Bibliographies FAQ

There's a missing citation! Can it be added to the Sources or Studies bibliographies?
Yes, thank you! Please send the missing citation, including reprints and translations, to the bibliography editors at Or use the online Publication Form, which will prompt for various helpful details. See the Wanted List.

Why does the scope of both bibliographies encompass all three Torrance brothers?
As siblings in a close-knit family, they shared similar life histories and cultural milieux, and mutually influenced one another. A work by any brother may throw light on the others (for example, David W. Torrance's interview, "Not My Will, But Yours," includes reflections on their family life, as does his 2015 book, The Reluctant Minister). Scholars interested in any one of the brothers may likely be interested in at least some of the works of the others (for example, the presence of all three brothers is evident in Introduction to Torrance Theology, ed. by Gerrit Dawson). Because they often co-edited works together, works by James and David would be represented significantly in the bibliography anyway (for example, Calvin's New Testament commentaries). For reasons like these, the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship website has long included a bibliography for James. The name of the "Thomas F. Torrance Theologial Fellowship" reflects a center of emphasis rather than an exclusive boundary. It includes the brothers in the same way that it includes the study of natural science, law, and philosophy, as seen in the light of Torrance theology.

What data is included in the Sources bibliography?
-- Complete citations for every known publication by the Torrance brothers: Thomas F. Torrance, James B. Torrance, and David W. Torrance.
-- Citations include standard data fields such as author, title, chapter title, journal, pages, translator/editor, publisher and date, etc.
-- Every citation also includes a McGrath number. For records not included in McGrath's bibliography, a new McGrath number has been assigned.
-- Additional fields may optionally include: Abstract; Description (physical); OCLC number; ISBN or ISSN number; DOI (digital object identifier); etc.
-- A Language field indicates when a publication appeared in a language other than English.
-- The Pages field for a book record indicates the total number of pages as an aid to comparing whether pagination has changed in different editions.
-- Key Words to categorize the genre type; key word; reprint status, etc.
-- Links to online versions of the work, in text or media formats, as well as to online records in WorldCat, Amazon, online journal websites, etc.

Are new editions and translations included in the Sources bibliography?
-- Yes! We welcome news of missing editions and translations. Whether and how the new one may differ from the original publication is described in the "Notes" field.

When do reprints warrant individual, separate entries?

We have followed Alister McGrath's example of listing reprint editions separately for the sake of clarity except in those cases when more than one publisher is indicated on the verso of the title page. In those cases, two publishers will be included in the same record. New and separate entries are created if there is a new publisher or ISBN number. In these cases, the entries are assigned a "Reprint-Revision" tag.

What is the "Notes" field, and how does it differ from the "Description" field?
The Notes field is a custom field, not used by any standard reference types, devoted to annotations about the original circumstances, presentation or edition of the publication, and its relationships to other publications. For example, we use this field to indicate where the chapters were presented as papers or lectures, or to state the relationship between different reprints and editions (even to confirm that there are no differences). The Notes field is therefore one of the most important aspects of the Sources bibliography as a research tool. We hope to augment its use in the future by implementing a means for Fellowship members to add their own comments to the Notes field, but meanwhile, please send us any corrections or suggestions to improve the next version.

What is the "Related Sources" field?
The Related Sources field lists McGrath numbers for all editions of a publication, regardless of format. This field makes it possible to search by McGrath numbers, which is more precise than searching by key word phrases. Together with the Notes field, this field allows one to determine at a glance the entire life cycle of a publication, from conference proceedings to articles to book chapters to anthologized reprints. It even includes the McGrath number for related media, if recordings of presentations are available. See the McGrath Number FAQ.

What is the purpose of the "Revisions status" field?
This field documents, when needed, corrections made to information printed in the standard bibliographies ("BG" = Bryan Gray; "IT" = Iain Torrance; and "AM" = Alister McGrath). For a desciption of these and other standard bibliographies, see "Previous Bibliographies: Development of the Sources Bibliography." Changes are noted in this field when they would make a citation inaccurate or potentially difficult to find. This field does not track minor clarifications, such as supplying the number of an issue, or completing a full title, etc., but only corrections required for accurate citation or location of a publication. When the standard bibliographies do not agree, this field will confirm the correct information on the basis of direct verification. It also notes any missing information we are in the process of trying to verify (please help us by emailing the editors at

When are separate chapter records added, in addition to the book record?
The first edition of any book containing material published separately is entered into the bibliography in expanded form, with separate, individual chapter entries to manifest their relations to other articles and sources. Chapter records are not added for later editions or reprints unless they are new to that edition.

What reference types are used in the Sources bibliography?
The most common reference types are Book, Book Chapter, and Journal Article. To facilitate searches (and interoperability), finer distinctions with reference types generally have been avoided (for example, newspapers and magazines are formatted as Journal Articles). The only other reference types used are the following: Audiovisual; Internet (includes academic websites and online resources); and Unpublished (includes lecture notes and handouts).

What tags are used in the Sources bibliography?
Tags are used to indicate the following genre types: Bibliography, Biography-Memoir, Book Review, Ebook, Edited Book, Interview, Library or Archive, Audio, Video, Obituary, Pamphlet, Prefatory matter, Reprint-Revision, Series, Sermon, Torrance Festschrift, Translation, Unpublished, and Website. Additional tags describe the access or availability of the publication, such as "Open Access/No Cost" or "Online Cost/Subscription." Items are also tagged if they appear in Elmer Colyer's Reader's Guide, with the section indicated of the Reader's Guide in which they appear.

How can the Sources bibliography help me format references in an article to submit to Participatio?
Two fields contain references pre-formatted; one for footnotes according to the Participatio style guide, and the other in Chicago style for compiling bibliographies. Just copy from these pre-approved fields and paste into your word processor and you're done; only slight manual tweaking required.

What is the scope of the Studies bibliography?
The Studies bibliography contains secondary sources that engage the Torrance tradition published from the time of TFT's earliest works up to the current year. The Studies bibliography includes secondary sources which engage one of the Torrance brothers by means of an explicit mention in a title, chapter, or section heading, or a discussion at least several pages in length. It does not include works that simply cite T. F. Torrance or one of his brothers but do not explicitly engage the Torrance tradition in a significant discussion. Essay reviews merit inclusion in the bibliography, but no attempt has been made to seek out every review of a Torrance publication. The emphasis is on academic studies, but non-academic sources are included when of significant interest (e.g., a popular magazine or prominent newspaper).

What data is included in the Studies bibliography?
-- Complete citations for select publications engaging the works of the Torrance brothers.
-- Publications by members of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship are indicated by tags.
-- With the exception of ISBN and OCLC numbers, which are provided, the various custom fields, tags and links of the Sources bibliography are not necessarily added to the Studies bibliography, given the difficulties of maintaining over time a large and ever-growing database of secondary sources. After downloading, individual scholars may add whatever tags and links make the most sense to them.

What are the benefits of the Studies bibliography?
What secondary studies are most important to your work? When Fellowship members enter a secondary study into the Studies bibliography, we help other scholars discover them, and save them time in data entry and formatting. Entering records into the Studies bibliography also helps members discover other members: when the website is overhauled next year, the studies written by any Fellowship member will appear in that member's page in the membership directory. At that time, the Studies bibliography also will be used to generate a rolling list of recent publications. So the Studies bibliography is designed for long-term collaborative input. Eventually, Fellowship members will be able to add records to it directly from the website. Now, in its initial offline format, it is starting off as a seedbed for the longer-term project. Although it is now the smaller of the two, it will quickly grow to be larger than the Sources library.

What future enhancements do you anticipate for the Studies bibliography?
First and foremost, the Studies bibliography is a cooperative endeavor of the T.F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. It is an open-ended project that will grow as a result of the collective input of Fellowship members. In a future implementation, member publications will be listed in association with each member's name in the member directory, and recent publications will be maintained in a dynamic list. We also hope to increase the collaborative character of the bibliographies by implementing online commenting and tagging by Fellowship members, perhaps in association with a members-only discussion forum.

Will future versions of these downloadable bibliography files be made available?
We plan to maintain the Sources and Studies bibliographies with updates posted on the website. Check back and see if the version number of either bibliography has changed. If you download an updated bibliography, tags will be used to flag new additions or records corrected since the last version so that you may copy them over to your working copies of the bibliographies.

How are the Studies and Sources bibliographies cross-referenced to Elmer Colyer's Reader's Guide?
The different segments of Colyer's Reader's Guide are the basis for cross-references between the bibliographies and the new Member Profiles. Section headings, or Topics, as Colyer identified them, arise naturally and organically from his analysis of TFT's works. So they may be more helpful than standard categories from this or that course catalog or systematic theology. If you're unsure which Topics you're interested in, or which Topics to tag a submitted publication with, we suggest comparison with the works discussed in any segment of the Reader's Guide. The concrete examples listed in any section of the Reader's Guide provides a non-arbitrary basis for selecting a Topic.

PS: In adopting Colyer's categories for the Topics list, we're assuming a basic analogy between TFT and JBT, in that JBT's publications would naturally correspond with the Topics chosen by Colyer for TFT. Since this would not be so obviously the case for DWT, we expanded Colyer's category of Sermons to include Pastoral Ministry, since a Topic of Sermons/Pastoral Ministry would seem to fit many of DWT's publications.

Bibliography Links:

Send new materials, corrections, and comments to the bibliography editors at Also let us know if you can provide or verify any item on our Wanted List.

Thomas Forsyth Torrance


A distinctively Christian research organization devoted to the exploration, development, and dissemination of the theology of Thomas F. Torrance and other theologians contributing to this endeavor. Continued...

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