Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

17Mar/090

Bible Study Part 1: Good & Bad Resources

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am with the quality of the readily available Bible study resources that we have today. The proper interpretation of the Scriptures is a very difficult task, and one that often requires educated guidance and disciplined study...which is one reason why I believe we prefer to read the writings of Christian writers over reading Scripture at times. I don't know about you, but I have read my daily devotions from the writings of Daily Bread, Max Lucado, Oswald Sanders, and others.

Unfortunately, every time I attempt to study the Word of God, I run into one of two dilemmas: (1) Inadequate resources, or (2) too many resources to sort through. Here are a few specific suggestions to assist you in avoiding this same dilemma.

Bible Software: (poor quality resources) I would suggest to you that you stay away from purchasing any Bible Study Software, as I find the translations available through them far outmatched by the free study sites available to us today. I have also spent a decent amount of money to purchase premium packages of books for software like Logos and Quickverse, but  am never impressed or assisted in interpretation by their commentary collections. (YouVersion.combible.logos.com, and BibleGateway.com)

At the present time, I have not found an online Bible Study portal or electronic software that allows for the guided study of Scripture...but I am hopeful that this is forthcoming. Perhaps one of our readers will suggest a good one!

Church Libraries: (too many resources) If you have access to a library of study resources, but are not sure where to start, be sure to utilize www.bestcommentaries.com, which will give you a listing of the top two rated Commentaries for each book of the Bible, along with other suggested study tools for each book.

If your church does not have a good library, I suggest that you consider utilizing the library of a nearby church or Bible College (I've rarely seen a library refuse to allow an interested person to use their collection).

Further tools that can be utilized are online article databases like ATLA, which can be accessed through many secular libraries computer systems (sometimes even through the city library).

And, if you choose to purchase the books, please utilized the discounts of online retailers and search sites like AddAll.com and Christian Book Distributers (www.ChristianBook.com).

One Excellent Resource: On a final note, I constantly rely upon the expository outlines of Warren Wiersbe, which acts as an excellent Bible Study resource for understanding the meaning of a passage of Scripture. If there was one item I would suggest that your purchase for your personal library, it would likely be his outlines. See them here.

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