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Biblical Commentary from Historic Sources: Getting Started

Strategies for Finding Historical Commentary on Scripture


"Church History is the history of the exposition of Scripture."

-- Gerhard Ebeling

There are three main strategies for finding historical commentary on Scripture: two are targeted, and the third exploratory. Following the first strategy, we might begin with the Scripture passage that interests us, and ask, "What commentaries exist on the parable of the prodigal (Luke 15:11-32)?" In order to pursue this question, we might employ the series and tools that appear in the first column on this guide. A second strategy begins the investigation with a particular figure, asking, for instance, "Where in Martin Luther's writings might he have commented on the parable of the prodigal?" In pursuing these questions, it helps to know some of the tools that exist to help index and navigate the figure's (often broad) body of writings; these are the sorts of tools that appear in the second column. A third strategy, more random and exploratory, is to attend to published series that might bring new authors and works to our attention. Such series are listed in the third column on this guide.


Starting from a Scripture Passage

Starting from Historical Figures

More to Explore

Subject Guide

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Katie Benjamin
Divinity School Library