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Finding Bibles in the Catalog

The HUC-JIR Library system follows the Library of Congress (LC) cataloging (subject headings) and classification (call numbers) system. Biblical texts and works about the Bible are shelved in the "BS" section.

According to the Library of Congress (LC), "Bible" refers to the Christian Bible made up of the Old Testament and the New Testament. LC assigns uniform titles to all Biblical texts. This means that no matter what title appears on the book itself, all versions of the same book will be called by the same name and shelved in the same place. This can make finding a text easier - you don't have to know if the book is titled Torah, Hamishah humshe Torah, Pentateuch, the Five books of Moses, etc. - everything will be filed under: Bible. Pentateuch. On the other hand, this system can be tricky to use, if you don't happen to know the exact way that LC assigned a name.
Some examples:

Bible. Pentateuch
Bible. Exodus
Bible.  Isaiah
Bible. Five Scrolls

If the work is a translation, this will be reflected in the uniform title as well.
Bible. Genesis. English
You may also find references to specific chapters and verses
Bible. Genesis XI, 1-9 (chapter is indicated by Roman numerals and verse by Arabic)


Finding Bibles on the Shelf

In general, LC will put a "whole" before a "part." Therefore, LC shelves "whole" Bibles (Old Testament and New Testament) first under BS 1-680. The next biggest "parts" are the Old Testament (BS 701-1199) and the New Testament (BS 1901-2545). Similarly, smaller parts of the O.T. are shelved in (BS 1200-1830) after the O.T. as a whole. See below for individual Old  Testament books.

Bible as subject.

You can find books about the Bible by doing a subject search on the uniform title. You will often see subject terms with subdivisions tacked onto the end. Some common subdivisions are:

  • --Commentaries.
  • --Criticism, interpretation, etc.
  • --Feminist criticism.

There is sometimes confusion about the first 2 this list. A work with "Commentaries" will usually cover a whole portion of the Bible. It will look at the text verse by verse or at least chapter by chapter. A work with "Criticism, interpretation, etc." will generally take a theme and discuss how it appears in throughout the Bible (or some part). Subdivisions can appear on any of the uniform titles discussed above.

You may also find subjects of the form: <topic> in the Bible. For example: Animals in the Bible.

Bible as History.

To find books discussing the Bible as history, do a subject search under Bible and use one of these subdivisions:

  • --Antiquities (describes archaeological evidence)
  • --Evidences, authority, etc. (works which try to prove that the Bible is true)
  • --History of Biblical events (historical evidence for the Biblical stories)
  • --History of contemporary events (history of other people, cultures, lands during Biblical times

You can also search by person or topic (these may or may not be historical works)

  • Exodus, the
  • Saul, king of Israel
  • Joseph (son of Jacob)

Search also under: Jews-- History--, such as Jews--History--to 1200 B.C.
Another option is to search by place, adding "history" or "antiquities" to the search.

Finding Parts

These are all in the BS section, under the number(s) given. Generally, within a section you will find books arranged in this order: multilingual translations, manuscripts, Hebrew editions, English editions, other languages, early commentaries (before 1950), contemporary criticism (1951-2000) contemporary commentaries, contemporary sermons, special topics, and then the newest books (2001- ). Of course, we may not have a book in every category.


Locations for individual books and common groups. They are all in the "BS" section.
Amos 1581-1586
Apocrypha and Apocryphal books 1691-1830
Baruch 1771+
Ben Sirach 1761+
Book of Proverbs 1461-1467
Chronicles (1&2) 1341-1345.6
Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah (together) 1550
Daniel 1551-1556
Deutero-Isaiah 1520
Deuteronomy 1271-1275.6
Ecclesiastes 1471-1476
Ecclesiasticus 1761+
Esther 1371-1376
Exodus 1241-1245.6
Ezekiel 1541-1545.6
Ezra (1 Esdras) 1351-1355.6
Ezra, Daniel, Nehemiah (together) 1550
Five Scrolls 1309-1310
Former Prophets 1285.6
Genesis 1231-1235.6
Habakkuk 1631-1635.6
Haftaroth BM 670 H3
Haggai 1651-1655.6
Hoseah 1561-1565.6
Isaiah 1511-1519
Jeremiah 1521-1525.6
Job, Psalms, Proverbs (together) 1410
Job 1411-1417
Joel 1571-1575.6
Jonah 1601-1606
Joshua 1291-1295.6
Judges 1301-1305.6
Judith 1731+
Ketuvim 1308
Kings (1&2) 1331-1336
Lamentations 1531-1535.6
Latter Prophets 1501+
Leviticus 1251-1255.6
Maccabees 1821+
Malachi 1671-1675.6
Micah 1611-1615.6
Minor prophets 1560
Nahum 1621-1625.6
Nehemia (2 Esdras) 1361-1365.6
Nehemiah, Ezra, Danial (together) 1550
Numbers 1261-1265.6
Obadiah 1591-1595.6
Pentateuch 1221-1225.6
Poetical 1401-1405.6
Prophetic books 1501-1505.6
Prophets (Nevi'im) 1286
Proverbs 1461-1465.6
Proverbs, Psalms, Job (together) 1410
Psalms 1419-1451
Psalms, Proverbs, Job (together) 1410
Ruth 1311-1315.6
Samuel (1&2) 1321-1326
Song of Solomon 1481+
Song of Solomon 1481-1490
Tobit (Tobias) 1721+
Trito-Isaiah 1520.5
Wisdom of Solomon 1751+
Wisdom literature 1455-1456
Writings 1308
Zechariah 1661-1665.6
Zephaniah 1641-1645.6


The Library has many CD-ROMs with Biblical texts. Check with your local branch for holdings and availability.

Periodical Indexes

The three major indexes to use for Biblical studies are:

RAMBI This free Internet site is published by the Jewish National and University Library. It has articles from scholarly journals and chapters of books.

Index to Jewish Periodicals. This is available from the HUC campuses or through the Jewish Studies Portal. It includes articles from popular journals, magazines, and newsletters.

ATLA .This database is accessable from any of the Cincinnati, New York, or Los Angeles campuses.  It is also available through the Jewish Studies Portal. It has articles from scholarly journals and chapters of books. It focuses on Western religions with an emphasis on Bible and Christianity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the weekly Torah portion?
Navigating the Bible II (ORT)

Where can I find the Tikkun?
They are generally shelved in the Reference section under BS 1222 (they may be in the oversized (folio) section)

How can I find a specific commentary?
If you know the exact title and spelling, you can search by that (ex. title phrase = Etz Hayim). You can also do a combination search with the author's last name with the smallest part of the Bible that you think is reasonable. (ex. author keyword = Rashi ; subject keyword = pentateuch). You can use the filters screen to limit the results by language, date or place.

Recommended websites


Bar Ilan Responsa Project

Includes the Hebrew texts of the Tanakh, Talmuds, early commentaries, codes, and many responsa. Searching is allowed from anywhere, more features are available (saving, printing, etc.) from the HUC campus or through the Jewish Studies Portal.

Book-by-Book MP3 Recordings of the Hebrew Bible

Each book is read (not chanted) with the Sephardic pronounciation. The files can be streamed or downloaded. 

Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon

This Lexicon includes every dialect of Aramaic from the 9th century BCE through the 13th century CE.

Hebrew - English Bible

According to the Masoretic Text and the JPS 1917 Edition

Jastrow Dictionary

The Tyndale Archive of Biblical Studies hosts a browsable (but not searchable) Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature

Jewish Texts at Snunit

Includes the Hebrew texts of the Tanakh, Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi, and Mishneh Torah

Leningrad Codex

From the electronic version of the Leningrad Codex maintained by the J. Alan Groves Center for Advanced Biblical Research.


Navigating the Bible

Produced by ORT, this site shows the Torah portion, both with and without vocalization, translation, and transliteration. 

Prague Bible

This illuminated manuscript (1489) of the Tanach at the Yeshivah University has been digitized and is available online.


"We are building a free living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and in translation. Our scope is Torah in the broadest sense, from Tanakh to Talmud to Zohar to modern texts and all the volumes of commentary in between. Sefaria is created, edited, and annotated by an open community." Translations are available as people submit them and the site offers tools for creating study sheets.

Visual Midrash

"Visual Midrash is an online bilingual (Hebrew and English) collection of Bible art and commentary, sponsored by the TALI Education Fund in Israel."