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APA Referencing - Education & Counselling students: Bible

This guide provides information on how to reference using the APA 6th edition referencing style. PLEASE NOTE: Theology students should use Chicago Footnote Style

How to reference the Bible


According to the APA 6th edition Publication Manual, classical works such as the Bible or ancient sources should not be included in your reference list. However, you do need to include an in-text citation that states the book, chapter and verse from the Bible you are referring to in your assignment. For the first citation you also need to state which version of the Bible you have cited. 

In-text reference

Initial citation:

The Bible enumerates these virtues: “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, New International Version).


In 1 Corinthians 13:13 (New International Version), the Bible states that of the three virtues of faith, hope and love, love is the greatest.

Subsequent citation:

We are encouraged in the Bible to not be anxious about anything but to bring everything before God in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7).


The Bibles states in Philippians 4:6-7 to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Multiple references in one citation

If citing multiple books of the the Bible in one in-text citation, list the books in biblical order.

(Matthew 8:3, Luke 7:47, Luke 15:1-7, John 8:21, New International Version)

The APA 6th edition style includes the direction "Do not use parentheses back to back: (p. 94)". When inserting a a biblical reference and a non-biblical reference at the same point, use the same set of parentheses, list the references in alphabetical order and use a semi-colon to separate the biblical reference(s) from the text reference(s).


(John 13:35; Keller, 2010)

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