A Simple Guide to How to Expand Your Research Materials

As a biblical scholar, you need access to materials for your research—primarily books and journals.1

You need what’s pertinent to your work. Accessing that material might not always be easy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make accessing that material as easy as possible.

How to Expand Your Research Materials

To do so, you can use

  1. all of the collections at all of the libraries you have access to, as well as the abilities they have to get additional material for you from other libraries.2 When in doubt, check. What’s available or what a library can get might surprise you.
  2. Google Books and Internet Archive to download the full text of any number of public domain titles. Internet Archive also allows you to temporarily borrow many titles that are still under copyright.
  3. Amazon and Google Books to preview substantial portions of volumes under copyright. Of course, you can’t limit your research to what’s available in previews. But you might well be able to find just that full chapter that you actually need, or use what you find from these searches to frame an interlibrary loan request. If you use Logos 10, you can extend this kind of access via the platform’s print library search feature. And
  4. the whole Internet as your personal research library. Doing so can take some work just because there’s so much available. But you can also check out this growing guide to several hundred resources I’ve found helpful for my own research.


In a 1524 letter about the importance of Christian schools, Martin Luther pressed the importance of biblical languages, saying

O how happy the dear fathers would have been if they had had our opportunity to study the languages and come thus prepared to the Holy Scriptures! What great toil and effort it cost them to gather up a few crumbs, while we with half the labor—yes, almost without any labor at all—can acquire the whole loaf!3

Similarly, by comparison to how research had to be done in the past, the libraries and wider Internet make accessing material so much easier. And that becomes still more true over time as resources evolve and you get accustomed to where you need to look for particular things.

  1. Header image provided by Eugenio Mazzone

  2. Header image provided by Oscar Chevillard

  3. Timothy Lull and William Russell, eds., Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, 3rd ed. (affiliate disclosure; Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2012), 466. 

Some of the links above may be “affiliate links.” If you make a purchase or sign up for a service through one of these links, I may receive a small commission from the seller. This process involves no additional cost to you and helps defray the costs of making content like this available. For more information, please see these affiliate disclosures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.