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Getting Started on Your Exegesis Paper: Library Catalog

This guide offers some help with starting your research for your New Testament term paper. You'll find links to resources and tips for searching the library catalog.


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Kashif Graham
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Subjects: Religious Studies

Using the Library Catalog

Library catalog

Use the Advanced Search; make sure you’re searching VU Collections.  Change the dropdown next to the first search field to “Subject” and enter bible [biblical book] commentaries in the search field.  Sort your search results by “Newest-first”:

screenshot of a sample search for "bible peter 1st commentaries" with "VU Collections" option, "Subject" dropdown, and "Newest-First" option circled


This will get you commentaries on these books.  Many will be in print; some will be online. You can click on the "Available online" link to the left of the search results (in the "Show Only" section) to get to our "regular" online books; but we're also getting e-book access through the HathiTrust Temporary Emergency Access Service, and those will disappear from the results if you click on the "Available online" link.

In other words, if you're not sure what you have access to, ask us!


For critical works on aspects of these books, change commentaries to criticism, interpretation, etc.  Most things are in print, but some things are available online (see the example in the image above for an online item).

You can limit your search to only items available online (but see above for our caveat about doing this):


screenshot of sample search with "Show only available online" option circled

If you click on the titles for some of the results, you’ll see Subjects that might be helpful in finding other relevant books.

screenshot of sample item record with subject headings circled

[This example came from a question about diaspora/immigration aspects in 1st Peter:  for the book Strangers to family by Shively T.J. Smith, you’ll see Subjects like “Emigration and immigration – Religious aspects – Christianity – Biblical teaching” and “Emigration and immigration in the Bible.”  Click on the Subjects that look helpful to run new searches of the catalog for those topics.]