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Bible Commentaries

A guide for choosing a Biblical commentary.

Anatomy of A Call Number

The call number is found on the spines of library books. The top line is the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) number* representing the subject. The second line is a code for the author's last name. So, books on the same subject are shelved together alphabetically by the author's last name.

For example, if you are looking for a commentary on the book of Romans by Abigail Wilson you would go to the section on Romans (227.1) then look for W.

*Many libraries use the Library of Congress system using letters instead of numbers to indicate subject areas.

(See more about the Dewey Decimal Classification system below.)

The Darling Library shelves books according to the Dewey Decimal Classification System. John Dewey invented this number pattern for organizing books by subject. Once you understand the basics, you will be able to browse the shelves like you would in a bookstore. 

200 is where books on Religion start. 

General broad works about the entire Bible will be shelved before books about the Old Testament alone and so on. Pay attention to the "call numbers" associated with the following subjects. It will help you figure out how to browse the shelves.

  • 220          Bible 
  • 221          Old Testament
  • 222          Historical Books of the Old Testament
  • 222.11     Genesis
  • 222.1106 Genesis 1-11

The New Testament books start at 225.