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Theology--MTS & MA in Theology: Biblical Research

Basic search tips and strategies for graduate theology students

Using & Understanding Bible Tools

Dugan Library has many Bible tools to help students to delve deeper in their study and understanding of the Holy Bible.

This is a list of the most commonly used Bible tools and their purpose:

  • Bible Atlas: Collection of maps and explanations showing places mentioned in the Bible; may also touch on history and significance of locations.
  • Bible Dictionary or Encyclopedia: Explains the origin, meaning, and use of key words and terms in the text
  • Concordance: Index to the Bible.  Lists all of the words of the text alphabetically with references for where they appear, along with a few of the surrounding words to provide context.
  • Commentaries: Explains and interprets sections of the Bible; defines words; provides background information

Multiple copies and versions are available for in-library use in the Reference section as well as available for check-out from the stacks on the second floor of Dugan Library.

Oxford Biblical Studies Online

ATLA Religion

Oxford Biblical Studies Online Search Tips

Oxford Biblical Studies Online (OBSO) has tons of encyclopedia and dictionary entries, current issue articles, Biblical texts, commentaries, concordances, maps, timelines and so much more.

This full text resource might look very simple and basic at first glance, but is multi-layered with lots of content to explore.

Content is divided into three major sections: Reference, Bible Texts, and Images & Maps. Additional tools include the lectionary, lesson plans, a guide to internet resources and more.

There are multiple ways to search, you can simply type in your subject or topic, scroll through the Bible, view events on a timeline, and plenty of additional tools to browse specific kinds of content.  

There is a link to the database to the left of this box and a how to video to the right.  Please contact a librarian if you have any questions about making use of this great Biblical research tool.