The Bible is God’s words to us, His children! What an amazing truth! That the God Who created all we see and know wants us to know Him, and therefore, speaks to us through His Word!
But in order for us to fully know and understand what He is saying, we must dive in and study.
Are you ready to begin, but find yourself in need of a little guidance? Here is a list of Bible study resources, tools, and study guides to help you develop a life-long love of Bible study.
Best Bible Study Resources
Ok, so you know you need a little help with your study of God’s Word. But you’re left wondering, “What resources and tools do you actually need for Bible study?” Well, in my opinion, the basics would be a Bible, a concordance, a Bible app, and a notebook and pencil. But then, which ones?
Below are some of the tools I use and recommend to those desiring to learn more about the Bible.
A good Bible is, of course, the very first and most important study resource you’ll need. Study Bibles offer a lot of notes and helps in the form of book descriptions and outlines, section headings, cross references, maps, and so much more. But it can be a bit daunting to figure out which one to choose.
I remember the shock of going into a Christian bookstore to find a Bible many years ago and realizing this was not going to be a quick and easy errand. So many options and features!
So many translations, too! When choosing a Bible, you will want to choose a word-for-word translation, such as the KJV. I will also sometimes use the ESV or NASB for comparison purposes when studying.
Here is a list of study Bibles I believe are great choices for Bible study.
- The Life Application Study Bible is the #1-selling study Bible of our day. Although it comes in many translations, I still prefer the KJV. I have this Bible and love it! It contains a lot of information about life in Bible times and notes that explain difficult passages. And as its name implies, it also gives instruction on how to apply Biblical principles to your life and circumstances! Learn about it’s many other features here.
- The KJV Study Bible is one of the most beautiful Bibles I’ve seen lately. But besides its look, this Bible has over 6,000 helpful study notes from the Layman’s Bible Commentary series, providing background context and insight into difficult passages.
- You might consider getting a Bible with space for marking, writing notes, and/or journaling. I have found it super helpful to jot down a note or two when listening to the sermons at my church. Or, when I’m reading and the Lord gives certain clarity. Those notes are precious whenever I happen to see and read them again. Many I don’t even remember writing. So, had I not written them, they’d have been lost!
- There are many journaling Bibles available. A quick google search will help you find one just right for you. Or you could start with the link to this one that I like…Journal the Word Bible.
It is usually a good idea to wait to consult a commentary until after you’ve been able to do your own research into a passage. There is joy in discovering truth for ourselves.
But it is also a good idea to go to a commentary to double check if your interpretation was correct. If several commentaries have a different view of the passage, it might be wise to check with your pastor, as well. And then decide, through further prayer, what you believe is correct. Remember, the majority isn’t always right, but…“in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
For those times when you want a little more in-depth study help, I recommend The New Matthew Henry Commentary: The Classic Work with Updated Language and the Verse by Verse Commentaries by David Guzik. Matthew Henry’s Commentary is an exhaustive commentary on the whole Bible. The original text is harder to read, so I’m glad to have this updated version available. And it comes in either book or Kindle format!
I love and use David Guzik’s commentaries a good bit, as I have found them to be very easy to read and understand, as well as, very relatable for our day. I truly believe that you will, too.
Bible Study Books
Besides commentaries, there are many other Bible study reference books that will greatly enhance your study of the Bible.
In my opinion, every home should have The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. If you at least have this, then with just pen and some paper, you will be able to study your Bible for yourself. All the other study tools are meant to add more to your own study.
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge provides over 500,000 cross references and parallel passages, and is easier to use than Bibles with chain references. This tool is a must for Bible study, for it is primarily the Bible we must depend on to interpret itself! Looking up cross references is how we discover Bible definitions of Bible words and principles. I rely heavily on this tool in my own study.
I like being able to see pictures of items mentioned in scripture. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: New and Enhanced Edition contains more than 7,000 entries with more than 500 full-color photos and maps, making this a very interesting reference book.
The Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines is an incredible resource for understanding biblical dates, geography, events, and so much more. You’ll want to take a look to see all that this resource offers. Permission is given for photocopying up to 300 copies per original per church, making this also a great resource to share in your church’s Bible study groups.
The Bible Handbook is a reference book to help you approach the Bible. This resource includes background and contextual information for every book of the Bible, including literary genre, historical context, purpose, themes, and more. And is an excellent tool to reach for whenever you study a book of the Bible.
Best Bible Study Resources Online
Many of the resources and commentaries I’ve included in this list can be accessed for free online! Gotta love the internet! While it is a good idea and nice to have hard copies of some resources, free is also very appealing. And being able to use a site’s search feature is also super handy.
Bible Study Apps
Bible study apps are incredibly helpful. My favorite Bible study tool online so far is the eSword app. I use it all the time. I have the app on my laptop and my iphone. And love it! But I’ve also heard a lot of good things about the Blue Letter Bible. So, I’ll be diving into that one soon. Bible Gateway is another great online study tool I use and would recommend.
Besides having so many study tools accessible in one place with one click, I love the audio feature of online study sites and apps. I can have a scripture passage read to me while I’m doing housework, or while I’m waiting in my car for someone or something. There are a LOT of waiting times we could redeem in this way.
Have you used any of these Bible study apps? Which do you prefer, and why? Let us know in the comments.
Bible Study Guides
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start in our study of God’s Word. And once we settle on a book or topic to study, it can be a little difficult to know how to begin, or what to look for as we study. This is where a good study guide is a real help. I’ve included here several suggestions for you.
- Ladies Drawing Nigh Bible Studies — These free online Bible studies will guide your study through eleven books of the Bible using the LDN H.E.A.R. Bible study method. All the resources and printables needed are provided for free. You can also have any study delivered to you weekly via email!
- Time Warp Wife Ministries — Has some great free printable study guides that I know you will enjoy.
- Bible Study Lessons — These Bible studies include free printables with questions, study guides, and assignments.
- Free Online Bible Study — Find here a variety of Chapter Studies. If you’d like, you can download and print them to be used in your small groups.
- Megan Allen Ministries — Has free study guides for two chapter studies and the book of Philippians that you should check out. She uses the inductive Bible study approach.
Bible Reading Plans
Bible reading plans are a great way to spend time in the Word and journal what you are learning each day. Bible reading plans cover a variety of topics we ladies face in our lives on a daily basis. Topics such as forgiveness, finding God’s will, how to pray, thankfulness, and waiting on God. These plans include a variety of free study resources and printable worksheets.
- Walking With God Bible Study Bundle
- Natalie at Bible Verses for You
- Sarah E. Frazer
- Kingdom Bloggers 12-Month Bible Reading Plans
These are some of my favorite study resources. Do you use the same ones I do, or is there a study tool or resource you could recommend to us? I’d love to hear what your favorites are, what you use the most as you study God’s Word. Please share in the Comments below.