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> THEO 3110 Torah/Pentateuch

Introduction

On this page is a list of the major tools for the indentification of monographs and articles.  Please do not be intimidated by the length of it.  Concentrate for starters on the following three:

Turn to the rest only as needed, and please don't hestitate to ask for help.

Non-serial bibliographies are bibliographies that, once published, grow rapidly out of date.  Serial bibliographies are bibliographies that attempt to keep up with (i.e. incorporate also) the new literature as it appears.

Non-serial bibliographies, too (depending on how they are organized), but especially serial bibliographies must be searched in at least four different ways:

  • by passage, as illustrated often below;
  • by keyword (What is your passage about and who or what things or topics does it either mention or implicate?);
  • by official subject heading (How are the books and articles that appear to be "spot on-target" described by the database?);
  • by Hebrew (or Greek) word, whether in script or transliteration.  This is important because even the more recent Lexicons, Theological Wordbooks, and Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are non-serial (grow increasingly out-of-date).

No even serial bibliography is as reliable on quality as the up-to-date recommendation of an expert.  So follow the "links", by which I mean any suggestions made by Dr. Koenig or scholars she thinks highly of, whether in the form of the recommendations they make, or in the form of the foot/endnotes and bibliographies they compose.

The pericope-specific bibliographies in some commentaries (Non-serial)

Some (though far from all!) Commentaries offer passage- or pericope-specific bibliographies.  Here, for example, is a shot of the bibliography specific to Lev 4-5 on pp. 298-299 of the 2013 HCOT commentary on Levitcus 1-10, by James W. Watts.  The pericope-specific bibliographies in this commentary are meant merely to supplement (for the specific passage in question) the main bibliography given on pp. XIII-XXX:

Pericope-specific bibliographies

Pericope-specific bibliographies

Pericope-specific bibliographies like this one are a great way to identify books and articles on the passage you're studying.  But it is important to keep  their dates of publication in mind.  Take this one, for example.  Because this commentary on Leviticus 1-10 was published in 2013, the pericope-specific bibliographies it contains will grow increasingly out-of-date as time passes.  They will be current through early in the year 2013 at best.  For this reason non-serial bibliographies like this one should be supplemented by searches of one or more of the serial bibliographies listed below, just for example the Atla Religion Database or Old Testament abstracts.

In line 5 of the bibliography above, the abbreviation EBR appears.  As usual, a list of abbreviations located (in this case) at the back of the volume makes it clear that EBR stands for the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its reception:

list of abbreviations

And once you know what an abbreviation like EBR stands for (though the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its reception is not--like HBT, i.e. Horizons in Biblical Theology--itself a journal), you are in a position to Find the Full Text.

Bibliographies in the form of books and even articles (Non-serial)

Two examples of book-length non-serial bibliographies are

  • the Index to periodical literature on Christ and the Gospels (REF BT202 .M55 1998) and
  • the somewhat more recent Index to periodical literature for the study of the New Testament (REF BS410 .M5497 2004),

by Watson E. Mills.  Both focus on articles to the exclusion of monographs, and both are (or, as in the case of the first, contain sections) organized by passage, though the latter (the second of the two listed below) makes this organization by passage more obvious.

  • Index to periodical literature on Christ and the Gospels (REF BT202 .M55 1998).  See pp. 311-605 for a list of "critical and exegetical studies" organized by passage:

Index to periodical literature on Christ and the Gospels

  • Index to periodical literature for the study of the New Testament (REF BS 410 .M5497 2004).  This entire volume is organized by passage:

Index to periodical literature for the study of the New Testament

As usual, a list of abbreviations near the front of each volume makes the sources of these articles (the titles of the journals in which they appear) more obvious.  Thus, the abbreviation at entry no. 4759.483 in the first (the Index to periodical literature on Christ and the Gospels), namely NTSt, is found to stand for the journal New Testament studies.  And once you know that, you know enough to Find the Full Text.

The book catalogs (Serial)

Book catalogs should be searched in at least four complementary ways (leaving to one side the search for an already known item by author and/or title):

  • by passage;
  • by keyword (What is your passage about and who or what things or topics does it either mention or implicate?);
  • by official subject heading (How are the books and articles that appear to be "spot on-target" described in the Subject field?);
  • by Hebrew (or Greek) word, whether in script or transliteration.

By passage:  The Subject field of the Library's discovery system can be searched by passage, as follows:

bible book chapter (Roman) verse (Arabic) ->

Bible Genesis II 4

You can be that specific, assuming that there's something on (or beginning with) that particular verse to be found.  And you can search the Subject field for headings like this in two ways:

SPU Library Advanced Search

  • via an Advanced Search:of the Subject field set to either contains or is (exact):

SPU Library Advanced Search

Note that I would get a different set of results were I to 1) drop the reference to verse 4 (Bible Genesis II) or 2) acknowledge in the way I construct my search that Genesis chapter 2 might be treated in a study beginning with Genesis chapter 1 (Bible Genesis I and following).  (A better example of that might be a treatment of Gen 32:22-32 (Bible Genesis XXXII 22 32) buried within a study of the Jacob cycle as a whole (say Gen 25:19-35:29 (Bible Genesis XXV 19 XXXV 29, or, more simply, Bible Genesis XXV and following)).)

Because it is so much more comprehensive than Search Scope:  SPU Library + Summit, I sometimes run my searches by passage in the Harvard catalog, and then look for what I find there (by other means, for example author and title) in the SPU Library or the Orbis Cascade Alliance:

Harvard Catalogue Search

By keyword as well as official subject heading:  Official subject headings--including those that allow for searches by passage, but also those like Abraham (Biblical patriarch), below--can be extremely helpful.  Note, however, that you would not turn this book up were you to search the Library's discovery system by Isaac (Biblical patriarch) OR Jacob (Biblical patriarch) in the Subject field, or by Abraham OR Isaac OR Jacob in the Title (=also Contents) field.  You would turn it up only if you searched by Abraham (Biblical patriarch) in the Subject field or Abraham OR Isaac OR Jacob in the Any field (which would include the Summary).  The point is that though it is very important to pay attention to official Subject headings, it can also be important to search by keywords or -phrases (including—but not limited to—those used in Title fields).

Search Results

By Hebrew (or Greek) word:  A form of the search by Subject heading (not to mention keyword) would be the search by Hebrew (or Greek) word.  This search

Search by Hebrew or Greek word

returns the following monographs, among others:

Search Results

On the other hand, Berit (The Hebrew word), though present as Brit in the Title (=also Contents) field of this record, is not present in the Subject field.  So, again, search by keyword or -phrase as well as by Subject, and try Subject equivalents (in this case Covenant) as well:

Search Results

The Atla Religion Database (Serial)

The Atla Religion Database, like the book catalogs or any of the electronic databases listed below, should be searched in at least four complementary ways (leaving to one side the search for an already known item by author and/or title):

  • by passage;
  • by keyword (What is your passage about and who or what things or topics does it either mention or implicate?);
  • by official subject heading (How are the books and articles that appear to be "spot on-target" described in the Subject field?);
  • by Greek (or Hebrew) word, whether in script or transliteration.

By passage:  Of the four ways just mentioned, the least intuitive may be the search by passage, so we'll concentrate on that here.  There are two ways to search the Atla Religion Database by passage.  The first is the most accurately focused, but the second could return some scholarship missed by the other.

1.  Use the Bible Citation index under More, then Indexes:

Atla Religion Database Search

 

Browse for: scholarship on the passage you're interested in by entering at least Book, maybe also Chapter.  (You could enter Verse or Verse range as well, but it would be much smarter to let the database present you with the options.  Keep in mind, too, that the database will return hits in number-by-number order, thus placing Exodus 10 before Exodus 3, 3 being a higher number than 1.)  Click on the Browse button (or press Enter), make your selections (probably plural!), and click on the Add button, which will enter the pericopes you've chosen into the Search box.  Then click on the Search button, limiting your hits to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, the English language, and so forth, as desired.  This search will return only scholarship focused on the specific passages you've selected.

Atla Religion Database Search

Don't forget that these lists of ranges are ordered number-by-number, such that a person interested in the whole of Exodus 20:1-17 who has started browsing at exodus 20:1 (rather than, say exodus 20) may have to browse, using the Next button, for as many as three pages past exodus 20:1-20:17 (not to mention exodus 20:24 and then exodus 20:3) before arriving at the (at present approximately) 30 hits to be found by selecting exodus 20:8-20:11.

2. The second way to search the Atla Religion Database by passage would be to click on the Scriptures button at the top of the page:

Atla Religion Database Search

Then, using the Next button, make your way to the biblical book you're interested in, and click on Expand, right down to the level of Chapter and maybe even Verse:

Atla Religion Database Search

 

Clicking on either Chapter or Verse (I've chosen to stop at the Chapter level this time) formulates an SR search that, like the ZP search under method no. 1 above, is easily manipulated.  Clicking on Search executes the same:

Atla Religion Database Search

So much for the two methods by passage.  Prefer method no. 1 in most cases.  A disadvantage of method no. 1, the Bible Citation index search, is that, honing in on scholarship focused on only the very verses you specify, it can be too precise.  But a significant disadvantage of method no. 2, the Scriptures button search, is that it can return material on much larger passages than you happen to be actually interested in, passages that are inclusive of the Chapter or Verse you've chosen, to be sure, but all too often much larger as well.

Since searching by passage is going to be the way most start out, allow me to pause at this point to suggest that you limit your results to either Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals or at least Academic Journals (along with, maybe, the English Language).  Or, at least, pay particular attention to articles published in any journals recommended by your professor (to which you can limit a search with the help the SO Source field (for example, AND  ("Biblical Theology Bulletin" OR "Catholic Biblical Quarterly" OR "Horizons in Biblical Theology") in SO Source)):

List of Old Testament Journals

 

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Atla Religion Database Search

Note, however, that limiting the results of your search to either Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) or Academic Journals eliminates the Essays in the essay collections (as distinguished from the Articles in the journals) indexed by the Atla Religion Database.  And these can be important, too:

Search Results

 

By keyword as well as official subject heading (and vice versa)As already stated under books, above, official Subject headings--including those that allow for searches by passage, but also those like Abraham (Biblical patriarch), below--can be extremely fruitful:

Atla Religion Database Search

But they sometimes go unassigned, and should therefore never be taken for granted.  Thus, only a Title or keyword (Select a Field) search would recover this one:

Search Results

By Hebrew (or Greek) word:

Atla Religion Database Search

For help getting your hands on the articles and essays indexed by the Atla Religion (or any other) database, go to Find the Full Text.

Old Testament Abstracts (Serial)

An advantage to Old and New Testament Abstracts over, say, the biblical studies indexing in the Atla Religion Database will be, not surprisingly, the keyword searching rendered even more effective by the (much more consistent) presence of searchable abstracts.

But in addition to searching by keyword (Select a Field (optional); AB Abstract; TI Title; etc.) and (far less effectively) SU Subject (or Subjects Topical index under Indexes), be sure to search also by passage.  To do this use one of the two following methods:

Use the Scripture Reference index under Indexes (a ZP search), enter a starting chapter (or verse), Browse, select the relevant ranges, and Add to search.  An advantage of this method is that you see a Records Count:

Atla Religion Database Search

Once you have Added your selections to the search box, click on Search:

Atla Religion Database Search

Use the Scriptures button, enter a starting chapter (or verse), Browse, select the relevant ranges, and Search:

Atla Religion Database Search

Don't forget that these lists of ranges are ordered number-by-number, such that a person interested in the whole of Exodus 20:1-17 who has started browsing at exodus 20:1 (rather than, say exodus 20) may have to browse, using the Next button, for as many as four pages past exodus 20:1-17 (not to mention exodus 20:24 and then exodus 20:3) before arriving at the (at present approximately) 39 hits to be found by selecting exodus 20:8-11.

Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne - BiBIL (Serial)

BiBL can be searched by Biblical Reference and Greek Term, among other things:

Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne

BILDI (Serial)

The catalogue of the École Biblique (Serial)

The catalogue of the École Biblique is an important serial bibliography of biblical studies that can be searched by Pericope and Greek word, among other things (Subject, Keyword, etc.).  But you should probably see me for help with this one.

The catalogue of the École Biblique

 

 

The catalogue of the École Biblique

Elenchus of Biblica (Serial)

Another extremely important (and now only formerly) serial bibliography of biblical studies (defunct after the publication in 2016 of vol. 27 (2011)) can be consulted in the Lemieux Library at Seattle University (though SPU owns a dead run that covers the years 1973-1990).  Like Old Testament abstracts, it must be consulted volume by volume, back to a reasonable point in the past.  Here is a shot of the index by passage that its every volume contains.  They contain other indices as well, for example a Voces index, or index of Greek (and other) words.  As usual, abbreviations can be be looked up in the list of abbreviations located in each volume.  CBQ stands for the Catholic biblical quarterly.  And once you know that, you are ready to Find the Full Text.

Index

Serial bibliographies in areas of study ancillary to the Old Testament

Here are a few of the serial bibliographies in areas of study ancillary to the New Testament (ADD SERIAL BIBLIOGRAPHIES IN ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN STUDIES, E.G. EGYPTOLOGY, HITTOLOGY, ASSYRIOLOGY, SUMERIAN STUDIES, ETC.; SEE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES DATABASE PAGE, HANDOUTS, ETC.):