Recommended Resources for Bible Study

By Allen Reger

Regarding Bible Translations

See Thomas, Robert L. How to Choose a Bible Version: An Introductory Guide to English Translations.  Tain, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 2004.

How to choose a Bible version

Source:  Robert L. Thomas, How to Choose a bible Version

Some Recommended Translations

This mostly comes down to personal preference.  Some prefer a more word-for-word translation, which can be choppy and hard to understand.  Some prefer a more thought-for-thought translation, which is good to read, but harder to study from.  Or maybe you want a balance.  Some paraphrases, such as The Living Bible and The Message, may be good for those who aren’t as familiar with the Bible and want to get started, but we don’t recommend them as versions you should study from and would encourage you to move away from them as you grow in familiarity and understanding of the Bible. While it’s a long-cherished and fine translation, we don’t recommend using the King James Version, mostly because the language is 400 years old and can be confusing to modern readers.  The following are some good translations to use (generally arranged from most to least word-for-word):

  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • New English Translation (NET)
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
  • New Living Translation (NLT)

Recommended Study Bibles

ESV Study Bible
The MacArthur Study Bible (various translations available)
HCSB Study Bible
Apologetics Study Bible (HCSB)
NASB Study Bible
NLT Study Bible and/or NLT Life Application Study Bible

Recommended Bible Websites (connected to the YouVersion Bible app for smartphones)

Bible Reading Plans
Click on the “Plans” button (bar at the top)

Some Recommended Preaching Ministries

Grace to You by Dr. John MacArthur –
Walk in the Word by Dr. James MacDonald –
Truth for Life by Dr. Alistair Begg –
Ligonier Ministries by Dr. R. C. Sproul –
Living on the Edge by Dr. Chip Ingram –
Turning Point by Dr. David Jeremiah –
Love Worth Finding by Dr. Adrian Rogers –
MBTS Chapel Messages –
Sermon Audio – (sermons from conservative churches worldwide)

Biblical Training Website: is a not-for-profit ministry that gives all people access to a world-class Christian education. Classes range from new believers to seminary-level training. All Bible classes are taught by world-class professors from major seminaries, and the site offers over 1,000 hours in over 90 classes.

ConcordancesNote these are specific to a particular translation.

A version of The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible ( Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Atlases – Recommended by R. C. Sproul in Knowing Scripture

  1. E. Wright and F. V. Filson, The Westminster Historical Atlas to the Bible
  2. H. Grollenber (eds. Joyce Reid and H. H. Rowley), Atlas of the Bible
  3. F. Pfeiffer, Baker’s Bible Atlas
  4. G. May, ed., Oxford Bible Atlas

Bible Dictionaries – Recommended by R. C. Sproul in Knowing Scripture

  1. Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible
  2. Buttrick, The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible
  3. C. Grant and H. H. Rowley, eds., New Revised Hasting’s Dictionary
  4. D. Douglas, ed., The New Bible Dictionary
  5. G. Gehman, ed., The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible

Others I use (but always read with discernment)

Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England et. al., eds., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Paul J. Achtemeier, Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
M. G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Bible Handbooks (Book Introductions)

Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible
John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Handbook
Harold L. Willmington, Willmington’s Bible Handbook

Computer Tools

Logos (Windows and Mac) –
Bible Works (Windows with Mac options) –
Accordance (Mac only) –
WORDsearch ( or QuickVerse 10 (by LifeWay)
e-Sword – (free online download)


Single Volume (or Two-Volume OT & NT) Commentaries on the Whole Bible

Note: These are arranged in no particular order.

  1. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged
  2. The IVP Bible Background Commentary (2 vols., OT and NT)
  3. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary (2 vols., OT and NT)
  4. David S. Dockery, ed., Holman Concise Bible Commentary
  5. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (note: older and uses the KJV/AV)
  6. Life Application New Testament Commentary by Tyndale House Publishers
  7. Walter A. Elwell, ed., Baker Commentary on the Bible

Commentary Sets

Note: These are arranged generally in ascending order by type, difficulty, and preference with no consideration for cost.

  1. Non-scholarly Devotional / Expositional (Easy)
    1. The Opening Up Commentary Series by Day One Publications
    2. Robert James Utley, Study Guide Commentary Series by Bible Lessons International
    3. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
    4. Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary
    5. James Montgomery Boice, The Boice Commentary Series by Baker Books
  2. Scholarly Nontechnical (or Semitechnical) Expositional (Medium)
    1. The NIV Application Commentary (OT and NT)
    2. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series
    3. The Holman Commentary Series (OT and NT)
    4. Tyndale Commentary Series (OT and NT) by Inter-varsity Press (??)
  3. Scholarly Technical and Exegetical (Hard)
    1. Frank E. Gæbelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
    2. The New American Commentary Series by B&H Publishers
    3. The New International Commentary Series (OT and NT) by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
    4. Word Biblical Commentary Series by Thomas Nelson Publishers
    5. Pillar New Testament Commentary Series by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
    6. Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament by Hendrickson Publishers
    7. The New International Greek Testament Commentary Series by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (NT)





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