Basic Tools For Bible Study

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Studying the Bible can seem taxing at first glance.  You can simplify Bible study with some basic tools that help with both understanding and retention of biblical knowledge.  Use of the tools should not serve as a substitute for reading the Bible itself.

Bible Dictionary: A Bible dictionary offers definitions of biblical terms.  In most cases, Bible dictionaries will also includes names of characters and places mentioned in the Bible as well as books of the Bible.  Use a Bible dictionary to search for a short, simplified definition of a term, name, or place.

Commentary: A commentary provides a theologian or Bible scholar’s comments on a scriptural term, phrase, verse or passage, even chapter or book.  Commentaries offer cultural and historical insights as well as background information based upon research within the Bible and other sources.  Commentaries are based upon the writer of the commentary.  For instance, Martin Luther’s commentary on the Scriptures will serve in a limited capacity due to its existence before the Dead Sea Scrolls and other biblical archaeology.  Use multiple commentaries that can be compared and contrasted for common threads.

Bible Encyclopedia: a Bible encyclopedia provides more exhaustive explanations, definitions and background information than a Bible dictionary.  It offers contextual references for the term may be found within the Scriptures.  Use a Bible encyclopedia to search for in-depth information on a term or subject.

Concordance: A concordance offers a list of words in the Bible with their meaning and the scriptural references for each time the word is used.  Many concordances assist in how many times a word is utilized in the Bible.  Be careful not to confuse usage with contextual definitions.  In some cases, words may be used literally or figuratively.  Use a concordance to locate where words are used in the Bible.

Some online sources for utilizing these Bible tools include;

Using these basic Bible tools can assist the average person with learning and becoming familairized with the Bible.  These tools assist with Bible, but they do not substitute for reading the Bible.  Other tools that help exist as well.

Other Bible Study Tools:

  • Lexicon
  • Interlinear Bible
  • Parallel Bible

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