There are a lot of great Bible resources available today. Many are free online. I often get asked my recommended resources for studying the Bible—and below is my collection of most used and suggested tools and resources. I’ve included links to both Amazon and Logos (my favorite Bible study platform) for easy reference.

Note: I’ve found over the years that having Bible tools and resources in a digital format is immensely helpful—not only is it easily searchable, but I can carry hundreds of resources with me on my computer, tablet, or phone wherever I go (without the weight of carrying dozens of books around). My favorite go-to platform is Logos Bible Software. While slightly expensive, the robustness of the software and its powerful tools has made this my main hub for study.

There are a lot of other great free resources online (my favorite is where you can access many helpful tools and resources.


Use A Good “Study” Bible
Bible Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Cross References
Bible Handbooks
Bible Atlas & Maps
Bible Culture Helps
Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament
Grammars (for Hebrew and Greek)
Bible Memory Helps
Online & Computer Bible Study Tools
Bible Highlighters & Pens

Use A Good “Study” Bible

What I mean is probably different than what you are thinking. Rather than buying a typical “study Bible” (where there are study notes below the biblical text), I’d suggest you create your own “study” Bible.

Get a good Bible, preferably with wider margins, and as you read and study the Bible, create your own notes, cross-references, etc.

Here are a couple of things to consider having in your own “study” Bible:

  • A word-for-word Bible translation (consider a solid translation like NASB, ESV, KJV, NKJV, etc)
  • A Bible without study notes or commentary at the bottom of the page
  • Invest a little extra and get better paper quality and binding (don’t buy a pew Bible or a cheap paperback version)
  • Wider margins (or a journaling Bible) is helpful so there is room for your notes

Bible Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

A Bible dictionary, a concordance, and cross-references are three essential resources to help with your Bible study. A Bible dictionary is just like Webster’s, but focused specifically on words and terms in Scripture.

When you come to a word or phrase, it is important to understand what it actually means (how many times have you just skipped over terms like propitiation or justification?).

  • Lexham Bible Dictionary (Logos only)
  • Smith’s Bible Dictionary (Amazon / Logos)
  • Vines Complete Expository Dictionary (Amazon / Logos)
  • Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Amazon / Logos)
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Amazon / Logos)
  • Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary (Amazon / Logos)
  • IVP’s Bible Dictionary Series (Amazon / Logos)
  • Other good options: Nelson, Easton, Eerdman, New Unger
[amazon-grid asin=”0785252010, 078526020X, 0310229839, 0310248787, 0830817808,” columns=”5″ fields=”lg-image,no button”]


You likely already have a simple concordance in the back of your Bible. A Bible concordance is a list of all the verses in Scripture using a specific word. These are specific to your Bible translation and can be helpful in quickly finding a reference for a verse you can only remember a word or two from.

An exhausted concordance is the expanded version of the one in the back of your Bible—usually containing all the references, not just the more popular verses.

When considering a concordance, note that there are two kinds: those based on English and those based on the original language (Hebrew and Greek). For example, if you want to look up all the verses containing the word “love,” an English concordance will show you every reference but often not clarify which Greek word is being used. Whereas some exhaustive concordances will separate the word “love” into the four primary words in Greek we translate into English as “love” (agape, phileo, eros, storge). This is helpful to bring specificity to your study in looking at the original language.

Online or digital concordances are the best (often using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) because they allow for quick searching without having to flip pages and jump back-and-forth between the concordance and your Bible.

Cross References

Cross-references are found in many Bibles as a center column that suggests other Bible passages that have to do with the same words or topics. While many of those found in Bibles are based on an algorithm, there are two I would suggest you consider using:

  • The one you create. I think the best cross-reference system is one you create on your own. As you read and study the Bible (and listen to sermons, read books, etc), as you come across a passage that is linked to another, write the reference in your Bible. I typically go to both passages and write the other one next to it so that I have the “link” regardless of which passage I come across. My cross-references are one of the few things I copy over when I get a new Bible—I love the links (cross-references) of words, concepts, topics, and phrases I have discovered over the years.
  • Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge (Amazon / Logos) – available for free on BlueLetterBible

Bible Handbooks

A Bible handbook can be a great tool to help you gain a quick overview of a book of the Bible (or a section of Scripture). Most handbooks outline the book of the Bible and help you grasp its author, audience, purpose, main structure, key passages, important topics, etc.

My favorite and go-to handbook is Talk Thru the Bible but the others are great as well. This is one of the few Bible resources (along with a Bible atlas) that I love to have a print copy of so I can flip through it and see the charts.

[amazon-grid asin=”0840752865, 031051939X, 0802838235, 0310132649,” columns=”5″ fields=”lg-image,no button”]

Bible Atlas & Maps

I have found a Bible atlas to be an indispensable tool in my Bible study. The geography of the Bible is not to be overlooked—and incredible insight can be found when you see the Bible in the place it happened.

One of the best ways to do this is to go with me on an Israel Bible Study Tour … and to also use a Bible atlas.

While some Bibles may have a couple maps in the back, an atlas allows you to pinpoint the geography as you read Scripture. Often broken up into sections, books of the Bible, or Biblical accounts, having a Bible atlas nearby to look up locations, topography, and distances can be extremely helpful in your study of God’s Word. Here are a few great options (I have them all and they each have strengths … I’d suggest you start with one, like Moody or Holman, and then maybe add a few others over time).

  • Holman Bible Atlas (Amazon / Logos)
  • The New Moody Atlas of the Bible (Amazon / Logos)
  • ESV Bible Atlas (Amazon / Logos)
  • Zondervan Essential Atlas of the Bible (Amazon / Logos)
  • Satellite Bible Atlas (Amazon)
  • The Student Bible Atlas (Amazon) – a simple and small atlas that is easy to carry around

Learn Bible geography through an interactive study guide and maps

If you want to be serious about learning the geography of the Bible, I’d highly suggest you purchase the guides and maps through Their site isn’t user friendly when purchasing, but they have an entire system to help you learn the geography by providing a study guide and maps for you to fill in yourself. I’d suggest you get the “Introductory Package” with the Regional Study Guide (make sure you add it in separately to the cart and use the code on the info page to get the discount). I’d also suggest you consider ordering the Geobasics Study Guide and Package.

[amazon-grid asin=”0805497609, 0802404413, 1433501929, 0310318572, 1506400108,” columns=”5″ fields=”lg-image,no button”]

Biblical Culture Helps

I’ve found understanding the Biblical culture and customs opens up an incredible depth in Scripture.

  • Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels by Ken Bailey (Amazon / Logos)
  • Ken Bailey has several other great books (Amazon / Logos)
  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by Richards + OBrien (Amazon / Logos)
  • Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes: Patronage, Honor, and Shame in the Biblical World by Richards + James (Amazon / Logos)
  • The Baker Illustrated Guide to Everyday Life in Bible Times by John Beck (Amazon / Logos)
  • The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament by John Walton (Amazon / Logos)
  • The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig Keener (Amazon / Logos)
  • The Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary (Amazon / Logos)
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set (Amazon / Logos)
  • Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology: A Book by Book Guide to Archaeological Discoveries Related to the Bible (Amazon / Logos)
  • Zondervan Essential Bible Companion Series (Amazon / Logos)
[amazon-grid asin=”0830825681, 0830852751, 0801014131, 0830814191, 0310255724,” columns=”5″ fields=”lg-image,no button”]

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament

Not all of these books talk specifically on Jesus in the Old Testament, several discuss the land of Israel and how they point to Jesus, but I’ve found them all to help me grasp the idea that Jesus is found on every page of Scripture (along with many of the “culture” books above).

  • Jesus on Every Page by David Murray (Amazon)
  • Beginning at Moses: A Guide to Finding Christ in the Old Testament by Michael Barrett (Amazon / Logos)
  • Christ from Beginning to End by Trent Hunter (Amazon / Logos)
  • The Unfolding Mystery by Edmund P. Clowney (Amazon / Logos)
  • Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament by Christopher Wright (Amazon / Logos)
  • Christ in the Old Testament by Charles Spurgeon (Amazon / Logos)
  • Christ in the Bible Commentary Series by AB Simpson (Amazon / Logos)
  • The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament by Nancy Guthrie (Amazon)
  • Nancy Guthrie also has several Bible studies on the concept (Amazon / Logos)
  • Ray Vander Laan’s DVD/book series That the World May Know (Amazon)
  • The Road, The Rock, and the Rabbi by Kathie Lee Gifford (Amazon)
  • Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg (Amazon)
  • Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg + Ann Spangler (Amazon)
  • Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg (Amazon)
  • The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker (Amazon)
  • The Christ Key: Unlocking the Centrality of Christ in the Old Testament by Chad Bird (Amazon)
  • Preaching Christ from the Old Testament by Sidney Greidanus (Amazon / Logos)
  • Theophany: A Biblical Theology of God’s Appearing by Vern S. Poythress (Amazon / Logos)
  • The Jewish Gospel of John by Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg (Amazon)
  • The Tabernacle: Shadows of the Messiah by David Levy (Amazon / Logos)
  • Christ in All Scripture by Douglas Van Dorn (Amazon)
  • Saving Life of Christ and The Mystery of Godliness by Ian Thomas (Amazon)
[amazon-grid asin=”083082359X, 0310536545, 1414335903, 0310330009, 1596388927,” columns=”5″ fields=”lg-image,no button”]


A lexicon is a dictionary for either Hebrew or Greek. This is more academic and technical than the Bible dictionaries mentioned above, often requiring a basic understanding of that language. These dictionaries are organized alphabetically in Hebrew or Greek.

Hebrew Lexicons

  • Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament | HALOT (Logos)
  • The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Amazon / Logos)
  • Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible (Logos)

Greek Lexicons

  • Greek-English Lexicon of the NT and other Early Christian Literature | BDAG (Amazon / Logos)
  • Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the NT (Amazon / Logos)

Grammars (for Hebrew and Greek)

A grammar helps you learn a language—in this case, Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament).

Hebrew Grammars

  • “Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar” by Pratico and Van Pelt (Amazon / Logos)
  • “Learning to Read Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar” by Robert R. Ellis (Amazon / Logos)
  • “Learning Biblical Hebrew” by Kulz and Josberger (Amazon / Logos)

Greek Grammars

  • “Teach Yourself New Testament Greek” by Ian Macnair (Amazon)
  • “Greek for the Rest of Us” by William Mounce (Amazon / Logos)
  • “Basics of Biblical Greek” by William Mounce (Amazon / Logos)
  • “Reading Koine Greek” by Rodney Decker (Amazon / Logos)
  • “Biblical Greek Made Simple” by H. Daniel Zacharias (Amazon / Logos)
  • “An Introduction to Biblical Greek” by John D. Schwandt (Amazon / Logos)
  • “It’s Still Greek to Me” by David Allen Black (Amazon)

Greek Online Learning System + Community


You may have wondered why I’ve waited till now to mention commentaries. I love a good commentary but I’ve noticed far too many students of the Word rely almost exclusively upon commentaries that they aren’t actually studying—they merely glean insights from others who have studied the Bible.

We must remember that the Bible is its own best commentary!

All commentaries are merely someone’s study in the Word, and while they can be immensely helpful (especially with understanding culture, history, and original languages) my suggestion is to wrestle through the Biblical text yourself and use commentaries later in your study so you don’t rely upon their conclusions.

In other words, don’t let the use of commentaries shortchange your own study of Scripture.

As you look for commentaries, note that there are two different styles of commentaries—what I will call “sermonic” and “academic.”

A sermonic commentary is typically a “commentary” comprised of someone’s sermon on the passage, whether the actual transcript or a written version of the sermon (for example Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Stephen Manley).

An academic commentary is often written by professors and scholars who are analyzing the passage in light of original language, grammar, structure, history, culture, geography, etc. These do not read like a sermon and sometimes a basic grasp of Hebrew or Greek may be required to understand the commentary. Often more analytical, these types of commentaries usually don’t give answers or conclusions as much as help you understand the text itself so you can come to your own conclusions.

While sermonic commentaries are great for your personal devotional/spiritual life, if you are going to use commentaries in your Bible study, I suggest using academic ones … and later use sermonic commentaries to deepen, augment, or discover potential missing concepts in your study.

One final note about commentaries. Most people appear to only use scholars from their own theological traditions to read from in their studies. My suggestion is to gather a couple of different commentaries from a variety of theological perspectives or denominations (ie: Reformed, Armenian, Pentecostal, etc. … or … Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Lutheran, Wesleyan, etc) so that you can better understand the tension points and come to an informed decision based on a variety of opinions and perspectives rather than just one scholar’s conclusions. I’ve found this makes my use of commentaries more helpful and allows me to better wrestle through the meaning of a text.

In a nutshell …

  • Remember that the Bible is its own best commentary … and that we should primarily (exclusively?) use the Bible to interpret the Bible
  • If you use commentaries, use them later in your study process so it gives you time to wrestle with the text before you seek someone’s opinions
  • Lean toward academic commentaries over sermonic commentaries for your Bible study
  • Use a variety of commentaries to see perspectives, insights, and tension points
  • While a commentary series may look good on your shelf, not all commentaries within a series may be the best option for a particular book of the Bible. Rather than buying an entire series, pick and choose good commentaries for the book you are studying from a variety of series. To find good commentaries on a specific book, consider using a resource like An Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry by David Bauer which gives reviews of the best commentaries for each book of the Bible. There is also a great online version of commentary recommendations, which collects thousands of reviews from scholars and users.

That being said, here are a few commentary series I’ve found particularly helpful:

[amazon-grid asin=”0802868428, 0802835120, 0310521769, 0805401202, 0802837379,” columns=”5″ fields=”lg-image,no button”]

Bible Memory Helps

Memorizing the Bible is important (see Psalm 119:11). While there are a lot of simple tricks and resources to help you memorize Scripture, sometimes, having a convenient digital app can help. My favorite is Verses (for iOS only) – which has radically helped me memorize and stay consistent. Here are a few other suggested resources:

Online Bible Study Tools

Digital resources have transformed my personal Bible study time. While you don’t need resources, especially paying the cost for a digital library, they come in handy when traveling, quickly searching for something, or being able to copy/paste and following ideas and concepts without having to turn pages.

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time on BlueLetterBible and eventually saved my money and upgraded to Logos Bible Software (which I think is one of the best digital options available).

If you are just starting out, I suggest using a free online resource like BlueLetterBible … and if you want more comprehensive options, consider Logos (using the link below to buy Logos also helps support Deeper Christian at no additional cost to you).

» Learn how to do a simple word study using

Free Online Tools

Bible Software for Purchase

Bible Highlighters & Pens

Nothing is worse than highlighting your Bible and find that it goes through to the other page. I’ve used lots of options in the past but currently use the following:

Receive the Deeper Digest

Receive Deeper Christian’s weekly content in ONE convenient email each Saturday (all the quotes, articles, podcasts, etc.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, deeperChristian will receive an affiliate commission (with no additional cost to you). It is a great way to support the work and ministry of deeperChristian. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”