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REL 121: From the Word to the World

A Guide to Library Resources

Literary studies: examples related to John 4:1-42 (Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well)

Does the text belong to a typical literary form? How does the text compare to others of this genre?

e.g. Betrothal-type narrative (Rebekah, Rachel, Zipporah)

Use more databases when doing a broader subject search.

Tracing other occurrences of  similar stories will sometimes uncover metaphors, or literary symbols. In relation to the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, you could trace wells or water in the Bible. You could start with a Simple Search in WorldCat, our library catalogue:

You could also do an Advanced Search in WorldCat  for books related to studying the Bible as literature:

Useful Subject Headings:

  • Bible as literature
  • Symbolism in the Bible
  • Metaphor in the Bible

AND finds all terms

OR finds either term

symbol* finds any ending (symbols, symbolism)

Literary Structure or Outline of the Biblical book

Try the following search in EBSCOhost to find articles about the literary structure of the Gospel of John as a whole.

Subject Headings related to the imagery of Water, Wells, Betrothal in the Bible:

  • Wells in the Bible
  • Water in the Bible
  • Betrothal in the Bible

Go to  EBSCO Services on the library Databases page and try the following search.

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.

Go to JSTOR and try the following search after selecting Advanced Search.  For additional help with JSTOR, look under the Databases tab on the library website.


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