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  1. I was told recently that scripture quotations must always be italicized. That was a new one to me. Is that some industry standard of which I was unaware, or is that just this particular firm’s opinion?

    1. Hmmm…It is not the standard of MLA or APA citing. However, as you said, each publication has it’s own style guide and that might be the case here. Thanks for checking!

      1. Oops. Its own. Not it’s!

        1. Ellen M King says:

          According to “The Christian Manual of Style” italics should not be used for verses. It was a fad a while back, but thankfully I think we’re seeing the end of it. In fact, in two version (KJV and NKJV), it is proper to remove the italics they use as those italics are simply to tell the reader that the word was added by the translators and does not appear in the original. (This is one instance when we should not render the Scripture exactly as they appear in Bible Gateway.) I prefer to offset biblical quotations in the text so that they can retain their original punctuation and make them stand out too. Makes my job a lot easier.

          1. Thank you!

      2. Virginia Spears Haynes says:

        Thank you so much for these Scripture writing tips. I am presently teaching Systematic Theology and there are several writing projects. I am using your information, and yes, giving you credit. I added for my students: Please add an interesting title, the translation being used, and number the pages.

        1. Hi Virginia,

          Thank you so much for purchasing my workbook – and for letting me know it’s helpful!
          That means a lot to me!

  2. Thanks, Melanie! I have struggled with where to put the ending punctuation when quoting Scripture. Now I know!

    1. melanie chitwood says:

      You’re welcome! Always makes me feel more confident to know the rules!

  3. Your reference nothing about the version. I have a main one I use but often use other versions?

    1. Good question. At the beginning of the entire manuscript, include a copyright for the version of the Bible you primarily will use. If you do this, then you do not have to state in each parenthetical documentation the version. So at the beginning of the manuscript your copyright statement could be this:
      Unless indicated otherwise, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Internation Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. All rights reserved.

      Then in your manuscript if you use a version other than your primary version, you put the version in the parenthetical documentation like this: (James 1:5 NASB).

      I hope this helps! Also, you can google parenthetical documentation.

  4. I usually put my Scripture quote inside a quote box. it stands out and to me, it seems to say this is quoted from the Bible. I also give the reference and version as well.

    on occasion, i use more than one Biblical quote in a post. if i use a bunch of Biblical quotes, I tend to write the reference and link it to the Bible Gateway reference I’m choosing. I realize that wouldn’t work for a book of course.

    I’m getting ready to write a devotional book. again, i plan to have one passage to highlight each reading around. i expect to have it either at the beginning or end of the post but in an indented, quote format…or is that incorrect? I try to set them apart because I’m also trying to encourage memorization or near memorization and having it separated out helps.

    please advise. i enjoyed your part of the weekend writing conference today. very helpful:)

    1. If I’m understanding correctly, then yes! It sounds like you’re doing that correctly.

  5. Please help! I am writing devotions from the book of Proverbs. (Should “book” in “book of Proverbs” be capitalized?)
    My main question is: Sometimes the verse I am quoting ends in a comma or a semicolon. What do I do? Is it okay to substitute a period if that is where I am ending the quote?
    Also, I was planning to start each devotion with a verse or passage from Proverbs on the top of the page with the reference (such as, Proverbs 3:4-5) in bold. Since it will be distinctive from my comments, is it okay to NOT put it in quotation marks? Here is an example:

    Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

    Thank you!

    1. Do not capitalize book.

      Yes, you can substituted period.

      Yes, you can put the bible quotation at the beginning of each chapter in bold (or italics )with no quotation marks.

      More commonly it would be written like this:

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      and lean not on your own understanding;
      in all your ways submit to him,
      and he will make your paths straight,
      — Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

      Whichever format you use, just make sure you’re consistent.

      Just be consistent.

      1. Thank you so much for your helpful and quick response!

  6. In my devotion, I am referring to several Scriptures in one chapter, but I don’t want to include the whole chapter. Is it okay to list them one after the other, as below? even though I have skipped verses in between?

    Proverbs 10:6, 8, 10-11, 13-14, 18-19, 21, 31-32 (NIV)
    6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
        but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
    8 The wise in heart accept commands,
        but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
    10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
        and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
    11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
        but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
    13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
        but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.
    14 The wise store up knowledge,
        but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
    18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
        and spreads slander is a fool.
    19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
        but the prudent hold their tongues.
    21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
        but fools die for lack of sense.
    31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
        but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
    32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
        but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

  7. In my devotion, I am referring to several Scriptures in one chapter, but I don’t want to include the whole chapter. Is it okay to list them one after the other, as below? even though I have skipped verses in between?

    Proverbs 10:6, 8, 10-11, 13-14, 18-19, 21, 31-32 (NIV)
    6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
        but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
    8 The wise in heart accept commands,
        but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
    10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
        and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
    Etc. – I won’t list each verse here. 🙂

  8. Jeff Hill says:

    How would you place the quotations in this verse? I did my best, but I am not sure about it.

    Luke 15:11-12
    11 “Then He said: ‘A certain man had two sons.12 And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.” So he divided to them his livelihood.'”

    Thank you in advance,


    1. Always put single quotation marks inside of double, if you come to something that is already a quote.

      “Then He said, ‘A certain mad had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So He divided to them his livlihood.'”
      It’s tricky because there’s two sets of single quotation marks. Remembering this might help: A regular quotation marks means I’m copying something. A single quotation mark means that what I’m copying was already in quotation marks.
      Hope this helps!

  9. Hi Melanie,
    I’m quoting a long scripture at the beginning of a chapter as the introduction. Revelations 12:7-11; should I use Scripture states, ” at the begging or should I just go right into the quote? and should I use ” ” for the whole thing? Also, should the citation be at the end like (Revelations 12:7-11?
    Please let me know what you think.

  10. At the beginning of my devotions, I have the full passage and reference for the passage (I can’t show it here, but the reference is in bold.) Such as:
    Proverbs 6:20-35 (NIV)
    Then after a couple of paragraphs, I want to refer to one of the verses in the passage. I was thinking of doing it this way with the verse in italics:

    Vs 21 – Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.
    This speaks of keeping his commands top of mind continually, consulting His Word for each situation in life.

    “Vs 21” will not be in italics, just the Scripture: Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.
    Is that OK? I really did not want to use quotation marks for Scripture. When I use italics for Scripture, it will be for only one verse, or part of a verse that I am referring to for a second time in that devotion.
    Also, can I abbreviate verse by using vs? If so, does it need a period? — Vs.
    I am referring to another verse a second time in this devotion this way:

    Vs 32 tells us that a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.

    The actual Scripture (that a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself) will be italicized. “Vs 32 tells us” will not be italicized. Is that correct?
    Is it OK to refer to the two Scriptures differently? (Vs 21 with a dash and vs 32 tells us?)
    Thanks for all your help!

    1. Sherry Rogers says:

      I have the same questions as to how to correctly abbreviate the word “verse” in referencing scripture. I do not see Melanie’s reply.

    2. I’m not totally clear what your question is but I can answer some of it.

      Use italics for the actual Scripture but not for verse 32.

      Whichever method you use to write this, be consistent – use same method throughout.

  11. Continued from below:

    In another instance in the same devotion, I refer back to a verse by just putting the verse number and the verse in italics:

    22 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.

    This verse is set apart by horizontal spaces. Is this correct? Again, is it OK that I have done this 3 different ways in one devotion? (I’m guessing, not…) If I need to use only one way, which is correct?

    1. I’m not completely clear what you’re asking, but what I can say is that choose a method and be consistent. In other words, use the same method throughout manuscript.

      I write things like this:

      In John 3:16, we read, “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.”

      Unfortunately, people stop reading here and do not read the next verse, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:17).

      Hope this helps!

  12. Can you put quotes when you refer to a verse at the beginning of your chapter? How does that work?

  13. Bill Chipman says:

    Is it okay to quote the KJV and not use the italics they have, but keep the whole quote in normal type?

  14. Hi thanks for this!

    i have a question if we are to put a partial scripture on an apparel like a bracelet how should it be written. For instance I want to quote John 9:3, but only partially, would this be okay?

    ..but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3

    1. Yes, just like that or you could do it like this:
      But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3
      Either way!

      1. Thanks so much for your quick response!!

      2. I was wondering if I should capitalize the first word of a Bible verse that I’m quoting, if it isn’t capitalized in the Bible? for instance, if it is in the middle of a sentence in the Bible, but it is the beginning of my quote?

        1. I am looking for the answer to this question, too.

  15. Please help! Is this correct:

    Who is our adversary? (verse 12). What can we do?

    I know that if it were a statement instead of a question, I would not punctuate after adversary; I would put a period after the parenthesis. Do I still put a period? Even though I have a question mark?

    1. Melanie Chitwood says:

      Yes! Correct!

  16. I understand that if my devotional is more than 25% of a particular Bible version, that I’ll have to get permission to print from the publisher. Is permission usually given? Will I have to pay? Or submit my devotional?
    I realize that I’ll have to check with the publisher. I am just asking for any insight you may have.

  17. Michele van Loggerenberg says:

    I am busy editing a document that has a lot of the following format:
    1. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I (Paul) urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)
    2. “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work” (John 14:10).
    The full-stop is sometimes within the quotation marks with no full stop after the Scripture reference (Eph 4:1)(no 1), and sometimes only at the very end of the sentence (no 2). Which is correct?

  18. I’m editing a document with a lot of Bible text quotes, and I’m not sure if it’s more appropriate to use regular parentheses versus brackets when a word is supplied. Here is one example, where the author supplied the word “Hannah” into the quote:

    Then she (Hannah) made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
    1 Sam. 1:11

    Is this the correct use or should “Hannah” be in square brackets? Thank you!

    1. Parentheses outside quotations; brackets inside quotations

  19. I am super confused about quotation marks. If we include a verse that stands alone, as in not in the paragraph or on a graphic, do we include it in quotation marks? I see one at the bottom of your website that doesn’t have “” or ().

    Hi Maree –
    It depends. If you use it as an epigraph – a quotation at the beginning of your book or chapter before you start the writing of your manuscript, then no. For an epigraph, use italics or some kind of different font from your main font.

    1. And Melanie is too humble to say, but she has a great book coming soon to answer all questions about using Scripture in your writing! Woohooo!

  20. Which of these examples would you think is the correct way to show the Scriptural reference within a paper? I have tried to search this out on the Internet to no avail. Or perhaps you have another way. I would like to keep the Scriptural reference at the beginning of the sentence.
    1. Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” KJV
    2. Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. KJV ”
    3. Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (KJV).
    4 Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (KJV )”
    Thank you for your time. God bless you!

    1. #3! Quotations marks mean this is where I begin copying and end copying.
      My book “How to Use Scripture in Your Writing” will be available at the end of this month and answers all the questions about documenting!

  21. Fred Johnson says:

    Thank you for your thorough explanation of this conventional practice, but it did not address the convention that long quotations are often set apart by an indentation of the long quotation, including a multi-paragraph quotation, rather than using quotation marks. Can one skip the use of the opening and closing quotation marks by simply indenting the long piece of quoted Scripture? And within that quotation, if the Scripture itself includes a quotation, use double quotation marks for this?

    1. Yes, this is something I explain in my upcoming book on this topic which will be available on Amazon in about a week.
      Yes, that’s exactly what you do for long quotations: indent, no quotation marks, only include regular quotation marks if what you’re copying
      is already in quotation marks, exactly what you said!

  22. In Anne Graham Lotz’s devotion she has a series of verses with scripture references at the bottom of the page. No quotation marks. No italic.

    We are writing out prayers where some of the wording is from
    Scripture. Is it allows to put references at the bottom of the page like Anne does? The idea is to keep the prayer flowing and have the reader look up references after.

    1. I can’t really answer with a hundred percent assurance, but I can say copying others is a good practice. I’m not familiar with this practice, but if you see it modeled in Anne’s work, then I think you could copy that.

  23. For verses that end in a comma, would you simply put that comma at end of the parenthetical citation like you would a period?

    I bought the book and I couldn’t find any reference for what to do with verses that end in a comma like Romans 1:1.
    EX: Paul writes, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1),

    Is that correct?

    1. In that case, just leave out the comma and put a period after the parenthetic documentation.
      So quote it the way you have it above and then replace the comma with a period.
      Hope that helps!

      1. Cody Smtih says:

        Thank you so much!!

  24. What I was hoping to clarify was whether Scripture quotations that are dropped down into a quote box should or should not have quote marks. I am doing some proofing for a friend who is a Christian author and he puts quote marks around the Scripture references in the drop=down quote boxes. Also, I’d like to clarify another example using a quote in the middle of a sentence. When using only a portion of a verse, shouldn’t it begin with a quote mark followed by an ellipsis and then the partial verse? For example, “. . . and you shall know the truth . . .”

  25. I was wondering, what is the correct way to quote and punctuate scripture in CMS? Does it differ from the above? I’ve been searching for a clear answer in the CMS manual and the Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, and now online. Perhaps I’m not understanding, but I don’t have a clear answer. Your site is the first that appears to address it clearly. Do you know if it’s the same for CMS? Thank you in advance.

    1. I’m sorry I’m not familiar with that style. The guidance I give is considered AP style.
      The only other styles I’m familiar with are MLA, Chicago, and APA.

      1. Thanks for responding and sorry, I should have spelled it out. CMS is Chicago Manual of Style.

  26. Hi there, what if instead of a period at the end of the sentence, there’s a question mark? Should it still be placed after the parenthesis?

    For example:
    “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26, NASB 1995)?

    I feel like this looks off.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Sarah, No, in this situation quotation mark goes after the word this and no punctuation after parentheses.
      Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NASB)

      1. Noelle Dey says:

        Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom. I’ve had this page bookmarked for quite some time! This morning, I had this same question as Sarah. Your work blesses us more than you know!

  27. Laura Arocha says:

    Ending punctuation always goes after the parenthetical documentation. Does this rule apply if the ending punctuation of the quoted scripture is a question mark or exclamation point or does this only apply when the ending punctuation is a period?

  28. When using a drop-down quote box to emphasize Scripture, do you use quote marks? Also, when the Scripture is a continuation of the previous verse, should it begin with an ellipsis? Further, . . . when the Scripture is a direct quote, should it have added quote marks even though it’s in a quote box?

  29. Hi,
    Thank you for your blog and information.

    I have a query and was wondering if you will be able to help me. Please could you advise whether it would be correct to quote the below verse as per below in relation to quotation marks?
    Jesus may have quoted Psalm 40:7-8: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.’”

    Thank you and Kind Regards

    1. This is correct!

  30. Lauren Costa says:

    Please could you advise whether the below is correctly quoted:
    God said, “’Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’” (Mark 1:11).
    Thank you.

    1. This is correct the way you wrote it.

  31. Kelly Russell says:

    Hello Melanie… I am wanting to know if there is an official guideline on formalizing pronouns for God, i.e. He, His, Him, or is that subjective in nature? And also when or if the world ‘scripture’ should be formalized. I’ve usually seen that if commenting on the ‘Scriptures’, then yes, but if just saying scripture, then no. Also, ‘biblical’, ‘Bible’ verse, the ‘Word’, and finally, the ‘Good News’ or ‘Gospel’.
    Thanks & blessings, Kelly

    1. The guidelines for this depend on which style guide you’re following: MLA, Chicago, etc.

      What’s important is that you choose a guide to follow and be consistent. Here’s a link to the book I created for just $13.99.

      To answer your questions:
      I capitalize all forms of God, Jesus, He Him, etc. – all nouns and pronouns related to God.

      Capitalize Scripture, Word, Bible, Good News, etc.
      but not the adjective forms biblical and scriptural.

      Hope this helps.

  32. I am in a debate with someone who thinks that Bible quotations can/should be typed using all italics. Please advise.

    I follow two principles when including quotations in a work.
    1. It is good to not put Scripture quotations in italics because some verses contain italics, referring to a translation issue. Quote the Bible using straight font and quotation marks. I quote Scripture as a copy and paste; this way, if a verse contains an italicized word, it will also be pasted in my document italicized.
    2. If the quotation from any source is longer than two or three lines, indent on both right and left sides and do not use “… “.
    Thank you for your advice..

    1. No, Don’t put Scripture in quotation marks.

      For longer quotation, typically 5 typed lines or more:
      Indent left but not right
      No quotation marks needed

      Hope this helps!

  33. Bill Adams says:

    Your article is a great resource, but I have some questions that get more complicated than what you present here?
    Question 1:
    If the passage I want to quote ends in a semi-colon and I place it at the end of my sentence, what does the punctuation look like at the end? Is it word;” or word.” or word;.” or something else?
    Passage: For questions 2 and 3 I will refer to this passage from Matthew 19.
    Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?
    Question 2: If the passage already has quotes and nested quotes and it is proper to place the entire passage in quotes as a Biblical reference, how do you treat the third level of quotation? In the above passage, “made them male and female” is an example.
    Question 3: Where multiple parties are being quoted, a new paragraph should be started when the speaker changes. Should this rule be followed when quoting scripture such as the one provided above or is scripture quoting exempt since it is all within a quote?

    1. Bill, Melanie has written a wonderful book with more details than she was able to include in her blog posts. I highly recommend it, and you can find it here:


  34. I am looking for the answer to this question, too.

  35. Hi there,
    How do you quote only a portion of scripture?
    For example:
    Luke 16:15 reads “And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
    The part I wish to focus on is the last sentence “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
    I’ve seen in some areas where each sentence is denotated with a letter; in this example it would be Luke 16:15(b).
    What are your thoughts?

    1. I typically do not include the letter – just the verse. But it’s not wrong to include the letter!

  36. I want to include a Bible verses on an art quilt as part of the quilt. I am planning on using the NLT version I found on YouTube. How do I do the documentation in this situation. I thought I would write the Bible verses with the location and the NLT, You version in parentheses. Will that protect me from copyright infringement?

  37. How do you deal with the inconsistency of capitalization of the names and pronouns of God, when some Bible versions like NIV and NLT do not capitalize them? Is it okay to capitalize them if you indicate that you are doing that in your introduction? Or do we just assume that the reader knows these versions don’t follow the same “rules” as the rest of your book?

    1. Do not change anything in quotation marks, as quotation marks mean you copied exactly. In your own text, make a choice to capitalize God-related pronouns or not, I typically do capitalize them, and then make sure you do it consistently.

  38. Anne Nicholson says:

    Hi Melanie,
    If I’m adding emphasis to a scriptural text, which is correct, including the punctuation? (Please note: For this example, I’ve extracted a small portion of a larger quote from my text.)

    to the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17) [Emphasis added.]

    to the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17) (Emphasis added).

    1. saved” (John 3:16,17 emphasis added).

    1. Use one or the other, but not both.

      You might want to check out my workbook, How to Use Scripture in Your Writing, available at Next Step Coaching Services.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  39. Hi, thank you for your information. I have a style question. I use scripture throughout the book I am currently going through with a fine-toothed comb, and I wonder how best to make the scripture verses stand out? I have put them in italics, but I wonder whether that makes them harder to read or less clear? I’d appreciate your thoughts if you are willing to give them.

    1. Hi Shirley,
      I think the best thing to do is to simply include Scripture in regular font. You can put them in italics, it’s not wrong, but you don’t
      have to.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  40. Hi Melanie,
    Good points!
    Can I have more than one scripture reference in a sentence?

    1. Yes, if you send me an example, I can make sure it’s correct.

  41. Can I replace the word “He” with “God” when stating or writing partial scripture? I would say “when quoting scripture” however, I do not mean word for word. For example, “God rescued me” rather than, “He rescued me from my strong enemy” (2 Samuel 22:18 ESV).

  42. Hi, I did not realise my first question was posted, because a message came up saying to check whether it had already been answered previously, so that’s what I did.
    That’s why this question was so brief. I wanted to check on the quotation marks issue, because I know I saw it somewhere, but I can’t remember where.
    If I am quoting someone, say, Peter, who quotes one of the prophets, do I use single or double parenthesis for that which is quoted?
    I’m still grappling with whether to use italics or not. From my reading, I’ve learned that it is possibly a dated approach, but I’ve already written the book using italics, and I’m not sure whether I will mess things up if I go through and try to change everything.

    Thanks for being a great resource to kingdom writers!

    1. Hi Shirley,
      Your question about italicizing Scripture quotations is one I get frequently.
      Is it necessary to italicize? No.
      But is it wrong? Not necessarily.

      Quotation marks: Regular quotation marks mean this is where I start copying and end copying. Single quotation marks mean something I’m copying is already in quotation marks, so like this:

      “He said to them, ‘But who do you yourselves say that I am?'” ((Matthew 16:15).


      “Jesus said, ‘Follow Me,’ and the disciples did that”

      1. Thanks, Melanie. From what you’ve said, it sounds like it’s the same, regardless of whether I use italics or not? I probably need to buy the book, I think. 🙂

  43. Hi Melanie, one thing I did not see in this ‘writing tip’ is whether or not I should also source which bible the quote was taken from, as there are many. i.e. King James Version, New King James Version, New American Standard Bible, American Standard Version, RSV, etc.?


    1. Yes, like this:
      Paul writes, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come (2 Timothy 4:6 NASB). shows all translation abbreviations.

  44. Melanie,
    How to punctuate when I’m using only part of the verse.
    Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God;” or put a period there as that is all I’m using? … I am God.” ?
    I’ll list my source at the beginning of the book so that’s already taken care of.

    1. Psalm 46:10, “‘Be still and know that I am God.'”
      Like this – Because it’s in a quotation in the original text, you start with regular quotation marks to show that you are copying, and then change the quotation marks in the
      text into single quotation marks. And yes, just a period.
      Hope this helps!

  45. Belinda Forbes says:

    I have a question similar to the one above. I would like to use only parts of two verses. Is this correct for both quotations, leave the semicolon and the placement of the ellipsis? I want to leave out the ” for I was hungry and you gave me food,” section of v 35

    “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; …I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.’”
    Matthew 25:34-35 (NRSV)

    Thanks for your help

  46. Discussing the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:18-19, how do we quote the Bible quoting Jesus quoting the son quoting himself (speaking to himself the words he plans to say to his father)? That’s confusing even to write! Here’s what we are trying to say:

    Verses 18 and 19 show us the action toward change the son determines to take, “ ‘ “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son…’ ” ‘ “

  47. Geraldine says:

    after citing a Biblical passage and book, can we use v to refer to another verse in the same book? Like, I mention Matthew 23: 1-12 in my introduction and then quite verses 2 and 12. Can I just refer to these verses as v2 and v12?

    1. Yes, if I understand your question correctly, you can use v. 2 or v. 12. Just make sure you are referring to these verses in close placement to your original quotation of the entire Scripture passage.

  48. C. Rawlings says:

    If you quote a partial scripture should you show include the “b” to identify that portion of the scripture? For example, I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5b, NKJV) Or leave the ‘b” out?

  49. Kristina M. Rickert says:

    I’m formatting a book for an independent author. When she quotes scripture she frequently bolds specific words as emphasis. I have been adding (emphasis added) behind the scripture references, but because she does this quite often I would like to see about adding a disclaimer to the copyright clause at the beginning of the book. Have you seen any examples of this?

    1. I’m so sorry to be so late to answering…somehow this comment slipped through the cracks.

      I absolutely would do what you suggested – a disclaimer.

  50. If you are taking a potion of the scripture, would you not capitalize the first word (if it isn’t capitalized in scripture). For example, using no capital W:

    Jesus said “without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).

    Or using a capital W:
    Jesus said “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).

    1. Good question.

      Jesus said, “‘without me ye can do nothing'” (John 15:5).
      Notice not capitalized because you want to copy exactly. Notice single quotation marks inside double because you are quoting something that is already in qutoation marks.


      Jesus said, “‘{W}ithout me ye can do nothing”” (John 15:5).

      Use brackets around anything you change in a direct quotation marks.

      Hope that helps!

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