What does it mean when you see “cf” before a Scripture quote? I always thought it meant about but since it’s the exact quote that doesn’t fit.

cf., an abbreviation for the Latin word confer, meaning “compare” or "consult

“About” would be “circa”, usually shortened to ca. or just c.

Pax Christi!

It means ‘consult’ or ‘check out’; it’s recommending a source. CF : “see for instance”, if you like.

God bless.

Thank you for all your posts. I appreciate finally knowing what that means. I’ve wondered for so very long.

cf = comes from :smiley:

In the Bible it says “You shall not kill” (cf Exodus 20:13).

that’s how I always remember it.


For more information. See the derivations below.

1533, from L. conferre “to bring together, compare,” from com- “together” + ferre “to bear” (see infer). Sense of “taking counsel” led to conference (1555). The meaning “compare” (common 1530-1650) is largely obsolete, but the abbreviation cf. is still used in this sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Con*fer", v. t. [imp. & p. p. [URL=“”]Conferred; p. pr. & vb. n. Conferring.] [L. conferre to bring together, contribute, consult; con- + ferre to bear: cf. F. conf['e]rer. See 1st Bear.]

  1. To bring together for comparison; to compare. [Obs.]
    If we confer these observations with others of the like nature, we may find cause to rectify the general opinion. --Boyle.

Here are two more common abbreviations

**e.g. **
An abbreviation meaning “for example.” It is short for the Latin exempli gratia, “for the sake of example.” A list of examples may be preceded by e.g.: “She loved exotic fruit, e.g., mangoes, passion fruit, and papayas.”

An abbreviation for id est, a Latin phrase meaning “that is.” It indicates that an explanation or paraphrase is about to follow: “Many workers expect to put in a forty-hour week —** i.e.**, to work eight hours a day.”

You can see more abbreviations here

However, it lists

A.D. anno Domini “in the year of the Lord”

Actually, it stands for the full phrase, ** “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”**



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