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I'm wondering how to use an ellipsis after a complete sentence within a quote when not intending to use the entire quote. Specifically, I'm looking at a Bible verse. Consider the following:

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." - James 5:16

I want to quote and reference the first sentence (bolded part) of this verse. I can't simply write

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." - James 5:16

because this indicates the the entirety of verse 16 is this one sentence, when in fact there is more. So I figure I need to use an ellipsis to denote the omitted content, but if I use it like this

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed..." - James 5:16

that seems to indicate that the sentence continues on after the part I've chosen, when in fact that is the end of the sentence. So then I think I should do something either like [period-space-ellipsis]

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. ..." - James 5:16

or [4-dot ellipsis]

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed...." - James 5:16

but those both look weird and wrong to me.

So what is the correct way to do this?

  • I'm sure there's a semi-standard way of quoting part of a verse. The relevant Wikipedia page doesn't help but does mention a (paper) Christian writers' style guide and various other sources. – Chris H Apr 21 '15 at 16:15
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    The Catholic Lectionary for Mass, for example, uses a lower-case a to refer to the first part of a verse (nominally broken in two parts); so for example the psalm versicles for 18 Jan 2015 are listed as "Ps 40:2+4, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10"; that is, Psalm 40, vv. 2 and 4 (first versicle), verse 7 and first part of verse 8 (second versicle), second part of verse 8 and verse 9 (third versicle), verse 10 (fourth versicle). That's the approach I've seen as standard. – Matt Gutting Apr 21 '15 at 18:13
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One approach is to use four dots (with non-breaking spaces book-ending the three dots that represent the ellipsis so they don't break at line-breaks).

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/SpecialCharacters.html

You could also use a period and a space followed by the single ellipsis character: healed. … /U2026/

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According to this website, Chicago style would be:

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."

MLA style would be:

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. . . ."

If you wished to also reference the verse in MLA style, the period would go after the reference:

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed . . ." (James 5:16).

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