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REL 121: From the Word to the World

A Guide to Library Resources

Finding biblical commentaries and monographs

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:

  • Bible. John.
  • Bible. John, IV, 1-42 Criticism, interpretation, etc.
  • Bible. John. Feminist criticism




The Bible Commentaries are found in the BS section of the library call number range.  The more general works come first, followed by works about specific books of the Bible, arranged from Genesis to Revelation:

BS1-2970                                The Bible

BS11-115                                      Early versions

BS125-355                                    Modern texts and versions

BS125-198                                          English

BS199-355                                          Other languages

BS410-680                                    Works about the Bible

BS500-534.8                                       Criticism and interpretation

BS535-537                                          The Bible as literature

BS546-558                                          Bible stories.  Paraphrases of Bible stories.  The Bible story

BS569-580                                          Men, women, and children of the Bible

BS580                                                       Individual Old Testament characters

BS585-613                                          Study and teaching

BS647-649                                          Prophecy

BS650-667                                          Bible and science

BS670-672                                          Bible and social sciences

BS701-1830                                  Old Testament

BS705-815                                          Early versions

BS825-1013                                        Modern texts and versions

BS1091-1099                                      Selections.  Quotations

BS1110-1199                                       Works about the Old Testament

BS1160-1191.5                                         Criticism and interpretation

BS1200-1830                                           Special parts of the Old Testament

BS1901-2970                                 New Testament

BS1937-2020                                       Early texts and versions

BS2025-2213                                       Modern texts and versions

BS2260-2269                                       Selections.  Quotations

BS2280-2545                                       Works about the New Testament

BS2350-2393                                             Criticism and interpretation

BS2415-2417                                             The teachings of Jesus

BS2430-2520                                             Men, women, and children of the New Testament

BS2525-2544                                             Study and teaching

BS2547-2970                                       Special parts of the New Testament

BS2640-2765.6                                          Epistles of Paul

The Turkstra Library has many (!) commentaries on biblical books available as eBooks and in print. For a links to key commentary series that we collect, please see below. For links to commentaries on individual biblical books, please see the Biblical Studies library research guide. The commentary list on that guide is in-process but it is gradually becoming more complete!

Alphabetical List of Multi-volume Bible Commentaries in the Redeemer Library:

Bible Commentaries Comparison Chart will tell you which English translation a commentary uses, the theological view (e.g., Broadly evangelical, Reformed, Moderately critical), the target audience (lay people, pastors, professors), and Features (what makes a series unique).  

Best  : combines reviews & ratings from journals, books, and users to create an aggregate ranking for Bible commentaries.

Every January the Denver Journal, an online Evangelical review journal of biblical and theological studies, publishes lists of recommended Biblical Studies books. These are VERY extensive lists that group the books into many useful categories and indicate the books that the editors consider the best in each category. Included in these bibliographies are extensive lists of recommended commentaries.

Peter Turkstra Library,  Redeemer University , 777 Garner Road East, Ancaster, ON, L9K 1J4, Canada
Circulation Desk Telephone: 905.648.2139 ext. 4266, Email: