Should Old Testament Be Capitalized? Shocking Reasons You May Not Know

Ever found yourself scratching your head over whether to capitalize “Old Testament”? You’re not alone. This seemingly small detail can cause a lot of confusion, especially when you’re striving for proper grammar and style in your writing.

Should Old Testament Be Capitalized? Shocking Reasons You May Not Know

Understanding when and why to capitalize certain terms can make your work look polished and professional. So, let’s dive into the rules and reasons behind capitalizing “Old Testament” and clear up any lingering doubts you might have.

Understanding Capitalization in Religious Texts

Capitalizing words in religious texts shows respect and gives clarity. This practice also helps prevent misunderstandings.

Why Capitalization Matters

Capitalization matters because it shows respect for sacred texts and figures. For example, “Old Testament” must be capitalized to acknowledge its significance.

Using proper capitalization in your writing reflects attention to detail and understanding of religious terms. It demonstrates respect for the beliefs they represent.

General Rules for Capitalizing Religious Texts

Capitalize specific books of the Bible, like “Genesis” and “Exodus.” This shows they are important texts.

Names referring to God, such as “Lord,” “Father,” and “Holy Spirit,” also need capitalization. This shows reverence for the divine.

Adjectives based on proper nouns, like “Christian” or “Biblical,” get capitalized too. This distinguishes them from common words and highlights their significance.

The Case for Capitalizing “Old Testament”

Capitalize “Old Testament” to show respect and acknowledge its importance in Christianity. This practice follows established conventions and honors the holy scriptures.

Respect and Reverence

Writing “Old Testament” with capital letters shows reverence for these sacred texts. It also demonstrates your respect for the traditions that hold these texts to be holy.

Precedent in Literary and Academic Contexts

In books and academic works, “Old Testament” is always capitalized. Following this convention helps you align with scholarly standards and ensures clarity in your writing.

Arguments Against Capitalizing “Old Testament”

Let’s talk about why some folks believe “Old Testament” shouldn’t always be capitalized.

Linguistic Consistency

Consistency matters in writing. Some argue that if we don’t capitalize terms like “old story” or “old legend,” then “old testament” should follow the same rule. Keeping language uniform helps avoid confusion.

Secular Approach to Religious Terms

From a secular perspective, not everyone views the Bible the same way. Some writers treat “old testament” like any other historical book title. This approach makes it less about religious reverence and more about standard writing conventions.

Comparisons with Other Religious Texts

Capitalization in Other Abrahamic Faiths

In Judaism, you capitalize “Torah” and “Tanakh”. These texts hold great importance, like our Old Testament. In Islam, Muslims capitalize “Qur’an” and “Hadith”. This capitalization shows reverence and respect.

Global Religious Text Capitalization Practices

Hindus capitalize “Vedas” and “Bhagavad Gita”. Buddhists capitalize “Tripitaka” and “Sutras”. Capitalizing these texts highlights their sacred nature across different faiths. So, capitalizing the “Old Testament” aligns with these global practices, showing its sacredness in Christianity.

Experts’ Views on Capitalization

Most experts agree that capitalizing “Old Testament” maintains the text’s reverence and significance. Now, let’s dive into what theological and linguistic authorities have to say.

Theological Perspectives

Theologians believe capitalizing “Old Testament” shows respect for God’s Word. They argue that it’s more than writing rules; it’s about honoring scripture.

Linguistic Authorities

Linguistic experts support capitalization for clarity and consistency. They note that “Old Testament” is a proper noun, so it should always be capitalized in writing.


Capitalizing “Old Testament” isn’t just about grammar; it’s about showing respect for sacred texts. When you capitalize it, you’re aligning with a global practice that honors religious scriptures across various faiths. Plus, it adds clarity and consistency to your writing. So next time you’re writing about the “Old Testament,” remember that a little capitalization goes a long way in demonstrating respect and maintaining proper writing standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to capitalize “Old Testament”?

Capitalizing “Old Testament” shows respect for the sacred text in Christianity. It acknowledges its status as a proper noun and aligns with the broader practice of honoring religious texts across various faiths.

How do other Abrahamic faiths treat the capitalization of their sacred texts?

In Judaism and Islam, texts like the “Torah” and “Qur’an” are capitalized to show reverence. This practice underscores the significance and sacred nature of these religious scriptures.

Does capitalization of religious texts vary across different religions?

No, it doesn’t vary significantly. Many global religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, capitalize their sacred texts such as the “Vedas” and “Tripitaka” to highlight their importance and sacredness.

What do experts say about capitalizing “Old Testament”?

Theologians argue that it demonstrates respect for God’s Word. Linguistic authorities support capitalization for clarity and consistency, noting that it should always be capitalized as it is a proper noun.

Is there any opposition to capitalizing “Old Testament”?

Some may oppose on stylistic or interpretive grounds, but the widespread practice among theologians and linguistic experts supports capitalization for maintaining respect and clarity in religious texts.

Does capitalization affect the readability of religious texts?

Yes, capitalization enhances readability by clearly identifying proper nouns, which helps in distinguishing sacred texts from other writings. It provides clarity and consistency in the presentation of religious documents.

What does capitalizing sacred texts signify in a broader cultural context?

Capitalizing sacred texts signifies a universal practice of showing reverence and respect. It reflects a global consensus on the importance of treating religious scriptures with the utmost respect and distinguishes them from secular writings.