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MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition): Religious Texts

This guide shows you how to cite using MLA 8th edition

On This Page: Religious Texts

Tips

Name of Generic Religious Texts in the Body of Your Paper

Do not italicize or use quotation marks in your paper when referring to a generic religious text. These terms appear without italics or quotation marks when referred to in your paper:

Bible, Old Testament, Genesis, Gospels, Talmud, Qur'an (Koran), Upanishads.

Only italicize titles of individual published editions of religious texts (e.g., The Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and Explanation, The Interlinear Bible, etc.) when specifically citing them in your paper.

In-Text Citations

The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook.

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Bible/Qur'an/Talmud, etc. (All Scripture)

Title. Editor statement, First Name Last Name of Editor, Publisher, Year of publication.

Works Cited List Example

The New Jerusalem Bible. General editor, Henry Wansbrough, Doubleday, 1985. 

In-Text Citation Example

(New Jerusalem Bible 1 Chron. 21.8)

 Note: The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook.

   
Works Cited List Example

The Bible. Introd. and notes by Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett, Oxford UP, 1998. Oxford World's Classics. Authorized King James Vers.

 Note: If the edition is based on a named version of the text, the name of the version can be recorded at the end of the entry, as "Authorized King James Vers" is above.

In-Text Citation Example

(The Bible Rev. 21.3)

 Note: The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation.For a full list of abbreviations, consult section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook

   
Works Cited List Example

The Qur'an. Trans. by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford UP, 2005.

In-Text Citation Example

(The Qur'an Joseph 12:69)

 Note: The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook.