Useful Theological Journals
The links on this page will lead you to useful articles about theology, the New Testament, the Old Testament, and archaeology.
Articles in professional journals are the best sources to use for academic work. Not only do they look good in a footnote or bibliography, they allow you to encounter a dozen perspectives in the time that it would take to read a single book. The problem is finding them.
THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL LIBRARY CD
For conservative journals, one of the better sources is set of CD's that can be purchased from Galaxie Software (and yes, that is how it is spelled). Galaxie can be contacted at www.galaxie.com. Galaxie puts out ten annual volumes of CD's. They contain full text articles from three of the most important conservative journals, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, The Westminster Theological Journal, and Bibliotheca Sacra. Bib Sac is an English language journal that has been published for over a century and a half by Dallas Theological Seminary. The CD set also contains full text articles from a dozen other journals that are not as widely known. The Galaxie Software set has always been included in some packages sold by Logos Software, but it is probably cheaper to buy the set directly from Galaxie. Volumes 1-5 used to sell for around $100.00, and each additional annual volume sold for an additional $50.00. A couple of years ago, Galaxie stopped selling the CD's that way. The company began to require purchasers to buy the whole set for $350.00. Recently, Galaxie has come up with an alternative that is well worth consideration. The company sells an annual subscription to the set online for $50.00. That requires using the set online, but useful articles can still be printed.
The American Theological Library Association has a Serials project that gives full text articles from about two hundred of the leading journals in the field. ATLAS includes some conservative journals like Bibliotheca Sacra, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, The Calvin Theological Journal, Presbyterion (and yes, that is how to spell it), the Tyndale Bulletin, and a few others. ATLAS also contains many mainstream journals that sometimes have useful articles like the Journal of Biblical Literate and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
It used to be possible to purchase an individual annual subscription to ATLAS for around $100.00. That was a great deal. Now, you have to be a student or faculty in a school that purchases an annual subscription to ATLAS and the ATLA-Religion databases. ATLA is reworking its sales packages. It is not impossible that by the fall of 2009, ATLA might make individual subscriptions available again.
If you visit a Christian college or seminary library, there may be a way to use ATLA's bibliographies and then either read or photocopy articles in the library. In general, copyright law allows people to make one copy of an article for private use (although there may still be a seven year limit on how long they can be held). Copyright law forbids making more than one copy, and it forbids selling copies or doing anything that would limit the ability of the copyright holder to make money selling his product. So Christian colleges and seminaries do not normally mind if you photocopy articles for your own use. Almost all schools have photocopiers available, and the going rate is usually ten cents a page. I have seen copiers from five cents a page to seventeen cents a page, but ten cents is the usual figure.
OK, how do you find articles in the library? About ten years ago, ATLA put their database on CD and then online. Before then, ATLA published two annual volumes. The first was a set of large red books called Religion Index One. It was a vast bibliography of the journal articles printed that year that were related somehow to Biblical Studies. The books are divided into a subject section and an author/title section. The second set were large blue books called Religion Index Two. These books did the same thing for articles published in festscrifts and multi-author books. While schools can not allow you to use their online databases, they probably still have the books available, and they probably will let you use them to find articles on topics of your choice. To find articles on a subject, you have to check each annual volume back to 1948 in both volumes. That's a lot of work. That is why the online database has become so popular. It is vastly easier to use if you have a relationship with a school that purchases the database Some schools make access to ATLAS available to their alumni for a fee. If you attended a Christian college or seminary in the past, it is worth calling the school, asking for the library, and asking the librarian about alumni access. Before driving to a seminary library to use RIO or RIT, call the school and ask to be connected to the library. Ask the librarian if they still have Religion Index One and Religion Index Two in printed volumes. Ask them how recent the volumes are. Ask them also if you would be allowed to use them. They may be in the stacks, or they may be in the librarians office.
Another approach would be to go to worldcat.org online. Then do a search for Religion Index One. That will lead you to the libraries in your area that carry the books. Then call the library to see if they still have to books. Many libraries weed their collections at least once a year and remove books that are no longer needed.
Copyright © 2009 Dr. Rodger Dalman