How Would I Cite a Bible Verse in Japanese?


In English one might say something like “John 3:16”. {[book][chap#]:[verse#]}. Is it the same with Japanese? Basically, how do I refer to a specific verse, in Japanese? 「ジャン三・十六」はか?。「ジャン三・十六から」はか?。 Those are two possibilities, though they are almost certainly wrong given that I know basically no Japanese at this point. Still, I think translating into the target language is a fun way to learn, so here I am. ヽ( ̄▼ ̄*)ノ


It appears to be [book name] #章#節 where 章 is chapter and 節 is verse.

申命記18章18節-19節 would be Deuteronomy 18:18-19


Thank you for your time! :smiley: Have a good day. :smiley: tenth-word. :smiley:


It’s the same as English, but using the Japanese book names. E.g. 詩篇28:13 = Proverbs 28:13

[Edit: An example of real use:]


Ooh, thanks for the links. :smiley: That list of names for all the books will come in quite handy. :smiley:


Oooh… Interesting!
Thanks for asking this, @Samraku.
I’ve been thinking of looking up a few obvious verses to learn in Japanese. Hmm… ありがとう.


So with this method the 「章」 and the 「節」 would be used as counters, I’m assuming? So いっしょう、にしょう、さんしょう?。


Ok; I’ve done some more research and I think my previous ideas were wrong. It would be like 「一つの章」、「二つの章」 or 「章を一つ」、「章を二つ」 with the second being more natural, but the first being acceptable in certain contexts, mostly literature/writing/legal documents. Also, the 「を」 being ommissable in casual speech.


Yes, those are counters for chapters and verses. I have a feeling if you were saying a citation out loud, it would be clearer in that format. But maybe people who talk about the Bible in Japanese all the time wouldn’t need them.


How can one tell that 章 and 節 can be used as counters? They’re not marked as such in Jisho and I couldn’t find them in any of the lists of counters I could find. Can one just generally use nouns as counters? Or maybe just rarer nouns? Or am I misinterpreting your comment?

If I understand you correctly いっしょう, にしょう, and さんしょう were correct? I had come to the conclusion that these would be wrong because one can’t (as I understand it) just attach numbers to nouns, one must attach the numbers to a counter, and then (if desired) specify the noun separately, subject to being grammatically correct, of course. But maybe they’re just really rare counters that didn’t show up on any of the lists I could find?


Okay, counter is probably the wrong word. They don’t mean “a number of chapters” they mean “the chapter of this ordinal number.” I didn’t expect you to actually want to be counting with them.

I forgot you haven’t gotten to the 章 vocab on WK yet. That’s used for numbering chapters in any book.


So would 「一つ目の章」 be roughly equivalent to 「一章」? In the sense that the 目 is in a way bundled into the 章 of the second one? So since the definition of 章 has already done all the conversions necessary, it’s ok to just tag a number on the front? Or is that explanation completely unnecessary (and probably wrong) nonsense and the truth is that it’s just a part of 章の definition that one can use it that way?

And no, I wasn’t planning to count with them. :smiley:

EDIT: I could be remembering the use of 目 wrong. I thought I remember running across it on one of the websites I visited trying to figure this out. But I can’t find any entries for “me” in “A Basic Dictionary of Japanese Grammar”…


I think generally speaking 第, the ordinal number prefix, is usually used first. 第一章 is probably what you’ll see in a table of contents. I did see numbers without this when googling around for the bible though.


Ahh! I ran across that kanji in the title of 1 John!

So 「第五章(だいごしょう)第十一節(だいじゅういっせつ)」。? For “5:11” in the context of citing a verse?