After a few years of Bible study, students often begin asking, “Should I learn biblical Greek and Hebrew?” While the tools for English readers continue to improve and less people are learning the original languages, knowing the original languages can be helpful. You can learn enough to widen the tools available to you and/or learn to read Scripture in the original language.
The New Testament is our divinely inspired commentary on the Old Testament. When studying a passage, it’s often helpful to see how other biblical authors understood it.
Online resources to help you study: maps, charts, outlines, key words, etc. On this one page, you’ll find links to websites and Bible study software.
Many of the classic commentaries are free online, but how do you know which one(s) to use? And where do you find them? Here’s a quick list and explanation
Multi-volume encyclopedias used to be too expensive for home use and were confined to those with access to a large library system. However, they are becoming more widely available on computer software and online.
Commentaries can kick-start your thinking when you hit a dead end but should not be a substitute for your own work. Here’s my two rules of thumb.
Multi-volume encyclopedias are good sources for historical and biblical themes. But background information does not impose meaning.
Lexicons & dictionaries can reveal what might be “lost in translation” but they also tempt us to fall into the trap of “I learned a fact about a word and I must use it.”
A concordance is an organized list of all the biblical texts which contain a given word. Concordances allow you to broaden your understanding of how a word is used and its range of meanings.
You’ll be surprised at how the information on a map can open your study. Consider how knowing that the road to Jericho was 17-miles changes the parable of the good Samaritan.