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MLA Style Writing Guide: Citing the Bible

In-text Citation

Include the translation and the book, chapter, and verse(s). 


Paul explains salvation when he says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (English Standard Version, Eph. 2:8-9). 

You do not need to list the translation in subsequent in-text citations as long as you are using the same Bible translation throughout your paper. 

You can find the list of Bible abbreviations in section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. 

Works Cited

The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998. 

The ESV Study Bible. Crossway, 2012.