Category Archives: Bible Resources

Tips for Building Your Own Theological Library

Many of you love to read. That’s partly why you are here. I imagine you probably also like to read about theology, ministry, the Bible, etc…which is also why you are here.

Over the years there have been a few things I have found helpful when making selections of which books to buy for my personal study and for my ministry. Here are some of the best tips I can offer plus a bonus video outlining specific books I would recommend to get started without spending an arm and a leg.

Here we go…

First, take your time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Study will take years and you can only use so many books at a time. Don’t feel a rush to buy dozens of books at a time.

Second, don’t just look at books from within Churches of Christ. It can be too myopic and some of the best scholarship doesn’t come from within our ranks.

Third, be picky. Buy from the best scholars.

Fourth, don’t buy whole sets with a couple of exceptions. The “For Everyone” series would be an exception. Commentary series have good volumes and bad volumes. No one series has all good volumes.

Fifth, don’t buy from all one author. Don’t buy whole sets by one person (again, For Everyone is the exception). I see the Coffman commentaries on a regular basis. Here is the issue – no one person can be an expert in everything. This limits the quality of the entire work.

Sixth, pay attention to who others recommend. See BestCommentaries.com for some recommendations or ask someone you trust. Feel free to ask in the comments.

Seventh, Bible study is far more than buying commentaries. There are OT and NT intros, Theologies, Historical Background resources, original language resources, English translations, etc.

Eighth, look online for free resources. You will be surprised how much is available free online. Search for things and add pdf in your search and see what comes up. Check out Rob Bradshaw’s work. He has digitized a lot of resources from some of the best scholars in the world, all free!

Ninth, invest in some Bible study software like Logos. It is worth your time and money. Then spend some time learning the system. YouTube is your friend.

Tenth, you need specific recommendations…so here is a start!

Last, give us your best tip in the comments!

Introducing Discovery Bible Study – A Key to Growing Movements

In the last 9 months I came across an approach to studying the Bible that I want to make you aware of. It is called “Discovery Bible Study (DBS)” It has been around for quite some time and I have no idea how this slipped past my Bible study radar. Once I learned about it,Continue Reading

Recommended Books on How To Better Read the Bible

I love reading books about how to read the Bible. I guess I love that because I love meta-cognition, thinking about how we think about things. There are so many treasures in the scriptures and, as Bobby Valentine has written in the last two articles, the closer we come to understand things about their worldContinue Reading

Understanding How We Read the Bible Part 2 – Command, Example, Necessary Inference

It is so important we understand how we read the Bible. It is possible we do something for so long or it is modeled for us and never explained that we don’t really understand the actual process for interpreting the meaning of the text that we are using. This video gives some history of howContinue Reading

My Simple Note Taking System in the Bible Margins

I hope you find this as helpful as I have. It is one simple thing to help organize the notes you take in the margins of your Bible

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 5 – New Testament Commentaries

Here are some commentaries that I have found exceptionally helpful.   On Matthew I go to Bruner’s 2 volume commentary (Vol 1 & Vol 2) and if I want something way more technical I check out Davies and Allison 3 volumes in the ICC. Here is a link to their “shorter commentary” that is anContinue Reading

Review and Giveaway of Logos’ Newest Product – Logos Cloud

So Logos is on to something. I have really enjoyed their software since I first started using it but what they developed this past year is really taking them to another level. I am going to tell you what they have come up with and then offer you a chance to win a 1 yearContinue Reading

Logos Review: Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey

The Theological Interpretation of the New Testament, edited by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, is an attempt in compiling this collection of writing on the theology of the various books of the New Testament is to get back to a search for God in the scriptures rather than just trying to reconstruct social, historical and religious contextsContinue Reading

Logos Free Book of the Month: N.T. Wright’s “The Lord and His Prayer”

Every month Logos offers one free resource…always something to check out. To see what they have given away and to keep up with the latest including “The Lord and His Prayer” see this link. This month’s is not one to pass up, N.T. Wright’s “The Lord and His Prayer.” This is a fantastic book onContinue Reading

Logos Review: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel of John (Vol 1 & 2)

This is one of those resources I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I was prepping to teach a Wednesday night series on the Gospel of John and I just had to have Keener on my team. I have grown to appreciate Craig Keener’s work on Bible backgrounds as well as his book Paul,Continue Reading

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