Brandel Library

BTS 2210: Jesus of Nazareth (Willitts)

Finding Journal Articles

ATLA Search terms

For the paper topics for the Jesus course, the following are helpful search terms or phrases (as Subject, not Keyword) in the ATLA Plus Religion Database database (check the index to ATLA [under "Subjects All] to learn what terms it uses for a specific subject:

  • Jewish Sabbath Laws and the Practice of Jesus:

Sabbath (Jewish law)

Sabbath - Biblical teaching


  • Jewish Sects and Jesus’ Relationship to them

Jewish sects




Qumran community

Zealots (Jewish party)

  •  Ancient Synagogues

Synagogues -- History -- Talmudic Period

Synagogues AND Jewish History

Synagogues AND Archaeology/Antiquities

  • Jewish Views of Divorce and Remarriage and Jesus’ Perspective

Divorce (Jewish law)

Divorce - Biblical teaching

  • Jewish Purity Laws and Jesus’ Perspective:

Purity, Ritual - Judaism

Purity, Ritual - Biblical teaching

  • Jewish Views on Women and Jesus’ Practice

Women (Jewish law)

Women (Theology) - Biblical teaching

  • Jewish Views on Roman Imperial Power in Judea and Jesus

Jews -- History -- 0063 BC-70 AD

Jews -- History -- 0066-73 (Rebellion)

Jews -- Roman Empire

Palestine -- History -- To 70 AD

Rome -- History -- Empire, 30 BC-284 AD

  • ​Apocalypticism and the World View of Jesus


Apocalyptic literature

Apocalyptic literature, Biblical

Apocalypticism AND Judaism -- History -- Post-Exilic Period, 586 BC-210 AD

  • Israel’s Concrete Hope for Restoration in Jesus’ Theology

"Jews -- Restoration" AND Jesus

Messianic era (Judaism)

Hope -- Biblical teaching

  • Physical structure and/or Religious significance of the Jerusalem Temple

Jerusalem Temple

Jerusalem Temple AND Judaism -- History -- Post-Exilic Period, 586 BC-210 AD

Jerusalem Temple AND Jesus Christ --Relation to Judaism

Using Databases

  • Databases can help you find the full-text of an article (if it is available) when you have a complete citation.
  • Databases can also help you find complete bibliographic information when you have a partial citation.
  • Databases can be accessed in two ways.
  • First, on the Library home page, click on "Articles" in the left-hand list, then click on "Choose" under "All article databases" and select one from the alphabetical list.
  • Alternatively, click on the "Research Resources" tab at the top of the page and then on "Online Resources," which provides a more complete list of resources.
    • Clicking on the link brings a list with various disciplinary categories and combinations.
    • Biblical and theological databases are listed under the "Humanities" heading.
  • ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Religion Database is the primary database for Bible, theology, and religion. 
  • New Testament Abstracts are also helpful in identifying relevant articles, but it provides only a brief abstract of the article, not the full text.
  • Databases contain indexed articles (and sometimes essays in books) and ATLA contains the full-text of many of the articles and essays it indexes.

What Databases should I use?

Use databases to search for articles both when on campus and off.  When searchining from off-campus, you will be prompted for a username and password; enter your usual North Park information.

  • ATLA Religion Database
    ATLA is the primary database for research in biblical studies. It indexes journal articles, some book chapters, and more. Not all of the articles or chapters that are indexed in ATLA are available full-text in ATLA. In those cases, articles can be identified via the ATLA indexing and then retrieved elsewhere (e.g., JSTOR or Project Muse or from our print collection of back issues or via Inter-Library Loan).
  • New Testament Abstracts
  • Old Testament Abstracts
    JSTOR is a full-text database containing core journals in several disciplines including religion and philosophy. Each journal goes back to its first issue, but may not include the most recent two to five years.
  • Project Muse
    This database provides online access to over 300 high quality humanities, arts, and social science journals from 60 scholarly publishers. It includes the most recent years not covered by JSTOR.
  • SAGE Premier
    Sage Premier is a full-text, scholarly database that is particularly strong in the social sciences.

ATLA's Scripture Search


  • When you open the ATLA database, on the top border of the screen, third from the left, is a heading "Scriptures." The following process is a convenient way to search for articles about a passage or passages of Scripture.
  • When you click on this heading, hyperlinked names of the books of the Bible (of the Protestant canon and order) appear, in several successive screens (two or three screens listing the OT books, one or two screens listing the NT). Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical books can be searched by name.
  • When the hyperlinked names of the Protestant canonical contents are clicked, each book's name opens up to a hyperlinked list of the chapters.
  • When the chapters are clicked, a hyperlinked list of the verses in each chapter appears.
  • When the verses are clicked, all of the articles in the database that are indexed as treating that verse will appear.
  • Some of these articles are available full-text immediately and others are not. The latter articles will need to be obtained in other ways, in some cases from other databases (such as JSTOR), sometimes from our print collection of journals, or in other cases ordered through Interlibrary Loan.
  • This procedure is precise when looking at a single verse or an entire chapter. It is somewhat redundant when looking at a range of verses within a chapter because each verse must be clicked individually, resulting in repeated retrievals of articles that covers more than one verse.


  • When studying a passage of several verses, it may be more useful to search under the “Indexes” tab, the fourth tab to the right at the top of the ATLA homepage.
  • Select the “Scripture citation” dropdown option.
  • Then enter the biblical passage you want, such as Matthew 5:5-12. This should retrieve a list or verse ranges that treat part or all of the passage.
  • Then click in the box next to the various verse ranges to select the ones that you want to retrieve.


"Scholarly" vs. "Popular"

Use the following criteria to decide if a publication is popular or scholarly.

Scholarly journal articles:

  • written by experts in the field for an informed reader 
  • make careful, substantial use of scholarly sources in notes and/or bibliography 
  • reviewed by scholars outside the publication staff ('peer-reviewed') before publication
  • longer than articles in a popular magazine
  • Examples: Church History; Journal of Ecclesiastical History; Archive for Reformation History

Popular magazine articles:

  • aimed at the general public
  • usually shorter in length
  • use fewer sources and use them less substantially
  • published more frequently (weekly or monthly) 
  • Examples: Christianity Today; Covenant Companion; Christian History

Most databases provide a way to limit your search to or sort your results by "peer-reviewed" (the review process for publishing most scholarly articles).

Getting Articles

You can get journal articles in three ways:

  • Online - through the Brandel Library's databases and online journal subscriptions.
  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan - request a specific journal article and the library will work to send you a PDF of that article.
  • Print - The Brandel Library's print journals are on lower level of the library for you to read, scan, and photocopy.

Getting Full Text Articles

The Brandel Library can often provide a link directly to the PDF of the article you need. After searching a library database, links with the phrase "Full Text" should all resolve to the PDF of the article.

Some of the time, however, the library won't have access to the full text of the article. In those cases, you will need to use the "Request via WorldShare Interlibrary Loan" link to request the article. The WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service is free to students and most articles arrive within 4 days.