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ENGL 395/LITR 154/HUMS 165 The Bible as a Literature: Subject Headings

A guide to accompany the course ENGL 395/LITR 154/HUMS165: The Bible as Literature, taught in Yale College by Professor Leslie Brisman.

Subject Headings for Bible

Subject Headings are controlled vocabulary that enable you to search by SUBJECT. Subject headings are assigned to books when they are cataloged and there is an attempt to use the same heading for all books on a particular subject.  Some books may require more than one subject heading, so often there are several you can use to get to the items you want. When you are searching for Bibles or books about the Bible, subject headings are necessary.  If you search for "Bible" as a keyword, you will get thousands of hits, most of which will not be relevant to your search. Here are some examples of subject headings that may be useful for your work.  You do not need to use the punctuation when you search in ORBIS, but you do need to put spaces between the different elements. 

There is a specific syntax (order) of elements for Bible headings:  Bible. OT/NT. (book). (verses)--(sub-divisions)
For example:
Books about the Book of Genesis:
Bible. O.T. Genesis

If you want to narrow your search to Commentaries (usually verse by verse expositions of the text), you can type:
Bible. O. T. Genesis -- Commentaries

Books about the Gospel of Mark:
Bible. N.T. Mark

Books that contain a more sustained argument about a book or portion of a book of the Bible are usually included under the sub-division, interpretation and criticism.  For example: 

Bible. N.T. Mark--Interpretation and criticism

Bible as literature

Subject heading are not always intuitive, so please ask a librarian if you have trouble finding the material you need in the online catalog.   

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