The following brief explanation was written by Elder C. C. Morris and first appeared in the July-August 1994 issue of The Remnant. It also appeared in the November-December 2015 issue and appears here by permission of the author. I have been asked about the “f” and “ff” abbreviations in the past and asked Elder Morris for permission to post this on my blog for others who have questions about this usage.[i]
f AND ff: AN EXPLANATORY NOTE
By C. C. Morris
By C. C. Morris
Bible references, or citations, are usually given in the order of book, chapter, and verse. The verse number is usually separated from the chapter number by a colon or period.
“Isaiah 53:6” and “Isaiah 53.6” both mean the book of Isaiah, chapter 53, verse 6. “Romans 3.6-10” means Romans, chapter 3, verses 6 through 10.
We were recently asked about the use of “f” and “ff” which we sometimes use in our scriptural references. These two notations, “f” and “ff,” are short, convenient and widely used ways to abbreviate a Biblical citation.
“f” means “and the following verse.” For example, “Genesis 3.15f” means Genesis, chapter 3, verses 15 and 16, which is alos sometimes written, “Genesis 3.15-16” or “Genesis 3:15-16.”
“ff” means “and the following verses.” “ff” implies at least two or more verses. For example, “Acts 2.23ff” means Acts, chapter 2, verse 23 and the following verses – at least two more verses, through the 25th verse, but maybe more. Usually the citation’s context itself will clarify how many more verses are meant.
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[i] [From the blog author, R. L. Vaughn] For those curious about the etymology, the abbreviations derive from the Latin folio (“page, leaf” “on the next page”). Outside of Bible references it may be used for page ranges in a book. For example, “256f.” would stand for pages 256-257. Another abbreviation that I often use is the abbreviation “cf.” It stands for the Latin word confer which means “compare.” For example, “Cf. Acts 2.23” means to compare Acts, chapter 2, verse 23 with the verses or topic being discussed.