Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Oxford Biblical Studies Online: Reference Searches

This is a guide to the Oxford Biblical Studies Online Database

Basic searches in Oxford Biblical Studies Online

Oxford Biblical Studies Online indexes thousands of entries from various reference books, including encyclopedias, bibles, concordances, dictionaries, and atlases.  The gateway to these resources is the basic search box, found at the top of the screen next to the bible verse lookup box.  After entering your search, you will receive a results page that looks similar to the one below:

Refining Results

Results from a search are listed in the center of the page.  The default sorting is by relevance, but you can change it to alphabetical sorting if you wish.  Each result contains the name of the entry, the first few lines of text, and the name of the source.  Using the tabs above the results, you can limit your results to those from reference sources or biblical texts.  You can also choose to just see entries that are maps and images.  In the left side column, you can limit your results further by clicking one of the various subject headings, like History or Law and Politics.  This will limit the results to entries associated with the subject, and a number of sub-headings will appear in the column for further refinement.

Search Results Display

Other Search Options

In addition to the basic search, Oxford Biblical Studies Online offers a few other options in the Advanced Search section.  The Main Search allows for keyword, title, and author searches, or any combination of the three.  The Advanced Bible Search allows you to select specific bibles to keyword search, and you can limit your results to text or commentary, as well as to a section of the bible (OT, NT, etc.).  The Image & Map search enables more detailed searching for maps and/or images.  Finally, the Bibliographic Search searches for entries based on the articles a particular entry cites as source material.  All of these searches, with the exception of the Advance Bible Search, feature the same subject limiters as the basic search (History, etc.)