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Religion and Theology: Search

This religion and theology Libguide provides access to library resources for research.

Subject Specific Databases

Subject Specific Databases

Multidisciplinary Databases

Multidisciplinary Databases

Searching Techniques

When looking for commentary and other information about a specific passage of scripture, it is possible to search by scripture citation in some databases.


In the library catalog, use the appropriate Library of Congress subject heading following this basic pattern (make sure you are using the "subject" label, not "words or phrase").

Search strategy: Use both the abbreviation and spelled words of the testament. Keep in mind that the name of the testament may no longer be present in the heading because of changes in cataloging standards so also search for the Bible book without the testament. Examples below refer to how subject headings appeared in the catalog before and after 2013, when major changes were made to how items were indexed by librarians.

Before: Bible. O.T. Genesis 
After: Bible. Genesis
Before: Bible. O.T.
After: Bible. Old Testament


Chapters may be specified by using both Roman numerals and verses may be specified by using Arabic numerals. 


Before: Bible. O.T. Genesis, XXXV, 9-15
After: Bible. Genesis, XXXV, 9-15
Before: Bible. N.T. Matthew, III, 16
After: Bible. Matthew, III, 16


The following standard subheadings can be added to the end of any scripture search:



Although it is possible to narrow a search to a specific scripture passage or type of commentary, it is not always useful to do so when searching for books. Books tend to cover an entire biblical book making it sufficient to search at the broader level without specifying chapter, verse, or subheading.


The ATLA Serials database includes an indexed scripture citation field.  There are two methods for searching by scripture citation.

To browse for articles by scripture citation click "Scriptures" in the menu bar across the top of the search screen.  To see all results for a particular book in the Bible, click on the name of the book.  Click "Expand" to see results for a particular chapter of the book.  Chapters may be expanded to search for particular verses or passages.

To search for articles by scripture citation, select "Scripture Citation" in place of "Select a field" in the drop down menu of the search box.  In the search box, enter the desired verse or passage using the standard scripture citation format: Book: Chapter: Verse (John 3:16) and click "Search".

Research & Instruction Librarian

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Alejandra Hutchison
LIB 213
Subjects: Public Health