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Searching for scripture citations in ATLA databases: Home

The ATLA Religion Database and ATLA Catholic Periodical and Literature Index contain a useful tool for searching articles on specific scripture citations. Here's how to use it.

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Searching for scripture citations in ATLA databases

When doing research in biblical studies, you often will find it helpful to search for resources on specific scripture citations. Entering such search terms into the library discovery service search box often will provide many irrelevant results, since so many biblical book names are also common words in other contexts.

The best way to search for articles on scriptural passages is in two databases published by the American Theological Library Association, each of which have a special function that limits searching only to articles pertaining to scriptural texts:

The links above will take you to the library discovery service records for those databases. Click on the "Available online" link to open the actual database pages.

For future reference, you may access these databases directly in the Hiebert Library discovery service by typing either "ATLA Religion" or "ATLA Catholic" into the search box. Be sure to enclose the phrases in quotation marks to eliminate irrelevant results.

Here are the steps involved in search the ATLA databases by scripture citation:

  • Once you've connected to your preferred database, click Scriptures on the blue menu bar near the top of the screen.
  • This will open a list of all books in the Bible. In the Religion Database, the books will be listed in the order they appear in the Bible; in the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, they will be listed alphabetically.
  • The Religion Database gives you the option of clicking Expand to narrow the search by chapter, and clicking Expand again to narrow the search to individual verses.
  • Selecting an individual chapter or verse will not limit your search only to that specific passage. It will include results for any larger passage of which that chapter or verse is a part.
  • The Catholic Periodical and Literature Index does not have an Expand function.You simply will click on the desired scripture passage from the alphabetical list. Since that alphabetical list has many individual screens, you may wish to type the name of the book into the browse box in order to find it more quickly.