There are many religious texts in the world: the Bible, the Quran, the Dhammapada, etc. We\u2019ll leave aside the question of which are correct (no spoilers). Instead, we\u2019re focusing on the less controversial issue of how religious texts are referenced in\u00a0academic writing.\nWell, we say \u201cless controversial,\u201d but there\u2019s no one answer here either! It all depends on the\u00a0reference system\u00a0you\u2019re using.\nIn this post,\u00a0 for instance, we look at APA, MLA, and Chicago.\n\nAPA Referencing\nIn APA referencing, you cite holy texts by giving the title of the version used and the date of publication (plus the date of original publication where relevant):\nThe Bible (King James Bible, 1769\/2017) contains many unusual stories.\nIf you are citing a particular passage, give a citation using the standard divisions for the text (e.g. book, chapter, and verse numbers for the Bible, not page numbers):\nIt is not clear why the children mock Elisha for being bald, but their punishment seems excessive (King James Bible, 1769\/2017, 2 Kings 2:23\u201324).\nHere, for example, the author is citing verses 23 and 24 in chapter two of the second Book of Kings. In the reference list, meanwhile, the format to use depends on how you accessed the text (e.g., for a print version, you would list it as a book; but for an online version, you would list it as a website).\n\nMLA Referencing\nWith MLA, your first in-text citation of a religious text should specify the version you\u2019re using, as well as the chapter, book and verse (or another standard division where applicable):\nAllah is noted for being \u201cswift in account\u201d (The Holy Qur\u2019an, Ghafir 40.17).\nFor additional citations of the same text, you can then simply give the passage being referenced in brackets (e.g., the book, chapter, and verse number). However, you may also want to shorten books of the Bible in citations using the MLA-approved abbreviations.\nIn the "Works Cited" list, you should then list the source using the appropriate format (e.g., print for book, website for online) with full publication details. Minimally, references should include the title of the specific version, publication details, and the year of publication. However, make sure to provide any other details relevant to the version cited (e.g., some religious texts have a named translator).\n\nChicago Referencing\nIn\u00a0Chicago referencing, the format for a religious text is similar, whether you\u2019re using footnotes or in-text citations. In both cases, it\u2019s based on citing the Bible, so it involves citing the book, chapter, verse, and version of the text you\u2019re using:\nFootnote citation:\u00a01.\u00a02 Kings 2:23-24 (New International Version).\nAuthor-date citation:\u00a0The bear attack was unexpected (2 Kings 2:23-24, NIV).\nAs shown above, you can sometimes shorten the version of the text (e.g., New International Version = NIV). Make sure to check this with your professor, supervisor, or lecturer, though, as it could cause confusion.\nAs for publication information, Chicago referencing doesn\u2019t require you to add religious texts to the bibliography\/reference list. However, as above, you may want to check with your professor, as your university might want you to include all the texts you cited in the main text of your paper.\n\nReligious Texts in Harvard Referencing\nFinally, a quick note on Harvard referencing. Many universities specify \u201cHarvard referencing,\u201d but this is a generic word for author\u2013date citations.\nAs such, different versions of Harvard referencing take different approaches when citing religious texts. And if your university uses Harvard referencing and you need to cite a religious text in your work, it will be vital to\u00a0check your style guide\u00a0carefully. Furthermore, when in doubt, you can always hire a proofreader to make sure your referencing is error free.