Research Helps

Research Helps

As technology and the Internet have created a world network of information, both the scholar’s resources and responsibilities have been enlarged. Some resources, many suggested below, may be accessed quickly and with ease.  At the same time, however, the lesser restrictions of Web-based publishing demand scholars do all online work with informed discretion. At this point in history, probably not all research should be Web-based. Using the library is still a good idea!

Commentary surveys and research introductions

Surveys help determine the value and usability of each author, and some series of major Biblical commentaries have been produced, among which are New Testament Commentary Survey by D.A. Carson (REF 016.225 C321n) and Old Testament Commentary Survey by Tremper Longman (REF 016.221 L856o). These analyze each commentary for its exegetical, theological, and literary strengths.

Similar books help Bible students make sense of the many theological resources available. One such book is John Glynn’s Commentary and Reference Survey (REF 016.2 G568c), which classifies resources by theme and theological orientation. Another such book is An Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry, by David Bauer (REF 016.2 B344a). These books can be helpful when determining which book or author to use when writing a research paper or making a personal book purchase.

Frederick Danker has published Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study (220.071 D187m), in which he discusses the use and abuse of concordances, the Greek New Testament, the Septuagint, grammars and lexicons, Bible dictionaries, Bible versions, and other tools for serious Bible study. This may be a helpful guide upon embarking on any intensive use of the tools mentioned above.

Cyril Barber and Robert Krauss have produced An Introduction to Theological Research: A Guide for College and Seminary Students (REF 230.072 B234i). Though released in 2000, it still contains cogent information relating to research methods and tools.

Online reference helps

BibleMap.org is a free Bible atlas that harnesses Google Maps. Simply type in the Bible passage you are studying, and examine the topography of relevant lands in one of three modes: map, satellite, or hybrid (map and satellite combined).

Biblos.com seeks to provide access to many Bible study tools that were previously available only on premium Bible software. This site provides free visuals of Bible lands, a searchable atlas, and many Bible and language tools.

Dr. Thomas Constable, the chairman and senior professor of Biblical exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, has been writing and revising his notes on all 66 books of the Bible for over 25 years. They “provide more information than a study Bible, but they are less technical than many commentaries.”

The Jewish Encyclopedia is a 12-volume resource in our library, also available online. This may be a helpful resource for both Old Testament and New Testament background studies.

Theopedia.com is the world’s largest online encyclopedia of Christianity. It is constantly being updated and refined. Here you will find links to virtually every theological discipline in almost every conceivable category.

Both beginning and seasoned Greek students may find the Institute of Biblical Greek to be a valuable reference for questions of grammar and review.

Popular websites

Bible Gateway is a tool for reading and researching Scripture online. It provides a multitude of versions for searching and comparisons, and provides limited access to Bible dictionaries and commentaries.

NTGateway is produced by Mark Goodacre of Duke University. His link to “Bible Translations” provides a listing and description of popular online Bible sites.

Crosswalk.com boasts 7 versions of the Apocrypha, 12 commentaries (including Darby’s and Scofield’s), 3 concordances, 5 dictionaries, 3 encyclopedias, helpful historical references, lexicons and maps. Theological students may want to stop here for helpful and convenient references.

The mission of Blue Letter Bible is “to facilitate in-depth study of God’s Word through an on-line interactive reference library continuously updated from the teachings and commentaries of selected pastors and teachers who hold to the conservative, historical Christian faith.”

Research may best be accomplished by using the Library’s Catalogue and Federated Search option (see Research Methods and Suggestions). Sometimes, however, a student is in a bind and needs quick access to a book that may not be listed in these databases. Such a book might be found by performing a search in Google Books, one of the world’s largest book depositories.

For in-depth study

The Wabash Center offers “a selective, annotated guide to a wide variety of electronic resources of interest to those who are involved in the study and practice of religion: syllabi, electronic texts, electronic journals, web sites, bibliographies, liturgies, reference resources, software, etc.”

The Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (CARM) is a comprehensive introduction to comparative religions and apologetic interaction with secular philosophies. The site is well constructed and provides many valuable links,

STEM (Sound Teaching on Electronic Media) perhaps is the most substantive carrier of Darby’s writings and those of other Plymouth Brethren. This may be an extremely useful resource for studying historic, exegetical dispensationalism.

The Resource Pages for Biblical Studies “are intended as a resource for serious, scholarly studies of the early Christian writings and their social world.”

The Bible Research site “is for Bible students who are looking for detailed information on the history of the canon, texts, and versions of Scripture.”

Students of history may find the Making of America site useful as it documents subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, science and technology, and religion. Thousands of books and journals primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction (app. 1850-1877) have been preserved and are searchable on this site.

Searching dissertations

Some excellent studies that have not been published are in the form of dissertations. The Cedarholm Library houses approximately 150 of these (REF 091 section), while more than 1,500 monograph quality theses and dissertations are available using TREN (Theological Research Exchange Network). Using an advanced search, you may check all of our in-house dissertations by typing “REF” as a call number and “dissertation” as a key word. TREN papers also may be accessed by using an advanced search and typing “TREN” as the call number. You may recognize the authors of some of our in-house dissertations

  • “Constitutional Limits of Governmental Control and Regulation of Church Schools,” by John Brock
  • “An Analysis of the Symptoms and Treatment of Ministerial Burnout in Fundamental Pastors Trained in Fundamental Colleges,” by Lane Huffman
  • “An Examination of the New Covenant in the Old and New Testaments,” by R. Bruce Compton
  • “The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism,” by Daniel Fuller
  • “A Biblical Theology of Separation,” by John Holland
  • “Feeding on Ashes: A Biblical Model for Counseling Addictive Behaviors,” by Kenneth Hurst
  • “Missionary Problem Areas,” by Harry Latham
  • “An Examination of the Mosaic Legislation Protecting the Widow, Orphan, and Resident Alien as a Basis for Social Ethics,” by Preston Mayes
  • “Developing a Biblical Seminar for the Prevention and Intervention of Sexual Impurity and Addiction among Christian Men,” by Bruce Meyer
  • “The Relationship of Ecclesiology to the Doctrine of Ecclesiastical Separation Evidenced in the New Evangelical and Fundamentalist Movements of the Middle Twentieth Century,” by Larry Oats
  • “The Historical and Theological Contributions of the Niagara Bible Conference to American Fundamentalism,” Larry Pettegrew.

Original texts for translation work

If you’re doing translation work and want to copy the Greek text to a Word document, or if you just want easy access to the Greek text, you may visit the Greek Bible site.

You may copy the Hebrew text for translation by visiting the Unbound Bible site.

Free downloads

To download Rick Meyer’s E-Sword software, click here.
To download Bible Explorer, click here.

Paper styles

Maranatha uses Turabian format for all research papers. Information regarding Turabian formatting can be accessed through the University of Georgia, University of Chicago Press, and Purdue Online Writing Lab.

It is best that each student develop a facility in using Turabian Format. The labor of learning it well will pay off after a few research papers when it becomes easier to remember. In the beginning stages, however, some students may select to use helpful online formatters. One such formatter is Otto Bible, which simply requires the ISBN of a given book. Another is KnightCite, which requires more information (author, publisher, etc.) but services more publication types (journals, electronic resources, etc.).

Dispensationalism bibliography

This is a bibliography of suggested works for specific topics related to dispensationalism. Each section is divided into three categories—articles, books, and inter-library loan. Some chapters contain reference listings as well. There is also a reference section for materials more generally related to the study of dispensationalism.

Buying textbooks

A great site for finding the cheapest prices on textbooks is GetTextbooks.com. It compares all of the major book sites (Amazon.com, Half.com, etc.). It lists where the cheapest books can be found, and for how much.