This page contains reference examples for religious works, including the following:

  1. Religious work
  2. Annotated religious work

1. Religious work

The Bhagavad Gita (E. Easwaran, Trans.; 2nd ed.). (2007). The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.

King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. (Original work published 1769)


  • Parenthetical citations: (The Bhagavad Gita, 2007; King James Bible, 1769/2017)
  • Narrative citations: The Bhagavad Gita (2007) and King James Bible (1769/2017)
  • Religious works published as books (as with the Bhagavad Gita example) follow the book reference format.
  • Religious works published as websites (as with the King James Bible example) follow the webpage reference format.
  • Religious works are usually treated as having no author.
  • Use the year of publication of the version that you used in the date element of the reference.
  • The year of original publication of a religious work may be unknown or in dispute and is not included in the reference in those cases. However, versions of religious works such as the Bible may be republished; these republished dates are included in the reference. For example, the online version of the King James Bible was published in 2017 and is based on the version of the King James Bible published in 1769, so both 2017 and 1769 are included in the reference.
  • When two dates appear in the reference, include both years in the in-text citation, separated with a slash, the earlier year first.
  • When presenting the title of a specific work in a reference list entry or citation, italicize the title of the work.
  • When referring to the Bible generally or to versions of the Bible generally, do not use italics (e.g., the King James Version of the Bible, the New Revised Standard Version, Holy Bible, the Septuagint).
  • Cite a chapter or verse in the text using canonical numbering rather than page numbers:
    • The person vowed to “set me as a seal upon thine heart” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Song of Solomon 8:6).

2. Annotated religious work

Kaiser, W. C., Jr., & Garrett, D. (Eds.). (2006). NIV archeological study bible: An illustrated walk through biblical history and culture. Zondervan.


  • Parenthetical citation: (Kaiser & Garrett, 2006)
  • Narrative citation: Kaiser and Garrett (2006)
  • When a classical work (including a religious work) has been annotated by an editor, the editor appears in the author position of the reference.
  • Cite a chapter or verse of the religious work in the text using canonical numbering rather than page numbers: (Kaiser & Garrett, 2006, Genesis 1:20)
  • Cite a portion of the annotated work created by its authors or editors using page numbers from the work: (Kaiser & Garrett, 2006, footnote to Genesis 1:12, p. 4)

Religious work references are covered in Section 10.2 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

Date created: February 2020