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  Finding Books About the Bible in the Library

To locate a commentary on, or a work about the Bible, or even part of it, one should first understand that the Holy Bible is classified by a system intended to assist a reader to locate particular passages. The most common Bible divisions are book (name), chapter (number) and verse (number). Note that scholars have also established different designations to identify books grouped by genre. It is worthwhile to discover if a biblical book belongs to one of these broader categories.

Common subdivisions:

Old Testament
The Law = Pentateuch = Five Books of Moses = Torah
The Prophets, including the “Twelve”
The Writings

New Testament
The Gospels
Epistles of Paul
Catholic/General Epistles
Epistles of John
The Apocalypse

Other common sample groupings
Historical Books
Wisdom Literature
Greater/Major Prophets
Lesser/Minor Prophets
Synoptic Gospels
Johannine Literature
Pauline Literature
Apocalyptical Literature

Individual books of the Bible are listed below in canonical order with a common abbreviation (if one exists) in brackets, followed by alternate titles. For the Latin names of Books in the Bible, see the official Catholic Latin version: the Neo-Vulgate edition of the Holy Bible, i.e., Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum.
(Falvey Call number:  REF BS 90 1986)

Key to parenthetical comments:
[DC] = Deutro-Canonical books, sometimes separated into a group called "Apocryphal books (Old Testament)." Note: several works not included in the Bible also called "Apocryphal books (New Testament)." The Old Testament Apocrypha is canonical for Catholics, but not for most non-Catholic Christians. Therefore, some Protestant versions of the Bible leave these books out all together.
[HB] = Books in Hebrew Bible followed by name from the Tanakh, unless it is the same.

Even though the keyword “Commentaries” and the phrase “Criticism, interpretation, etc.” are useful to remember, keep in mind that descriptors and subject heading formulation in general may vary. The most consistent way to locate library materials about a particular book in the Bible via the library online catalog is to search the subject index using a search string that identifies the Christian Holy Bible, the major part of the Bible, and the book of the Bible about which the commentary or scholarly book is written. The form given in quotation marks (below) is what should be searched as a subject in the online catalog.

  Books of the New Testament & Commentaries

  Books of the Old Testament & Commentaries

dpoley Darren Poley
Theology / Outreach Librarian
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 234


Last Modified: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015