Evangelical Terminology

There are many terms used by evangelical Christians that are not necessarily found in the dictionary. The following presents the style preferred by the EFCA.


Capitalize all names referring to God as a Supreme Being, including but not limited to the following:

  • the Almighty
  • Savior
  • the Word
  • King of kings
  • Lord
  • the Messiah
  • God the Father
  • God the Son
  • Son of Man
  • Jehovah
  • the Way

Bible and Scripture

  1. Capitalize all books of the Bible, as well as portions (e.g., the Epistles, the Prophets) and versions (New International Version).
  2. Capitalize Scripture when used as a noun (e.g., We study the Scriptures).
  3. Capitalize Old Testament and New Testament.
  4. Capitalize Word of God.
  5. Capitalize Book when listing the proper title for one of the Wisdom Writings (Book of Job, Book of Psalms, Book of Ecclesiastes, Book of Proverbs).


Certain words are lowercased when used as adjectives:

  • He is a godly man.
  • He lives by scriptural principles.
  • His actions are not consistent with biblical guidelines.


Capitalize all pronouns referring to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity:

  • God, He is …
  • Jesus, He did …

General Biblical and Religious Events and References

Capitalize biblical and religious events and references when they stand alone, without modification: the Creation, the Crucifixion, the Exodus, the Flood, the Inquisition, the Second Coming, the Virgin Birth, etc.

Lowercase when the word is part of a description: the crucifixion of Jesus, the resurrection of Christ.


God’s kingdom
God’s Word
Kingdom of God
good news
The Last Supper / communion
gospel of Christ
non-Christian / Christian
Great Commission
Great Commandment



Capitalize gospel only when referring directly to one of the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John):

  • We must proclaim the gospel.
  • In the Gospel of John, we read …
  • Missionaries bring the gospel of Christ to people around the world.


Capitalize Church when referring to the universal church established by Jesus Christ, not to individual congregations:

  • He is a member of the local church.
  • It is our desire to see all people become part of the true Church.

Modern Bible versions

CEV – Contemporary English Version
ESV – English Standard Version
GNB – Good News Bible
GOODSPEED – The Complete Bible; An American Translation, E. J. Goodspeed
JB – Jerusalem Bible
KJV – King James Version
LB – Living Bible
MLB – Modern Language Bible
MSG – The Message: The Bible
MOFFATT – The New Testament: A New Translation, James Moffatt
NAB – New American Bible
NASB – New American Standard Bible
NAV – New American Version
NEB – New English Bible
NIV – New International Version
NJB – New Jerusalem Bible
NJPS – Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation according to the Traditional Hebrew Text
NKJV – New King James Version
NRSV – New Revised Standard Version
PHILLIPS – The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips
REB – Revised English Bible
RSV – Revised Standard Version
RV – Revised Version
TEV – Today’s English Version (Good News Bible)
TNIV – Today’s New International Version
WEYMOUTH – The New Testament in Modern Speech, R. F. Weymouth

Abbreviations for Books of the Bible

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament abbreviations:

Gen – Genesis
Exod – Exodus
Lev – Leviticus
Num – Numbers
Deut – Deuteronomy
Josh – Joshua
Judg – Judges
Ruth – Ruth
1-2 Sam – 1-2 Samuel
1-2 Kgs – 1-2 Kings
1-2 Chr – 1-2 Chronicles
Ezra – Ezra
Neh – Nehemiah
Esth – Esther
Job – Job
Ps/Pss – Psalms
Prov – Proverbs
Eccl – Ecclesiastes
Song – Song of Songs
Isa – Isaiah
Jer – Jeremiah
Lam – Lamentations
Ezek – Ezekiel
Dan – Daniel
Hos – Hosea
Joel – Joel
Amos – Amos
Obad – Obadiah
Jonah – Jonah
Mic – Micah
Nah – Nahum
Hab – Habakkuk
Zeph – Zephaniah
Hag – Haggai
Zech – Zechariah
Mal – Malachi

Hebrew Bible/New Testament abbreviations:

Matt – Matthew
Mark – Mark
Luke – Luke
John – John
Acts – Acts
Rom – Romans
1-2 Cor – 1-2 Corinthians
Gal – Galatians
Eph – Ephesians
Phil – Philippians
Col – Colossians
1-2 Thess – 1-2 Thessalonians
1-2 Tim – 1-2 Timothy
Titus – Titus
Phlm – Philemon
Heb – Hebrews
Jas – James
1-2 Pet – 1-2 Peter
1-2-3 John – 1-2-3 John
Jude – Jude
Rev – Revelation

Multiplying transformational churches among all people.