Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Bible dictionaries provide brief, introductory articles on the people, places, customs, and texts of the Bible. Bible dictionaries are all located in the Reference section.
Anchor Bible Dictionary - Ref BS 440 .A54 (6 vol)
This definitive and current work covers not only names, places, and events of the Bible, but also includes cultural history, social institutions, archeological sites, and other topics of particular interest to Biblical scholars today.
New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible - Ref BS 440 .N445 2006
A solid five-volume alphabetical set offering short scholarly articles on topics, people, and parts of the bible.
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible - Ref BS440 .O93 2011
This encyclopedia contains almost 120 in-depth entries, ranging in length from 500 to 10,000 words, on each of the canonical books of the Bible, major apocryphal books of the New and Old Testaments, important noncanonical texts, and thematic essays on topics such as canonicity, textual criticism, and translation.
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (DDD) - Ref BS680.G57 D53 1995
The definitive text on the gods, demons and other deities in scripture. Entries include information about the deity, including historical context and where the deity appears within scripture.
Biblical commentaries are written by biblical scholars and provide interpretations and detailed analyses of Biblical texts. Commentaries define terms, discuss major themes, and identify how a particular collection of verses fits within a larger book. Essentially, the commentator explains her or his take on what the original author was conveying. Since interpretations of the Bible vary widely, biblical commentaries also vary widely in terms of methods and interpretations.
Commentaries can be found in both the Reference (in-library use only) and General Collection (can be checked out). If the call number begins with REF, find it on the second floor Reference section. If the call number simply begins BS (short for Biblical Studies), you'll find it on the third floor.
The following is a list of recommended sources; the list is not comprehensive. Be sure to browse the shelves nearby to find related sources. You can also search the library's catalog to find more: In the Advanced Search screen, enter "commentaries" in one search box and change the drop down menu to Subject. In a separate box, enter the name of a book of the Bible.
New Interpreter's Bible - Ref BS 491.2 .N484 1994
A comprehensive commentary in twelve volumes, this leading resource provides the text in two translations, NRSV and New International Version, side by side, along with scholarly commentary.
Harper's Bible Commentary - Ref BS 491.2 .H37 1988
Follows the arrangement of the Bible, giving a brief introduction to each book of the Bible, then a short explanation of major passages. It is very good at making the language of the Bible clear, explaining context, and linking related passages together.
Oxford Bible Commentary - Ref BS491.3 .O94 2001
This one volume commentary provides line-by-line analysis for the NRSV.
Women's Bible Commentary - Ref BS491.2 .W66 1998
With essays written by Biblical Scholars who are also women, this commentary looks at the different books of the Bible from the feminist perspective. The essays focus on the passages of each book which are "of particular relevance to women".
Books of the Bible - Ref BS 540 .B62 1989
Focuses on treating the books of the Bible ans texts, emphasizing their literary nature and structure, discussing origins, content, purpose, and theological interpretations of each book.
Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation - Ref BS 511.3 .O88 2013
One of the first resources of its kind, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation provides insight into the varied forms and themes that have marked the scholarship of biblical interpretation.
Anchor Bible Commentary Series - General Collection: BS192.2.A1 (44 vol)
This series of commentaries covers books from the OT and NT. These are shelved together in the general collection. Note that some books may be covered in two volumes, numbered 40 and 40A.
Hermeneia Series - General Collection - Various Locations
This is a series of commentaries on different books of the Bible. To locate these, search in the catalog for the series title and the title of a book of the Bible (ex. "Hermeneia" and "Hosea").
Old Testament Library - General Collection - Various Locations
This series of commentaries covers only books of the Old Testament. These are not shelved together - to locate one of these, search the catalog for the series title, the title of the book, and the publisher.
Scholarly Articles about the Bible
ATLA Religion Database with ATLA Serials Plus
The premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion. More than 450 journal articles are provided in full text. As of 2018, includes the content of the former Catholic Periodicals & Literature Index.
You can also find articles written about specific biblical passages in the ATLA Religion Database. There are two primary ways to do this:
- Click on "Scriptures" on the very top menu bar. Select an entire book or use the expand option to narrow to specific chapters/verses. NOTE: While this can lead you to good articles, you should only use this option after you've looked at biblical commentaries in the Reference and General Collections. It will take you a little more time to scroll through articles than it will to use a book.
- Do a keyword search for your book and also use the word "commentary" in the search box.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License