Category Archives: Bible

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 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

What We Look For When We Read the Bible Influences What We Find

I was once in a discussion about women passing communion on Sunday morning. One brother’s “gotcha” verse (that only men can serve the Supper/pass trays) was Acts 6:1-4, “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked inContinue 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

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


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