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REL 121: From the Word to the World

A Guide to Library Resources

Issues of History and Geography : examples related to John 4:1-42 (Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well)

1) Does the text narrate events "as they really happened," or must the historian reconstruct a different account of the history behind the text?

2) How does the text illumine the history and characteristics of the community within which it was produced and used? How has the historical context shaped the text?

You could start with a Simple Search in WorldCat, our library catalogue:

Go to the Description of relevant books and scroll down to the Subjects field. Take note of relevant subject headings.

Then try an Advanced Search in WorldCat  using keywords from the Subject headings found in the Descriptions of relevant books:

Useful Subject Headings and Keywords:

  • Bible. John History of Biblical events
  • Bible. John Criticism, interpretation, etc. History
  • Bible. History of contemporary events
  • Bible Antiquities
  • Middle East Antiquities
  • Antiquities & Archaeology
  • Excavations (Archaeology)
  • Church history Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
  • New Testament. John Geography
  • Historical geography
  • Date of authorship

AND finds all terms

OR finds either term

histor* finds any ending (history, historical, historicity, historiography)


For example, does the unique narrative of the Samaritan woman in John’s gospel (4:1-42) reflect a historical mission to the Samaritans?

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

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.

Peter Turkstra Library,  Redeemer University , 777 Garner Road East, Ancaster, ON, L9K 1J4, Canada
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