When it comes to reading the Bible, it’s vital to be prepared with the proper tools. And via “right,” I simply mean the tools that assist you to cultivate an accurate, in-depth information of Scriptural truth. For the greater we know God as he really is, the more we are able to grow to like him and to promote his gospel.
But there are so many tools in this life that it is able to be tough to realize where to start, or what’s best.
Whether you’re just beginning or were reading the Bible for many years, right here are Bible tools to help you grow to your understanding of the Bible and your devotion to Jesus Christ:
The English Standard Version of the Bible is taken into consideration to be one of the closest translations to the authentic ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic writings. This version is beneficial for reading the Word as it leaves little room for translation error, even as encouraging readers to apprehend the textual content in its near-to-original form. The observe Bible offers additional resources which includes maps, e-book introductions, commentary notes, and articles. You may need to apply this version when studying for context, together with the comprehension and interpretation that follows.
Using the same translation as the ESV Study Bible, the ESV Reader’s Bible takes a brand new approach to analyzing approximately God’s salvation plan by imparting the Bible as one seamless story. How so? By casting off verse numbers, segment titles, and commentary. This model intends to draw the reader into the Big Story of Scripture through supplying itself as God’s Word in an “ebook” layout. You can also need to apply this model while studying a whole book of the Bible in a single sitting, or before looking at different peoples’ commentaries on the text.
Whether you’re a discern, grandparent, Sunday School instructor, babysitter, or the like, in case you engage with youngsters, you have a unique and awesome opportunity to factor them to Scripture. In The Jesus Storybook Bible, creator Sally Lloyd-Jones does a fabulous job of sharing the terrific memories of the Bible in this kind of manner that “each tale whispers [Jesus’] name.” She stays right to everything of the Bible, direct to the gospel, and does so with the assist of stunning, colourful illustrations. (This Bible makes a high-quality present for babies and their parents.)
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#4. Daily Devotional
It may be useful to think about biblical devotionals as mini-commentaries on quantities of Scripture, searching to restore a reader’s eyes on Jesus Christ. Two noticeably endorsed devotionals from Pastor Colin Smith encompass The One Year Unlocking the Bible Devotional or LifeKEYS Daily. Pastor and creator Paul David Tripp has a new devotional e-book entitled New Morning Mercies, which points richly to the gospel in its readings. You may also need to pick out a devotional that specializes in one passage of Scripture for its entirety, like Andrew Murray’s The True Vine (unpacks John 15). Whatever you decide, a biblically-focused, Christ-exalting devotional is a rich accomplice to your study of the Bible.
#5. Bible Reading Plan
Some people make it a purpose to read through the Bible in 365 days, and using a Bible studying plan gives amazing advantages. First, the presence of the plan holds a reader responsible to his or her schedule and desires to study via the entire Bible. Second, the company of the plan makes it clean to live on the right track and don’t forget in which the studying remaining finished. Third, the purpose of the reading plan promotes fellowship across the Word among Christian brothers and sisters. So pick out a plan, clutch your friends, and have a look at collectively!
#6. Bible Commentaries
While the Bible is clear in that “its teachings are capable of be understood via all who will read it looking for God’s help and being willing to comply with it,”1 gleaning the comprehension and interpretation of theologians and biblical scholars is an incredible help to the Christian. The wisdom of pastors and writers are items of grace to aid us in our draw close of the Big Story of Scripture. If you’re seeking a better method, you’ll appreciate The Message of the Old Testament and The Message of the New Testament by way of Mark Dever. If you’re looking for a chain of shorter commentaries, try Warren Wiersbe’s BE commentary books. Finally, in case you’d like a complete commentary, study Matthew Henry’s Commentary at the Whole Bible.
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#7. Scripture Memorization Resources
In reading the Bible, our wish is that God’s Word will dwell in our hearts. What better way to ensure that happens than to be proactive in memorization! Something as simple and cheaper as Scripture note cards are a terrific Bible memorization device; tape them on your bathroom mirror, place them in your purse, or lean them up to your desk at office. There are numerous excellent mobile apps and websites nowadays for memorizing the Bible, consisting of YouVersion, Fighter Verses, and Bibleminded. Also, inspire your buddies, your family participants, or small group to memorize an entire Psalm; you’ll be amazed how comparable it’s far to memorizing track, and it’s a tremendous manner to hold every different accountable.
#8. Good: Journaling or huge-margin Bible
A step up out of your regular Bible, journaling Bibles come up with a piece more flexibility for highlighting and note-taking. (I scribbled my ESV journaling Bible to death over the path of a few years.) These Bibles have extra-extensive margins, and a number of them are even lined for word-taking. Others are “interleaved,” which means blank pages for note taking are sure along side the Scripture. But bleed-via continues to be a problem, and there is typically no space between man or woman lines of Scripture. Worse, the margins are rarely extensive sufficient to deal with the quantity of notes I normally take in a passage.
#9. Better: Loose-leaf Bible
Loose-leaf Bibles are huge, three-ring binders containing every page of Scripture laid out with roomy margins and, commonly, slightly wider line spacing (typography nerds name this “leading.”). But the most important benefit isn’t just all this space, it’s the reality that you may dispose of and photocopy pages without destroying your Bible.
When I become preaching regularly, I could photocopy the passage from my NIV Loose Leaf Bible and scratch away without annoying about ruining the unique page. I regularly went via a couple of copies of the equal passage. Even the simple fact that I could wad up a page and throw it away with an easy moral sense changed into freeing. I become capable of allow go of inhibitions and virtually dig into the text without feeling like my thoughts on a passage would be permanently fixed on my reproduction of Holy Spirit!
Although those Bibles don’t offer almost the power of virtual Bible examine tools, it’s well worth considering. And if you don’t want to spring for one from the big publishers, you can, ahem, take a web page out of Jonathan Edwards e-book and make yourself. (Just don’t take a page out of Thomas Jefferson’s ebook.)
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#10 Best: Bible software
If you’re looking for a Bible you can fearlessly mark up, this is with the aid of a long way the maximum versatile choice. Think of it like a journaling Bible with limitless margins mixed with a unfastened-leaf Bible of limitless flexibility.
With Logos you could take virtual notes and highlights that sync across all your system. You can modify the layout of the text—placing a passage in outline form, for instance. Or toggle verse and bankruptcy numbers on and stale. You can disguise all of your notes, or name up everything you’ve ever written on a verse in a single click on. And the amount of notes you could take isn’t always constrained by means of page matter, margin length, or leading.
There are web-best Bible study gear you could use, but most of those offer very restricted—if any—note-taking abilities. Your high-quality guess is to down load Bible software. Of direction, in case you’re not a pastor, scholar, or ministry, chief, it can feel difficult to justify the expense of purchasing a full Bible software program package deal, which typically includes a library of masses of sources. Plus, if you’ve in no way used Bible software program before, you may want to attempt it out for a while before going complete hog.
Logos Basic is a free model of Logos Bible Software that offers masses of Bible have a look at tool, which includes a set of Bible study sources, a few translations, and maximum relevant for our functions here, all of the word-taking abilities referred to above. Plus, Logos makes an free mobile app, too, so you can look at Scripture—and hold taking notes—anyplace you pass.
And in case you’re nevertheless not satisfied making the jump to virtual Bible have a look at tools is the proper pass, Dr. Mark Ward has written a loose guide that can provide you with the rundown on the way to contain them into your look at. Get it here.
#11 A Bible dictionary
As you’re progressing via your study, you’ll unavoidably come across questions that definitely can’t be replied by comparing more than one translations or making observations of the textual content without extra aids. Eventually, you’ll need to tap into some of the insights different Christians have found.
That’s why a Bible dictionary is an important Bible tool. A Bible dictionary (just like the Lexham Bible Dictionary or Easton’s Bible Dictionary, which can be included with Logos Basic) collects essential records from the Bible approximately people, places, principles, doctrines, and extra, multi functional area. Often, an entry will reference other applicable biblical passages that may help shed mild on the only you’re studying—essential for knowledge Scripture in context.
Of path, with a digital Bible look at device like Logos Basic, you can fast discover insights on a passage from each useful resource on your library, no longer just from dictionaries. It’s like having a friend who’s memorized every line of each e book you very own, and may point you to relevant passages in dictionaries and additionally commentaries, lead you to move-references, and monitor insights from historic lifestyle.
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#12 A Bible-searching tool
In a contemporary traditional on Bible interpretation, New Testament student Grant Osborne says you must transition from textual content to context in a non-stop movement that slowly spirals inward closer to the center, to the meaning of a passage—and the way it applies in your life.
Put in reality, analyzing a passage in isolation puts you at risk of misinterpretation.
To avoid this, you’ll need some way to go looking the Bible. One way is with a paper concordance. A concordance, like Strong’s, lists each word within the Bible, based totally at the authentic languages, and every passage in which that word seems. Bible take a look at tools
This is useful, as an example, if you’re analyzing 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and come upon the word “sanctification.” By searching up that word in a concordance, you can discover everywhere it seems in Scripture. From there, you may isolate everywhere Paul used that word and examine the context of each passage. This can tell the way you recognize the importance of that idea in 1 Thessalonians.
But a concordance is significantly restricting. There’s no manner to look up everywhere Peter spoke to Jesus, or where a whole word like “love each other” seems, or in which the word “holiness” appears near the word “immorality.”
Even Google can’t try this sort of searching for you. It’s something you may most effective do with a digital Bible study tool. (For greater on how this works, pick up our unfastened e-book on the use of digital Bible take a look at the tools.)
#13. Paper and Pen
Last, but truly not least, is the good ‘only paper and pen. It would be a travesty to have a look at the Bible, read commentaries, interact with devotionals, and memorize Scripture without ever recording your thoughts, convictions, and prayers. Author Tony Reinke as soon as said, “We don’t read to read; we study to sconjure.”2 Writing down what God is teaching us through the revelation of his Word will not most effective help us to process through and apply fact at present, it will encourage us in the future when we revisit our notes. Use a blank piece of laptop, paper, use a Moleskin journal, use a collection of napkins, or use a virtual pocket book like Evernote – however something you do, write and don’t forget!