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Cataloging Biblical Materials

Subject Subdivisions

While most subject subdivisions pertaining to the Bible are clear, there are a several that need comment. They are taken from the Subject cataloging manual: Subject headings. Pattern headings: Sacred works H 1188; Pattern: Bible.

‡xAccents and accentuation
Deals with the Hebrew language and text, and therefore is only used under Bible.‡pO.T. and individual books of the Old Testament.

Deals with the list of authorized books which are considered divinely inspired and thus are included in the Bible. The list differs depending on the authorizing body: Jewish or Christian; and in the case of Christians, Catholic or Protestant.
The canon, coming from a Greek word for reed, with an extended meaning denoting measurement (hence a standard), is the authorized standard, or source, for doctrine. Hence its use as the official term for the authorized list of Biblical books. The canon of the New Testament is the same for all Christians. However, for the Old Testament there are differences depending on the original language, the authorizing religious organization, etc. For a substantial treatment of the matter, see the article: Canon of the Old Testament in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

‡xCanonical criticism
A work of criticism dealing with the Bible or any of its parts, analysis of the canon (as described above) being the principal or a major criterion.
24510Interpreting Habakkuk as Scripture :‡ban application of the canonical approach of Brevard S. Childs /‡cG. Michael O'Neal.
630 00 Bible.‡pO.T.‡pHabakkuk‡xCanonical criticism.

24514The canonical approach :‡ba critical reconstruction of the hermeneutics of Brevard S. Childs /‡cby Paul R. Noble.
63000Bible‡xCanonical criticism.

‡vConcordances, [Language]‡x[Name of Version].
This subdivision can be qualified by language and version (if necessary). What is necessary to keep in mind is that in the 630 field you do not use the uniform title sections ‡l and/or ‡s . Those are reserved for the 730 field which provides an added entry for the specific text. The language of the text (hence of the concordance), is brought out in the subdivision by extending the subdivision as indicated above. Follow Concordances by a comma, followed by the authorized form of the language's name. If you need to account for a specific version, type ‡x and use the authorized form of the version.

24510Nelson's complete concordance of the Revised Standard version
Bible ...
63000Bible‡vConcordances, English‡xRevised Standard.
7300Bible.‡lEnglish.‡sRevised Standard.

24512A critical concordance to the Septuagint.‡pChronicles I...
63000Bible.‡pO.T.‡pChronicles, 1st‡vConcordances, Greek‡xSeptuagint.
7300 Bible.‡pO.T.‡pChronicles, 1st.‡lGreek.‡sSeptuagint.‡f1999.

24514 The Greek English concordance to the New Testament :‡bwith the New International Version.
63000Bible.‡pN.T.‡vConcordances, Greek.
63000 Bible.‡pN.T.‡vConcordances, English‡xNew International.
Requires 730, see below

In the last instance there is no 730 field on the record. This example demonstrates, as well as many others would do, that there is some variety of practice dealing with concordances, and some of it is wrong. This record should include the 730 field(s), since a concordance is a related work. AACR2 21.28B1 explicitly states that an added entry should be made "for the work to which it is related."
Another observed error is to include
in the 630 field. But this also is wrong. As will be seen shortly, ‡xVersions deals only with translations as a subject. Therefore, to place it in a subject heading dealing with concordances is out of place.

‡xCriticism, Form
This is a type of criticism that combines historical and literary methods in order to determine the original "form" of the Biblical text. It examines questions such as stages of oral tradition and stages of the literary text, when the oral tradition was committed to textual form, and what literary form was used in the composition of the text.

‡xCriticism, interpretation, etc., Jewish
This subdivision can only be used after Bible.‡pO.T. or individual books of the Old Testament. It is used in order to distinguish actual Jewish interpretations, i.e. written by Jewish authors, from other interpretations of the Old Testament.
Much of the interpretation of the Jewish scriptures that has been written and published is by gentile writers, chiefly Christians. This subdivision gives prominence to interpretation that is written within the original tradition, and has its own methodology.

‡xCriticism, Narrative
"Narrative criticism, or narratology, a branch of literary criticism that has as its object the study of the formal features of narrative texts. It is based on communication models of speech-act theory: the text conveys the message that the author would deliver to the reader. The goal is to analyze the 'story world' of the narrative, and 'meaning' arises, not in the attempt to discern the intentions of the author or to capture the affective force of the text, but in the encounter of the reader with the text. The HarperCollins Bible dictionary (San Francisco: Harper, 1996) p. 739.

‡xCriticism, Redaction
A method of criticism that "applies to the way in which a text or tradition has been redacted or edited. To engage in redaction criticism, one must be able to separate at least two stages of development in the use of a text... The redaction critic's task is to analyze the individual instances where the editor has redacted an earlier text or tradition, assess the overall significance of such changes, and interpret these in the light of the editor's literary and theological purpose." Harper's Bible dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986) p. 130-131.

‡xExtra-canonical parallels
Use for material dealing with literature or situations outside the Bible that closely parallel the content or style of the Bible in some way. The influence, real or alleged, can operate in either direction.
24504 The book of Proverbs and Arabic proverbial works
63000 Bible.‡pO.T.‡pProverbs‡xExtra-canonical parallels.
6500 Proverbs, Arabic‡xHistory and criticism.

24512A comparative study of the ritual of ordination as found in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369.
63000 Bible.‡pO.T.‡pLeviticus VIII‡xExtra-canonical parallels.
6500 Priests, Jewish‡xBiblical teaching.
6500 Priests‡zSyria‡zEmar (Extinct city)
6500 Ordination (Liturgy)‡xComparative studies.

A technical term referring to the divinely inspired nature of the Biblical text. It deals with how God influenced the authors in the writing of the Biblical texts. This term is not to be confused with any aesthetic, psychological or devotional sense of the word.

Used for collections of folk stories, children's literature and other traditional adaptations of Biblical material.
24514The bird of paradise and other sabbath stories.
6500Legends, Jewish.

24504 The Lives of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Martha (MS Esc. h-I-13).
60000 Mary Magdalene,‡cSaint‡vLegends.
60000 Martha,‡cSaint‡vLegends.
63000 Bible.‡pN.T.‡pGospels‡vLegends.

‡vLiturgical lessons, Dutch [English, etc.].
This subdivision refers to the use of selections from the Bible as "readings" during a liturgical service. These readings are usually organized by liturgical seasons. The publication may be an official liturgical book, such as a lectionary; or it may be an unofficial publication put together on the basis of a lectionary for private use, as in the case of the first example below.
24514The paths of life :‡breflections on the readings for the weekdays of Advent and the Christmas season.
63000Bible‡xLiturgical lessons, English‡vMeditations.

1102 Catholic Church.
24510Leccionario ferial :‡breformado según los decretos del Concilio Vaticano II y promulgado por S.S. el papa Pablo VI.
63000Bible‡xLiturgical lessons, Spanish.

N.B. Recently this subdivision was given the status of form subdivision. But most examples of this subdivision antedate this change. As in the examples above, you will often see ‡x instead of ‡v.

This heading is used to discuss collectively the translations of either the whole Bible or any of its parts. It is not used as a form heading for actual translations. The Subject cataloging manual gives very detailed instructions in section H 1300. In short, this subdivision can be extended further in the following ways:

  • ‡xVersions‡x[name of specific version]
  • ‡xVersions, [language group]
      Bible‡xVersions, African
      Use the adjectival qualifier only for a language group, not for an individual language.

    • For a work discussing translations, or a particular translation, in a single language, follow this pattern:
Bible.‡p[name of particular part, if necessary].‡l[language of translation]‡xVersions‡x[name of version (e.g. Authorized), if necessary]
      Bible.‡lEnglish‡xVersions‡xNew World.
  • ‡xVersions, [name of denomination]
    This is used collectively for works discussing translations produced by a particular church body: e.g., Bible‡xVersions, Catholic. If the translations are also in a particular language, assign an additional heading for versions in that language: e.g.
  • ‡xVersions, Catholic vs. Protestant
    Use this subdivision for works discussing the differences between Bibles translated by the respective denominations, e.g. the differences in the canon of the Old Testament, use of language. Since many recent and current translations are ecumenical efforts, works needing this subdivision are most likely to be published before 1960.

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