Skip to Main Content
Chat With Us

Biblical Studies


Bible Commentaries

Find Bible Commentaries

The following outline presents an approach to finding materials for a biblical exegesis paper. The other pages of this guide provide information about resources that can be consulted in addition to the ones mentioned below.

For an introduction to the context of the exegesis passage:

  • Begin with Bible dictionary to provide background information, definitions, dates, and perhaps a beginning bibliography.
  • Recommended reference work: The Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York, N.Y. Doubleday,c1992. (TML and O'Neill Reference BS440 .A54 1992).
  • There are other possibly useful bible dictionaries and commentaries in the same reference area.

For book-length commentaries:

  • For finding biblical commentaries on specific books of the Bible, do the following keyword search in the library catalog: [book title] bible commentaries. Example: Isaiah bible commentaries
  • Look for an appropriate volume in the Anchor Bible series.Keyword search: anchor bible gospel john
  • Once you are in the stacks looking for books found through the library catalog, be sure to browse the shelves for similar material.

For articles and essays

  • Go to ATLA Religion Database.
  • For articles on biblical passages, click on Scriptures at the top left.
  • Search tip: If you have a biblical passage with chapter and verse numbers, click on Expand to see a list of chapter numbers. By clicking on the relevant chapter number; it will be entered into the Search box.It's possible to do this also for specific verse numbers by clicking on Expand after the chapter number.
  • Look for bibliographies in any books or articles you find.
  • Use any other relevant indexes to find additional materials: Old Testament Abstracts and New Testament Abstracts.
  • Search tip: You can search several of the religion databases together. Click on Choose Databases (located just below the top menu bar and near the center).

How Bible Commentaries Are Organized

Most bible commentaries begin with one or more introductory essays with the bulk of the remaining text organized by chapter and verse of the biblical book.  Commentaries may also have a Scripture Index which identifies additional pages in the book containing commentary on specific chapters and verses.

Bible Commentaries

  • Anchor Bible
    Theology and Ministry Library & O'Neill Library Reference BS192.2 .A1 1964 .G3.
    The Anchor Bible consists of two multivolume sets, one with commentaries on the books of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible , the other with commentaries on books of the New Testament. In the library catalog, use Advanced Search, enter Anchor Bible as Series Title and book of the Bible as Title.
  • Hermeneia
    An important series of biblical commentaries. In the library catalog, use Advanced Search, enter Hermeneia as Series Title and book of the Bible as Title.
  • International Critical Commentary
    Another important series of biblical commentaries. In the library catalog, use Advanced Search, and enter International Critical Commentary as the Series Title and book of the Bible as the Title.
  • New Interpreter's Bible (12 volumes)
    Theology & Ministry Library & O'Neill Reference BS491.2 .N484 1994
    Each volume includes a two-column, double translation of the Biblical text (New International Version and New Revised Standard Version) accompanied by commentaries. Introductory articles for each book are provided that discuss transmission, historical background, cultural setting, literary concerns, and current scholarship.
  • New Jerome Biblical Commentary
    O'Neill Library Reference BS491.2 .N485 1999
    Theology and Ministry Library Reference BS417 .N49 1992
    This contemporary verse by verse commentary examines the scientific, literary, and historical content of the Scriptures — reflecting the exegetical variation found within the community of scholars. Features current theories on dating, historical reconstruction, and archaeological information. Provides contemporary perspectives on hermeneutics, theological depths relating to the biblical word, and themes in the Old Testament. Includes articles on Jesus, the Early Church, Gnosticism, and the subapostolic church.
  • Wisdom Commentary
    A contemporary commentary series written from a feminist perspective.
  • Earth Bible Commentary
    Ecological readings of Biblical texts.
  • Oxford Biblical Studies Online  Icon
    This rich online resource includes six Bible texts including The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version (2007), The Catholic Study Bible: the New American Bible, including the Revised New Testament and Psalms (2006), and The Jewish Study Bible: Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation (2004) among others. Most are annotated.