Do you tend to use online Bible study resources or physical, printed ones? I do take advantage of the great, online resources, but there are some physical Bible study resources I use almost every day. Not only do I prefer to have the printed page in front of me, but it’s not possible – or at least not free or easy – to find all this information online.
The resources I share below will be helpful no matter the Bible book or topic you choose to study. The information they provide will always be relevant. So, they are well worth the small financial investment. (Note: The Amazon links I share of my favorite resources below are affiliate links.)
My List of 5 Must-Have Bible Study Resources
- Study Bible – Depending on the one you have, it might include things like background information on each Bible book, concordance, maps, cross-references, and more. It will also include commentary notes, but I encourage you to ignore those until you have done your own study first.
- Bible Dictionary – This type of reference not only includes definitions of people, places, objects, and more found in the Bible, but some also include maps, charts, and background information on Bible books. A good one to try is the “Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.”
- Bible Handbook – The exact information will differ based on the one you choose, but handbooks can include historical, cultural, and archeological information as well as background information on the Bible books. The two I have on my shelf are “Zondervan Handbook to the Bible” and “The Wilkinson & Boa Bible Handbook.”
- Concordance – A concordance is an alphabetical index of words used in the Bible. Each listing will show the main references in the Bible where each word occurs. A concordance is extremely helpful if you are doing a word, character, or topical study. (Note: A concordance will be specific to a particular English translation like the NIV or ESV, so look for one based on the translation you use most.) Also see “What is a Bible concordance and How do I Use it?“
- Bible Background Commentary – This type of resource provides cultural and historical information on every passage in the Bible. They help bridge the gap of time and culture between the Scriptures and the life we live today. I love the two-volume IVP Bible Background Commentary. (New Testament volume and Old Testament volume)
A few more thoughts about Bible reading and study
I love God’s Word and I love to help others gain the tools and confidence to dive in to study Scripture for themselves. I also work to provide you with all the Bible study resources I can. While there’s no one right method for Bible study, there are definitely correct and incorrect ways to approach and study Scripture. If you want to strengthen your Bible study muscles, you may find some of the following posts helpful:
- “How I Read & Study the Bible”
- “4 R Bible Study Method for Everyday Use“
- “Do You Read the Bible all Wrong?“
- “4 Tips to Help You Understand the Bible”
- “11 Tips for Spending Quality Quiet Time with God“