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MLA Style: Citing Theological Materials

Basic guide to MLA citation style

Biblical Abbreviations

See the MLA Handbook 7.7.1 for a complete list of all books within the Bible.

Old Testament

Gen.  Genesis 
Exod. Exodus
Lev. Leviticus
Num. Numbers
Deut. Deuteronomy
Josh. Joshua
Judg. Judges
Ruth Ruth
1 Sam. 1 Samuel
2 Sam. 2 Samuel
1 Kings 1 Kings
2 Kings 2 Kings
1 Chron. 1 Chronicles
2 Chron. 2 Chronicles
Ezra Ezra
Neh. Nehemiah 
Esth. Esther
Job Job
Ps. Psalms
Prov. Proverbs
Eccles. Ecclesiastes
Song Sol. Song of Solomon
Isa. Isaiah
Jer. Jeremiah
Lam. Lamentations
Ezek. Ezekiel
Dan. Daniel
Hos. Hosea
Joel Joel
Amos Amos
Obad. Obadiah
Jon. Jonah
Mic. Micah
Nah. Nahum
Hab. Habakkuk
Zeph. Zephaniah
Hag. Haggai
Zech. Zechariah
Mal. Malachi

New Testament

Matt.  Matthew
Mark Mark 
Luke Luke 
John John
Acts Acts
Rom. Romans
1 Cor. 1 Corinthians
2 Cor. 2 Corinthians
Gal. Galatians
Eph. Ephesians
Phil. Philippians
Col. Colossians
1 Thess. 1 Thessalonians
2 Thess. 2 Thessalonians
1 Tim. 1 Timothy
2 Tim. 2 Timothy
Tit. Titus
Philem. Philemon
Heb. Hebrews
Jas. James
1 Pet. 1 Peter
2 Pet. 2 Peter
1 John 1 John
2 John 2 John
3 John 3 John
Jude Jude
Rev. Revelation


The Holy Bible

Works Cited examples:

The Jerusalem Bible. Alexander Jones, gen. ed. New York: Doubleday, 1966. Print.

The Holy Bible. New Revised Standard Ver. New York: Oxford UP, 1989. Print.

In-text citation examples:

The first time you  cite a particular edition of scripture, include the beginning element from your works cited entry for the edition (usually the edition title), plus abbreviated book, chapter and verse. Subsequent citations from the same edition may include only the abbreviated book, chapter and verse.

"Happy are those whose/transgression is forgiven,/whose sin is covered" (The Holy Bible Ps. 32.1).

"Happy the man whose fault is forgiven,/whose sin is blotted out" (The Jerusalem Bible, Ps. 32.1).

See the sidebar of this page or the MLA Handbook 7.7.1 for standard abbreviations for books of the Bible.


Catechism of the Catholic Church

Note: cite section or paragraph instead of page number.

Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice

      Vaticana, 2000. Print.

In-text citation: (Catholic Church 2280)


Papal Encyclicals

Note: cite section or paragraph instead of page number.

John Paul II. Encyclical Letter. Evangelium vitae. 25 Mar. 1995. 7 Dec. 2007. Web.

In-text citation: (John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 14-16)


Publication from the USCCB

 Catholic Church.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  A Place at the

      Table: A Catholic Recommitment to Overcome Poverty and to Respect the

      Dignity of all God's Children: A Pastoral Reflection of the U.S. Catholic Bishops

      Washington: USCCB, 2002. Print.


Catholic Encyclopedia

Häring, B. "Justice." New Catholic Encyclopedia.  2nd ed. Washington,

      D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2003. Print.