Bible study is an extremely important part of the spiritual growth process for all who have been called to salvation. In order to make the study process efficient, enjoyable, and worthwhile, a person should have the proper tools. This section presents several helpful publications with short comments as to the information they contain:
There are many translations of the Bible and each has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Some help clarify difficult scriptures and concepts, while others do the opposite—they introduce heretical teachings. Because there is no totally accurate translation of the original text, the admonition of Paul to Timothy becomes very important to those who are serious about building a strong spiritual foundation based upon the word of God:
"Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2.Tim.2:15).
The 1611 King James Bible
Although it was written in early modern English in 1611, the King James Authorized Version is a very accurate translation of the original texts. However, because of this translation's archaic language, it is helpful to have some modern translations in order to help clarify difficult passages. The New International Version and the Living Bible can sometimes be helpful in translating concepts that are difficult to understand because of the language of the King James version.
Both of these publications are translated from the Masoretic and the Received texts and are keyed to the James H. Strong numbering system, with a word for word English translation of the original language of the Bible. They are relatively easy to read and understand, and they are an excellent study aid for doing specific subject and word studies.
The NIV Bible
The NIV is written in modern English, it is easy to read, has many accurate scriptural notes and comments and excellent introductions to each book. And it has some very good reference charts and maps. It has some good translations for a few difficult scriptures; however, some important additions and omissions have been made to major doctrines in order to conform with today's popular theologies.
The LBP Bible
Although it is not a word for word translation, the Living Bible paraphrases scriptures in a way that often clearly reveals their true intent. As with the NIV, the Living Bible is not correct in many of the major doctrinal areas, and it should not be used as a basis for doctrine.
BIBLE STUDY AIDS
This is an extremely valuable and easy to use study aid. It contains a dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words with short explanations of their meanings. Although it is not totally accurate in every detail, this concordance has a numbering system that is used as a reference key for most other word study books. The compact paper back version is recommended, because the hard cover issue is very large, hard to handle and store, and cumbersome to travel with.
Theological Word Book
This reference book contains easy to read and understand explanations of the original language of the Old Testament.
This is a one volume abridged version of the ten volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; it is easy to read and has clear definitions of Greek words.
PROOF OF GOD AND THE BIBLE
There are many excellent books that have been written to prove the existence of God and the validity of the Bible. Many of these books are based on historical, geological, and/or scientific facts that cannot be disputed. However, some are not; therefore, as with anything that is written, one should exercise caution in believing the information that is put forth and measure it against the empirical standard of the Bible itself.
Below are some excellent works, that contain much truth and should help a person to appreciate the grandeur of God's creation and the great care with which he has guided humanity toward salvation.
Astronomy and the Bible
Both of these books give many details about how the constellations and the Bible interact to reveal God's great design of and purpose for the heavenly bodies.
This is an analysis of the promises to King David and the prophecies concerning the royal family of Judah and the Ten Lost Tribes.
This book is an excellent, clear, and concise historical overview of Old Testament Israel, and it has a very accurate chronology of events and dates beginning with the Patriarchs and ending with the prophet Malachi.
This book contains many details about the temple ministry and services at the time of Christ.
Mathematics of the Bible
This book expounds the mathematical design of the Bible and the mathematical relationships of the physical, prophetic, and spiritual meanings of the scriptures.
This book contains a systematic analysis, coordination, and correlation of important numerical data in the Bible.
This book contains an exhaustive work that expounds the complex numeric design and structure of the Bible.
Science in the Bible
This book explains many scientific principals and concepts that are stated in the Bible.
Translation Discrepancies and Omissions
This work documents discrepancies and omissions of popular translations of the Bible, and it shows the deliberate effort of many translators to distort the word of God.