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Wartburg College - 100 Wartburg Blvd. - Waverly, IA 50677

Religion Courses & Research: Bible Overview
(RE 101)

RE 101 students--the sources below are used most often in this course. See the rest of the guide for more options.

Bible CONCORDANCES

What does it provide?
  • A list of EVERY SINGLE TIME a word is used in the Bible
Where to find?
  • Bible Gateway website (free online) is the easiest to use
  • BibleWorks program on the library's stand-up computers
  • Print concordances in Reference or the 1st floor stacks - look for "exhaustive" not "abridged"
How to use?
  • Keyword search Bible Gateway; look up alphabetically in print texts

Bible DICTIONARIES

What 

does it provide?

  • the MEANING behind a word, phrase, or concept 
  • the BIOGRAPHIES of people (brief)
  • the HISTORICAL CONTEXT of a passage, perhaps also the themes
  • May be a single sentence or several paragraphs

Where

to find?

  • Reference section (at the front of the 1st floor) in the 220.3 section.
    • Examples: The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (5 volumes)
      The Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 volumes) International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (4 volumes)
      Harpercollins Bible Dictionary (1 volume)
      Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (1 volume)
  • Some are also on Reserves or in the 1st Floor Stacks

How

to use?

  • Look up your word, person, concept, etc, ALPHABETICALLY
  • If the word has a more commonly-used related term, you may be directed to find that instead:
    • For the above, you would then look for "Mediterranean Sea" and there would be an entry there that would mention the Great Sea. Same for "greaves"--look up "Arms and Armor" instead.

Search/browse for many more--the above are the most frequently used.

Bible COMMENTARIES

What 

does it provide?

  • an INTERPRETATION of the spiritual, historical, and literary meaning of the text (verse, passage, chapter, etc)
  • it may COMPARE the text to similar passages, similar uses of a word, or the meaning of different translations or editions
  • this explanation will be in-depth

Where

to find?

  • Reference or 1st floor stacks (search or browse 222-228 section)
    • Examples (usually, there is one volume per book of the Bible):
      • The New Interpreter's Bible
        Anchor Bible commentary series
        Belief series: Westminster John Knox Press
        Cambridge Bible Commentary series
        Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching
  • One set of New Interpreter's is on Reserve

How

to use?

  • Look up your passage in the ORDER it appears in the Bible
    • If your passage is in Mark, find a commentary that includes Mark (it will be all about Mark, all about the Gospels, or all about the New Testament)
    • Locate the book of Mark in the commentary (it will be in the same order as in the Bible)
    • Locate the passage (again, it will be in the same order as in the Bible)

Bible ATLASES

What does it provide?
  • Maps of the lands mentioned in the Bible
  • Usually, the atlas provides both historically accurate (from all time periods relevant) and present-day maps
Where to find?
  • Reference (1st floor as you walk in)
  • General Stacks (rest of 1st floor; search OneSearch)
  • Search for Bible Atlas in OneSearch to know where to look
How to use?
  • Figure out how the atlas is ordered (it may be alphabetical, geographical, or historical) and find the map you need. You may need to use the index.

Scanning instead of Checking out for RE 101 students

Due to the number of students using these materials, if they are not already on reserve, please use them IN the library

  • Easiest (and FREE) thing to do is to use the copy machine and select "Email," enter the correct information, scan the pages, and it will send to your email as a PDF

Leave the used book on a library cart so staff can reshelve it.

Questions?  Ask at the Service Desk.