Every Christian should have a close working relationship with his Bible. These tools will help unlock God’s Word as you study it.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
I heard an aged preacher remark, “Today, preachers talk about reading the Bible. In the old days, we were taught to study it. We need to get back to Bible study.”
How many times have you heard someone say, “I tried to read the Bible, but couldn’t understand it?” Reading the Bible is profitable, but it is meant to be studied.Reading the Bible is profitable, but it is meant to be studied. #BibleStudy Click To Tweet
You have to read your Bible in order to study it. Perhaps we aim to low when we ask people to simply read the Bible. Let’s get back to encouraging people to study the Bible!
Once you decide to study God’s Word, you must choose some tools to help you.
Bible study tools can be divided into two categories: analog and digital.
Analog study tools include physical items like books, pens, journals, etc. Digital tools include anything that is used on a computer, tablet, phone, or online. While digital tools can be extremely helpful and save you time, there is great value in analog Bible study.
It is a mistake to disregard the physical tools of Bible study. There is a special connection to God’s Word that comes with reading and studying it in Book form.
I use a hybrid system of analog and digital tools. I’ll write about my personal Bible study system and the digital tools I use in another article.
This is my list of indispensable tools. Some of them can be purchased physically or digitally. When in doubt, start analog.
Two notes of caution before we proceed…
- No Bible resource is perfect. God’s Word is perfect. Bible study tools are not. The goal is to find trustworthy resources. Check multiple places if something doesn’t sound/feel right. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.
- I realize that the Bible is all we need. Some people advocate that you should not read anything but the Bible for that reason. However, the Holy Spirit will use well-chosen Bible study tools to unlock the Scriptures further. You need to use some basic study tools.
Here is my list of the first Bible study tools every Christian should buy:
1. Bible Marking Pen
Sakura Pigma Micron pens are perfect for marking in your Bible. They archival quality and acid-free. They do not bleed and will not fade over time. They are available in several small tip sizes.
When I was a new Christian, I thought writing in God’s Word was sacrilegious. The Lord quickly changed my mind.
I love writing in my Bible as God leads. It allows me to track my thoughts and provides wonderful reminders of what I’ve learned when I see them later.
If I can’t get my favorite Micron pens, THESE PENS are my second choice.
2. Bible Highlighter
Highlighting important verses is a helpful tool.
Some people highlight the verses they are memorizing. Others use a color-coded system to highlight verses on different subjects.
I highlight the salvation verses I use in my soul winning New Testament. The colors help the truth to jump off the page.
However, normal highlighters bleed through thin Bible pages. The solution? These gel highlighters from Sharpie!
These wax-based gel pens highlight in bright colors and don’t bleed through Bible pages. They glide on the page and are easy to use.
Pro Tip: I’ve tried cheaper dry highlighters. They write like a cheap crayon and create frustration. The Sharpie Gel Highlighters are the best!The Holy Spirit will use well-chosen Bible study tools to unlock the Scriptures further. #BibleStudy Click To Tweet
3. Bible Concordance
A concordance is an invaluable tool for Bible study. It gives Bible words in alphabetical order like a dictionary. When you look up a word, it shows you the Bible verses in which the word is found.
The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is preferred for 2 reasons. First, it includes every word of the Bible and every instance it is used. Second, it includes a number system that attaches the underlying Greek and Hebrew words.
Of course, you don’t need to know any of the original languages to study the Scripture. However, these simple definitions and synonyms introduce you to the beauty of Hebrew and Greek adding depth to your study.
4. English Dictionary
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language will enrich your understanding of the English language and is a invaluable tool for daily study. This beautiful and durable dictionary is essential for scholars, students, home educating families, pastors, educators or anyone conducting in-depth research and is a necessity in any home. The 1828 dictionary presents definitions in a clear manner with comprehensive explanations, often excluded from modern dictionaries. It defines words using their full etymology, tracing roots in 26 languages and explains meanings using examples from literature, historic documents, the Bible and other classic sources. This tool can be the turning point for you to be more effective in communicating Christian principles used in government, economics, and marketing. Hardcover edition features a green vellum hardcover with a gold stamped, embossed eagle designed by Paul Revere and has 2,000 pages.From the Publisher
This dictionary is foundational to the English language. Also, it is essential to your study of the Bible. Here’s why…
English is a living language. There are new words added to dictionaries every year and old words change their meanings over time. Words like gay, straight, cool, rad, love, sin, etc. have changed dramatically.
This is the best dictionary for Bible words because it was written closer to when the King James Bible was published.
Noah Webster was a born again Christian. God gave him incredible insights to language. Often, he uses Bible verses as examples of how words are used.
5. Bible Dictionary
Smith’s Bible Dictionary has over 6,000 detailed definitions, articles, and illustrations – all in a handy compact size perfect for all students of the Bible, and at an affordable price.
No Bible dictionary is perfect, yet it provides needed context of historical elements found in the Bible.
If you want a larger dictionary with more pictures, you can check this Bible dictionary out. It has more information but seems to have more spiritually liberal items than Smith’s.
These five items round out my list of Bible study tools that every Christian should use. If you don’t have them, check out the links and get them today. If you have these, use them faithfully.
Keep an eye out for more recommended tools in future articles.
There are many other worthy resources that could be mentioned. What are your favorite Bible study tools? Tell us in the comments.
Here is a bonus tool for those of you looking for another great reference. It is a trusted resource that includes outlines, historical elements, book summaries, doctrinal studies, and much more. Check it out HERE.