Tools for Locating Secondary Sources in OT Studies

Indices and Print Bibliographies:

The best resource for locating scholarly theological journal articles and essays is the ATLA Religion Database accessible on CD-ROM (3rd floor of library) and via the Internet through the ATLAS database (see links under "Full-Text Resources" on ACU Brown Library's homepage or "Resources by Department"). This database includes both Religion Index One: Periodicals (RIO; 1949- ) and Religion Index Two: Multi-Author Works (RIT; 1960- ). Students should also search the latest print volumes of RIO and RIT which may include references not yet available in electronic formats.

Also valuable are the indices located at the end of each bound volume of Old Testament Abstracts, 1978- (REL INDX 221.05 044). Both scholarly monographs and journal articles are abstracted, and students will sometimes find works not in RIO. Students should also consult the cumulative indices for select scholarly journals. See for example, Ralph Marcus' Journal of Biblical Literature, an index of volumes XLI-LX: 1922-1941 (205.016 M322j) which includes indexing for articles that precede RIO and the cumulative indices for Restoration Quarterly (see 205 RESTORATION, v. 11/1968, v. 20/1977, and v. 30/1998).

Among the more helpful print bibliographies and indices which include citations to sources related to OT studies are Peter Enns, Poetry and Wisdom, IBR Bibliographies, no. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1997; Main 223.016 E59p); Edwin C. Hostetter, Old Testament Introduction, IBR Bibliographies, no. 11 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995; Main 221.016 H831o), and E. A. Martens, Old Testament Theology, IBR Bibliographies, no. 13 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1997; Main 221.016 M377o). Also valuable are the booklists of the Society for Old Testament Study (221.016 S678), and the JSOT booklists which constitute the fifth issue of each yearly publication. Students should consult specialized bibliographies on select books or sections of the OT, and bibliographies focusing on historical or literary approaches to the Bible, when such are available. For the latter, see Mark Minor, Literary-Critical Approaches to the Bible: An Annotated Bibliography (West Cornwall, CT: Locust Hill, 1992; REL REF 220.66016 M666L). For examples of treatments of specific books of the OT see, Henry O. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah: An Annotated Bibliography (Lanham, MD & London, Scarecrow, 1996; REL REF 224.2016 T472b), and Thorne Wittstruck, The Book of Psalms: An Annotated Bibliography, vv. 1-2 (NY & London: Garland, 1994; REL REF 016.2232 W832b 1994).

Finally, students can consult the exhaustive bibliographies found in Elenchus Bibliographicus Biblicus (220.05 Biblica and 220.05 E391). Early bibliographies (1920-1968) are found within the larger volumes of Biblica (at the end of each issue); after 1968 the Elenchus bibliography was published separately from the journal. All materials formats are indexed including scholarly monographs, dissertations, journal articles, and essays in festschriften.

Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias:

Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias are valuable not only for the introductory articles on a variety of biblical books, figures, and themes, but for the bibliographies at the end of each article. The three primary dictionaries/encyclopedias for biblical studies are David N. Freedman, ed., The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols. (NY: Doubleday, 1992; located at REL REF 220.3 A539 and on Reserve); Geoffrey Bromiley, ed., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, rev., 4 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1979-1988; located at REL REF 220.3 I609 1979 and in Main); and George A. Buttrick, ed., The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 4 vols. (NY: Abingdon, 1962; supp. 1976; located at REL REF 220.3 I61 and in Main).

Commentaries and Critical Introductions to the OT:

Commentaries can be rich sources for identifying significant titles in the secondary literature. For example, students should get in the habit of checking the Word Biblical Commentary series for the bibliography on a given passage (some volumes in this series are yet to be published, however). Other commentary series notable for their bibliographies are Hermeneia and Old Testament Library. In the same way, students can find bibliographic trails in standard critical introductions to the OT such as Brevard Childs' Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979; located at 221.6 CHILDS), or William S. Lasor's, Old Testament Survey, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996; located at 221.61 L345o 1996).

Browsing Recent Journals:

Locating the invaluable articles in very recent journals can be especially difficult, because these items will not yet be included in any of the standard tools mentioned above. Thus, students should browse the tables of contents of recently published journals (these will be unbound issues). The following titles are especially promising for OT studies: Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, and Restoration Quarterly.

Following Bibliographic Trails Within Your Sources:

After having gathered bibliographic references from such standard tools as religious indices and bibliographies, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, and commentaries, and after having browsed the tables of contents of more recent journals, the student should have in hand a number of works which provide additional bibliographic trails to pursue. Thus, students should , check the footnotes included in any relevant journal articles, essays, or monographs previously surfaced.

Concluding Note:

This outline is, of necessity, selective (for example, I have not mentioned the possibilities afforded through searching the

ALCONdatabase or the larger Firstsearchdatabase). Nonetheless, the student who carefully uses or employs the instruments and methods described here should be able to locate the critical secondary literature on a given passage in the OT. While one will encounter a good bit of overlap in the process, an eclectic approach to information gathering, such as the one outlined here, will insure the best results.

[Prepared by Craig Churchill, Theological Librarian, 20 November, 1999; revised, 20 September, 2001]

Thanks to a donation from an alumnus, the Special Collections at ACU's Center for Restoration Studies now houses two Ethiopian religious texts dating back to the turn of the 19th century.
 

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