Every time I mention studying my Bible or I post a picture, someone asks about my bible study resources. Although I think studying your Bible is very personal and unique to each individual, I do have some resources that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to grow in knowledge and their relationship with the Lord.
There are about twelve bible study resources that I use regularly when studying God’s Word for myself. Sometimes I use all of them and sometimes I only reach for a few. You will have to determine for yourself which resources would be most helpful for your own study, as you know your study habits and your need the best. I’ve included books, devotionals, websites and apps that are all part of my bible study regimen.
If you are looking for a reading plan, consider jumping in and reading the Bible in 90 days, chronologically.
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Essential Bible Study Resources
I have quite a few Bibles in my collection. I make it a point to study from different versions, and I use certain Bibles for different things. However, one bible I reach for often is my Notetakers Bible. There are wide margins for taking notes, as is the point of this bible. I constantly underline and highlight and take copious notes in this Bible. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite Bibles for women here.
I have used the NIV Life Application Study Bible for years and have really loved it. Having the personal application notes has helped me through numerous trials over the years and given me new perspective on various situations. Although this is the one I use, you can use whatever study bible you are comfortable with. There are numerous options available to you. Regardless of what version you choose, a good Study Bible is instrumental to being a faithful student of God’s Word!
This resource gives you an overview of each book of the Bible, which is helpful when you are just beginning your study. It provides a ten word synopsis and a longer summary of each book, along with some data describing the author and time frame. There is also a section to help you with practical application.
If there was only one resource you could purchase (provided you have a Bible), I would very likely tell you to get this book. I have listened to Jen Wilkin’s podcast and some of her teachings on YouTube, but her book has been life changing for me. I say with confidence, if you are a woman desiring to go deeper in your study of the Bible, get this book. My copy is highlighted and underlined, and there are notes in the margins, and pages dog-eared. I can not study my Bible the same way anymore, and I’m so thankful. GET THIS BOOK. You will not regret it.
If you’re looking for a commentary on a specific book I’d recommend starting with these. They are simple, easy to read, are written by a variety of authors and contain both the biblical text and the commentary, broken down into manageable chapters. Many commentaries focus on the original meaning of the passage and don’t go into the contemporary application. This series does a great job of both pieces. I will say the collection can be a bit pricey, so I only have a couple books right now. But it is a great collection to build up slowly for extended study.
I actually bought this book as a textbook years ago for a course I was taking online. However, I didn’t realize that this book does not read like a textbook! It is easy to read and allows for implementation in your study. You will also learn inductive bible study methods, and how to translate original concepts to use today. I highly recommend this book.
Depending on the medium you are using to take notes, you may need some special pens that don’t bleed through the pages. This is especially important if you are writing directly in your bible. I have used these Pigma pens for many years and have been happy with them. If you are just writing in a journal or notebook, you can use any pens you want, but you want to be careful if you are writing in your bible.
The same idea goes for highlighters. I use pens and highlighters in my bible study. You may find that regular store bought highlighters work for you, but make sure to check for bleed through first. I find highlighters have a tendency to bleed through pages more than pens, so it was worth it to me to purchase a set specifically for using in my bible.
This commentary is written by a team of 30 Moody Bible Institute professors helping you study the Bible. Scripture being commented on is shown in bold print for easy reference, and maps and charts provide visual aids for learning. Additional study helps include bibliographies for further reading and a subject and Scripture index. The Moody Bible Commentary is an all-in-one Bible study resource that will help you better understand and apply God’s written revelation to all of life.
The Blue Letter Bible website is one I use almost daily. There is also an app available, but I find myself going directly to the website, because there is so much more available. There are numerous commentaries on this site and I have found such a wealth of information on here. You can also look up particular words to find their Greek or Hebrew origin and vice versa. Although I have used this site for awhile, there are still new things I haven’t even discovered on here yet. I really love this website for my study.
Tara-Leigh Cobble, host of the popular Bible Recap podcast, walks readers through a one-year chronological Bible reading plan and explains each day’s passage in an easy-to-understand way. Emphasizing how God’s character can be seen throughout Scripture, the recaps are simple and short yet deep enough to help you understand the hard parts and press into knowing God better.
You may be familiar with the YouVersion app already, but I wanted to mention it anyway. I use this app for many for my devotions or when I don’t have my Bible handy. You can take notes, book mark and underline directly using this app, which I find very handy. If you choose, you can also read plans with friends and see what everyone is learning.
The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is the most complete, easy-to-use, and understandable concordance for studying the original languages of the Bible. Most bibles have their own concordance already, but having this book really enhances your study and helps your understanding of what you are reading.
I hope these resources will be a blessing to your own Bible study. Remember that Bible study is very individual, and is not about the tools you use. These resources will make it easier for you and bring life to your study, but remember why you are studying in the first place. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your study and be intentional about it. And don’t forget to read Jen Wilkin’s book!