ESV CrossRef


The ESV CrossReference Tool is a free resource created to make it easy to feature the text of the ESV Bible on your blog, personal website, or church website.

Designed for easy installation on virtually any blog or website, the ESV CrossReference Tool scans each page for all Bible references, automatically turning each reference into a hoverable link. When visitors to your blog or website move their cursors over the reference, a pop-up box will appear displaying the full ESV Bible text to which the reference refers.

What’s more, the ESV CrossReference Tool is intelligent enough to identify multiple variations of Bible references, including:

  • Full references (e.g., John 3:16)
  • Abbreviated references (e.g., Jn 3:16)
  • Multiple, sequential verses (e.g., Ephesians 1:3-14)
  • Multiple, non-sequential verses (e.g., Psalm 118:1, 5, 8)

In addition to making it easy for readers to read the full text of every passage mentioned on the page, this pop-up box also features quick sharing buttons as well as the ability to listen to an audio version of the passage—all without leaving your blog or website.

For more information, visit


  • A linked reference and its pop-up box


Can I change the style of the links?

Yes, use the following CSS selector:

a.esv-crossref-link { color: #72abbf !important; }


December 27, 2019
… find a way to disable the plugin from activity in the admin area. I say this because if I go in and edit an existing page wherein references already exist, the plugin will automagically convert them, then when saving the post the insertions get saved along with it. The page displays correctly on the front end, with links as links etc, but the pop-ups no longer appear as before the save.
July 10, 2017
Bummer that this doesn’t work with https. I even went in and edited the plugin file to force https, but it just doesn’t work.
February 27, 2017
It works well when I view the site on my laptop, but when I look on my cell phone, the Scripture references aren’t turned into links at all. There’s no linking and no popover effect, as if I hadn’t installed the plugin to start with.
Read all 6 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“ESV CrossRef” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “ESV CrossRef” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Don’t include script in admin


  • Redesign with support for HTTPS


  • Initial release