Table of Contents

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS / Single Author, Single Volume Works / Reference Sets, Encyclopedias, Multi-Volume Dictionaries / Bibles / Commentary Sets / Articles Within a Larger Single-Volume work / Computer Software / Computer On-Line Services and Sites / Quality of Sources / What Materials Must Be Cited?
MECHANICS / General / Spelling / Punctuation / Italics and Underlining / Names / Numbers / Capitalization and Titles / Quotations / Capitalization in Hebrew or Greek / Justification
CITATIONS / Bibles / Old Testament Apocrypha / Examples of Citations / Classical, Patristic, and Medieval Works / Inscriptions / Sacred Writings: Old Testament / Sacred Writings: New Testament / Sample Works Cited Forms / Apocrypha and Abbreviations / Old Testament Pseudepigrapha / New Testament Apocrypha / Nag Hammadi Tractate / Sacred Books of the East / Talmud / Unpublished Materials / Letters / Personal Letters Not in a Collection / Class Lecture Notes / Church Bulletin / Cassette [audio or video]


Compiled by Dr. Robert J. Young
Bible Program Director
Ohio Valley College
One Campus View Drive
Vienna, West Virginia 26105
August, 1996


This supplement is designed to accomplish at least the following four things for the student enrolled at Ohio Valley College:

In accomplishing these tasks, four sections have been included in this supplement. First, some very general information and principles concerning citations are provided. The student needing to cite an unfamiliar reference or facing matters not specifically explained or illustrated elsewhere in this supplement should consult these general instructions and follow them as closely as possible. Second, specific mechanics matters are noted with references to MLA, 4th edition. This section covers matters not included in MLA, and a few matters in which MLA instructions are to be ignored in favor of the approach described in this supplement. Third, specific citation matters are noted with references to MLA, 4th edition. Finally, specific examples are given for several biblical reference tools with appropriate MLA and bibliographic or works cited forms.

Please note that these instructions do not necessarily apply to materials produced in classes outside the Bible department unless the instructor specifically indicates this supplement is to be used.

Specific underlining and capitalization instructions correlate with the Supplement to Turabian, 5th edition, published by the Harding Graduate School of Religion. Some of the examples in this supplement have been taken directly from that work. Many of the forms in the Harding Supplement to Turabian have been generally adopted in other of our Christian colleges. The consistent use of these instructions will help prepare students involved in biblical studies for graduate work. For the convenience of the Bible student who desires to become familiar with the style commonly used in academic research in biblical and related fields, specific footnote and bibliographic examples which follow Turabian are also given in the examples in this supplement. (Due to the HTML format, the information in these examples is correct, but the form is not always precise.)

This supplement generally addresses only those matters for which the MLA Handbook is incomplete or unclear. This supplement takes precedence over MLA in those few areas where instructions contained herein differ from MLA. These areas are clearly noted. MLA references are from the fourth edition of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.


Single Author, Single Volume Works
This citation is perhaps the most frequently used. The student must understand this form because it provides the basic principles for all other citation forms.
If only one author has contributed to a work and the work exists in a single volume (written, spoken, or on computer software), the proper procedure in a works cited list is author, title, publishing information (location, publisher, date).
Internal citation should make it possible for the reader to find the specific location cited, i.e. pagination or software applications. Specific locations are not generally given for interviews, lectures, or other spoken materials available on audiotape or videotape.

Reference Sets, Encyclopedias, Multi-Volume Dictionaries
This citation generally seems to give students the greatest difficulty. In works cited lists, reference sets without author or article information may list editor rather author. In this case the proper works cited form gives the name of the reference work; the editor as editor; the number of volumes; revision, edition, reprint or other alteration information; and publishing information. Internal citation gives the name of the work and pagination.
More often author or article information is available. In works cited lists, enter articles from general encyclopedias and dictionaries under author when author is given, otherwise under title of article. Enter articles from religious and classical encyclopedias and dictionaries individually.
The article title with the name of the reference set or the reference set with volume and page numbers is sufficient internal citation. A helpful rule for internal citation is that such citation must be sufficient to point the reader to the specific location cited.
The usual approach requires that multiple references from dictionaries and encyclopedias be entered individually in the works cited list by author (or title). When authors are used in works cited lists, the editor of the reference set is still listed after the reference set title, as is any revision, edition, translation, or reprint information. The citation would conclude with publication information.
Internal citations require author and enough information to identify which work by the author is being cited.

Bibles are listed in works cited lists alphabetically by title, disregarding initial articles. No distinction need be made for written or computer-accessed Bibles. (Cf. examples).
Internal citation may be by standard abbreviation. An abbreviation may be designed and used for English versions or specialty texts without standard abbreviations.

Commentary Sets
The form for citing commentary sets is really quite simple. If the specific work has an individual author (as the NICNT), the author's name would be listed first, followed by the volume title, edition information, the name of the larger set (e.g. New International Commentary on the New Testament) not underlined, followed by publication information.
Internal citation must be sufficient to identify the specific location cited, but can exclude as much of the works cited information as possible.

Articles Within a Larger Single-Volume Work
This form is often used in biblical studies in reference to printed lectureship books. The proper works cited form includes author, article title, volume title, and publication information in that order.
Internal citation may be by author or article title, but should include pagination.

Computer Software
Computer materials are of two general forms. This section addresses materials available in various software formats (primarily CDs, but perhaps on disc). The following section addresses web services and Internet sites. The approach the student takes to citing computer-accessed materials may vary, but should follow a standardized form. If the materials are also available in written form, as is often the case in biblical studies, use the same form as one would use to cite the written materials, e.g. Bibles, standard concordances, Hebrew or Greek texts, some encyclopedias and dictionaries. If the materials are not or have never been available in written form, the student may need to use general citation information to construct an appropriate citation model.
The works cited list should begin with author, editor, or title of work (as available), followed by edition, reprint, translation, or other alteration work. Finally publication information would be given (including at least publication medium, vendor's name, date).
Internal citation would be guided by the same general principles as for other citations, using editor, author, or title to identify the work (be careful not to use identical citations for multiple or distinct works) and specific location information as available.

Computer On-Line Services and Sites
Great strides have been made in this area. Standardized instructions may be accessed to guide the student in referencing. The student should be able by applying general principles for citation to arrive at an acceptable form for such materials when specific situations are not addressed. Is the author known? Is the editor noted? What is the title of the work? Where can the reader go to verify the same information? What is the "publication" information, i.e. publication medium, computer service, date of access, etc.?

Quality of Sources
In conclusion, a plethora of information is at our fingertips in today's communication-oriented, high-technology world. The student should carefully weigh the quality of the source before deciding to include information in the citation apparatus of a research paper. The use of materials not available for checking by a reader or future researcher is not generally appropriate.

What Materials Must Be Cited?
A dilemma faced by the beginning researcher is the citation of commonly accepted information. A helpful guideline on this matter is as follows: If in doubt, cite. Excessive citation is desirable to failure to cite information that should have been referenced. Sections of text copied word for word from a source must always be cited.
Consider some examples.

Example 1
George Washington was the first president of the United States.
This information is commonly known and is available in multiple reference works.

Example 2
"Among his Gentile converts Paul soon met doctrinal tendencies of which he did not approve and which called for delicate but firm correction. At Corinth a spiritual aristocracy were inclined to pride themselves on the possession of profounder wisdom and deeper mystical experienced than their brethren or even than the apostle himself."
While this information may be considered generally known, the citation should be given because the material is directly quoted (Chadwick 33).

Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church. Middlesex, England: Penguin, n.d.

Example 3
Several of the most conspicuous leaders of the struggle for independence, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, were Deists.
Because this information may or may not be generally known, the best approach would be to document the source (Hudson 92).

Hudson, Winthrop S. and John Corrigan. Religion in America. 5th ed. New York: Macmillan, 1992.


Left references in this section are to MLA, 4th ed. Students should consult these instructions and MLA simultaneously to discern any differences.

1.7--Students are strongly encouraged to read this section since ethical use of materials is especially important to students involved in Christian education and biblical studies. The unethical use of materials is sufficient cause for assigning a failing grade to an assignment.

2.1.3--When you quote the biblical text or cite a biblical word in the original language, e.g. Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, you must reproduce all words, accents and other marks exactly as they appear in the original. If you need marks that are not available on your word processor or typewriter, you may write them in by hand. You may also choose to write the entire word or quotation by hand. The use of lengthy original language citations is generally discouraged in materials produced for undergraduate Bible classes at Ohio Valley College.
When material from another language in which the letters form are different from English is transliterated, a common accepted transliteration code should be used and special care should be exercised in ascertaining the accuracy of the transliteration. Lengthy transliterations will seldom if ever be appropriate. Transliterations should be underlined.

2.2.7(e)--Some singular proper nouns commonly used in the biblical text may form possessives with the addition of only an apostrophe.

The use of a prepositional phrase in such cases is usually the better approach.
2.2.8(b)--Use quotations marks for a translation of a Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek word. Do not use any other marks to set the translation apart from the text, e.g. underlining, bold typeface or italics. Do not use quotation marks for the original word in alphabets with letter forms obviously different from English. (See 2.3.2 below.)

2.3--In research papers, you must use underlining instead of italics. Use of a bold typeface should not be used instead of underlining.
2.3.1--This instruction stands except that with reference to biblical words from the original languages because the original letter forms differ from English, the instructions herein under 2.2.8 and 2.3.2 supersede this section.
Summary for Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words only: Do not set apart in any way words which appear in their original letter forms (2.3.2). Use quotations marks for translations (2.2.8) and underline transliterations (2.1.3 and 2.3.2).
2.3.2--Do not underline foreign words when the letter forms are obviously different from English, as in Hebrew and Greek. Underline Hebrew or Greek words transliterated in an English text. Do not use italics in place of underlining.
One may prefer to reproduce the word in its original language characters. If your typewriter or word processor is incapable of producing the necessary characters, such words may be carefully, legibly written by hand. Do not underline or put in quotation marks words in alphabets with letter forms varying widely from English, e.g. Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic.

2.4.2--Do not use formal titles in referring to persons living or dead.
Paul, not St. Paul

2.5.1--Use arabic numerals, not Roman numerals, to distinguish biblical and apocryphal books.

2.5.2--Use arabic numerals rather than spelling out numbers in biblical citations. Do not use Roman numerals.
Examples: 2.5.5--The abbreviation BC follows the year, but AD precedes it. Do not use BCE and CE.

2.6.1--Capitalize references to deity, including references to the persons of the Christian Trinity:

Pronouns referring to the foregoing are seldom capitalized except in instances where capitalization offers a simple way to avoid ambiguity:

Nor are most derivatives, whether adjectives or nouns, capitalized:

Appellations of revered persons such as prophets, apostles, and saints are often capitalized when the reference is specific:

Capitalize the Bible in its different versions: Capitalize books of the Bible: Capitalize various major divisions and sections of the Bible: Adjectives derived from the names of sacred books are generally lowercase:

Shorter religious writings and utterances are usually capitalized:

Biblical and other religious events and religious concepts of major theological importance are often capitalized: 2.6.2--Do not substitute italic nor bold typefaces for underlining in the titles of works. Titles of specific books in the Bible are not underlined. Do not underline the word Bible. (See 2.6.5.)
2.6.3--Do not use quotation marks to set off books of the Bible nor books of the Apocrypha. (See 2.6.5.)
2.6.5--Carefully note this section describing exceptions under the category of Sacred Writings. A helpful rule of thumb is this: When the reference is to a title that appears on a title page, underlining is required. When the reference is generic, no underlining is required.
2.6.6--In the text of a paper, the titles of biblical books are abbreviated only when the reference is to a specific passage identified by verse or verses. For general and chapter references the titles of biblical books should be spelled out. Compare the following examples: When a writer must frequently refer to the same work, it is permissible to devise an abbreviation where no standard abbreviation is in common usage, e.g. Ante-Nicene Fathers (hereafter cited as ANF) or Ancient Near Eastern Text Relating to the Old Testament (hereafter cited as ANET).

2.7.7--After a quotation followed by a scripture reference, insert the end punctuation after the scripture reference. "Kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it" (Rev. 21:24).
As illustrated in the above example, exact quotations from biblical material should be placed in quotation marks; the exact biblical location should be placed in parentheses after the closing quotation mark; the end punctuation appears last. The biblical location should not be included in the text of the paper when introducing exact quotations. Trite, repetitive statements which add length but no substance should be avoided. Not: In Revelation 21:24, the Bible says....

2.8--In transliterating biblical names, use an initial capital letter even though the original languages do not. In writing biblical names in the original language characters, use the same case as the original language.

3.1--Do not justify the right margin.


4.2--The works-cited and parenthetical documentation instructions in this supplement are designed to reflect MLA citation and documentation styles for biblical and other references which are not adequately covered in the MLA Handbook. Consult with the professor concerning specific preferences or questions about materials that are not covered. Several samples appear at the end of this supplement.
5.2--If a version other than the King James is used throughout the paper and no other version is cited, noting this in the works-cited list is sufficient. (See sample.) The same instruction applies to versions of the Apocrypha. Exact references to the Bible, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and Dead Sea Scrolls are placed in parentheses within the text. Chapter and verse numbers are treated as in the example below. Biblical books are abbreviated only in exact references.
Mt. 5:7, but Romans 3.
5.4--The following are suggested parenthetical documentation forms for specific reference works:


Tob. 4:5 Ox/Apocrypha
Note the appropriate works cited (bibliographic) form for this apocryphal citation.

Oxford Annotated Apocrypha: The Apocrypha of the Old Testament: Revised Standard Version. Edited by Bruce M. Metzger. New York: Oxford UP, 1965. (Ox/Apocrypha)
6.2--Do not use BCE or CE.
6.7.1--Do not abbreviate biblical books on title pages or in headings and subheadings. Do not use the suggested abbreviation for Bible (Bib.). Always write out the word Bible.

The internal citation of MLA presents a distinct advantage to the writer since details of the works cited appear in the works cited list. The internal reference needs only make clear which work among the works cited list is referenced.
In the examples below, the internal citation is listed first and the works cited sample is second. The information which appears is correct but may not be formatted precisely due to HTML considerations. Internal citations appear in parentheses. Since internal citation is somewhat standardized, no internal reference is listed except in those cases where the referencing may be unfamiliar.

Classical, Patristic, and Medieval Works
Augustine, On the Trinity 1.10.20*
Augustine. On the Trinity. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 1st ser., vol. 3. N.p., n.d.; reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956.
*Note: If only one work by an author is used in a study, the internal citation may be shortened to either author or title.
1 Clement 34:8
1 Clement. In The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 1. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1912.

Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 1.8.11.
Eusebius. The Ecclesiastical History. 2 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1926.
Herodotus, History 1.73.
Herodotus. History. 4 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1920-25.

SEG, XXIII, 447, 15.
Supplementus epigraphicum Graecum. 25 vols. Edited by J. J. E. Hondius and A. G. Woodhead. Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherhands: Sijthoff & Noordhoff, 1923-71; reprint, Amsterdam; J. C. Gieben, 1984. Vol. 26 to date. Edited by H. W. Pleket and R. S. Stroud. Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1982-.
SIG, II, 888, 24.
Sylloge inscriptionum Graecarum. 3d ed. 4 vols. Edited by Wilhelm Dittenberger. Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1915-24; reprint, Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms, 1982.

Sacred Writings
Biblical Abbreviations: Old Testament Genesis Gen. Exodus Ex. Leviticus Lev. Numbers Num. Deuteronomy Deut. Joshua Josh. Judges Judg. Ruth Ruth 1 Samuel 1 Sam. 2 Samuel 2 Sam. 1 Kings 1 Kings 2 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 1 Chron. 2 Chronicles 2 Chron. Ezra Ezra Nehemiah Neh. Esther Esther Job Job Psalms Ps. Proverbs Prov. Ecclesiastes Eccles. Song of Solomon Song Isaiah Is. Jeremiah Jer. Lamentations Lam. Ezekiel Ezek. Daniel Dan. Hosea Hos. Joel Joel Amos Amos Obadiah Obad. Jonah Jon. Micah Mic. Nahum Nahum Habakkuk Hab. Zephaniah Zeph. Haggai Hag. Zechariah Zech. Malachi Mal. Bible Abbreviations: New Testament Matthew Mt. Mark Mk. Luke Lk. John Jn. Acts Acts Romans Rom. 1 Corinthians 1 Cor. 2 Corinthians 2 Cor. Galatians Gal. Ephesians Eph. Philippians Phil. Colossians Col. 1 Thessalonians 1 Thess. 2 Thessalonians 2 Thess. 1 Timothy 1 Tim. 2 Timothy 2 Tim. Titus Tit. Philemon Philem. Hebrews Heb. James Jas. 1 Peter 1 Pet. 2 Peter 2 Pet. 1 John 1 Jn. 2 John 2 Jn. 3 John 3 Jn. Jude Jude Revelation Rev.
Note: References to Bible and non-Christian sacred scriptures should be entered in the works cited list in alphabetical order by title, disregarding initial articles. Collections of sacred writings from different religions or collections in which there is no standard list which comprises a particular corpus (e.g., Sacred Books of the East, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, or New Testament Apocrypha) are entered under editor.

Sample Works Cited Forms
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by Karl Elliger and Wilhelm Rudolph. Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblestiftung, 1977.
The Greek New Testament. 4th ed. Edited by B. Aland, K. Aland, J. Karavidopoulos, C. M. Martini, B. M. Metzger. London: United Bible Societies, 1993.
The Holy Bible; Authorized Version. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1917.
The Holy Bible; New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.
New American Standard Bible. Nashville: Holman, 1960.
Note: Only when the student uses internal study notes is additional author, editor, or edition information necessary. Since such accompanying notes and study helps are secondary or tertiary sources at best in most instances, the use of such is discouraged. If a standard Hebrew, Greek, or English text is accessed by computer hardware, no additional notation or citation is necessary.

Tob. 4:5
The Oxford Annotated Apocrypha: The Apocrypha of the Old Testament: Revised Standard Version. Edited by Bruce M. Metzger. New York: Oxford UP, 1965.

Apocrypha Abbreviations
1 Esdras		1 Esd.
1 Maccabees		1 Macc.
2 Maccabees		2 Macc.
3 Maccabees		3 Macc.
Tobit			Tob.
Judith			Judith
Sirach			Sir.
 (or Ecclesiasticus)	Ecclus.
Wisdom of Solomon	Wisd.
1 Baruch		1 Bar.
Epistle of Jeremy	Ep. Jer.
(also known as Letter of Jeremiah)
Prayer of Manasses	P. Man.
Prayer of Azariah	Azar. 
(also known as Song of the Three Children)
Susanna			Sus.
Bel and the Dragon	Bel
Additions to Esther 	Add. Esth.
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
1En 1:5*
Charlesworth, James H., ed. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 vols. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983-85.
*Note: See list of abbreviations of OT pseudepigraphical works in Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

New Testament Apocrypha
GPet 6:21* (Gospel of Peter)
Hennecke, Edgar. New Testament Apocrypha. 2 vols. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher. English translation edited by R. McLachlan Wilson. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1963-65.
*Note: See list of abbreviations of NT apocrypha works in Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

Nag Hammadi Tractate
Gos. Thom. 31*
The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Translated by Members of the Coptic Gnostic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.
*Note: For abbreviations of Nag Hammadi tractates, see Journal of Biblical Literature 95 (June 1976): 338.

Sacred Books of the East
Bhagavadgita 18:34
Muller, Friedrich Max, ed. Sacred Books of the East. 50 vols. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1879-1910; reprint, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1962-66.

TB Men. 91b.
The Babylonian Talmud. 35 vols. Edited by Isidore Epstein. London: Soncino Press, 1935-48.

Unpublished Materials

Butler, 431
Butler, Ovid, Forest Home, IN, to Alexander Campbell [Bethany, VA], 29 March 1851, Millennial Harbinger, 4th ser., 1 (August 1851): 431.

Personal Letters Not in a Collection
Cranston, Alan, Letter to John Smith, 22 October 1962.

Class Lecture Notes
Carter, Karen. Class Lecture Notes, Early Church History. Phillips Graduate Seminary, Fall, 1990.

Church Bulletin
Author or article title if known, "Family of God," date.
"Family of God." Church of Christ, Fort Gibson, OK, June 24, 1995.

Cassette [audio or video]
West, Earl. "Is Material Prosperity a Sign of God's Favor?" Oklahoma Christian College Lectures. Oklahoma Christian College Media Center, 1977. Sound cassette.
Hazelip, Harold. "The Restoration Principle." N.p., n.d. Sound cassette.

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