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Getting Started

Expand the menu options below to see suggested resources for common exegesis research tasks, or use the left hand navigation menu to browse a list of some of the most commonly-used print and digital exegesis resources.

You can find information on things like authorship, date, audience, and purpose in commentary introductions, OT/NT surveys, and Bible dictionary/encyclopedia entries like "Luke, Gospel of." You can also use Bible dictionaries to look up people, places, events, and concepts found in the Bible (e.g., articles on "Gabriel," "Xerxes," "exile," "Nazareth," "Slavery" etc.). Use Bible atlases to find maps and descriptions of places, dates, and events, and background commentaries often highlight important historical and cultural facts.


Bible dictionaries OT/NT Surveys Commentaries Bible Atlases Background Commentaries

You can use a Bible Dictionary or the Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible to look up information about a biblical genre (e.g., "epistle" or "prophecy" or "gospel"). Commentary introductions often have a section on the structure and literary features of biblical book, and there will usually be a detailed outline of the book at the very end of the commentary introduction.


Bible dictionaries Handbook of Literary Forms Commentaries

Use a concordance to see how often a particular word appears in the Bible, as well as which Greek or Hebrew word is behind the English translation. You can then look up that word in something like the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis to see an article in English about the word's usage and range of meaning. Websites like Blue Letter Bible or Bible Study Tools often have features that let you look up Greek/Hebrew word numbers and their simple definitions, too.


Concordances Original Language Tools Bible Study Sites

Commentaries and scholarly articles are often some of the best places to get analysis and interpretation of your passage. Search for articles in the ATLA Religion Database, and be sure to take advantage of the Scriptures tool at the top to search it by biblcal passage.

Commentaries ATLA Religion Database

Many of the sources used for analysis and interpretation will also talk about application, but certain commentaries can be particularly useful for this. Application and preaching commentaries like the series listed below can be especially helpful for getting you started.



We have many other sources for biblical studies that aren't listed in this guide. If there is a type of source or kind of information you need that isn't listed here, feel free to contact Sandy Oslund for additional help.

Sandy Oslund

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Sandra Oslund
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Phone: 651-638-6127