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How to use Page Options on Bible Gateway

Did you know that Bible Gateway gives you the ability to toggle verse numbers, footnotes, pasage headings, and cross-references on and off? All this can be done with the Page Options button that appears at the top of every passage page!

Located just to the right of the version selector at the top of the page.

Click on "Page Options" to expand the menu of choices.

This simple menu lets you toggle on/off extra-biblical text annotations like footnotes and verse numbers, to aid in your Bible reading.

To do so, simply click the checkbox next to the name of the feature you want to toggle on or off. Checked turns it on; unchecked turns it off. By default, “Footnotes,” “Verse Numbers” and “Headings” are turned on. See below for more information about each option:


Footnotes are any notes from the translation team specific to the translation. They are are designated by lowercase letters inside brackets.

For example, the NIV translation of John 3:3 contains a footnote at the end of the verse, designated by “[a]”. Clicking on “[a]”—or any other footnote on the page—brings you down to the bottom of the page where the footnote is displayed. Click on the footnote’s letter to return to the point where you were reading.

Note: not all translations have footnotes!

Cross References

Cross References are notes in the text pointing to other, related passages in the Bible. These typically appear when the Scripture writer references another passage in the Bible, or when the passage is referenced elsewhere in Scripture.

They’re designated by uppercase letters inside parentheses, like “(A)”. In the NASB’s translation of John 3:3, there are a number of cross-references—and even a footnote.

Clicking on the verse reference in a cross reference will take you directly to that passage. Simply click on your web browser’s back button to return to the passage you were reading.

Note: not all translations have cross references!

Verse Numbers

Verse Numbers are reference numbers attached to individual passages of the Bible. These are extremely useful for quickly finding particular passages in the Bible and it’s hard to imagine studying the Bible without them (read more about their history on our blog). However, sometimes they can get in the way of easy reading or copying and pasting.


Headings refer to the chapter headings that accompany most translations of the Bible. These headings aren’t in the original Bible texts, but are helpful for understanding the general swath of the passage. As with verse numbers, toggling these off when they’re not needed can sometimes help when reading or copying and pasting to an external source.

Red Letter

Red Letter is the option to change the color of Jesus’ words to red. Some people find it useful to see the words of Jesus emphasized in this way, while others find it distracting. Keep in mind that not all translations support the Red Letter feature. If you leave this toggled on, Bible Gateway will automatically detect if the translation has Red Letter capability and will display the words of Jesus in red.

Filed under Bible Gateway Features, Bible Study