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Exegetical Papers: 7. Finding Articles

YouTube Video on ATLA Scripture Search


How to do a Scripture Citation Search in ATLA Religion Database

Created by Robert W. Woodruff Library Atlanta University Center.

Citations from International titles and 13,000 multi-author works in and related to the field of Religion. Also includes a full range of index citations to journal articles, essays in multi-author works, and book reviews. 1949 - present.

ATLA Religion Index is directly linked with the ATLAS database of Full Text periodicals.  Be sure to use the PDF links rather than the GIF links.  Printing is easiest from the PDF.

Please note that BOOKS are included in this database. Check the Woodruff catalogunder the book title to see if we have a book.  If we do not, use ILL to obtain it.

Scripture Citation searching tips:

You can search ATLA for articles concerning specific Scripture Citations. Click on the Scriptures link on the ATLA toolbar.  All the books of the Bible will displaty.  Click on Expand to view and choose the Chapter and verse of the Book of the Bible you want

You can stop anywhere through the index - for instance by clicking Genesis or Exodus in the above example, you would search all articles on those particular books of the Bible.  Or if you keep expanding you can stop at the Chapter or the Verse section.


Click on the desired Verse to run the search and see your results


Boolean Searching

Keyword Searching:


Skip the words "a" "of" and "the"

Single key word, e.g. Transfiguration

Phrase search - when two or more terms are always used together, put them in quotes e.g. "New Testament"

Very broad term = a single term, e.g. Scriptures

Broader yet = add the term "or" between synonyms, e.g., Scriptures or Bible

More refined = add the term "and" between terms to focus your topic, e.g. Gospel and Luke and Emmaus

More refined = use "not", e.g., Mary not Magdalene


Find Articles & Essays

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Why use periodicals?

Periodicals are useful for three primary reasons:  they...

- provide a wealth of valuable information that is current and timely
- contain the latest discussions on a topic
- cover topics not yet published in book form

Periodicals are created for different audiences. Some are for general readers and others for scholars and researchers.

Although the terms periodical, journal, serial and magazine have slightly different definitions, you will likely hear them used interchangeably. These are works that come out on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, annually) and contain articles written by various authors.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal.There are anonymous and open reviews.

Search Strategy using Keywords

1)    Determine the Key concepts of your topic

2)    Define your key words / search terms.

3)    Choose your databases and resources

4)    Formulate the search statement

5)    Refine and focus your results

6)    Evaluate and manage the results

7)    Locate the full articles

Good keyword search terms

Bible people
Bible, study editions
Bible resources, children
Bible, study and teaching
Bible survey, adult
Bible Topics, adult
Biblical archaeology
Biblical women
Books of the Bible (see specific book)