Bible Study Resources

A Brief and Basic Bibliography for Bible Study Resources

For Home, Church, or School Libraries

(Whole list, under $100.00) 

In studying the Scriptures, it is important to have a view that provides a good handle on the overall history of the salvation of mankind in Jesus Christ. In other words, Bible Study, and the resources that you use, ought to be: Comprehensive and Centered upon Christ. The following resources are suggestions to aid the beginner, the teacher, or the long time student of the Scriptures. I highly recommend them for your home library or as a Christmas presents to your friends and family. They should also be on the shelf in church and school libraries to be available to parishioners and for classroom settings.

These resources all meet some basic qualifications: 1. “Less is More”- none of these are huge or overwhelming with information; 2. Trustworthy Resources- all of these resources are written by confessional Lutherans (excepting the atlas, which is excellent and taking the Scriptures as the very Word of God ); 3. Directing to the Word and not Away From It- these resources do not draw one away from the actual words of Scripture, but point one to study them more fervently and gratefully. And while there are certainly many helpful newer resources available today, these are time-tested and have been beloved for generations.

1. A Bible History (which is the update of Advanced Bible History by Rev. A.C. Stellhorn) [for a fuller review of Advanced Bible History, which can essentially serve one as a review of A Bible History as well, click here.]

[Note: A Bible History has been very slightly updated and is now renamed and sold as Concordia's Bible History, sold here at CPH for $23.99. There are also an accompanying workbook and answer book available.]

It covers all the basic and most important biblical narratives (~140). There is some summarization for the sake of length, yet sticks closely to the actual words of the Bible. There are helpful, yet not burdensome, introductory explanations, notes, and other helps, including several maps in the back of the volume. At the end of each lesson are a Small Catechism tie-in, an additional Bible verse cross reference, and a hymn verse.

It should come as no surprise that the volume highlights and focuses on the Promise of the Seed in the Old Testament and our Lord's Person and Work in the New Testament. There is special attention paid to the 4th Commandment, and, unlike other Bible Histories of the past (and the norm today), difficult and/or “scary” portions of Scripture are not shied away from or sanitized. This Bible History is the best modern one available, and is superior, even for young children, than the other Bible Histories or Bible Story books offered by CPH.

You can find good copies on Amazon or new at CPH for $20.99. Or, if you would rather have one of the older versions, copies of Advanced Bible History can be found online through Amazon or Bookfinder, and Comprehensive Bible History  (the 1918 version) can be found the same way  or at Anchor Books and Tracts (third from the top of this page).  

2. Bible History References by Rev. F. Rupprecht [for a fuller review, click here]

Covering the same 140 or so Bible stories of A Bible History, the reference notes in this 2 volume set are tied to particular words or phrases from each story. There are also brief excursuses on important topics/questions. There are additional suggested tie-ins to the Catechism, hymn verses, and additional Bible readings at the end of each lesson. It is invaluable as a reference concerning the most basic questions and important points to learn (or teach) for the most central stories of the Bible. Besides excellent introductions to each major section of biblical history, additional appendices include: Brief Review of Jewish History from the End of the Captivity to the Birth of Christ, Biblical Weights, Measures, Money, and Time, Chronological Tables, Summary of Paul's Activity, and several more.

They are wonderful resources regardless of what additional materials you are using for Bible History, or for direct Bible Study. Most notable is the focus on the Promise of the Seed (Messiah) throughout the Old Testament and the Christocentricity of the New Testament notes.

You can find this two volume set at the website of Anchor Books and Tracts for $22.00 (shipping included; second one down on the page):

3. Bible History Explained and Applied by Rev. K.K. Miller [for a fuller review, click here]

This book is a collection of short sermons on the same Bible stories that are covered in the above primary resources. It is very helpful for further meditation and focusing on the overarching point(s) of these particular sections of the Bible. From the Preface, “Each Bible story is explained and applied in a sermon, and each sermon is complete on one sheet of paper...This volume is dedicated to all those parochial school teachers, Sunday school teachers, and parents who are devoted to bringing up children in their care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

You can find this book also at Anchor Books and Tracts for $13.50 (shipping included; scroll down on the page to find it, fourth from the top):

4. Everyday Life in Bible Times by Rev. Arthur W. Klinck [for a fuller review, click here]

Everyday Life in Bible Times is an excellent resource for the parent, pastor, or teacher. It gives helpful information about the biblical world: its customs, agriculture, occupations, husbandry, food and drink, construction and architecture, weaponry, the trades, travel, art, science, commerce, and much more. It strikes the perfect balance of information for the Christian home or parish. It is not overwhelming in the amount of detail, yet gives a satisfying look at what life was like during the Old and New Testaments--neither too cumbersome nor too cursory. Klinck also does an excellent job weaving important theological points while explaining various details of daily life.

You can find it on Amazon/Bookfinder for very cheap, or even new at CPH for only $10.99:

5. The ESV Concise Bible Atlas

This is hands down the best basic, inexpensive Bible atlas of which I am aware. It covers all the major points in biblical history, has helpful Scriptural references with each map, and offers excellent pictorial depictions of Jerusalem through the ages. Maps help the Bible student grasp the historical setting and details and bring the reality of the story front and center. 

You can purchase on Amazon for $14.00 plus s/h.

6. Treasury of Bible Illustrations: Old and New Testaments by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

This is a classic collection of pictures of stories from the Bible which is neither cartoonish, nor hyper-realistic, but are rather designed to “tell the story” in one picture. Such an aid, even for adults, helps us remember and dwell upon the Scriptures through images. They are a great help in teaching the Scriptures to children.

You can purchase it on Amazon for $12.00 plus s/h.

7. Popular Commentary of the Bible by Rev. P.E. Kretzmann

An excellent biblical commentary designed to cover the basic points and message of the Scriptures in 4 volumes. It was written for laymen, yet many pastors often turn to it as well due to its trustworthiness and focus.

It is in most church libraries and is absolutely free online If you do want a hard copy, there are many on amazon, ebay, etc.

Bottom Line: If you were to buy everything on this list, it would cost you right under $100.00, or less if you bought used copies…hardly breaking the bank for time-tested, trustworthy resources for understanding the Bible. Perhaps some of these would be the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. Or, better yet, the whole bunch for your household’s study of the Scriptures!

No comments:

Post a Comment