Category Archives: Bible

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 world the better we will understand the Bible!

Here are my favorite books on how to read the Big Book!

Searching for the Pattern By John Mark Hicks. This book came out this year and fills a niche I had hoped someone would fill. It is an in depth look at how we read the Bible in Churches of Christ and some of the ways that has traditionally been inadequate. This is done with a great deal of care, kindness and humility. Then the book goes into another approach that can help us come to a better understanding of the text and the God behind the text. Excellent book and a must read if you are in Churches of Christ.

The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible by Paul D. Wegner – If you are going to understand the biblical text it is important to understand how the Bible came to be. This book gives you the breakdown in a readable, accessible way that doesn’t require a PhD to understand.

The Art of Biblical Narrative By Robert Alter – This book changed my thinking on the Bible in a significant way. It showed me how to better pick up on themes and how the biblical narrative strings in various themes as the stories go along that I had never noticed before.

Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson – Carson covers five fallacies people typically make when reading and interpreting the Bible: Word-study fallacies, grammatical fallacies, logical fallacies, and presuppositional and historical fallacies. Excellent book! For supporting material as to why this book is needed, check any discussion of the Bible on social media that has over 100 comments!

Scripture and Discernment By Luke Timothy Johnson – My favorite Benedictine monk writes prolifically about the New Testament and other topics like this book that tackles how to understand the Bible for application and decision making in the life of the Christian.

Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by Richards and O’Brien – I really enjoyed this book. It is eye opening about the presuppositions and biases we come to the text with. Again, I love metanarrative (thinking about how we think) and this book unpacks that extremely well.

God’s Holy Fire by Cukrowski, Hamilton, and Thompson (all from ACU) – skip Kenneth Bailey’s work and go right to this one. This book is a one-stop-shop for so many relevant topic on how to read ancient literature.

Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Third Edition) by Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard – Excellent book! This book unpacks everything from you as interpreter to how to interpret various genres in the Bible. This is a must read for anyone who wants to get into hermeneutics (study of how to interpret the Bible).

Can We Still Believe the Bible by Craig Blomberg – I read this on the plan to Costa Rica a few years ago and got so much out of it. I love Blomberg’s scholarship. This book is basically a FAQ for how to read the bible, answering common questions from a theologically conservative perspective. Very helpful!

No list would be complete without Gordon Fee. Here are his three main books, the first is the most important:

How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth (Fourth Edition) – This book should top your list

How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth

How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour



Want to Learn the Big Story of Scripture?

One of the things that I have been most excited about this year at Wineskins is the Theodrama – unpacking the big story of scripture in 70 episodes. I decided to not post all of them on the blog but I do want you to know this exists. Here is the playlist if this isContinue Reading

Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce in Mark 10

I have been working through Mark 10 this week. The chapter starts with the Pharisees testing Jesus on his view of the legality of divorce. It is possible given Mark 10:1 that Jesus just crossed over into Herod Antipas’ territory. Herod had divorced his wife to marry his half-brother’s ex-wife. So marriage, divorce and re-marriageContinue Reading

Am I In Or Am I Out? Freedom From Being Neurotic About Our Salvation

There are a lot of people who are plagued by these questions. “Am I saved or am I lost.” “Am I in or am I out?” The odd thing is, the people I am thinking of are people who have faith, are baptized, have repented of their sin, attend church, love God, read the Bible,Continue 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

A Must Have Discipleship Conversation – How We Read the Bible

Please watch the following video and let’s discuss in the comments. We have a major problem with how we typically read the Bible. We miss important meanings because we are looking for the wrong things. We find things that aren’t there because we are looking for the wrong things. Understanding how to read the BibleContinue 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

How to Choose the Right Bible: 5 Tips

People died to put an English Bible in our hands. It is up to us to read it. Which Bible is the best Bible? I heard an answer to that question once that stuck with me. It is the one you will read. I know that is not entirely helpful in answering the question asContinue Reading

Video: Applying the Bible Study Method to the Parable of the Sower

I took the outline I gave in the last video and used the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13 to show how it would work on a specific text. I have found this approach quite helpful. We need to be in the word. I often hear people talk about how they don’t have timeContinue Reading

Broadening Our View of Gospel and Salvation

The term for gospel as a noun only occurs in Matthew and Mark about a dozen times. It doesn’t appear in Luke or in John. It doesn’t show up again until Acts 15:7. The verb form (to preach or proclaim the good news) does show up a few times in Luke and the early chaptersContinue Reading

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