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Bible Study Tools: Find Articles


One of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Photo by Tango7174. CC-ASA-4.0I

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Finding Exegetical Articles in Theology Databases

There are four databases you can use to find exegetical articles on passages from books of the Bible: the ATLA Religion Database, the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, New Testament Abstracts, and Old Testament Abstracts. You will find links to these databases in the box on the left.

The ATLA Religion Database is the larger database in terms of content and is a good place to begin searching. It is also a bit easier to find exegetical materials in ATLA than in the other theology databases.

Step 1: Getting to the ATLA Religion Database

To get to the ATLA Religion Database from this page, you can click the link to it in the box on the left or the one directly below.

ATLA Religion Database

However, if you are starting on the Gumberg Library home page, click on the “Research” button on the left at the bottom of the screen. This is the same process for getting to any of the other Theology databases mentioned above.


On the next screen,click on the "Databases A to Z" button.



Next, click on "A" to go to all database names that start with "A."



Find the ATLA Religion Database in the alphabetical listing and click on it.



This will take you to the search interface for the ATLA Religion Database.

Step 2: Using the ATLA Religion Databases Scriptures Link

At the top of the ATLA Religion Database search screen you will see the Scriptures link. Click on it.


This will take you to a list of the books of the Bible as arranged in the canon of the Bible. The Deuterocanonical books are included in this list.

To see all articles dealing with a book of the Bible, click on the name of that book. To go to the next page of biblical book listings, click "Next." To find articles on a particular chapter of a book, click "Expand."


Click on the chapter you want and you will be taken to citations for all articles in the ATLA Religion Database that deal with that chapter. To find articles dealing with specific Bible verses, click on "Expand."


To see all articles that deal with a particular verse, click on that verse number. To return to the chapter listings for that book, click on "Previous Level."

Step 3: Getting More Specific

Sometimes finding all articles on a Bible passage will amass a larger result than you care to look through. Say we looked for all articles for Matthew, Chapter 6, hoping to find articles dealing specifically with the Lord's Prayer. We go to the Scriptures link, find Matthew, then Chapter 6 and click.


We find that this gets us too many hits.


At this point we can use the search boxes at the top of the screen. The search that was automatically run when we clicked on Matthew, Chapter 6 is already entered in the first search box. In the second we can type the words or phrase we want to add to the search. Then, when we run the search


we are presented with a much more manageable result

Scriptures Links in Other Databases

Scriptures links are also available in New Testament Abstracts, and Old Testament Abstracts.

You can get to each of these databases by clicking the All Theology Databases" link in the box on the left side of the screen. It you are starting at the Gumberg Library home page, you would get to these databases in the same way you would get to the ATLA Religion Database, as described in Step 1 above.

You will find the Scriptures links for each of these other databases in the same place as on the ATLA Religion Database interface.


The main differences between the ATLA Religion Scriptures list and the Scriptures lists in the other theology databases are:

  • The books of the Bible in the other lists are in alphabetical order, beginning with the book of Acts
  • These Scriptures lists can be very long, so while you might scroll through them to find the book/chapter/verse you want, you can more quickly move closer to what you need. See directly below for how to do this.

To get more quickly to what you want in these Scriptures lists, use the Browse search box. Type the name of the book you are interpreting in the search box, then click the Browse button.


This will take you to the start of the listings for that book and you can scroll through from there.