How do I cite a Bible app with more than one translation?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
There are two ways to identify a translation in a Bible app: in the text or in the works-cited-list entry.
Translation Identified in the Text
Suppose that you wish to illustrate how translations of the Bible differ by comparing the recent New Living Translation with the traditional King James Version. One way to identify the translations is to mention them in your prose and then cite the Bible app in your works-cited-list entry as the anthology containing the translations:
For Matthew 7.7, the King James Version reads, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: . . . ,” whereas the New Living Translation reads, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Bible Gateway).
Bible Gateway. Version 42, Bible Gateway / Zondervan, 2016.
Translation Identified in Works-Cited-List Entry
If, however, you quote from only one translation in an edition of the Bible with more than one translation, you could list the translation in your works-cited-list entry as a work in an anthology. Follow the MLA format template. List “The Bible” as the title of the work and the name of the translation as the version. In a second container, list the name of the Bible app, the version number—if given—and the publication information for the app:
Matthew 7.7 tells us, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Bible).
The Bible. King James Version. Bible Gateway, version 42, Bible Gateway / Zondervan, 2016.
If you are a scholar citing a version of the Bible conventionally known by its title, such as The Wycliffe Bible, you might list the name of the version as the title of the source.