Bible Study Aids
**Devotions on the Greek New Testament: 52 Reflections to Inspire & Instruct / Eds. J. Scott Duvall, and Verlyn D. Verbrugge / Zondervan
Engages the reader to enter into the original Greek text without overwhelming readers by giving snippets of verses in Greek, analyzing the text, and offering new understanding of the text in a mini-devotional each day. Must be able to read Greek or have Greek translation nearby.
**Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader’s Guide for Discovery and Engagement / Rolf A. Jacobson and Karl N. Jacobson / Baker Academic
A guide that provides a richer reading the unique poetic prose of the Psalms. Examines types of psalms, Hebrew language, context, and historical background, and much more, making the Book of Psalms more approachable for teachers and students.
**Frameworks: How to Navigate the New Testament / Eric Larson/Framework Resources LLC
Simple, graphic, and pleasing to the eye, the reader will see the Bible in a completely refreshing way. Ten vital questions and topics are addressed in each book of the New Testament. Helps categorize the NT in a way that gives a more dimensional understanding and insightful overview.
Story of Stories: A Guided Tour from Geneisis to Revelation / Karen Lee-Thorp/ IVP
A sort of poetic CliffsNotes of the Bible, recounting the major stories, with some added commentary. The narrative offers some interesting twists and beautiful description, yet due to covering a lot of territory in a condensed space sometimes has a less than reverent tone.
**A Cultural Handbook to the Bible/ John J. Pilch / Eerdmans
Takes subjects, content, topics and themes in Scripture that are subject to misinterpretation due to the widely differing social contexts of readers steeped in Western Civilization and analyzes them in terms of cultural relevance. Gives readers new insights on key passages in the Bible and compels us to take a second look at “presumed” building blocks and foundational principles of our faith.
Formation of the Bible, The Story of the Church’s Canon / Lee Martin McDonald / Hendrickson
A historical account of how the Scriptures were chosen. Contains stories written about our sacred collection of books that explores foundational and evocative questions like, “Why did ancient humans collect sacred text?” and “What comprised the Scriptures for Jesus?”
The Bible Study Handbook / Lindsay Olesberg / IVP
They should hand this out with the Bible after altar calls (if you have them). Olesberg will rescue you with fresh perspective, imaginative engagement with God and his word, and creative methodology for inductive Bible study.
Reading the New Testament for the First Time / Ronald J. Allen / Eerdmans
Our times aren’t so different from the Apostle Paul’s. Many have never opened a New Testament and this info-filled, theologically sound, well laid-out book gives basic background to shepherd newbies through the sometimes daunting process. Questions for review makes this ideal for individuals or groups. Even if you have read the New Testament many times, you’ll gather some fresh inspiration.
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes / E. Randolph Richards, Brandon J. O’Brien / IVP
A politely confrontational book that bids you trade in you cultural spectacles and rethink how your worldview distorts your scriptural conclusions. Sex, money, food, self-focus, prejudices, and much more: developed with apt storytelling and enlightening examples.
The Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written. Marcus J. Borg / HarperOne
Borg is a controversial scholar and many take issue with certain assumptions he makes about the meaning and evolution of Scripture, nevertheless, he offers interesting contextual observations and commentary, which must be filtered through a faith based or actual encounter with Christ, or you may find your faith deconstructed. (This is often necessary, but dangerous if you do not have a living relationship with God to reconstruct it in his image). Reading Borg’s commentaries and ordering is an interesting journey and reminder of the fact that the books did not emerge in the order we generally read them. It actually enhances the wonder of Christ revealed in community, since it is generally agreed the gospels were written after Paul’s first letters.