All the “getting started” resources are free online so you don’t have to buy anything yet!
- Basics of Bible Interpretation, by Bob Smith – a classic! great for the beginner. Now available FREE online, though I believe you can still buy a paper copy.
- Precepts Austin – How to do an Inductive Study — Complete at least the first 3 lessons in how to do an inductive bible study. Then explore the rest of the resources on this helpful site.
- Adventuring Through the Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Entire Bible, by Ray C Stedman – this is my favorite one-volume commentary; It is often my starting point when beginning a new study. You can buy a paper copy or access it FREE online.
- How to do an Analytical Outline – my favorite study tool when starting a new passage; I find it the best tool to begin asking the right questions that will ultimately unlock a passage.
Improving your skills
- How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart – this is a must have resource; no Bible student should be without and it now comes as an e-book. Re-read the chapter for your particular type of passage when you start a new study.
- Living by the Book, (Book and Workbook) by Howard G Hendricks & William Hendricks – also available as an ebook and a video series. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the book. The writing is clear and engaging and you will learn a lot.
- The Joy of Discovery in Bible Study, by Oletta Ward – a classic resource for small groups to work through together; teachers guide is also available.
- The Language of God: A Commonsense Approach to Understanding and Applying the Bible, by Ron Julian, J.A. Crabtree and David Crabtree — this is a GREAT book for understanding the principles, methodology and philosophy of Bible study. The authors apply what they teach to a very difficult passage (James 5). The book is worth it just to understand James 5.
Ready for more?
- Exegetical Fallacies, by D.A. Carson — this will challenge you to move your study skills to the next level.
- What is Reformed Theology? Understanding the Basics by R.C. Sproul — this book will help you begin to put all the pieces together
- The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul — a must-read book, especially for new believers
- An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical and Thematic Approach by Bruce Waltke and Charles Yu — this book looks intimidating, but it’s worth it!
Working on a Specific Genre?
- A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible by Leland Ryken and Tremper Longman III
- Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation by Tremper Longman III (out of print, but still can be found)
- He Gave us Stories: The Bible Student’s Guide to Interpreting Old Testament Narratives, by Richard L Pratt Jr
- How to Read the Psalms, by Tremper Longman III (This is the only one of the “How to Read” series I’ve read.)