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Bible LITE - Introductory Sources: Commentaries

Only the most useful databases, reference tools and books for introductory level Biblical research.

Biblia Clerus (Online Catholic Commentaries)

One Volume Commentaries

There are large numbers of "free standing" commentaries not part of a series. 

  • Check the catalog (search for commentaries and the name of the Book)
  • Browse the shelves (BS call numbers)

New Collegeville Biblical Commentary

Resource Pages for Biblical Studies

Resource Pages for Biblical Studies

Maintained by Torrey Seland, Volda University College, Volda, Norway.

Selected Commentary Sets - Ancient and Patristic

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity ; Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998- .
Includes the scriptural text, followed by an overview of the patristic writers who comment on the passage. This is followed by excerpts of these writings with citations to the complete work such as Origen's Homilies on Genesis 1:1.  The aim of this work is to assist the reader in understanding the place of scriptural texts in the thought of the patristic writers. These are multivolume series.


A commentary on the Bible, whether it is a one-volume commentary on the entire Bible, which will have little detail on a specific verse, or a multi-volume commentary on the Greek text of Romans, filled with lots of details, seeks to do the same thing that your paper is doing for one small passage. It seeks to provide exegesis of the biblical text.

The best approach for performing detailed exegesis is to get several commentaries that each cover only one biblical book, such as Luke's Gospel. For some books, you will find multiple small books covered in one commentary. It is typical, for example, for one commentary to cover 1, 2, and 3 John. However, you want to avoid commentaries that treat the whole Bible because they will not have adequate detail for writing an exegesis paper.

It is best to use academic commentaries. These are written in light of what has been learned over time about the world of the Bible and about the meaning of the books of the Bible. These tend to be focused in one of two directions. Some commentaries focus on the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. One example would be the volumes in the Word Biblical Commentary series. Others, such as the volumes in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament and the New International Commentary on the New Testament, focus on an English translation of the book from Hebrew or Greek, usually reserving the discussion of the original language to footnotes, if the book mentions Hebrew or Greek words at all.


In-depth commentaries that treat a Book of the Bible chapter by chapter, are ideal for research. The only problem: there are so many commentaries! Here are some excellent ones.

More Good Commentaries

These commentaries are in the UST library circulating collections. Use CLICsearch to locate them

  • Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture
  • Continental Commentaries
  • Feminist Companion to the Bible
  • Historical Commentary on the Old Testament
  • International Critical Commentary
  • JPS Torah Commentary
  • New International Commentary
  • New Testament Library
  • Old Testament Library


BibleWorks 8 is a software package (not available remotely) that helps persons study Scritprue more effectively and efficiently.  It is only available at a PC workstation in Ireland Library. A password is not required.

BibleWorks * is an original languages Bible software program. It includes 90 Bible translations in 28 languages, 9 original language texts with 7 morphology databases, 6 Greek lexicons and dictionaries, 4 Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries, and 11 practical reference works. New modules feature The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 4th edition, and A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd edition.

Subject Guide

Betsy Polakowski's picture
Betsy Polakowski

Theological Librarian / Collection Management Services

Subject Liaison to Theology, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity

Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library