Here's a list of some of my favorite resources to enhance your understanding of God's Word.
How to Read the Bible Book by Book
Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart
c. 2002 Zondervan
ISBN 0-310-21118-2 (pbk)
This book has straight-forward and easy to read explanations and overviews of each book of the Bible plus tips on what to look for when you're reading them.
How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth (A Guide to Understanding the Bible)
Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart
c. 1981, 1993 Zondervan
A great companion to How to Read the Bible Book by Book, this book helps you to understand the different kinds of literature in the Bible (poetry, historical, proverbs, and more) and how to make it applicable to you.
How to Study Your Bible (The Lasting Rewards of the Inductive Method)
c. 1994 Harvest House
While the "Inductive Method" sounds complicated, it's not! This Bible study method is great for the curious and inquisitive. The book walks you through the process, step by step, with illustrations for each one. It is my humble opinion that this is the most meaningful way to study the Bible!
The New Joy of Discovery in Bible Study
c. 2002 Augsburg Fortress
Ward's method is very similar to Arthur's. It's probably a little less daunting too! This booklet is very hands-on. After a brief introduction it will get you studying right away by giving you "assignments" as the process is explained.
Leading a Bible Study an d you want to dig a little deeper. Here are some great resources for that:
The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible
Leadership Ministries Worldwide
PO Box 21310, Chattanooga TN. 37424
Check their website to see what books are available. Lesson/Sermon plans are available in NIV or KJV format.
The New American Commentary Series
Various authors/Each book of the Bible in individual volumes
David S. Dockery General Editor
Broadman and Holman Nashville TN.
An exegetical and theological exposition of Holy Scripture. For some these commentaries may be too in-depth, but in my opinion they are the most Biblically sound and thorough.
Encountering Biblical Studies series
Assorted authors/assorted books
Walter A. Elwell General Editor and New Testament Editor
Eugene H. Merrill Old Testament Editor
Baker Acadmic, Grand Rapids MI.
This series is designed to "put the reader back into the world of the Biblical text so that he/she may understand it as the early believers did and at the same time see it from and for our own day, thus facilitating the application of its truths to our contemporary situation". Simply put it takes "then" and puts it in "now". Each volume is informative, full of illustrations and interesting side bars highlighting key pieces of each Biblical chapter. A work in progress not all Bible books have been covered yet so check on line or with your local bookstore for the specific book you're studying.
The Archaeological Study Bible
New International Version
c. 2005 Zondervan
A great Bible for both study and learning. Pictures, maps, and featured articles on custom, culture, history and people help expand your understanding of what life was like in Bible times through the eyes of archaeological discoveries so that you can better understand what the Bible means. The NIV version is easy to read and comprehend. In addition to all the great features in this version there is also a CD that comes with some editions featuring 3D graphics on structures such as the Temple and the Upper Room.
The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible
Edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th. D.
Various versions available (The New American Standard version is the one I have.)
If you want to add some word studies into your lesson, but aren't sure which words are the best ones to use, this Bible takes the guesswork out of your hands and does it for you. The word studies are not too lengthy or academic. Study notes give additional insight to key passages.
Of course a concordance is always a great tool to have on your bookshelf but nowadays you can also find them on-line so don't worry if you don't have one. Concordances are great for cross-referencing passages, tracking the different passages which use the same word and helping you find the passage you're looking for.
Other reference books which come in handy are Bible Dictionaries, Bible Encyclopedias and Bible Atlases. These too can be found on line, but if you're like me, you'll want to have the book in hand while you're studying or writing out your lesson. Here are my top 3 Bible lesson resources:
The Holman Bible Atlas (A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History)
c. 1998 Broadman & Holman Publishers
132 color maps coordinated with Biblical texts, a complete index of locations for quick reference, 140 full color photographs of Biblical sites and archaeological discoveries, and the events of Biblical history from Genesis through the Fourth Century A.D. laid out chronologically, this Bible Atlas goes the extra mile in helping you to see the world of the Bible as it unfolds in Scripture.
Richard's Complete Bible Dictionary
General Editor Lawrence O. Richards
c. 2002 World Publishers, Inc.
An excellent resource for Bible study. Pictures, illustrations, charts and more cove a wide range of related Biblical subjects and topics, some entries even include guidelines for personal study and application.
Rose Bible Charts and Study Helps
Rose Publishing, 4733 Torrance Blvd. #259, Torrance CA., 90503
You can buy most of their posters and charts individually to hang on the wall. There are also many that come in reproducible form in several books.
And last but not least! Websites:
www.biblegateway.com (a great site for comparing different versions, word studies, Biblical resources and locating Scripture verses)
www.abarim-publications.com (an excellent site for learning what Bible names mean)