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I am writing a book with quotes and bible scriptures - what do I need to know about footnoting these sources?  Is there a book or manual?  Or are their general rules?

Thank you,

Have a great day!

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Most Bibles have the necessary information on their copyright page (usually right before their table of contents).

It contains the necessary blurb to copy and use on your own copyright page to make things perfectly legal. It also will say what the legal requirements for using verses in that translation are (like the max number of verses, etc.)

Other quotations (sayings from notable people) should be ok simply citing the person (author/speaker) who said it. Including larger passages of copyrighted material is not allowed.

Hopefully this gives you the ball park that you need to get started.


Thanks Cam! I didn't realize that information was even in the Bible. My older early 1980's version does not have that information, but my newer Bible does. This is just the information I needed for my current project.

You're welcome. Glad to help even more people than I originally thought. :)

Hi Montgomery,

The two standard sources for this info. are the MLA Guide and the APA Guide.  If you go to the OWL (online writing center) at Purdue University, you will find a ton of information.  These are standard for academic research etc. I'm not sure about the publishing world.  You might look at the publishing guidelines of several publishers who publish books similar to yours.  I know there are guidelines that they adhere to, but I don't know if they follow the same standard as academic requirements.  I don't know if I answered your question, but hopefully it gives you a place to start!

Amy Isaman


There is a style guide called the "Chicago" style guide. If I am not mistaken, this is the format that is used at the publishing house I work at. APA is for very scientific and research based work, while MLA is supposedly for most other things.

I personally like the "Chicago" method the best. :)


Thanks Cam, this is VERY helpful.  - Montgomery.

Thanks Amy!  :)


I purchased a book called "Words Into Type" which is a pretty comprehensive style manual. Here's what it says about footnotes and quotations:

"Footnotes....(some words you don't need).....should be in a form sufficiently detailed to enable the reader to find the reference as easily as possible. References to books that have been printed in innumerable editions, like the Bible, Shakespeare (and others) should specify the book, chapter, and verse; the act, scene, and, if possible, the line;...."


I Cor. 13:4-7 (Diane's note: I would also include the version of the Bible you're using)

I Henry VI, iii.2.14.

References to manuscripts should give the author, title, location, and date. 

(indent) Eugene O'Neill, "The Revelation of John the Divine," unpublished. The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. [1924]

Perhaps this will help you a little. If these examples don't answer your question, feel free to email me directly and I'll be happy to send you some more examples from the book (it has lots) -- diane@thewritingrange.com. 

My other suggestion would be to grab a book off your shelf (or the library) from a reputable author/publisher and see if footnotes are included in theirs. If it's a well-respected publisher, chances are the footnotes are done correctly. Perhaps you've already done this; if so, I apologize for possibly insulting you. :) 

Let me know if I can help more. 

Thanks Diane.  That sounds like a good book for me to purchase.  :)


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