Possible Duplicate:
What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes?
What do brackets in a quote mean?

When I add information beside a word in a Bible verse, what bracket should I use? Parentheses or square brackets?

  • Parentheses are more common.
    – Mitch
    Jan 17, 2013 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


If you are adding just the chapter and verse, you can use either, or set it apart with a dash.

If you are adding notes in your own hand, then it would be more common to use brackets for that (with any quotation, not just biblical). As such you might wish to opt for parentheses for the citation, to be distinct from that. For example:

The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl ["Lilith" in many translations, "Lamia" in the Latin Vulgate] also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. (Isaiah 34:14 King James Version)

  • As a side note, well-known versions are often abbreviated (e.g., KJV), depending on the context.
    – J.R.
    Jan 17, 2013 at 23:13
  • @J.R. Yes, I normally do, but someone else added in the version, and their using the full name is fine too.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 18, 2013 at 0:53

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.