"For Those Who Are Passionate About Reaching The Younger Generation"


Just as the carpenter is handicapped without his tools, so is the Bible student. Here are my most used tools, the screwdrivers and hammers of my toolbox that I consider indispensable. Many of these can now be found online, free of charge (such as at http://www.biblegateway.com/tools/ ). If you want to purchase the books, you might look to mail order companies such as www.christianbook.com or www.amazon.com for sometimes hefty discounts.

  • ONE VOLUME COMMENTARY ON THE WHOLE BIBLE> � Consult commentaries after you�ve done your own study of the passage. Otherwise, you may blindly accept their dogmatic statements on passages that could be legitimately interpreted differently. I heard of one student who consulted the commentaries first. Upon opening the Bible itself, he remarked, "The Bible sure throws a lot of light on those commentaries!" But used correctly, commentaries provide us with much wisdom by gifted scholars who often have profound insight. I routinely consult several commentaries on each verse I use in teaching. If I had only one commentary: The New Bible Commentary. Then expand to commentary sets and commentaries on individual books of the Bible. Consult bibliographic guides such as The Minister�s Library (Cyril J. Barber) to help you choose the best.
  • TOPICAL BIBLE � The basic answer to, "Steve, how do you find all those verses?" I�ve always used the Nave�s Topical Bible. You can pick a topic, such as "Afflictions," and find scads of verses written out for you.
  • STUDY BIBLE> -- Provides you with cross references, study notes, outlines, and maps. It should be in an accurate translation, such as the New American Standard or New International Version. Don't use a paraphrase for serious study.
  • CONCORDANCE> � An exhaustive concordance lists every occurrence of every biblical word. (Yes, even the words "and" and "the"!) Great for word studies, finding verses, and brief definitions. I use Strong�s Exhaustive Concordance. CBD calls it "The most valuable Bible study tool for a century."
  • VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS> � Sometimes a different translation will make a verse live for me. Other times, differences in translations warn me that the Greek or Hebrew text could be translated in a way that would change my understanding of the verse. The New Testament From 26 Translations lists verses phrase by phrase, comparing them to other translations. I consult it on every New Testament verse I study. There is a similar book on the Old Testament.
  • BIBLE DICTIONARY >� Defines and discusses Bible words. I use The New Bible Dictionary. A Bible Encyclopedia covers more ground, in more depth.
  • SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY> � In depth discussions of theological issues. I like Thiessen�s Lectures in Systematic Theology. Theologically balanced and uses lots of Scripture. Examples: "How can I prove Jesus� deity?" "What are the main views of the end times?"
  • BOOK ON BIBLE INTERPRETATION> � Gives principles on correctly interpreting the Bible. I highly recommend Robertson McQuilkin, Understanding and Applying the Bible. Example: "How can I decide whether a passage is to be taken figuratively or literally?"

NOTE: � Some computer programs try to put it all together with commentaries, various translations, etc. Although I don�t have them, some pastors love them.