Home > Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, Preaching, Recommendations > Ten Indispensable Resources for Bible Study

Ten Indispensable Resources for Bible Study

February 28, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Over the years of studying the Bible there have been certain books that have proved indispensable.  Obviously, studying the Bible involves reading it and using the original languages, so I’ll leave those resources off the list, but these ten books are resources that I always consult for study purposes and would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to collect some good study tools.

Synopsis of the Four Gospels, ed. Kurt Aland.  This book is very helpful when studying the gospels.  It helps you to see the similarities and differences between the gospel accounts.  I would also suggest getting a synopsis of the Old Testament historical books, such as Newsome’s work.

An Introduction to the Old Testament, by Tremper Longman and Raymond Dillard.  I still think Longman and Dillard’s introduction is the best.  The new volume is completely updated with new material.  I also like Gareth Crossley’s book, The Old Testament Explained and Applied.

An Introduction to the New Testament, by D. A. Carson and Doug Moo.  Carson and Moo have written the best New Testament introduction.  The present volume is completely updated with a discussion on the New Perspective on Paul.  I would also suggest getting a New Testament theology such as Ladd’s or the forthcoming work by Schreiner.

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, eds. T. Desmond Alexander, et al.  This dictionary is an indispensable tool.  There are great introductory essays and the essays on the books of the Bible and various biblical-theological themes are absolutely superb.  A must have for any student of the Bible, so that means every Christian should have one.

21st Century Edition

New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition, eds. Gordon Wenham, et al.  A good one-volume commentary is always helpful because it gives you a quick point of reference to grasp a passage.  The New Bible Commentary has been the best that I have found and has many excellent scholars writing the comments for individual books (e.g. Ferguson, Davids, McConville, Moo, O’Brien, Silva, Waltke, Wilcock, Wright).

Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, ed. Kevin Vanhoozer.  This dictionary touches on a lot of hermeneutical and theological issues, but is still very helpful because it provides great essays on topics related to the study of the Scriptures from a theological perspective (e.g., individual books of the Bible, interpretation; OT & NT background). 

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson.  A new resource, but already an indispensable one.  With any one-volume work the reader will be left wanting more, but the aim of the commentary is unique and invaluable.  There are also extensive bibliographies for each book of the Bible for further study.  This is just as valuable as the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology.

New Bible Dictionary, eds. I. Howard Marshall, et al.  This dictionary is the best I have found.  It is up-to-date (for the most part) and has a lot of good essays on just about everything related to the Bible.  If you want to dig deeper into certain sections of the Bible see IVP’s dictionaries for the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom & Poetry, the Prophets (forthcoming), the Gospels, Paul, General Epistles, and NT Background.

Bible Background Commentary, eds. John Walton, et al.  There is a NT counterpart that is worth picking up too.  Both commentaries are helpful, but obviously limited due to being a one-volume work.  If you are interested in further background studies for the Old and New Testament you will have to do separate reading in other books or commentaries, such as Ferguson’s fine work

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, eds. Leland Ryken, et al.  This book is very helpful for understanding how symbols, motifs, and metaphors are used in the text.  You will find a lot of overlap between this volume and other dictionaries listed above, but you will also find many unique entries as well. 

  1. February 28, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Good job. My blog is dedicated to encouraging the church to read more (hence the name!) I’m glad my school has all of these titles. I on the other hand own two or three. They are pricey, but it would seen worth owning. I have profited from the D.A. Carson books myself.

  1. March 1, 2008 at 5:28 am

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