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6 Tools to Go Deeper in Your Bible Study

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Recently I was going through some boxes of mementos, and I discovered the first Bible my parents gave me. My elementary school self considered it a treasure box of gems. The cover, featuring Jesus with children at His feet, was nearly detached and showed the love and use it had endured. 

That one book ignited a love in my soul for the Words of my Savior that continues to this day.

For years that first Bible came to church with me each Sunday. Later, it was replaced by a grown-up Bible with my name engraved in gold, a gift presented to each 12-year-old in our church. I remember how excited I was to discover the concordance and maps just inside the maroon bonded leather back cover.

Because my passion is discovering what the original hearers or readers would have known or understood, I appreciate the opportunity to study the original languages, Biblical locations, and ancient people groups and their cultures. The goal is not to know more stuff but to better know the heart of God through His Word and to share His truth with others. 

Here are the tools I most often use when I study the Bible:

1. Digital Library of Resources

Bible Hub is by far my favorite Bible study tool and the one I use every day. I don’t consider myself a tech genius, so I appreciate that this app is simple to use. There are so many great features included that I have yet to use them all! 

When you open the mobile app, the home page feels a bit like “create your own adventure”. There is a search bar at the top to search for a specific Bible reference or keyword.  You can choose one of six icons that represent a resource (ex. Bibles, Commentary, Devotions). 

Scroll down and click on “Complete Resource List,” to open another 16 tabs of resources that include an atlas, dictionary, encyclopedia, timeline, lexicons, and interlinear options, just to name a few. 

I have used it to:

  • Search for a reference by typing in a portion of Scripture
  • Compare translations of a verse
  • Read a commentary or sermon on a passage or verse
  • Find the meaning of an original Hebrew or Greek word
  • Research a specific keyword to find related Scriptures
  • Clarify the identity of people who share the same name
  • Understand the context of an event or person using the timeline
  • Discover the geographical location of a town, city, or country

This library of reference tools has transformed my Bible study time by helping me make connections between people, locations, and events which have given me a fuller understanding of Scripture. 

Find it for free at Biblehub.com and on the app store.

2. Contemporary Commentary

Some commentaries from the 19th and 20th centuries may be accurate but can feel a bit academic in style. Pastor and Bible teacher David Guzik’s Enduring Word Commentary provides 21st-century verse-by-verse insights as well as quotes from other commentators, most notably Charles Spurgeon. 

Find it for free at enduringword.com and on the app store.

3. Tool for Word Study

For those who may not be comfortable with technology, check out the Hebrew-Greek Word Study Bible. The text of the Bible highlights keywords and lists their number in the Strong’s Concordance that connects to a Hebrew-Greek dictionary in the appendix. There is also a concordance and several pages explaining Greek grammar.

4. Step by Step Bible Study Method

For a different approach to studying the Bible, check out the Step by Step Bible Study Method by Angie Baughman at livesteadyon.com

A pastor with years of experience with Precept studies, Angie created a free masterclass to explain her simple process of deeply studying one keyword in a specific verse. If you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll receive the masterclass and a weekly email with a free study sheet. Every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CT, Angie and several ministry friends go live on Facebook to discuss the key verse and word of the week, as well as how it applies to our lives.

5. & 6. Tools for Historical and Cultural Context

  • Ray Vander Laan’s video series, That The World May Know, was my introduction to the historical, geographical, and cultural context of Scripture. Filmed on location at ancient sites, Ray’s engaging presentations make the Bible come to life! 

There are several ways to access That the World May Know resources on their website:

  1. Check out articles and audio materials for free.
  2. Rent a volume or lesson. 
  3. Purchase the 16-volume series as a set (5-6 lessons in each volume) or individually.
  4. Become a yearly member at That the World May Know and receive a weekly email with a video devotional for $1.99 per month or $9.99 per year. Free samples are available.

Resources from That the World May Know can also be found on Amazon.com, Christianbook.com, and rightnowmedia.com if you have a membership through a church or Christian organization.

  • One can never have too many Bibles, right? The Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible is unlike any other Bible I own. This treasure includes study notes that explain the culture of both Jews and their pagan neighbors, 300+ in-depth articles about various topics in culture, beautiful maps, charts, diagrams, and timelines.

Find it anywhere you purchase Christian books.

We are so blessed to live in an age where we have access to so many Bible study tools and resources, presented in various formats, available to us in our homes or in our pockets, that help us to more fully understand and interact with God’s Word. 

What’s in your Bible study toolbox?

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    1. You are welcome, Laura! There are so many resources out there, it’s impossible to know about all of them! What’s your favorite one that I didn’t mention?

  1. Wow! Joy thank you for compiling this awesome list. I do intend to check some of these resources out. I have also recently downloaded the logos app to my computer and Mobile. Again thank you for the list.

    1. You’re welcome, Rebecca! I’d love to hear what you think about them. And thanks for the tip about logos. I’ve never used it before. I’m going to check it out!

  2. What a helpful list. I recently found out that you can also access Ray Vanderlaan’s videos by subscribing to Study Gateway also. I think it runs around $8 a month.

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