Bible As Literature
Prepared by Karilyn Jaap
Materials on this subject can be found on the second floor of the library in the classification BS535. Quite a bit of additional information can be located by accessing the library’s online catalog using the subject heading: Bible as Literature.
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 v. REF BS440 .A54 1992.
Lengthy, signed entries cover proper names, major words, each book of the Bible, Apocryphal texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Nag Hammadi codices. A bibliography follows most items. Cross-references and “see” references take the place of an index.
Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation. REF BS500 .D5 1990.
Signed articles, with bibliographies, on a wide range of topics dealing with the history of biblical interpretation and current issues in biblical scholarship. A subject index and an index of biblical references are at the back.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. REF BS440 .E44 2000.
Short entries, signed, many with bibliographies. Protestant in orientation but balanced in viewpoint. Series of colored maps at the back.
Encyclopedia of Judaism. 3 v. REF BM50 .E63 1999.
“Provides a full and reliable account of the religion, Judaism, beginning in ancient Israelite times and extending to our own day,” Places Judaism “in the context of society and culture.” Signed essays are lengthy and carry end notes and bibliographies. There is an epilogue by Chaim Bermant at the back of vol. 3 followed by a general index and an index of textual references.
Encyclopedia of Religion. 16 v. REF BL31 .E46 1987.
Aims to “introduce educated, nonspecialist readers to important ideas, practices, and persons in the religious experience of humankind from the Paleolithic past to [the present] day.” Addresses theoretical, practical, and sociological aspects of religion; includes coverage of non-Western religions. Articles are signed and carry bibliographies. The last volume contains a synoptic outline of contents and an extensive general index.
A 2 nd edition (2005) is available online through Libraries of the USF System à Databases à Gale Virtual Reference Library à Religion [expand “View Publications”]. This new edition includes 600 additional articles.
Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 2 v. BM487 .E53 2000.
Provides “to scholars and interested lay people the results of [a] half century of research” on the scrolls since their initial discovery in 1947. Signed entries, some lengthy, carry bibliographies. At the back of the second volume are a provisional list of documents from the Judean Desert, an index of document names to document numbers, a directory of contributors, a synoptic outline of contents, and a subject index.
New Catholic Encyclopedia. 15 v. REF BX841 .N44 2003.
Provides “full information on the doctrine, organization, and history of the Catholic Church through the close of the twentieth century [and] includes also within its scope the persons, institutions, religions, philosophies, scientific developments, and movements that have affected Catholicism in the past or are of particular concern at present.” Signed entries; most with bibliographies. Excludes biographies of living persons with the exception of the reigning Pope. Volume 15 contains an index.
This edition is also available online through Libraries of the USF System à Databases à Gale Virtual Reference Library à Religion [expand “View Publications”].
Various English translations of the Bible are on the second floor of the library in classification BS125-195. A copy of the King James Version (REF BS185 1953 N4) is also in the reference section on the first floor along with a useful parallel edition: New Layman’s Parallel Bible, containing the King James Version, the New International Version, the Living Bible, and the Revised Standard Version (REF BS125 .B5 1981).
Concordances and Thesauri
Eerdman’s Analytical Concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible . REF BS425 .W48 1988.
In addition to textual locations, this concordance gives the word in the original languages from which the translation was taken. Divided into main concordance, proper names, and numbers. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin indexes at the back give all the words in that particular language cited in the main and the name concordances.
Roget’s Thesaurus of the Bible. REF BS432 .D38 1992.
Links together passages in the Bible by subject. Arranged in categories based on Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (REF PE1591). An index of Bible references allows cross-referencing from verses to comparable sections in the thesaurus. A subject index is at the back.
Books of the Bible. 2 v. BS540 .B62 1989.
Lengthy, interpretive essays on each book of the Bible, including the Apocrypha. Each entry is signed and carries a bibliography. Index at the back of volume 2.
New Interpreter’s Bible. 12 v. REF BS491.2 .N484 1994.
Guide and commentary to the entire Bible, each Testament, and each book. Uses the New Revised Standard and the New International versions for textual interpretation. A Transliteration Schema, an index of illustrations, and a list of abbreviations appear at the back of each volume.
Guides and Handbooks
Cambridge Companion to the Bible. BS475.2 .C26 1997.
“Seeks to provide for the reader basic knowledge of the cultural contexts in which the biblical books were produced, including the history, languages, and religious beliefs and philosophical insights of both the writers and the people they wrote about.” Each of the three sections is written by an expert on the subject and ends with a bibliographical essay. An index of biblical references and a general index are at the back.
Oxford Companion to the Bible. REF BS440 .M434 1993.
Covers “key persons, places, events, concepts, institutions, and realities of biblical times . . . [plus] provides up-to-date discussions of the interpretation of these topics by modern scholars.” Signed articles, alphabetically arranged, some lengthy. A bibliography and subject index at the back followed by 14 Bible maps.
Suggested General Works
Longman Guide to Bible Quotations. REF BS185 1986 .H37.
Quotes are grouped by biblical book and under each is a short statement “on the context of each quotation and on the first layer of meaning in the words.” There is a keyword index at the back.
Macmillan Bible Atlas. REF G2230 .A2 1993.
Aims “to show, as far as possible through maps of each event, the changes and historical processes in the lands of the Bible.” Maps are arranged chronologically with accompanying expository text and are based on ancient writings plus recent archeological finds. At the back there are a map key relating to the books of the Bible, a chronological table, and an index of geographical names.
Oxford Companion to Christian Thought . REF BR118 .O94 2000.
Attempts to give an “authoritative and accessible” introduction to Christian thought “central to the western world and, in modern times, to global civilization.” Entries are signed, arranged alphabetically, and carry bibliographies. An index at the back “contains only the names of people who do not have their own entry.” Because of the dictionary-style arrangement of the text, there is no subject index.
ATLA Religion 1949 to date. Online.
Gives citations on journal articles, edited books, and dissertations from university and seminary Doctor of Ministry programs. The database is supported by the American Theological Library Association.
Expanded Academic ASAP 1980 to date. Online.
Covers a broad spectrum of scholarship in arts and humanities, social sciences, and science and technology.
Humanities Abstracts 1984 to date. Online.
Gives citations and abstracts for articles in over 300 journals covering fine arts and humanities, including religion.
New Testament Abstracts. 1988-1996. Index Row C.
Old Testament Abstracts. 1988-1996. Index Row C.
Gives citations and abstracts for about 300 journals each, covering scholarship in the Old and New Testaments.
American Jewish History. Online: 1996 to date.
Christian Century. Print: 1960 to date.
Christianity Today. Online: 1992 to date.
Church History. Online: 1995 to date. Refereed.
Commonweal. Print: 1985 to date. Online: 1992 to date.
Cross Currents. Online: 1995 to date. Refereed.
Harvard Theological Review. Online: 1992 to date. Refereed.
History of Religions. Online: 1997 to date. Refereed.
Human Quest. Print: 1989-1999.
Humanist. Print: 1997 to date.
Journal of Early Christian Studies. Online: 1996 to date. Refereed.
Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Online: 2002 to date. Refereed.
Journal of Religion. Print: 1980 to date. Online: 1997 to date. Refereed.
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Online: 2002 to date. Refereed.
Journal of Religious Ethics. Online: 1999 to date. Refereed.
Journal of Theological Studies. Online: 1993 to date. Refereed.
Judaism. Online: 1992 to date.
Logos. Online: 2000 to date.
Religion. Online: 1993 to date. Refereed.
Religion and American Culture. Online: 1997 to date. Refereed.
Religion in the News. Online: 1998 to date.
Spiritus. Online: 2001 to date.