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Theology, Christian Ministries, and Philosophy: Reference Sources incl. Commentaries

Research Guide in the areas of Theology, Philosophy, and Christian Ministry.

Commentary Series in eBook Format

The Bible commentary series listed below are available in ebook format through Ryan Library. Not all volumes in each series is available as an ebook.

Credo Reference: Religion & Theology

Credo Logo

Credo Reference helps you start your research in religion with dictionaries of theology, profiles of religious figures, and overviews of key ideas.

Examples of Reference Sources on Religion and Philosophy

Ryan Library has hundreds of subject encyclopedias, commentaries, and lexicons in the area of Religion and Philosophy. If you need to access one of our print books while the library building is closed, you may request a scan of a specific section of a reference book or if you're able to come to campus, we can arrange for you to use the reference book outside on our patio or pick up to borrow any of our print books in the circulating collection. Email with questions.

Note: To view the table of contents in a print book, open the book's record in WorldCat (the hyperlinked titles below open each book's record), then expand the View Description section. If the table of contents is quite long, try keyword searching on the page by using the Cntl F/Command F shortcut.

Why Use Reference Books?

Reference sources provide background information, an overview of a topic, specialized vocabulary and terminology, and critical concepts.  They're often a great starting point.  The Library has reference materials both online and in print.

Want more information? 

  • Contact the Reference/Information Desk on the Main Level of Ryan Library (619.849.2337)
  • Email 
  • Instant Message through the Ask a Librarian box on the right.

Browse our Reference section or the corresponding call numbers on the Lower Level of Ryan Library:

  • 220 Bible
    • Bible Concordances 220.2
    • Bible Dictionaries 220.3
    • Bibles 220.52
    • Bible Interpretation and Criticism; Exegesis 220.6
    • Bible Commentaries 220.7

eBooks: Bible Commentaries

The ebooks listed below require a PLNU login:

Online Bible Commentaries from Ryan Library: These are the Bible commentaries available in ebook format through Ryan Library's WorldCat catalog.

Essential Bible Dictionary (2017): This Bible dictionary is published by Zondervan and is available through the Credo Reference database. The hyperlinked title opens to a alphabetized table of contents.

Encyclopedia of World Religions: Encyclopedia of Protestantism (2016): Available through Credo Reference database. Using an A-to-Z format, this encyclopedia covers the primary people, events, groups, and theological issues that emerged at the Protestantism's origin; the main individuals, concerns, and movements that shaped it in subsequent centuries. Coverage includes those parts of the world in which Protestantism did not appear until the 19th century, regions that are now home to the growing edge of the movement (Asia, Africa, and Oceania).

The below list highlights individual Bible commentaries available in the ebook format through Ryan Library. Note: You can find more commentaries on your area of interest by clicking on the hyperlinked series titles and subject headings in each book's record.

Open Access Bible Commentaries

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: available through the Bible Gateway website; some content is free, some is not.

Virtual Theological Library Project: provides links to open access online commentaries.

Google Search for Open Access Bible Commentaries Online: This customized Google search pulls results from multiple online Bible research tools such as and Search by Bible passage.

Requesting Materials from Other Libraries

Use this option when requesting items that are not available at Ryan Library:

      InterLibrary Loan

  • Articles, books and other materials can be requested from InterLibrary Loan.
  • Books requested via InterLibrary Loan may take a minumum of 7-10 business days.
  • Loan periods and renewal availability varies depending on the participating libraries.
  • Overdue fines will apply.

Click Here for ILL Request Form

Please select either the article or book form