An Introduction to Theological Research: A Guide for College and Seminary Students
Lineberry, Loren D., Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
An Introduction to Theological Research: A Guide for College and Seminary Students. By Cyril J. Barber and Robert M. Krauss, Jr. New York: University Press of America, 2000, 172 pp., $24.50.
The authors cite a threefold aim for the Guide: (1) Reduce research time; (2) enable access to the kind of information that yields quality research; and (3) generate independent researchers. The intended audience for the Guide includes students in Bible and Christian liberal arts colleges as well as seminarians.
The approach is to describe various research tools, making comments on strengths and weaknesses. Then, each chapter concludes with an assignment designed to familiarize the researcher with the tools that have been considered.
After an introductory chapter, the Guide presents three chapters on general reference works. The first chapter treats religious and biblical reference works, including major encyclopedias of religion as well as encyclopedias and dictionaries of the Bible. In chap. 2, the Guide addresses general reference works on biblical archaeology, biblical theology, and systematic theology. In this chapter, the Guide cites works by evangelicals and Roman Catholics. In chap. 3 the Guide considers interdisciplinary research. Realizing that theological research may take the student into other fields of study, the Guide culls through works on education, history and biography, missions, philosophy and ethics, sociology, and psychology.
In chap. 5 the authors describe basic reference tools for Bible study. These include atlases, English Bible concordances, and multivolume sets of commentaries.
The Guide is arranged from more general reference works to the more specialized. Beginning with chaps. 6-9, the Guide focuses on tools for word studies. This block of chapters, the authors note, is concerned with "the methodology by which accurate ideas of words and their meanings) may be obtained" (p. …