In the realm of academic writing, the correct citation of sources, including the Bible, is of utmost importance. It not only gives credit where credit is due, but also lends credibility to our own perspectives and arguments. As servants of truth, Christians are called to act with integrity in all things, including in the citation of biblical texts. By adhering to Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines, we respect the sanctity of the text, as well as the academic process.

The Basics of Citing the Bible in MLA Format

Citing the Bible in an academic paper using MLA format involves some specific guidance. It requires identifying the version of the Bible used in the first citation, the book, and the verse. The book name, chapter and verse numbers should not be separated by commas. For example: (Romans 8:28 New International Version). Subsequent references need only the book, chapter and verse, as the version is already known. For example: (Romans 8:37).

Creating a Works Cited Entry for the Bible

When citing the Bible in the Works Cited page, the title of the work (the version of the Bible) is listed first, without the author. It is followed by the name of the publisher and the publication year. For example: The New International Version. Biblica, 2011. Multiple books from the same Bible do not need multiple entries; one collective citation will suffice.

The Biblical Perspective on Integrity and Accuracy

Accuracy and integrity are not just hallmarks of good scholarship; they are also virtues deeply rooted in the Bible. Proverbs 11:1 states: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.” In Acts 24:16, the Apostle Paul strives to “maintain a clear conscience before God and man”. These verses underscore how our commitment to truth extends to our academic work, including the faithful citing of scriptures.

The Relevance of Correct Citation to Christians Today

In a modern context, correct citation is not just about following guidelines. It’s also a matter of understanding the Word of God in its correct context. As we grow in knowledge and wisdom, we are empowered to engage more deeply with the Word and with the world. Citing the Bible correctly is a small but significant part of this process.


Being diligent in correctly citing the Bible in MLA style is a vital aspect of both academic and personal integrity. It reflects respect for the sacred text, thoroughness in academic work, and a commitment to truth. It provides a firm foundation for thoughtful reflection, critical analysis, and spiritually informed engagement in academic, personal, and public spheres.


Sarah Goodwin

A passionate Christian and Bible enthusiast, I find joy in delving deep into Scripture and sharing its timeless wisdom with my readers. Through words, I aspire to illuminate the profound lessons the Bible offers, hoping to inspire faith and purpose in every heart. Join me on a journey of biblical exploration and spiritual growth.Enter your text here...

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