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Help finding biblical commentaries and other books about the Bible

Finding Books on the Holy Bible in the Library:

To locate a work with comments on specific passages of the Bible. the sacred scriptures of the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is important to note biblical commentaries are often chunked using a system intended to assist with locating passages which corresponds with the way in which the Bible itself is commonly divided.

The Bible is an anthology of writings called books. Each book has a unique name and is subdivided into numbered chapters. Every chapter is further subdivided into numbered snippets called verses. A Bible reference identifies the book(s), chapter(s) and verses(s). For example, the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel according to St. John is abbreviated John 3:16.

Books, chapters and verses may also be grouped together under a customary title. Often used by scholars, they are descriptive phrases and here are some examples. The first three books of the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke = the Synoptic Gospels. Chapters 5-7 of the Gospel according to Matthew = the Sermon on the Mount. Verses 3-10 of chapter 5 of Matthew's Gospel = The Beatitudes.

Major sections of the Holy Bible:

  • Old Testament
    • The Pentateuch = The Five Books of the Torah = The Book of Moses
    • The Prophets, historical and poetic
    • The Writings
  • New Testament
    • The Gospels
    • The Acts of the Apostles
    • The Epistles of Paul
    • The Catholic/General Epistles
    • The Epistles of John
    • The Apocalypse = Book of Revelation


A few other significant groupings:

  • Hebrew Bible
  • Historical Books
  • Ezra-Nehemiah
  • Major Prophets
  • Minor Prophets = The Twelve
  • Wisdom Literature
  • Apocalyptic Literature
  • Synoptic Gospels
  • Luke-Acts
  • Johannine Literature
  • Pauline Literature

Bible commentaries may use LXX to refer to an ancient Greek edition of the Scriptures, made before the New Testament was written, called the Septuagint. LXX consists of a translation of the Hebrew Bible and the books of the Old Testament written in Greek. The concept of the Old Testament came about when the books of the Septuagint and New Testament were combined into the Holy Bible by Christians. The books of the New Testament were all written in a post-classical form of ancient Greek, the koine dialect.

The list of individual books of the Bible below includes a common abbreviation, alternative names and a link to search the Library’s catalog for works related to that biblical book. HB = Books in Hebrew Bible followed by name from the Tanakh, unless it is the same. DC = Deutro-Canonical books, sometimes separated into a group called The Apocrypha. These books of the Old Testament are considered part of sacred scriptures by the Catholic Church, but many non-Catholic versions of the Bible leave these books out altogether. These writings are not to be confused with Apocryphal books excluded from the canon of the Bible. See, "Bible. Apocrypha" For a list of the Latin names of Books in the Bible. See, the most recent official Latin edition, the Neo-Vulgate: Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum.

Books of the Bible in Canonical Order (the ordinary sequence of Catholic bibles).


Alphabetical list of books of the Bible with links for finding commentaries:

Acts, Book of = Acts (aka The Acts of the Apostles). Search Subject: “Bible. Acts”

Amos, Book of the Prophet = Amos (aka HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Amos”

Baruch = Bar. (DC). Search subject: “Bible. Baruch”

Ben Sira, Wisdom of, see Sirach

Canticle of Canticles see Song of Solomon

Colossians = Col. (aka The Letter of Paul to the Colossians). Search subject: “Bible. Colossians”

Daniel = Dan. (HB). Search subject: “Bible. Daniel”

Deuteronomy = Deut. (aka HB: Debarim). Search subject: “Bible. Deuteronomy”

Ecclesiastes = Eccles. (aka The Preacher; HB: Qoheleth). Search subject: “Bible. Ecclesiastes”

Ecclesiasticus see Sirach

Ephesians = Eph. (aka The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians). Search subject: “Bible. Ephesians”

Esther = Esther (HB). Search subject: “Bible. Esther”

Exodus = Exod. (aka HB: Shemoth). Search subject: “Bible. Exodus”

Ezekiel, Book of the Prophet = Ezek. (aka Ezechiel; HB: Yehezqel). Search subject: “Bible. Ezekiel”

Ezra = Ezra (aka Esdras 1; HB: Ezrah-Nehemyah). Search subject: “Bible. Ezra”

First Chronicles = 1 Chron. (aka Paralipomenon 1; HB: Dibre Hayamim). Search subject: “Bible. Chronicles, 1st”

First Corinthians = 1 Cor. (aka The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians). Search subject: “Bible. Corinthians, 1st”

First John (Epistle) = 1 John (aka The First Letter of John). Search subject: “Bible. Epistles of John”

First Kings = 1 Kings (aka Kings 3; HB: Melakim). Search subject: “Bible. Kings, 1st”

First Maccabees = 1 Macc. (DC aka Machabees 1). Search subject: “Bible. Apocrypha Maccabees”

First Peter = 1 Pet. (aka The First Letter of Peter). Search subject: “Bible. Peter, 1st”

First Samuel = 1 Sam. (aka Kings 1; HB: Shemuel). Search subject: “Bible. Samuel, 1st”

First Thessalonians = 1 Thess. (aka The First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians). Search subject: “Bible. Thessalonians, 1st”

First Timothy = 1 Tim. (aka The First Letter of Paul to Timothy). Search subject: “Bible. Timothy, 1st”

Galatians = Gal. (aka The Letter of Paul to the Galatians). Search subject: “Bible. Galatians”

Genesis = Gen. (aka HB: Bereshith). Search subject: “Bible. Genesis”

Habakkuk, Book of the Prophet = Hab. (aka Habacuc; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Habakkuk”

Haggai, Book of the Prophet = Hag. (aka Aggæus; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Haggai”

Hebrews = Heb. (aka The Letter to the Hebrews). Search subject: “Bible. Hebrews”

Hosea, Book of the Prophet = Hosea (aka Osee; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Hosea”

Isaiah, Book of the Prophet = Isa. (aka Isaias; HB: Yeshayahu). Search subject: “Bible. Isaiah”

James = James (aka The Letter of James). Search subject: “Bible. James”

Jeremiah, Book of the Prophet = Jer. (aka Jeremias; HB: Yirmeyahu). Search subject: "Bible. Jeremiah"

Job = Job (aka HB: Ivyob). Search subject: “Bible. Job”

Joel, Book of the Prophet = Joel (aka HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Joel”

John, Gospel of = John (aka The Gospel according to John). Search subject: “Bible. John”

Jonah, Book of the Prophet = Jon. (aka Jonas; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Jonah”

Joshua = Josh. (aka Josue; HB: Yehoshua). Search subject: “Bible. Joshua”

Jude = Jude (aka The Letter of Jude). Search subject: “Bible. Jude”

Judges = Judg. (aka HB: Shofetim). Search subject: “Bible. Judges”

Judith = Jth. (DC). Search subject: “Bible. Apocrypha Judith”

Lamentations, Book of = Lam. (aka The Lamentations of Jeremiah; HB: Ekah). Search subject: “Bible. Lamentations”

Leviticus = Lev. (aka HB: Wayiqra). Search subject: “Bible. Leviticus”

Luke, Gospel of = Luke (aka The Gospel according to Luke). Search subject: “Bible. Luke”

Malachi, Book of the Prophet = Mal. (aka Malachias; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Malachi”

Mark, Gospel of = Mark (aka The Gospel according to Mark). Search subject: “Bible. Mark”

Matthew, Gospel of = Matt. (aka The Gospel according to Matthew). Search subject: “Bible. Matthew”

Micah, Book of the Prophet = Mic. (aka Michæs; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Micah”

Nahum, Book of the Prophet = Nah. (aka HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Nahum”

Nehemiah = Neh. (aka Esdras 2; HB: Ezrah-Nehemyah). Search subject: “Bible. Nehemiah”

Numbers = Num. (aka HB: Bemidbar). Search subject: “Bible. Numbers”

Obadiah, Book of the Prophet = Obad. (aka Abdias; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Obadiah”

Philemon = Philem. (aka The Letter of Paul to Philemon). Search subject: “Bible. Philemon”

Philippians = Phil. (aka The Letter of Paul to the Philippians). Search subject: “Bible. Philippians”

Proverbs, Book of = Prov. (aka The Proverbs of Solomon; HB: Mishle). Search subject: “Bible. Proverbs”

Psalms, Book of = Pss. (aka The Psalms of David; HB: Tehillim). Search subject: “Bible. Psalms”

Revelation, Book of = Rev. (aka The Revelation to John; The Apocalypse). Search subject: “Bible. Revelation”

Romans = Rom. (aka The Letter of Paul to the Romans). Search subject: “Bible. Romans”

Ruth = Ruth (HB). Search subject: “Bible. Ruth”

Second Chronicles = 2 Chron. (aka Paralipomenon 2; HB: Dibre Hayamim). Search subject: “Bible. Chronicles, 2nd”

Second Corinthians = 2 Cor. (aka The Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians). Search subject: “Bible. Corinthians, 2nd”

Second John (Epistle) = 2 John (aka The Second Letter of John). Search subject: “Bible. Epistles of John”

Second Kings = 2 Kings (aka Kings 4; HB: Melakim). Search subject: “Bible. Kings, 2nd”

Second Maccabees = 2 Macc. (DC aka Machabees 2). Search subject: “Bible. Apocrypha Maccabees”

Second Peter = 2 Pet. (aka The Second Letter of Peter). Search subject: “Bible. Peter, 2nd”

Second Samuel = 2 Sam. (aka Kings 2; HB: Shemuel). Search subject: “Bible. Samuel, 2nd”

Second Thessalonians = 2 Thess. (aka The Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians). Search subject: “Bible. Thessalonians, 2nd”

Second Timothy = 2 Tim. (aka The Second Letter of Paul to Timothy). Search subject: “Bible. Timothy, 2nd”

Sirach = Sir. (DC aka Ecclesiasticus; The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach). Search subject: “Bible. Ecclesiasticus”

Song of Solomon = Song of Sol. (aka The Song of Songs; HB: Shir Hashirim). Search subject: “Bible. Song of Solomon”

Third John (Epistle) = 3 John (aka The Third Letter of John. Search subject: “Bible. Epistles of John”

Titus = Titus (aka The Letter of Paul to Titus). Search subject: “Bible. Titus”

Tobit = Tob. (DC aka Tobias) Search subject: “Bible. Apocrypha Tobit”

Wisdom of Solomon = Wisd. of Sol. (DC aka The Book of Wisdom; Wisdom). Search subject: “Bible. Apocrypha Wisdom of Solomon”

Zechariah, Book of the Prophet = Zech. (aka Zacharias; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Zechariah”

Zephaniah, Book of the Prophet = Zeph. (aka Sophonias; HB: Tere Asar). Search subject: “Bible. Zephaniah”


dpoley Darren Poley
Assistant Director of Academic Integration and Theology Librarian
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 230
610-519-6371


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Last Modified: 2017-08-29 16:06:00