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Biblical Studies Library Research Guide: Study and Scholarship Resources

Biblical Study and Scholarship Sources Overview

Click here for books of interest for Biblical scholarship recently added to the Cowan-Blakley Memorial Library collection.

Cowan-Blakley Memorial Library has a rich collection of Biblical study tools.  Use the tabs across the top of this page to aid in identifying specific sources which may be useful. Please note that the sources listed in this guide are only a starting point. The lists of resources are not comprehensive and there are many other excellent resources that space did not permit to be included.

More general resources are also very useful for Biblical studies.  These include databases (e.g. ATLA, Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online, Academic Source Complete, etc.), journals (e.g. Journal of Theological Studies, Modern Theology, etc.) and encyclopedias (e.g. New Catholic Encyclopedia).  These and other general sources are included in the Religion and Theology Subject Guide.  

Although many of the print sources listed in this guide are reference copies (shelved in the reference section of the library on the first floor), we do have circulating copies of many of the titles.  Check the online catalog to see what's available.  And if you want to browse through the print books on the Bible, this link will provide an overview of where they are located (click on "Subclass BS, the Bible" for detailed list).

Oxford Biblical Studies Online...Cowan-Blakley Memorial Library is excited to announce that we now have access to a major resource for Biblical study and scholarship, the Oxford Biblical Studies Online.  This resource is very rich in content and includes the full-text of six different Bibles as well as in-depth commentaries and concordances.  You can look up specific Bible verses and compare them with another text or commentary.  Use this link to view a short introduction to OBSO by Michael Coogan, the Editor in Chief.

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed...This 15 volume, second edition features revised and new articles. Among the 12,000 entries in the encyclopedia are articles on theology, philosophy, history, literary figures, saints, musicians and much more.

The Cambridge Companion Series contains the full-text of many Cambridge companions on religious topics and persons. 

The eBook Religion Collection contains the full-text of over 4,100 scholarly books on a very broad range of religious topics, including ethics, history of religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and religious texts.

Additionally, the Loeb Classical Library Online, which provides the full-text of every book in the Loeb Classical Library, includes works of Church Fathers (Basil, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, Ignatius, Polycarp and others).

Oxford Biblical Studies Online (OBSO) provides a comprehensive resource for the study of the Bible and Biblical history.  The integration of authoritative scholary texts and reference works with tools that provide eaes of research into the background, context and issues related to the Bible make OBSO an invaluable resource.  Michael Coogan, Editor in Chief of OBSO provides a short introduction.                                                              
ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials PLUS is the premier scholarly database for the study of religion and for Biblical scholarship.  Journal articles, book reviews and collections of essays are included and journals are carefully selected based on their scholarly merit and scope.
All major religious faiths and major denominations as well as numerous language groups are covered.  Coverage extends back to 1949 and has retrospective indexing for some journals as far back as the 1800s.  ATLA's indexing of multi-author works, such as Festschriften and conference proceedings, is unique among religion databases as ATLA indexes each individual essay.  Areas of coverage include:  the Bible; archaeology & antiquities; church history, missions and ecumenism; pastoral ministry; world religions and religious studies; theology; philosophy; and ethics.
NOTE:  The content of the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index has been absorbed into  the ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials PLUS  including citations for articles and reviews published in Roman Catholic journals and Papal documents.  The Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online is no longer available as a separate database.
To search ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials PLUS for information about specific books, chapters or verses in the Bible click on "Scriptures" located at the top of the page while in the advanced search mode or use the Scripture Citation Index by clicking on "Indexes" at the top of the page and selecting "Scripture Citations" from the drop-down box.
The Catholic Periodical and Literature Index Online has been absorbed into the ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials PLUS and is no longer available as a separate database.      
Old Testament Abstracts Online 
The Catholic Biblical Association and the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) partner to produce this scholarly source of articles and other information on the Old Testament.
New Testament Abstracts Online 
This database is produced jointly by Boston College and the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and is an in-depth source of articles for New Testament scholarship.





For introductory commentary and information on a specific Scripture citation, use the Anchor Bible commentaries located under Ref BS 192.2 .A1 G3 in the reference section on the first floor of Blakley Library.  For many of the volumes, circulating copies are also available to check out.

Finding books available in Blakley Library:

To locate books, go to the Catalog Quick Search bar, enter bible o t or bible n t (no capitalization or punctuation necessary), followed by the name of the Biblical book (e.g. bible o t genesis or bible n t matthew).   For more specific information, add a chapter number.  NOTE:  Chapter numbers are provided in Roman numerals.

You may want to find specific books that are identified in your search or use the general call number for the Biblical book to browse the shelves.

Finding articles/commentary in online databases:

Four databases provided by Blakley Library have specific search tools for locating Scripture information at the chapter and verse level:

(1) ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials (Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, formerly a separate database, has been absorbed into ATLA) (2) New Testament Abstracts Online, (3) Old Testament Abstracts Online and (4) Oxford Biblical Studies Online.

To search ATLA, New Testament Abstracts and Old Testament Abstracts for articles on a specific Scripture citation, use the advanced search mode.  There will be a link at the top of the page for “Scriptures” and one for “Indexes”.  The “Scriptures” link will take you directly to a list of Scripture citations.  When selecting “Indexes” you will then see a drop-down box and you will choose “Scripture Citations” and enter your citation of interest into the “Browse” search bar.  To narrow your search, use limiters (e.g. language, publication types, etc.) and additional search bars to add subjects, names or other relevant terms.

For helpful tutorials produced by ATLA on using the “Scriptures” tool and the “Scripture Citations” search technique, go to the “Biblical Studies and Scholarship” subject guide on the home page of Blakley Library and select the “Best Databases for Biblical Study” tab.

When searching in the Oxford Biblical Studies database use the “Bible Verse Lookup” or the “View Biblical Texts in Three Different Ways” features which are both located on the database home page.

Selecting databases when searching for articles:

Although there is some overlap between ATLA, New Testament Abstracts and Old Testament Abstracts, if you are doing a comprehensive search you should search each one separately.  For a less comprehensive search or more limited time, ATLA will often provide enough articles.