High Library
Elizabethtown College
To use the links in this guide, go to:

The Bible as Literature: A Research Guide

Find books
Find background information 

Find articles and essays
Locate Articles
Citation guides                           

To use the links in this guide off campus go to http://www.etown.edu/HighLibrary.aspx and click on "Database access from outside E-town network."

These are only some of the sources that may be useful to you. For further help with your research, please call (ext.1454) or email Louise Hyder-Darlington. You may also email Ask Us at the High Library, or call the Reference Desk at ext. 1461.

Find books

The High Library catalog will help you to find books, videos, CDs, and other materials. To locate commentaries, use the subject search term "bible commentaries", or "bible N.T. commentaries". You may also look under Tips for Subject Searching.

For books not available at the High Library, use WorldCat to locate materials in other libraries. You can place interlibrary loan requests through ILLiad to get these materials.

There are a variety of library tools for biblical exegesis. Exegesis is the process by which one comes to understand a text. These tools can help in analyzing the text. Literary analysis is one form of biblical anaylsis.


Find background information : Reference Information


Contemporary American Religion, 2 vols., 2000  (Ref 200.973 C761)

Encyclopedia of American Religions, 1999.  (Ref 200.973 M528e6)

Encyclopedia of Protestantism, 2004.  (Ref 280.403 En56)

The Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd. ed., 15 vols., 2005. (Ref 203 En56 2005)

An Encyclopedia of Religions in the United States: 100 Religious Groups Speak for Themselves, 1992.  ( 291.0973 En562)


The Bible containing the Old and New Testaments, Revised Standard Version. 
 (Ref  220.5 R327 1973) 
The Holy Bible: New International Version containing the Old and the New Testament, 1978. (Ref 220.52 B47ni1978)
The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate: (Douay).  (Ref 220.5202 B582h)     
The Jerusalem Bible. 1966.  ( 220.5204 B582j)    
 The New Interpreter's Bible, 13 vols., 1994. (Ref 220.77 N532)                   
The Septuagint Bible, the Oldest Version of the Old Testament, 1954. ( 221.48 B471)

There are many commentaries on individual books of the Bible. Some are published as individual monographs
and others as volumes within a particular commentary series.
The Abingdon Bible Commentary, 1929.  ( 220.7 Ei83)
Harper's Bible Commentary, 1988.  (Ref 220.7 H295)
The New Interpreter's Bible, 12 vols., 1994-  (Ref 220.77 N532)
Oxford Bible Commentary, 2001.  (Ref 220.7 Ox98)    
The Women's Bible Commentary, 1992. (Ref 220.7 W872)                 


A concordance enables you to identify the correct book, chapter, and verse in which a word appears in Scripture and to trace a particular topic through the Bible. A particular concordance matches
a unique version of the Bible.

A Concordance of the Septuagint and the other Greek versions of the Old Testament, 1998. ( 221.48 B582Vh)

A Concordance to the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books of the Revised Standard Version, 1977.  (Ref 229 C744)

The Eerdmans Analytical Concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, 1988.  ( 220.2 W578c)

The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 1950. ( 220.2 St923e)


The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols., 1992.  (Ref 220.3 An539)

The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, 2 vols., 1999. (Ref 220.603 D5544)

A Dictionary of Biblical Allusions in English Literature, 1965.
(Ref 820.93 F963d)

A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, 1992.
(Ref 820.9382 D554)

The Dictionary of Bible and Religion, 1986.  ( 203 D554)

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 1998.  (Ref 220.3 D5542)

Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period : 450 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.,
2 vols., 1996.  (296.0901 D554)

A Dictionary of Judaism and Christianity, 1991.  (Ref 296.03  C6782d)

Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 2000. (Ref 220.3 Ee26)

Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 3 vols., 1990.
( Ref 225.48 Ex96)

Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Bible, 1975. ( 492.43 H446)

The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 1976.  (220.3 In61)

The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 1993. (Ref 220.3 Ox98)

The Westminster Dictionary of the New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Rhetoric, 2003. (Ref 270.103 Au926w)

Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, 2000. (Ref 220.92 W872)


Find articles and essays

Academic Search Premier (varies)
This multi-disciplinary database indexes over 8100 journals and provides full text for 4700 journals.

Drawing on over 1500 sources, this is an index to periodical articles and articles in books dealing with religious and theological literature. Database provides specific scripture citation searching.

Essay and General Literature Index (vol.1-, 1900-)
An index to essays published in collections, this work covers religion, the arts, linguistics, literature and other areas of the humanities. It is located in index area of of the reference collection.

Humanities International Complete. 1925+. Find articles covering literature, philosophy, the arts, history, and culture.

JSTOR (varies)
Contains the full-text of articles appearing in the back files (older issues) of 500 scholarly journals, including many literature journals.


A searchable database of 93 versions of the Bible in English,Greek,
and Hebrew plus 26 other languages. More than a Bible search engine, BibleWorks includes a variety of tools such as dictionaries, lexicons and complete translations. Access to this program is available only in on-campus computer labs.

Bible Gateway
Searches may be performed on passages or words in one or more

Abzu is an experimental guide to the rapidly increasing, and widely distributed data relevant to the study . Abzu is a guide to networked open access data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East and the Ancient Mediterranean world. Abzu has been available on the Internet since 5 October, 1994. The editor of Abzu is Charles E. Jones, Head Librarian , Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University.

Blue Letter Bible
Online versions include American Standard, King James , and the Vulgate. Greek and Hebrew as well as multiple version displays are possible. Also includes hymns, maps and images keyed to verses.

How do I find a copy of the article?
What is available here and now?

Search for full text articles in journals using the following link: Locate E-town Journals.
Type the name of the journal next to 'Find:' and then press 'Search'. Full text can be electronic or within the library in paper, microfiche or microfilm.
Check the publication dates of the article against the listing of years for the database or the years listed 'Within the High Library'. If the database includes those years, click on the link, add in an author's name or title of the article. The full text link should appear at the end of the citation.
 Current year paper issues of journals in the High Library are on the entrance level.
 Older print journals are on Level One, alphabetically by journal title.
 If the journal is in microfiche or microfilm, a copies can be made in the library.. Ask the reference librarian or circulation student assistants for help. Order copies online by using ILLiad   Click on request an article and fill out the form. You will receive an email when the article is available on ILLiad for downloading..

What if it is not here?
Order items from another library, if The High Library doesn't own that specific journal or have it for the years that you need it. Requesting the article can be done through the databases or through the following software link: ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan). Allow a minimum of 4-5 working days for the article to arrive.

Citation Guides

Format Reference/Works Cited
Find style guides here to MLA, APA and Chicago formats as well as interactive citation machines.

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