How to read and understand a quote from the Bible

The Holy Bible consists of 73 books.
Each book is divided into chapters which in turn are subdivided into verses.
The books of the Bible are cited by abbreviations.
The chapters and verses are indicated by numbers and some letters (a, b, c, d) that identify the paragraphs, that is the part of the verse wanted to be mentioned.

To correctly interpret a quote, all its parts are to be identified.

A quote first indicates the abbreviation of the book which it refers to.
Example: “Mt” indicates Matthew’s Gospel.

The abbreviation of the book name is followed by a number that identifies the chapter.
Example: “Mt 1” indicates the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.

The number that identifies the chapter is followed by a number that identifies the verse. Chapter and verse are separated by a colon.
Example: “Mt 1:1” indicates the first verse of the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.

If the quoted verses are more than one, there are different possibilities:

A hyphen “-” means that the quote includes the verses ranging from the number on the left and that on the right of the hyphen:
Example: “Mt 1:1-3” indicates the passage included between verse 1 to verse 3 of the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.

A period is used to indicate only the verses with the quoted number.
Example: “Mt 1:1.3” indicates the first and third verses of the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.

A semicolon is used to separate verses of different chapters.
Example: “Mt 1:1; 2:1” indicates the first verse of the first chapter and the first verse of the second chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.

Gn 3:13; 4:6
[Book of Genesis, chapter 3 verse 13 and chapter 4 verse 6]

Lk 1:2-4.7
[Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, from verse 2 to verse 4, plus verse 7].

1Pt 1:7-9.13-20
[First letter of St. Peter, chapter 1, from verse 7 to verse 9 and from verse 13 to verse 20]

Rev 18:2b
[Book of Revelation, chapter 18 verse 2 only the second paragraph]


Chronological list of the books of the Bible
and their abbreviations

Genesis Gn
Exodus Ex
Leviticus Lv
Numbers Nm
Deuteronomy Dt
Joshua Jsh
Judges Jdgs
Ruth Rth
1 Samuel 1Sam
2 Samuel 2Sam
1 Kings 1kgs
1 Kings 2Re
1 Chronicles 1Cr
2 Chronicles 2Cr
Ezra Ezr
Nehemiah Ne
Tobit Tob
Judith Jdt
Esther Est
1 Maccabees 1 Mac
2 Maccabees 2 Mac
Job Jb
Psalms Ps
Proverbs Prv
Ecclesiastes Eccles
Canticles Cant
Wisdom Wis
Sirach Sir
Isaiah Is
Jeremiah Jer
Lamentations Lam
Baruch Bar
Ezekial Ezk
Daniel Dn
Hosea Hos
Joel Jl
Amos Am
Obadiah Obad
Jonah Jnh
Micah Mic
Nahum Nah
Habakkuk Hab
Zephaniah Zep
Haggai Hag
Zechariah Zec
Malachi Ml


Matthew Mt
Mark Mk
Luke Lk
John Jn
Acts of the Apostles Acts
Romans Rm
1 Corinthians 1 Cor
2 Corinthians 2 Cor
Galatians Gal
Ephesians Eph
Philippians Php
Colossians Col
1 Thessalonians 1Th
2 Thessalonians 2Th
1 Timothy 1Tim
2 Timothy 2Tim
Titus Tit
Philemon Phm
Hebrews Heb
James Jm
1 Peter 1Pt
2 Peter 2Pt
1 John 1Jn
2 John 2Jn
3 John 3Jn
Jude Jud
Revelation Rev



Alphabetical list of abbreviations
of the books of the Bible

Acts Acts   1Kgs 1Kings
Am Amos   1Kgs 2Kings
Bar Baruch   Lam Lamentations
Cant Canticles   Lk Luke
Col Colossians   Lv Leviticus
1Cor 1Corinthians   1Mac 1 Maccabees
2Cor 2Corinthians   2Mac 2 Maccabees
1Cr 1 Chronicles   Mic Micah
2Cr 2 Chronicles   Mk Mark
Dan Daniel   Ml Malachi
Dt Deuteronomy   Mt Mattew
Eccles Ecclesiastes   Nah Nahum
Eph Ephesians   Ne Nehemiah
Est Esther   Nm Numbers
Exb Exodus   Obad Obadiah
Ezk Ezekial   1Pt 1 Peter
Ezr Ezra   2Pt 2 Peter
Gal Galatians   Phm Philemon
Gn Genesis   Php Philippians
Hab Habakkuk   Prv Proverbs
Hag Haggai   Ps Psalms
Heb Hebrews   Rev Revelation
Hos Hosea   Rom Romans
Is Isaiah   Rth Ruth
Jc James   1Sam 1 Samuel
Jb Job   2Sam 2 Samuel
Jd Jude   Sir Sirach
Jdgs Judges   1Ts 1 Thessalonians
Jdt Judith   2Ts 2 Thessalonians
Jer Jeremiah   1Tim 1 Timothy
Jl Joel   2Tim 2 Timothy
Jn John   Tb Tobit
1Jn 1 John   Tit Titus
2Jn 2 John   Wis Wisdom
3Jn 3 John   Zec Zechariah
Jnh Jonah   Zep Zephaniah
Jsh Joshua