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Religion: Citing Sacred Texts

Religion Research Guide

Citing Sacred Texts

14.253 Bible chapter and verse from the Chicago Manual of Style

References to the Jewish or Christian scriptures usually appear in text citations or notes rather than in bibliographies. Parenthetical or note references to the Bible should include book (in roman and usually abbreviated), chapter, and versenever a page number. A colon is used between chapter and verse. Note that the traditional abbreviations use periods but the shorter forms do not. For guidance on when to abbreviate and when not to, see 10.46. For full forms and abbreviations, see 10.48, 10.49, 10.50.

Traditional abbreviations:

4. 1 Thess. 4:11, 5:2–5, 5:14.

5. Heb. 13:8, 13:12.

6. Gen. 25:19–36:43.

Shorter abbreviations:

7. 2 Sm 11:1–17, 11:26–27; 1 Chr 10:13–14.

8. Jo 5:9–12; Mt 26:2–5.

 

14.254 Versions of the Bible from the Chicago Manual of Style

Since books and numbering are not identical in different versions, it is essential to identify which version is being cited. For a work intended for general readers, the version should be spelled out, at least on first occurrence. For specialists, abbreviations may be used throughout. For abbreviations of versions, see 10.51.

6. 2 Kings 11:8 (New Revised Standard Version).

7. 1 Cor. 6:1–10 (NRSV).


14.255 Other sacred works from the Chicago Manual of Style

References to the sacred and revered works of other religious traditions may, according to context, be treated in a manner similar to those of biblical or classical works. Citations of transliterated texts should indicate the name of the version or translator. The Koran (or Qur’an) is set in roman, and citations of its sections use arabic numerals and colons (e.g., Koran 19:17–21). Such collective terms as the Vedas or the Upanishads are normally capitalized and set in roman, but particular parts are italicized (e.g., the Rig-Veda or the Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad). For authoritative usage, consult History of Religions, an international journal for comparative historical studies (bibliog. 5).


Citatations of Rabbinic Works from the Association for Jewish Studies


1.
Works included in the mishnaic canon should be cited in accord with standard printed editions, e.g., M. Berakhot 1:1, M. Be ? ah 1:1, etc.
2. Works in the toseftan canon should be cited in accord with standard printed editions, e.g., T. Berakhot 1:1, T. Yom Tov 1:1, etc.
3. Works in the Palestinian talmudic canon should be cited in accord with the divisions and pagination of the Venice edition and its various reprints, e.g., Y. Berakhot 1:1 (2d).
4. Works in the Babylonian talmudic canon should be cited in accord with the pagination of the Vilna edition and its various reprints, e.g., B. Berakhot 2b.
5. Midrashic compilations should be cited, where possible, in accord with the conventions of a well-known edition. Some models follow:

  • Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, par. B'o , to Exodus 12:1 (ed. Horovitz-Rabin, p. 1 or corresponding page of ed. Lauterbach).
  • Sifra, Dibura de-nedavah, par. 3:2, to Leviticus 1:3 (ed. Weiss, p. 5a or corresponding page of ed. Finkelstein where available)
  • Sifra, Dibura de-nedavah, par. 3:1 , to Leviticus 1:2 (ed. Weiss, p. 5a or corresponding page of ed. Finkelstein where available)
  • Sifrei Bamidbar, Nas'o, pis. 1 , to Numbers 5:3 (ed. Horovitz, p. 3)
  • Sifrei Devarim, 'Ekev, pis. 42 ,to Deuteronomy 11:14 (ed. Finkelstein, p. 89)
  • Bereshit Rabba, Va-yer'a, par. 48:6, to Genesis 18:1 (ed. Theodor-Albeck, 2:480)
  • Vayikra Rabba, Shemini, par. 12 , to Leviticus 10:9 (ed. Margoliot, 2:244)
  • Pesikta de-Rav Kahana, Parah ‘adumah, pis. 4:2 , to Numbers 19:2 (ed. Margoliot, 1:55)
  • Avot de-Rabbi Natan, A:2 (ed. Schechter, p. 8)
  • Avot de-Rabbi Natan, B:2 (ed. Schechter, p. 10)