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What Christian words should we capitalize?
What Christian words should we capitalize?

Have any of you ever wondered what Christian terms we should capitalize, and which ones we shouldn’t? You may be surprised by the answers…

Pronouns for God: Capitalize

Although technically not wrong or right, it is general consensus to capitalize any pronouns for God (He, Him, and His.) It shows reverence and respect for the Lord, although it is technically grammatically incorrect. This also applies for any pronouns for Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, since they are also God.

The Word: Depends!

Ok, so this one messes me up a lot. In John 1:1 (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”), “word” is capitalized, because “the Word” is referring to Jesus, a proper noun. However, if you are talking about “the word”, as in the Bible, then you do not capitalize it.

The Bible: Capitalize

You do capitalize the Bible, because it is referring to a specific book.

Biblical/Scriptural: Lowercase

However, since “biblical” and “scriptural” are adjectives, you keep these lowercase.

Old Testament/New Testament: Capitalize

Again, you are referring to specific books, so you capitalize these titles.

Bible Study: Capitalize just “Bible”

I’ve been doing this wrong all along! I always capitalize “study” in “Bible study”, but that is apparently wrong. If you are referring to your personal devotions or a ministry group, you always write it as: Bible study, not Bible Study. (On that note: Apparently, you only capitalize Bible in “vacation Bible school”, not “Vacation Bible School.” The more you know!)

The Almighty: Depends!

Wow, this one surprised me. You capitalize almighty in “the Almighty”, but not in “the almighty God.” Hmm.

The Gospel: Depends!

You capitalize gospel in the context of “the Gospel of Matthew”, but not when you are talking about “the gospel” in general, as in Jesus’ crucifixion and offer of salvation.

Heaven & Hell: Depends!

These terms are left as lowercase by those who don’t believe these places exist. Since we believe they are actual places you can go to, we capitalize them. (In some Bibles, like my own, they are left as lowercase.) Although technically they are supposed to stay lowercase, it is up to personal preference.

Am I the only nerd who finds this absolutely fascinating? Leave me a comment to tell me!

6 comments | Leave a comment

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  • A well needed resource. Why not expand? What about the term, church/Church?

    Clover
  • Much of biblical language is grounded in oral culture. It is only with the emergence of text that capitalization becomes an issue.

    George
  • Hi I was wondering why in the Old Testament It says I Am in capital letters and in the New Testament Jesus says I am in lowercase lettering. I am confused and starting to think differently. Thanks for your time.

    Jennifer timlin
  • Great work. Thank you. I’m writing my first “inspirational” book, and your work has helped because it has answered my questions. You are not the only nerd who enjoys this (smile). Please keep up the good work. I bookmarked your site. God bless you.

    Billy
  • Negative,we need this! I have discussions with "the unfaithful’ & have 2 keep looking up if biblical words should be capitalized or not.like words that describe our GOD. Yeah, I just capitalize the whole word like LORD 4 example, & I do not care if people like it or not!

    Tyrone Perry