It also requires a specification of the Bible version that has been used.
  • The format for how to cite a Bible in MLA differs depending on whether a print Bible or an online version is used.
  • The Works Cited entry formats differ depending on if the version is already clarified in the title or if clarification is necessary.

Definition: MLA Bible citation

MLA Bible citation differs from other book citations. This is because the MLA bible citation format features the book, chapter, and Bible verse, instead of only a page number. In addition, the “Works Cited” entry should also feature the Bible version you used in your research.

Note: The guidelines on how to cite an online Bible in MLA differ from the print version.

Format of the print version:

Bible Title. Edited by Editor’s First and Last Name, Bible Version, Publisher, Year of Publication.

Format of the online version:

Bible Title. Title of Website/organisation , URL. Accessed Date.

MLA Format Bible Title. Edited by (indicate editor’s first and last name, Publisher, Year, URL.
Works Cited entry in MLA The KJV Bible. Crossway, 1999. www.KJV,org.
In-text citation (KJV Bible, Luke. 6.13)
Ensure your final paper is free from plagiarism
Failure to correctly credit original sources most likely leads to mark deductions. Don’t risk it and utilise our online plagiarism chequeer, which allows you to detect potential plagiarism that you may have committed. Get confident in just 10 minutes!

How to cite a Bible in MLA: In-text citation

The MLA style recommends abbreviating the names of the different Bible books in your in-text Bible citation. Also, you should separate the chapter and verse numbers with a period (never a colon).


(Mark. 4.16) instead of (Mark. 4:16)

Also, you can use an en dash to show the range of verses. In contrast, if the range extends across different chapters, you should include the new chapter number after the dash.


(Mark. 4.16-21) or (Mark. 4.16-5.1)

Additionally, the first Bible citation in your text should feature the title of the Bible. It should be abbreviated if necessary and without “the” from the beginning.


(KJV Bible, Mark. 4.16-21)

Note that you can omit the Bible version in subsequent citations if you use the same version for all the citations. However, if you use multiple versions, each should include the title for clarity. Furthermore, include a distinct entry for each version in your Works Cited list.

How to cite a Bible in MLA: Works Cited entry

When learning how to cite a Bible in MLA, it is vital to learn the Works Cited entry format, as it differs depending on whether the version is already clear from the title or if it needs to be clarified afterward.

MLA format Bible Title. Edited by editor’s first and last name, publisher, year.
Works cited entry The Bible: New King James Version. Edited by Emma Roberts and Martha Brown, Oxford UP, 2001.
In-text citation (Bible, Mark. 2.16-21)
MLA format Bible Title. Version Name, Edited by editor’s first and last name, publisher, year.
Works Cited entry Holy Bible. New King James Version. Christian Publishing Domain, 2001.
In-text citation (Holy Bible, Mark 1.1)

The clarification usually comes after the title. Moreover, the version information is capitalized but not italicized. Finally, use a period to separate it from the Bible title.

Give your thesis a final format revision prior to printing
Have a last cheque of your formatting with our 3D preview feature before sending your thesis to print. The accurate virtual representation of what the physical print will look like, affords you to ensure the printed version aligns with your expectations.


The basic guide on how to cite a Bible in MLA requires that you start with the ‘Works Cited Entry’ with the source title. If your source does not have a number, you should use an alternative locator like a chapter number, audio, or video source to identify the relevant passage in the in-text citation.

The difference is that a Bible citation in MLA features the book, chapter, and verse. In contrast, book citations in MLA only require the page number.

You need the title of the Bible, the editor’s name (if applitaxile), the Bible version, and publication information.

An in-text Bible citation in MLA needs the Bible’s title, book name, chapter, and verse numbers.