I’m always asked for sites and books I recommend to ministers that help with the study and proper exegesis of the Bible. I reviewed old emails to find a harmony to the lists. Sometimes the answers change dependent upon the situation but by far and large here is the Top List of Resources for Bible Study!
Recommended resources and a tiny bit about why I like the resource.
The Holy Bible
I won’t make the assumption that you’re reading your Bible on a weekly, daily basis. Most Americans aren’t reading a book on daily basis, much less weekly basis.
According to one LifeWay Research study over 40 % of the church attendees read their Bible once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible! The Bible is considered the Word of God to Christians and if you’re going to put your faith in its words, you should know what it says. If it’s a letter from God to those who believe, why not read it. It’s imperative that you understand that all other works, concerning the Bible are not the Bible, they are all ancillary to the tome we call Truth.
People always ask me which version of the Bible is the best. I'm personally partial to the ESV and NKJV. However I believe the best version of Scripture is the one you read. There are versions to avoid however.
How to Read the Bible For All It’s Worth
Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart lay an applicable foundation regarding both biblical exegesis and bible genres and how that applies to exegesis. While most don’t agree with everything stated in the book, at the end of the day, it’s a great book for every Christian, as they seek to understand the most important book in their faith. The key to reading the Bible for all it’s worth is to understand the viewpoint of the original author, original audience, and original context and not take a piecemeal approach to scriptures.
Communicating for a Change
Andy Stanley is what some call a Master Communicator. An accomplished author and pastor whom founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995 Stanley compiled a guide to effective communication.
Most importantly, the book isn’t dry and humdrum; it utilizes the power of story and is a good read all on its own.
It’s imperative that you understand all other works, concerning the Bible are not the Bible, they are all ancillary to the tome we call Truth.
The Promise and The Blessing
Some would say this book is too extensive to be read…but if you believe that you’ll miss out on what I believe is one of the best books about the Bible from the historic-narrative perspective that we have today. As if lifting a veil Michael A. Harbin reveals the continuity that has always existed in the Bible, but so many miss because a holistic historical approach to Scripture is often the last approach any Bible student takes. If you’re a Bible student you want this book in your collection.
Honorable Mentions: Pilgrim’s Progress, because your journey as a Christian and Christian’s journey will parallel in more ways that you can imagine over your lifetime.
Institutes of Christian Religion
If you’re a Calvinist or Reformed you should have already read John Calvin's magnum opus and know as much about Calvin as possible. I am not a Calvinist but I suggest a reading/study of the Institutes of Christian religion, it’s a worthwhile read and if you read it with an open mind you’ll find yourself impressed more so than anything else with this man’s drive to fully comprehend soteriology.
Books for Reference
Here is a little list of types of books you’ll use as references:
These provide comments regarding scripture’s meaning, application, etc. Imagine if someone typed out every sermon Jon Courson or Chuck Smith ever taught throughout the Bible. Then sorted the books by Bible book, chapter, verse, those books would become commentaries.
For example, Matthew Henry’s Commentary
Handbooks to the Bible or Manuals to the Bible
These books provide a brief overview of a Bible book. It will typically include, information regarding the author, the theme or reason the book was written, about when the book was written, so as to provide historical context. Some provide statistics around verse and chapter numbers as well—very handy indeed for a Bible student.
For example, Halley’s Handbook to the Bible
Systematic Theology or approach thereof Text
These books are sometimes used a reference books or even textbooks at Seminary. These texts take what we know about God and the Bible and lay it out in a systematic or historical or holistic approach. I prefer systematic only because it helps with the digestion and focus.
For example, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical by Robert Duncan Culver
Did I miss any books? What's on your list?
Husband, Dad, Writer, Ex-Pastor, Product Manager, & Nerd