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Want to start studying the Word of God but don’t really know where to start or what tools to use?
There are a lot of resources out there, but it can be hard knowing which Bible to choose and what tools you actually need vs. which ones are just fluff.
Here are my personal favorite recommendations for what to use while studying the Bible.
Choosing a Bible
Naturally, to study the Bible, you’ll need a Bible. There are lots of digital resources out there, which are great! But I personally like to have a hard copy of the Word, too. There’s just something about physically touching it that connects dots for me sometimes.
Study Bibles can be a great way to go. They often offer historical context and other tidbits to help their readers better understand the scriptures. I have two study Bibles that I love. My top favorite is my Key Word Study Bible in the New King James version. It pulls out key words and phrases and defines them based on the original Hebrew or Greek meanings. It’s super helpful for understanding the intended meaning of whatever I’m studying.
The other is my Amplified Everyday Life Bible. Joyce Meyer actually wrote the study components, and I like the way she looks at certain passages. I’m also a fan of the Amplified version anyway. It’s a little lengthy and wordy, but totally worth it. It adds in words and phrases for clarity, and most of the things it adds come directly from the original Hebrew or Greek meanings of the passages.
Even though I adore my New King James Study Bible, it’s also great to read as many other translations as possible to get a clear picture of what’s being said. For that, I pull out my phone and click on my handy dandy Bible App where nearly any translation I can think of is at my fingertips. Since I don’t typically use a King James Bible but need it to use my Strong’s Concordance (we’ll talk about that next), I use my Bible App a lot.
It also has some cool features like highlighting and notes (especially helpful for those who don’t like highlighting and writing notes directly in their written Bibles). There’s even a section for devotional plans now, if you’re also in need of one of those. (Or you can get my Heart of a Woman 16-day devotional by putting in your name and email below!)
You can also access the Bible online by following this link.
The Strong’s Concordance
You may have noticed I refer to the Strong’s A LOT. It’s one of my best friends (ya know, other than the Holy Spirit) when it comes to understanding the Word.
Sometimes our connotation for a word or they way we think about it taints our view of what’s being said in scripture. The Strong’s makes it easy to find the original meanings behind whatever word we’re looking at and cut through our preconceived ideas.
Bible Study Tools has one available online that you can find here. I personally opt for a hard copy that’s always within arms reach any time I have my Bible out. If you also prefer that method, you can find the Strong’s on Amazon.
Historical Reference Guides
It’s a good idea if you don’t have a study Bible (or even if you do) to have some sort of book that tells you a little bit about the history of whatever you’re studying. While there are lots of internet resources for that, it’s important (as always) to make sure the information you find is actually credible.
It’s probably best to find a book that you like on Biblical history, arranged in the same order as the books of the Bible. My study Bibles do a great job of breaking down the history of each time period for me, so I usually don’t search out extra information.
If you do decide to go the online route, Bible Study Tools has a list of resources they recommend that you can find here.
Having trouble getting started or figuring out where to study? The First 5 app is a great way to dive in! First 5 was created by Proverbs 31 Ministries as a way to help their readers start every day with the Word of God. There are new teachings uploaded daily for you to read that are all organized within a specific book of the Bible or a topic. Just click on the “Plans” tab in your app to see a list of what’s already been covered, or click this link.
A Bible Study Notebook
Aside from all those, you’ll want pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and sticky tabs to write down and organize your thoughts.
It’s also a good idea to have a notebook specifically dedicated to your Bible studies. If I don’t have a notebook or binder for all of my Bible study notes, they end up scattered everywhere (usually due to my youngest daughter grabbing them to use for drawing). I’m naturally someone who has a lot of organized chaos going on, i.e. piles of things spread all over our dining room table that only I know the contents of. So a binder helps me keep those thoughts together, organized, and out of the way of little hands.
For more on creating your own Bible study notebook, you can head over to Arabah Joy’s page. She even makes it super easy by giving you printables and other useful materials.
Did I miss anything? What other Bible study tools and resources do you like?
Until next time,
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