Skip to Main Content
Notre Dame 5 Star University
University Library




APA Referencing 7th Edition

Main elements

Religious and classical works are cited like books. These works are thousands of years old, have been published multiple times and in many languages, and are well known internationally. Therefore, you only need to cite these items within the text of your essay and not in the reference list, unless you are using a translated copy.

Translations are common with classical Greek or Roman texts, and you will usually be able to find translation details on the title page or cover. Because translations can vary, you should include the information for the specific item you are using in your reference list.

Bible, commentaries, and other sacred works

Sacred works like the Bible are usually treated as having no author, but you need to specify which translation (version) you are using in brackets the first time that you refer to it in text. To quote directly from such works with canonically numbered sections, use the name of the book, chapter, verse... instead of a page number(s).



The Bible (New Revised Standard Version) is the record of...

Bible - direct quote


"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (New Revised Standard Version, 1989, John 1:5).

Bible - paraphrase


Even those who do not study the Bible are likely to know John 3:16, wherein God sacrifices His Son to save the world from itself.

Bible commentary with unidentified authors

(The Psalms, 2003) OR The Psalms (2003)

Reference list

The Navarre Bible: The Psalms. (2003). Four Courts Press.

Bible commentary with two authors

In their exegesis of Mark's Gospel 3:7 to 8:22, Donahue and Harrington (2002) observe "we learn more about Jesus as a teacher and healer" (p. 23). OR (Donahue & Harrington, 2002, p. 23)

Reference list

Donahue, J. R., & Harrington, D. J. (2002). Sacra Pagina: Vol. 2. The Gospel of Mark. Liturgical Press.

Single volume Bible commentary with multiple authors
 (treat as chapter in an edited work)

(Brown & Collins, 1991) OR Brown and Collins (1991)

Reference list

Brown, R. E., & Collins, T. A. (1991). Church pronouncements. In R. Brown, J. Fitzmyer, & R. Murphy (Eds.), The new Jerome Biblical commentary (pp. 1166-1174). Geoffrey Chapman.

Qur'an - direct quote


"Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury" (Qur'an 2:263).

Qur'an - paraphrase


The Qur'an 2:263 promotes the value of compassion over retaliation.

Religious works

In-text references to papal documents, such as encyclicals, would benefit from the inclusion of the relevant section number(s), regardless of whether you are quoting or paraphrasing.

Pope John Paul II (1995) depicts the certainty of future immortality as casting new light on the mystery of suffering and death (section 67). OR (John Paul II, 1995, section 67)


Papal document - online

Reference list

John Paul II. (1995). Evangelium vitae [Encyclical letter].

Papal document - print

Reference list

John Paul II. (1995). The gospel of life: Evangelium vitae. Random House.

In-text references to conciliar documents would benefit from the inclusion of the relevant section number(s), regardless of whether you are quoting or paraphrasing. Also, the APA 7th edition does not indicate whether 'Vatican Council II' or 'Second Vatican Council' should be used for in-text citations or references, so choose one form then use it consistently.

Vatican Council II (1975, section 14) OR (Vatican Council II, 1975, section 14)

Vatican Council II (1965, section 9) OR (Vatican Council II, 1965, section 9)

Reference list

Vatican Council II. (1975). Dogmatic constitution on the Church, lumen gentium, 21 November, 1964. In A. Flannery (Ed.), Vatican Council II: The conciliar and post conciliar documents (pp. 350-426). Liturgical Press.

Vatican Council II. (1965, November 18). Dogmatic constitution on divine revelation: Dei verbum. The Holy See.

Use paragraph numbers when citing either the print or online version of the Catechism, not page numbers or section numbers.

First in-text citation
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, 1997) charity is described as "the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God" (para. 1822). OR (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 1997, para. 1822)

Subsequent in-text citations
CCC (1997, para. 1827) OR (CCC, 1997, para. 1827)

Catechism - online

Please note: Currently only the first edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available on the Vatican website, it is therefore recommended that you access the second edition, as cited below, if using an online version.

Reference list
Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd ed.). (1997).

Catechism - print

Reference list

Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd ed.). (1997). Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent)

The Catholic Encyclopedia was written between 1907-1912 and was uploaded to the web in 1997. As the original text has not since been revised, you would use the date 1912 in your reference list entry. Authors for each encyclopaedia entry may vary but the editors should be listed according to the example below.


(Rössler & Fanning, 1912) OR Rössler and Fanning (1912)

Reference list

Rössler, A., & Fanning, W. (1912). Woman. In C. G. Herbermann, E.A. Pace, C.B. Pallen, T.J. Shahan, & J.J. Wynne (Eds.), The Catholic encyclopedia. New Advent.

Classical works

In your reference list, place the translator's name in brackets after the title, along with the abbreviation Trans. Use the date of the translated work for publication year and add the date of the original work in brackets at the end of the reference. Use both dates (original date/translated date) in the in-text citation.

Modern edition of translated classic


(Aristotle, 350 B.C.E./1926) OR Aristotle (350 B.C.E./1926)

Reference list

Aristotle. (1926). Nicomachean ethics (H. Rackham, Trans.). (Original work published ca. 350 B.C.E.)