I'm writing a short essay on a book we're reading in class. The book (Gerald O'Collins, Rethinking Fundamental Theology) contains the following part, literally:

To begin with, the disciples of Jesus remembered him as having made extraordinary claims to personal authority (see Chapter 5 above) and then as having died an utterly shameful death in a place for public executions.

I'd like to quote this in my essay, but to include "(see Chapter 5 above)" seems pointless. I am tempted to simply leave it out. Is that allowed in such a case, or should I always replace it by "[...]"?


Quotation is about honest and lucid representation of the original material.

Just as you would not include an extra irrelevant sentence at the end, you can freely omit an extra irrelevant phrase in the middle. As you note, the standard way to do this is with ellipses: "..."

The important thing is to make sure that your ellipsis makes no changes in the meaning of the quotation. If you change meaning, that's quote mining, and is dishonest. For something like your example, however, where you are omitting a cross-reference that is meaningless out of context, however, there is no problem at all.

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