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Primary Resources for Biblical Interpretation: Primary Resources

A guide to online primary resources for Biblical Interpretation.

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What is a primary resource?

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Primary resources are documents or other items that provide a first-hand account of historical events. Primary resources are resources created by eyewitnesses or participants of the event(s) and/or condition(s) that are being recorded. Primary resources reflect the particular viewpoint of the participant and/or the observer and are created for a particular purpose.

Some primary resources might have been created at the time the event was happening and other primary resources might have been created by the participant after the event.

The following types of documents are examples of primary resources:

  • Autobiographies
  • Oral histories 
  • Manuscripts
  • Scrolls
  • Tablets
  • Legal documents
  • Memoirs, diaries, journals, etc.
  • Artifacts, paintings, etc.

Primary resources are different from secondary resources that are used to interpret and/or analyze the former. 

The following types of documents are examples of secondary resources:

  • History books
  • Encyclopedias
  • Journal Articles
  • Commentaries
  • Essays

For more information on secondary resources please see What is a secondary resource? page.