Seven Resources to Make Your Bible Study More Meaningful
I have found that doing regular Bible study helps to keep me calm and peaceful. Which my family appreciates. It can be difficult to find time to study, but when I do I feel so much better.
Bible study can feel overwhelming at times. Where to start? I have a sneaky suspicion that I am not the only person that can feel this way. So…I thought I would share some of the resources I use when I do a Bible study. Understanding the Bible more clearly can help us have a more intimate relationship with God.
Today I will be telling you about seven Bible study resources to make your study time more meaningful. I will go over tools like highlighters, notebooks, washi tape, and pens in a future post.
I live in the middle of nowhere, so I typically do my book shopping on Christianbook.com or Amazon.com.
Seven Bible Study Resources
If you are planning on studying the Bible the first thing you are going to need is at least one good Bible. I prefer NASB and ESV Study Bibles and use a Ryrie Study Bible.
I realize that whichever translation can be an extremely personal decision, but it is in my humble opinion important to choose at least one translation that is accurate as possible.
That being said, it can also be very helpful to have a translation that is easy to understand.
2. Bible Concordance
The one Bible study resource that probably helps me the most when I do my Bible studies is a concordance. A concordance is a list of words that are in a text alphabetically (especially the important ones), usually with citations of the verses concerned.
I use The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Amazon) by James Strong. It was first published in 1890 but is a timeless resource. It is by far the largest book I own. I have an older version that was printed in 1990 and it includes the main concordance, a topical index to the Bible, Hebrew and Greek, dictionaries, and the words of Christ are highlighted (and by highlighting I mean a light gray shading). The topical index is probably the most useful portion for my purposes.
Newer versions also include Vine’s Complete Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the words of Christ are in red, the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic dictionaries are expanded.
I would say that this is one book that you really don’t need to be concerned about getting the newest version because the main concordance is the same throughout all versions, but if you can find a good deal on a newer version go for it.
Another great Bible study resource you might want to consider when doing a Bible study is a commentary. They can help to make difficult passages easier to understand by explaining and interpreting cultural and language references chapter by chapter and book by book.
Commentaries can be multi-volume sets, single-volume books, or just focus on an individual book of the Bible. I would say to use whatever is available to you in your price range, but single-volume commentaries might be a good choice because of their price range and the amount of information that is included.
4. Bible Dictionaries
If you find that the dictionary in your commentary is not sufficient you might want to look into getting a Bible dictionary. A regular dictionary or encyclopedia might not give a definition that applies to a Biblical topic.
A good Bible dictionary can help you to understand doctrines, places, subjects, and words you might find confusing during Bible study.
The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary is a great choice. It has over 6500 articles that explain subjects from Aaron to Zuzite. If you are a visual learner like me you will appreciate the 700 full-color pictures, charts, maps, and reconstructions of buildings.
One of my favorite online Bible study resources is BibleHub.com. This is a wonderful online tool that can help you search, read, and study the Bible.
It is an online Bible study suite that has over 20 commentaries, concordances, devotionals, Bible study tools, tools for Greek and Hebrew study, and sermons. You can also research the Bible in over 40 languages.
There is also a Bible Hub app available for internet equipped cell phones, PDAs, notebooks and desktop computers.
6. Olive Tree
Olive Tree Bible Software, available at www.olivetree.com, is an amazing app that offers the Bible in a diverse number of translations. In order to encourage people to study the Bible, they also offer an extremely large selection (1000s) of Bible study resources. The Olive Tree Bible App is available for Mac, Windows Desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire platforms.
The cool thing is that they offer quite a few of these Bible study resources for free. For example, at the time that I wrote this post, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary is available for free on the app. This is a smaller online version of The New Matthew Henry Commentary I told you about earlier. This is a great way to add a commentary to your library if buying a physical copy is not in your budget right now. I personally prefer to study with good old fashioned reference books because I like to highlight and underline and star points of interest…but I am old fashioned. And sometimes I do use the online version if I am not at home and don’t have access to my books.
I would be remiss if I did not include YouVersion on a list of resources for Bible study, even if it is a well-known app.
It is a free app that is available for phones, tablets, and computers. It has at least 1,200 versions of the Bible and is available in over 900 languages. One of my favorite features of this app is the availability of reading plans and devotionals that you can do along with friends. It also includes a selection of videos to watch including clips of the popular movie Son of God that was released in 2014 and the Life of Jesus (Gospel of John) by the Jesus Film Project.
Check out this short little video to learn more about YouVersion.
What are your favorite resources for Bible study?
I would love to know if you have any good Bible study resources to recommend. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite Bible study resource is!
Looking For More?
I hope these Bible study resources help to make studying your Bible a little easier and less anxiety inducing.
If you are looking for a little nudge in the right direction check out the following posts.
4 Encouraging Verses for Discouragement and Anxiety (which gives you access to 4 Verses about Discouragement and Kindness).
4 Steps to Replace Sarcasm with Kindness (which gives you access to 8 Verses About Speaking with Kindness).
How to Persevere When Life is Difficult (includes a free PDF).
If you are looking for a more in-depth Bible study check out –
How to Cope with the Anxiety of Motherhood (which gives you access to a free printable Bible study for moms that are overwhelmed).