Writing Tip: Biblical Books & Abbreviations

When referring to a biblical book in running text, spell out the name of the book and lowercase the word “book”:

  • We studied the book of Revelation.
  • The sermon covered the book of Ruth.

One exception is for Gospels: if you’re referring to a specific Gospel, capitalize the word “Gospel” (alternatively, using the term “gospel” in reference to “good news” should be lowercased):

  • She read from the Gospel of Matthew.
  • He shared the gospel with his congregation.

When space is at a premium, abbreviations may be used for book names. Please keep abbreviations consistent throughout written copy—for example, if you abbreviate one heading, please abbreviate in the rest of the headings within that same deliverable.

Here are the standard abbreviations for each biblical book (shown in alphabetical order). Don’t forget to include the period after each abbreviation!

Old Testament books:

Amos Amos
1 Chronicles 1 Chron.
2 Chronicles 2 Chron.
Daniel Dan.
Deuteronomy Deut.
Ecclesiastes Eccles.
Esther Esther
Exodus Exod.
Ezekiel Ezek.
Ezra Ezra
Genesis Gen.
Habakkuk Hab.
Haggai Hag.
Hosea Hosea
Isaiah Isa.
Jeremiah Jer.
Job Job
Joel Joel
Jonah Jon.
Joshua Josh.
Judges Judg.
1 Kings 1 Kings
2 Kings 2 Kings
Lamentations Lam.
Leviticus Lev.
Malachi Mal.
Micah Mic.
Nahum Nah.
Nehemiah Neh.
Numbers Num.
Obadiah Obad.
Proverbs Prov.
Psalms Ps. (plural Pss.)
Ruth Ruth
1 Samuel 1 Sam.
2 Samuel 2 Sam.
Song of Solomon Song of Sol.
Zechariah Zech.
Zephaniah Zeph.

 

New Testament books:

Acts Acts
Apocrypha Apoc.
Colossians Col.
1 Corinthians 1 Cor.
2 Corinthians 2 Cor.
Ephesians Eph.
Galatians Gal.
Hebrews Heb.
James James
John John
1 John 1 John
2 John 2 John
3 John 3 John
Jude Jude
Luke Luke
Mark Mark
Matthew Matt.
1 Peter 1 Pet.
2 Peter 2 Pet.
Philippians Phil.
Philemon Philem.
Revelation Rev.
Romans Rom.
1 Thessalonians 1 Thess.
2 Thessalonians 2 Thess.
1 Timothy 1 Tim.
2 Timothy 2 Tim.
Titus Titus

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