One of the benefits of living in today’s generation is access to some incredible Bible study tools. Study methods that use to take hours in the past, now only takes minutes. And whether you have had any training, know Greek or Hebrew, or have a clue what “Aorist, Active, Indicative” is, now means very little with the tools available to help you dive deeper into the Biblical text.
As you begin to saturation you will obviously find a need for resources. Though you can obviously study without any resources, having some on hand does make it easier and speeds up the time it takes to track down information. It doesn’t need to cost a lot, or anything at all with the bounty of online resources available.
It is important to note as we talk about resources that the authors who penned the Bible did not write to people in our culture. Each author lived in a particular culture and wrote to people with certain backgrounds, education, and cultural pressures. As we study the Word in context, it is imperative that we understand what the author is saying to the original audience — and this is where resources become valuable. Before we can know what the author means, we must know what he is saying.
The good news is that no one today lived during the time when the authors penned their books, so everyone needs to study to learn about the history, culture, society, etc. So there is no shame in not knowing something and needing to research it. Remember, the process and journey is just as important as the destination in Bible study. And truth be told there will be a sacrifice of time in order for you to dig deep into the Word of God.
Previously we have talked about the three most important tools for Bible study and how to use commentaries in your study. This week we want to discuss several additional resources available for you to check out.
There are some other great resources that are available besides those previously mentioned that you may eventually be interested in. But remember these are not necessary for Bible study, though they can help with diving into the truth.
1. Greek Lexicon
A lexicon is simply a dictionary of Greek words. Most lexicons give the root word(s), where that Greek word is used, and its definition.
Example: Ephesians 2.15 (so as to CREATE in Himself one new man from the two)
Verb ktizo (create)
1) to make habitable, to people, a place, region, island
a) to found a city, colony, state
2) to create
a) of God creating the worlds
b) to form, shape, i.e. to completely change or transform
**emphasis: to create something entirely new out of something else
* Zodhiates Complete Word Study OT/NT
* Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the NT
* Greek-English Lexicon of the NT and other Early Christian Literature (BDAG)
** Note: these resources are a little expensive and you can find some far cheaper options but these are some suggestions for those looking for great resources. My recommendation is to get these in digital form with some computer software which helps make it easier to carry around and far faster to search through.
2. Computer Programs
There are several great computer programs available for Bible study. Most range in price based on the amount of resources you want included. Do note that most beginning software packages don’t have a lot of great resources. Though it may appear that it has hundreds of things available, many are not worth using. Often times it is better to save up and get a higher edition of software that has resources that you will likely use.
Again let me emphasize that you do not NEED software to study the Bible. I do a lot of my study without any software (I do use free online resources). Having computer software can make things easier due to easy search options, having everything available on your computer offline, etc, but don’t use the excuse that you can’t study because you don’t have the latest software. Remember that people have been studying the Bible for many centuries before computers were available. =)
* PC Study Bible (PC)
* BibleWorks (PC) – primarily an exegetical tool
* Accordance (PC/Mac)
* Logos (PC/Mac) – probably one of the most popular and diverse Bible softwares
3. Online Resources
Who doesn’t like free? You can get a ton of free Bible resources online without spending a penny. Here are a few suggestions:
* BlueLetterBible.org – my go to for online study. Simple to use, lots of great features. It is worth the time to get to know how to navigate this website.
* Esword/MacSword – you can also download this onto your computer for when you are offline. They also have lots of great optional resources you can purchase to add to the basic program.
* BibleArc.com – this is a great free tool that helps you see connections within a passage. I recommend you taking their free tutorial (will take a couple hours) and then you can use their system to diagram a passage to see how everything is related.
Question: What other great resources would YOU recommend to everyone for their Bible Study? Leave a comment/link in the comment section.