Today’s blog post will give you some tips for capitalizing words we commonly use in Christian writing.
This is the guide that I use for my personal writing and when I’m editing for clients.
Remember, however, there are different style guides that require various capitalization rules. (You can find an explanation of style guides here.) The style I use is AP.
Pronouns referring to God
When referring to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, capitalize the pronoun.
Here’s a list:
He, His, Him
You, Your, Yours
My, Our – as in My God or Our God
Remember – some style guides do not require you to capitalize these. Whichever method you choose, be consistent, meaning capitalize every time, or not, whatever the case may be.
Note: I always get asked about the “you, as in Thank you, God, for Your love.
I do not capitalize this “you,” but you wouldn’t be wrong if you did.
Do not change pronouns in a quotation.
If the guideline you’re using is to capitalize pronouns He, His, Him, etc., what do you do when those words are not capitalized in a Scripture quotation, such as the one below?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)
Notice that in the quotation the God pronouns are written like this: he, his, and him. They are not capitalized in this translation. Even though you’re using a style guide that says to capitalize them, you do not change them in the quotation. A quotation means you copied something exactly.
If for some reason you choose to change the capitalization in a quotation (although I don’t think this is necessary), use brackets around the change.
“For God so loved the world that [H]e gave…
I capitalize Bible, Scripture, and Word.
Do not capitalize these adjectives:
Christian Yes, capitalize
heaven and hell
Do not have to capitalize – but not wrong if you do
Capitalize if it’s part of a title, a proper noun
Holy Spirit, Holy God, Holy Trinity
The same rule as above. Capitalize when part of a title, a proper noun
Capitalize when it’s referring to one or all of the first four books of the New Testament.
The Gospels tell us about the life of Jesus.
Capitalize when it refers to a specific book of the four.
My favorite book in the New Testament is the Gospel of John.
Capitalize when it refers to the Good News.
My friend Kelly is always looking for opportunities to share the Gospel.
All other cases, gospel is lowercase.
We love gospel music.
Hope this helps!
I’m so glad you’re here!