Do you plan to participate in a Bible study group this fall? Or maybe you are already digging in on your own? However and whenever you study, the following list of Bible study resources will help you get the most of your time in God’s Word. Remember that resources are secondary to discovering what God has for us in His Word. There is no substitute for the Holy Spirit’s teaching!
The list below includes trusted Bible study resources from 9 different categories. Even one or two from each category will be a great start to your Bible study library. Of course some resources, like Bible translations, can be accessed online. (Watch for Thursday’s post about online resources!) Here is the list in a printable PDF for your convenience!
9 Recommended Bible Study Resources
1.Several recent translations of the Bible – Read your passage of study in more than one translation and compare them for greater understanding. Some good ones to try:
- New International Version
- New American Standard Bible
- Amplified Bible
- English Standard Version
- New Living Translation
2. Exhaustive Concordance – If you don’t have any other tool, you need to have this index of every word in the Bible. Get one that corresponds to your primary translation. Recommended:
- The Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance
3. Bible Dictionary – Explains many of the words, topics, customs and traditions in the Bible. It also includes historical, geographical, cultural, and archeological information. A few to try:
- Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
- Illustrated Bible Dictionary
- Tyndale Bible Dictionary
- Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
- New International Bible Dictionary
4. Holman Bible Atlas by Thomas Brisco
5. Topical Bible – Similar to a concordance but organizes by topic rather than words:
- Nave’s Topical Bible
- Zondervan NIV Nave’s Topical Bible
6. Bible Handbook – Combination of an encyclopedia and commentary in a concise form. It is arranged by Bible book and includes background notes, brief commentary, maps, charts, and more. Look for one of these:
- Halley’s Bible Handbook
- Holman Bible Handbook
- The New Unger’s Bible Handbook
7. Word Studies – Look up the original words and their meanings without knowing Greek or Hebrew. Here are a few resources to try:
- Mounce’s Compete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words
- The Complete Word Study New Testament, by Spiros Zodhiates, AMG Publishers
- The Complete Word Study Old Testament, by Spiros Zodhiates, AMG Publishers
8. How To Read Your Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart
9. Commentaries – biblical scholars interpret and explain a particular text of the Bible based on their study of the background, language, etc. Keep in mind these are written by humans and are not infallible. But here are some good ones to try:
- Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, Robert B. Hughes and J. Carl Laney, Tyndale. Provides biblical scholarship and commentary on every passage of the Bible in a user-friendly format (One volume)
- The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, Craig S. Keener, Intervarsity Press
- The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, Walton, Matthews & Chavalas, Intervarsity Press
- The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Zondervan, Set of 12 volumes covers the whole Bible
Do you have a favorite resource you use to supplement your Bible study? I would love for you to share it with us in the comments!
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The list of Bible study resources provided in this post seems helpful to enhance the Bible study time & to get the most of the time in God’s Word. Thank you!