Bible Study Tools
Here you will find several Bible study tools available to help in your endeavors. This is a list of Bible study tools that scholars have produced to help you study the Bible. It seems like a lot for one to compile, but start with the basics of each and add others as you can. Soon you will have a full reference library of Bible study helps! Also, these tools are available in electronic form provided by different software companies. Imagine all these reference books and more right at your finger tips!
- Bible Study Template – Use this template when you do a Bible Study.
- Topical Study Template – Use this template when you do a topical Bible study.
- Life Portrait Template – Use this template when doing a biographical study.
- Chapter Study Template – Use this template when doing a chapter study.
- Word Study Template – Use this template when doing a word study.
- Study Bibles – These Bibles are different in that they contain marginal notes, maps, references, concordances, and sometimes lexicons. All these extras are added to help you study. Study Bibles are available in different versions of the Bible. At first you should consider two versions, the NASB and the NLT, then add others (ESV or HCSB, etc.) later. The number one study Bible we recommend is The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible in the New American Standard version. However, there are others that you should consider adding to your reference library as you can: The New Scofield Study Bible, The Thompson Chain Reference Bible, The New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth), The Daily Study Bible (William Barclay), Wuest Expanded Translation of the New Testament, The Amplified Bible, The New Testament in the Language of the People (Williams), or The New Open Bible Study Edition. For more information on Bible Translations see our article entitled: Guide to Bible Translations – Part Two or our List of Modern English Bible Versions.
- Exhaustive Bible Concordance – This is an alphabetical index of all the words in the Bible. So, if you look up the word “Grace” for example, the concordance will show you every verse in the Bible that contains the word grace. Strong’s, Young’s, and The Englishman’s Greek concordance are three that we recommend.
- Bible Dictionary – Just like Webster’s dictionary, Bible dictionaries contain definitions of words related to the Bible and Christianity. Vine’s, Smith’s, Holman, Unger’s, and the Pictorial Bible dictionary are some we recommend. Here are links to the Holman and Smith dictionaries at http://studylight.org There are also some theological dictionaries that are important: The dictionary of new testament theology by Collin Brown, and the theological dictionary of the new testament.
- Bible Encyclopedia – The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia is one we recommend.
- Bible Atlas – These references contain maps and charts: Baker’s Bible Atlas, Dispensational Truth (Larkin)
- Bible History/Customs – These are references that contain background information (geographical, political, and cultural) during Bible times: Manners and Customs of the Bible, Halley’s Bible Handbook, Zondervan Handbook to the Bible, Archeology and the New Testament, Archeology and the Old Testament, Harper’s Encyclopedia of Bible Life, What the Bible is all about.
- Topical Studies – Nave’s Topical Bible
- Commentaries – These should be taken with a grain of salt, because they may contain doctrinal biases. However, some may be useful: Matthew Henry’s Commentary, the New Commentary on the Whole Bible, Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
- Lexicon – a book containing an alphabetical arrangement of the words in a language and their definitions. Look for Hebrew and Greek lexicons. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English lexicon is a good one for OT studies, and Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon is great for NT studies. We also highly recommend The New Englishman’s Greek Concordance and Lexicon, as well as, The New Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance.
- Word Study Aids – These are resources to help you perform word studies in the original Biblical languages. Word studies in the Greek New Testament by Kenneth Wuest (4 vol.),Vincent’s word studies of the New Testament, Wordstudy: New Testament and Concordance by Ralph Winter (2 vol.), New Wilson’s Old Testament word studies by William Wilson, and Synonyms of the New Testament by Richard Trench are some that we recommend.
- Old and New Testament Surveys – resources that contain a broad examination of the Bible. We suggest “New Testament Survey” by Merrill C. Tenney.
- English Dictionary and Thesaurus – A regular English dictionary and thesaurus is also very helpful. We suggest the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary and the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate thesaurus, as well as, Roget’s college thesaurus or Oxford’s dictionary.
- Bible Thesaurus – Roget’s thesaurus of the Bible
- Harmony of the Gospels – This is defined as an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative or a systematic arrangement of parallel literary passages (as of the Gospels) for the purpose of showing agreement or harmony. We recommend, The life of Christ in stereo by Johnston Cheney.
- Other helpful books – What the Bible teaches by R. A. Torrey and Halley’s Bible Handbook
This is just a sampling of what’s available for Bible Study Tools. God chose to communicate with mankind using words. In order to understand the meaning of the Bible, you must understand the meaning of the Bible “words.” Therefore, we advise using study helps that teach you the meaning of Bible words, such as, dictionaries, thesaurus, lexicons, and concordances. Learning how to study the original Biblical languages is very important too. You don’t have to become a linguist scholar to use some of the available aids. But, the more you know about the original language, the better insight you can gain into the meaning of the words and therefore the Bible itself.
Bible Study Software
Today there are several good software programs available to help you study the Bible. The one we recommend is from Logos.com. They offer several different levels of software from a basic Bible study library to the scholar’s library package. However, the Logos software is expensive. An alternative for those on a limited budget is the free E-Sword software. It offers several great resources and features. Still another somewhere between these two is Quickverse Deluxe. These are powerful tools and should be explored. Even with the learning curve to use the software, these are valuable resources.
Bible study is a lifetime habit. |