Scripture Searching

Finding articles in periodicals or essays in multiauthor works is an important part of graduate research.  If you are preparing an exegetical paper, you might need articles that concentrate attention upon a certain passage of the Bible.  The ATLA Religion Database offers several ways of searching for them.

Searching by Scripture citation

On the Advanced Search screen, you will see a set of tabs along the top left edge of the screen.  First, let's click on the tab marked Indexes.

On the lower part of the screen, under Indexes, open the drop-down menu beside the words Browse an Index.  From the drop-down list, choose Scripture Citation.  Then, type in the passage you are looking for, in the space beside the words Browse for :

When you've done this, click the Browse button.

You receive a list of articles in this data store that concentrate upon the passage you are looking for.  The display also shows you how many articles deal with each passage.  Of course, scholars writing their articles or essays are free to define the passage as they wish.  Some writers define the pericope as Acts 2:1-4, while others have chosen to discuss Acts 2:1-6, or Acts 2:1-8, or even a longer passage such as Acts 2:1-41.  Clearly, several of these choices do include the passage you want. 

Click in the little box next to each passage you wish to include in your search.  You can select as many as you like.  Once you have selected them, click on Add.

The program will bundle together the passages you have chosen into the Search box near the top of the screen.  Then, you can bring up all of those articles in one go, by clicking on the Search button.

You will receive a set of results including all of the articles you have chosen.

There is another method of searching for Bible passages using this interface : the Hierarchical Scripture Authority.  We suggest that you try both methods and choose the one you prefer for any particular task.  If you are unsure how to enter the name of a Bible book (for First Samuel, for example, you must enter Samuel, 1st) check the Hierarchical Scripture Authority for the right citation format.

To view a video created by the ATLA to help with this type of search, click HERE.