Helms studied at University of California, Riverside, B.A. 1964, University of Washington, Ph.D. 1968, then taught from 1968 at the University of California as assistant professor of English, before becoming professor at the Department of English, Arizona State University. In 2007 he established the Randel and Susan McCraw Helms Homecoming Writing Contest for undergraduate students.
Helm's writings on Tolkien include Tolkien's world (1974) and Tolkien and the Silmarils (1981).
Helms has written a series of books using Higher Criticism to analyze the Bible. In "Gospel Fictions" , Helms shows how the Gospel writers used the Old Testament as a source of material to build up fictional details about events surrounding Jesus.  He also wrote "Who wrote the Gospels?" (1997)  and The Bible against itself (2006) on similar themes.
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: Volume 2 - Page 934 R. Reginald, Douglas Menville, Mary A. Burgess - 2010 -"RANDEL HELMS Full Name: Randel Helms. Born November 6, 1942, at Montgomery, Alabama. Son of Loyce Virgil Helms (a contractor) ... "
- ASU Randel and Susan McCraw Helms Homecoming Writing Contest
- Loyce Randel Helms - 1968 Dissertation abstracts: The humanities and social sciences University Microfilms - 1969 Loyce Randel Helms. Ph.D. University of Washington, 1968 Chairman: Professor Frank Warnke This dissertation is an attempt to fill, in part, a need in Blake scholarship that Northrop Frye announced some time ago, ..."
- Studies in the literary imagination: Volumes 13-14 Georgia State University. Dept. of English, Georgia State College (Atlanta, Ga.). Dept. of English - 1980 "LOYCE RANDEL HELMS, of Arizona State University, is interested in the Bible as literature; he has spoken and written on the Inklings, and included among his publications is Tolkien's World. "
- Blake Volumes 16-18 University of New Mexico. Dept. of English - 1982 "A full treatment of the work and the bibliographical and interpretational problems it raises can be found in Randel Helms 's essay The Genesis of "The Everlasting Gospel" in Blake Studies, 9 (1980), 122-60."
- Helms, Randel (1988). Gospel Fictions. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0879754648.
- Helms, Randel (1997). Who wrote the gospels?. Millennium Press. ISBN 0-9655047-2-7.
- Helms, Randel (2006). The Bible against itself. Millennium Press. ISBN 0-9655047-5-1.