So here’s my short list of favorite tools for Bible study, in no particular order. Feel free to hit “Reply” and add your own favorites to our conversation.
Best General Introduction to reading and understanding your Bible…
How to read the Bible for all its worth (3rd edition) by Gordon Fee & Doug Stuart (Zondervan Publishing)
This popular introduction to Bible study covers the different genres of literature in the Bible, plus their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today. (Available here in e-book or paperback editions, in English or Spanish.)
Best Study Bible…
The ESV Study Bible (Crossway Publishers)
A hefty Bible to carry around, the ESV Study Bible includes more than 20,000 (!!) on-the-page notes that focus especially on understanding the meaning of the text, giving answers to frequently raised questions, and providing theological, historical, and archaeological background—all for the purpose of helping readers to understand the Bible in a deeper way. Includes more than 200 maps plus more than 200 charts that explain key concepts. (Available here in a wide choice of bindings and price points.) Of course, there are a dozen or more other Study Bibles out there. This is the newest and most comprehensive by far.
Best Word-Study Tools – this one is a tie…
The Key-Word Study Bible (AMG Publihsers)
Ever wanted to understand what an important word meant in the original Hebrew or Greek, but you don’t have Greek or Hebrew language skills? This is the Bible for you. Check out a helpful video here that explains how this unique Bible works. Available in a wide choice of popular translations — including the NIV, ESV, NASB, and KJV translations — the Key Word Study Bible helps any reader follow the Bible’s original meaning — without having to study and learn the ancient languages. Includes an extensive dictionary of key words, their meaning, and their use in the Bible, all keyed to the English words word in just about every verse.
The NET Bible (bible.org)
Okay, the NET Bible is a completely new translation with tens of thousands of on-the-page notes! Completed by more than 25 scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts this translation is the most accessible ever due to the unparalleled detailing in the notes and up-to-date language. Includes 1,000s of Translator Notes (tn) that explain why the translators chose a particular English word or words to present the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek word(s). Also includes 1,000s of Study Notes (sn) that shed additional light on a word, phrase or concept.
>>> Now here’s the cool part. You can get this Bible printed on paper (check out the printed options here), OR my favorite way to use the NET Bible is online at bible.org where the FREE powerful searchable, interactive tools are very easy to use: you can quickly compare multiple translations side by side; or roll over any word in English and immediately get the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek definition, root, word-useage count, etc. Plus, get this, you can add and save your own study notes right on the same online page for future reference or ongoing studies! Very cool! Why spend money on expensive Bible Study Software like Logos (for Windows or MAC), Accordance (MAC), BibleWorks or QuickVerse (both for Windows) when the NET Bible gives you great tools for free!.
This online study tool also includes hundreds of articles, commentaries, and an online, interactive discussion forum.
Favorite online Bible site…
I’ve got this one bookmarked and use it every day. This free online site gives you a choice of 21 Bible translations, and that’s just in English! Do quick word or phrase searches to find the verse(s) you are looking for. Compare multiple translations side by side. Include (or decline) cross references and/or footnotes. Plus access more than a dozen popular commentaries. And you can subscribe to FREE daily devotionals, Q&A emails and lots more!
So there’s my short list. Now what’s your favorite Bible study tool?
Resting in Him,
PS – Watch tomorrow for the next blog post of my favorite commentaries on particular books of the Bible.