The following items are Bible Study Tools that I highly recommend. Reading the Bible is a great way to increase your knowledge and faith, BUT studying your Bible will elevate you to a much higher plain. A solid Bible version, such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the English Standard Version (ESV) will provide a good base of study. Two other indispensable tools are a Bible Concordance and Bible Dictionary. Beyond these foundational tools many other resources exist that will add additional, context, insight, and meaning to the text. I would also suggest you have and apply a Bible Hermeneutic, or method of interpretation. Feel free to review my thoughts on a Biblical Hermeneutic.

BibleWorks

BibleWorks 9 is a Bible software program which I have used for years.  I believe it is one of the best programs on the market. The program excels in original languages and comes with Greek, Hebrew, and Septuagint Bibles. The search engine is capable of simple or very complex searches. BibleWorks comes with a highly-configurable user interface, designed to work the way you work. Included are hours of task-oriented How-to Videos to help you get started with BibleWorks. The videos demonstrate basic and advanced features of the program used in everyday tasks. In addition, BibleWorks comes with a detailed electronic manual. Whether you’re preparing a sermon, doing complex morphological analysis, or writing a seminary paper, BibleWorks is indispensable.

I highly recommend this NASB (New American Standard Bible) study Bible. This Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible contains essential tools for Hebrew and Greek with translations that are accurate and clear. Includes the Strong’s Dictionary numbering system which makes this study Bible one for every student of God’s Word, no matter what age.

Features

  • Bible text of the 1977 NASB
  • NEW! Wider margins than previous editions
  • Introduction to each book of the Bible
  • Table of Weights and Measures
  • AMG’s Concordance of the Bible
  • Combining Strong’s dictionaries with additional material taken from AMG’s Complete Word Study
  • Footnotes on the original languages, Bible history, Bible doctrines, and difficult passages
  • Strong’s numbers on key words in the text of the Bible
  • Grammatical codes on key words in the text of the New Testament, these codes identify the forms of Greek grammar behind the English translation

I highly recommend this ESV (English Standard Version) study Bible. This Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible contains essential tools for Hebrew and Greek with translations that are accurate and clear. Includes the Strong’s Dictionary numbering system which makes this study Bible one for every student of God’s Word, no matter what age.

Features

  • Bible text of the ESV
  • NEW! Wider margins than previous editions
  • Introduction to each book of the Bible
  • Table of Weights and Measures
  • AMG’s Concordance of the Bible
  • Combining Strong’s dictionaries with additional material taken from AMG’s Complete Word Study
  • Footnotes on the original languages, Bible history, Bible doctrines, and difficult passages
  • Strong’s numbers on key words in the text of the Bible
  • Grammatical codes on key words in the text of the New Testament, these codes identify the forms of Greek grammar behind the English translation

A primary tool for the Bible student is a solid Bible dictionary. The newly revised Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary has been updated and expanded with over 250 new articles, new maps and charts. This book is designed both for those who need information quickly and those who want in depth information on hundreds of topics. Each entry begins with a brief definition of the word followed by more detailed information.

Features:

Over 700 full-color photos, illustrations and charts.
Scale drawings and reconstructions of biblical places and objects.
Over 60 new, full-color maps with map index.
Major articles on theological topics, collective articles on plants, animals, occupations, etc.
Pronunciation guide.
Up-to-date archaeological information.
Timeline that compares Biblical to world history.

By organizing entries according to the original Hebrew and Greek words, Young’s Analytical Concordance is designed to allow any student of the Bible to distinguish and analyze important shades of meaning and to gain a deeper appreciation and better understanding of the sacred text. The predominating benefit to the user of Young’s is the unique organization and arrangement. For every English word in the Bible, the analytical arrangement of Young’s provides the following:

The original Hebrew or Greek word or words
The literal meaning of every such word
The thoroughly true and reliable parallel passages

Additional special features:

Over 310,000 biblical references
Clarifies which Hebrew or Greek words are translated by more than one English word, as well as which English words are used to translate multiple Hebrew or Greek words
The proper names of persons and places are included in their alphabetical order, with the literal meaning of each, where identifiable

The Young’s Concordance is only keyed to the King James Version but is worth the effort if even that’s not your Bile study version.

Another primary tool for the Bible student is a Bible Concordance. If you use the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition, then The Strongest (Strong’s) NASB Exhaustive Concordance is indispensable. Locate even the most obscure Scripture verses quickly and easily. Conduct thorough, revealing word studies that uncover shades of meaning from the original Bible languages. The Strongest Bible concordance contains over 400,000 entries, enhanced Strong’s numbering system for use with updated NASB, and Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek dictionaries. With a concordance you will be able to trace words in the NASB text to their equivalents in the original Bible languages for a better understanding of their meaning and application. It also contains clear instructions for use of the concordance and dictionaries. Remember to purchase a concordance that uses the same version as your study Bible. My recommendation is either the NASB or ESV.

How We Got the Bible by Neil R. Lightfoot is a great resource and provides factual, accessible answers to questions such as how and when did the books of the Bible originate? In what sense are these books different from other books? How have these books been preserved and transmitted to us? Why do we have so many different translations of the Bible? It has sold more than 1 million copies during its forty years in print.

Dr. Howard Stern’s Jewish New Testament Commentary would be a great addition to anyone’s library. Dr. Stern provides important historical context and rabbinic materials to Christian theology. The Jewish New Testament Commentary will challenge Christians to rediscover their Jewish roots.

Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, Jr. provides valuable insights into the difficult sayings of Jesus within a Hebraic perspective. The author’s premise is that the Synoptic Gospels were first communicated in Hebrew. However, even if you don’t’ agree with this premise there is no doubt that the idioms that Jesus used can be understood only in a Hebrew context. Contrary to previous consensus, it now appears that Hebrew was very much alive as a spoken language at the time of Jesus.

The Encyclopedia of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by Israel Ariel and Chaim Richman is a masterpiece of Temple research, fully detailed and beautifully bound.  It is essential for anyone studying the Temple.  Learn all about Jerusalem’s First & Second Temples; the Temple Structure, Vessels & Tools, Sacrifices, the Priests,  Levites and Garments, and Temple History.  This book is 269 pages, has a hard cover, includes over 300 full-color illustrations, and comes in a large, coffee table format. Researched and written by The Temple Institute’s top Temple scholars, and illustrated with the work of the many fine artists and craftsmen associated with the Institute.

I have come to enjoy all of Dr. Thomas Lancaster’s works. This is one of the better commentaries on Galatians and the Law vs. Grace argument. Lancaster explains Paul’s epistle to the Galatians from Jewish perspective, which is absolutely necessary for a proper understanding. Good depth but not difficult to understand. A great addition to anyone’s library.

In his groundbreaking work, The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ, Daniel Boyarin guides us through rich new discoveries and the ancient scriptures to make the powerful case that our conventional understandings of Jesus and of the origins of Christianity are wrong. Boyarin’s argues that the coming of the Messiah was fully imagined in the ancient Jewish texts. Jesus, moreover, was embraced by many Jews as this person, and his core teachings were did not from Jewish beliefs and teachings. What came to be known as Christianity came much later, as religious and political leaders sought to impose a new religious orthodoxy that was not present at the time of Jesus’ life.

First published many decades ago, E.W. Bullinger’s Number in Scripture remains a first-rate scholarly study of the importance of numbers in scripture. Both Bible teachers, preachers, layman, and new Christians will benefit by keeping this book nearby while studying the Bible. The book includes original Greek words and their English equivalents. Hebrew words are rendered in their English equivalent.

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