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Religion: Commentaries

An online guide for Religion with information, links and tips for library resources.

Bible Commentaries

Lewis Library has many Bible commentaries. Ask your professor if there are commentaries that he particularly recommends, or would like you to avoid (for example, Dr. Cook advises against using the Tyndale and "Life Application" commentaries; these will probably be in the "Storage" area). Dr. Cook has prepared a list of commentaries, available by clicking on the link above.


Be sure you have the chapter and verse numbers for the passages you’re researching (e.g., “Luke 6:20-40”); if you’re not sure of these, see if the commentary has an index at the back--some do, others don't.  If not, consult the reference librarian, a reference book (such as the Anchor Bible Dictionary, call number REF BS440 .A54 1992), or the ATLAS Religion database to determine chapter and verse. 


In addition to the 12-volume New Interpreter’s Bible in the reference collection (REF BS 491.2 I55 1994), you’ll find commentaries on the lower level, with call numbers beginning BS (or as e-books).


In the BS 192.2 (Anchor Bible commentaries) and BS 491.2 range, you’ll find commentary sets that cover the entire Bible, or at least multiple books.  Each set is in the order found in the Bible (the Old Testament begins with Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus; the New Testament begins with Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, and ends with Revelation). 


Most of the other commentaries, on individual books of the Bible, are between BS 1235 (Genesis) and BS 2825 (Revelation).  To determine the call number range for the book you want, and to find e-books, use the online catalog.


A “quick-and-dirty” way to look for commentaries is to start with a "Title" search in the online catalog for:


                  commentary and [title of book]


For example:

This will retrieve several commentaries on Mark, but not all of them (only those with "Mark" and "commentary" in the title), and will also get some “false hits” (such as DVDs with commentary). The most efficient way to find commentaries is to use the subject heading.  To get this:


(1) Do a Title search for “commentary and matthew” (or “commentary and corinthians,” etc.):


1. Click on a book that looks good.

2. In the catalog record, look for the subject heading, and click on the link, e.g.:


Title Subject:   Bible. N.T. Matthew -- Commentaries.

Title Subject:   Bible. N.T. Mark -- Commentaries.

Title Subject:   Bible. N.T. Luke -- Commentaries.

Title Subject:   Bible. N.T. John -- Commentaries.


This will take you to other commentaries on that book of the Bible.


TIP:  Try multiple searches; some commentaries have more specific subject headings, such as:

Title Subject:   Bible. N.T. Matthew I-VII -- Commentaries.

Title Subject:  Bible. Luke, IX, 51-XIX, 27 -- Commentaries.

Title Subject:  Bible. Luke, XIX, 28-XXIV, 53 -- Commentaries.


Reference & ILL Librarian

Arthur Robinson's picture
Arthur Robinson
Office 706-880-8289
Ref. Desk 706-880-8957


Recent additions (as of February 2019)

Commentaries added recently include:

  • VanderKam, Jubilees (Fortress Press, Hermeneia, BS 1830 .J8 V374 2018 2 volumes)
  • Wolter, The Gospel according to Luke (Baylor University Press, 2 volumes, BS2595.53 .W6413 2016)
  • Holloway, Philippians:  A Commentary (Fortress Press, Hermeneia, BS2705.53 .H64 2017)


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