I am so thankful that we serve a God who longs to be known. Seriously, how amazing is that? A bible, notebook, pen, and a surrendered heart are the crucial items needed to spend some quality time with God – however, there are some other helpful, and fun, Bible study tools to help you as you grow in the knowledge of your heavenly Father.
Let’s take a look at some of these great Bible study resources. But first…
What Are Bible Study Tools?
Putting it simply, Bible study tools are the resources you use to study the bible.
Different people like to study in different ways. There are a variety of personality types that suit different resources and methods of Bible study.
Do you prefer to do things digitally? Or, like me, would you rather use paper and pen?
Do you like pretty things? Then you will definitely want some pretty pens and art supplies to illustrate as you study.
Do you love in-depth Bible study? Perhaps you enjoy understanding historical context and looking at the original Greek and Hebrew. Some good commentaries and word study tools are definitely needed in your toolbox.
What You Need for Bible Study
Here are some of the basic tools you should have to do your own in-depth Bible study.
A Study Bible
Do a quick google search for study Bibles and the results may seem a bit overwhelming. When looking for a study Bible there are a few things I recommend you look for.
- Choose a good Bible translation. There are lots of different versions and translations of the scriptures. I recommend using either the NASB or ESV versions because they are both word for word translations. Unlike NIV which is a paraphrased version.
“Whenever possible, a word-for-word translation tries to translate each word, phrase, and concept in the original text with an exactly matching word, phrase, and concept in the target language.” – Andy Rau from Bible Gateway
- Find a Bible without study or commentary notes. I ALWAYS suggest waiting to consult commentaries or other man’s opinions until after you have done a thorough study of the scriptures for yourself. There is a joy that comes when we discover truth for ourselves. If we consult outside resources for the purpose of interpretation too early, we rob ourselves of this joy.
- Consider using a Bible that leaves space for marking and notes. Whether you naturally tend toward marking your bible or not, I believe this is a great way to help us see the finer detail. Having a Bible with wide margins and larger print gives you more room for highlighting, marking, and note-taking.
My favorite study Bible is the Inductive Study Bible and matches all these criteria. There are many others that also get the job done.
Remember, don’t go to your commentaries too early. Do your own diligent study first. However, commentaries can be a great resource for checking our interpretation of the scriptures. If your understanding of a particular passage varies substantially from trusted commentaries, it may be worth re-considering your interpretation.
Word Study Tools
A word study tool is a resource you use to take a word in your Bible back to the original Greek and Hebrew languages to discover their original meaning. This is one of my favorite steps of Bible study. Looking at these original words give us much clarity when we are seeking to understand a certain passage of the Bible.
- Strongs Concordance – I think that an actual hard copy of a Strongs Concordance should be a staple in every Christian home. There definitely are more practical tools for doing word studies in the online world. But there’s a certain nostalgia with having an actual hard copy of this book, don’t you think? This is a tool I want to teach my children to use. I hope they teach their children too.
- Online Word Study Tools – Blue Letter Bible and Bible Hub are two of the best bible study tools apps. Not only are these resources great for looking at commentaries and cross-references, but they also are fantastic for doing word studies
Tools for Marking Your Bible
Like I said above, marking your bible is a great way to help us see the finer details of the passage, while also seeing the big picture. Marking your Bible is the first step of the Inductive Bible Study process.
- Bible Highlighters are great for marking certain phrases in your Bible (ie – God’s promises, warnings, commands, etc).
- Pens that won’t bleed through your Bible pages are great for marking common keywords in the Bible.
- Colored pencils are also great for marking common keywords. They are also great for drawing and illustrations in the margin of your pages.
Other Bible Study Tools and Resources
Here are some additional tools that can be helpful – especially for visual learners.
There are some great maps available to help you gain more context as to when and where of different Biblical historical events.
Timelines are another great resource for helping to keep track of dates and events.
Bible Study Printables and Worksheets
I’ve created some printables designed to help you do your own in-depth Bible study. Click to download the printables below.
Join my email community and I’ll give you access to the Resource Library which has even more Bible study printables for you to download and try – including a printable overview of the Inductive Bible Study Method.
Other Places to Find Bible Study Printables
Arabah Joy has some great Bible study worksheets on her site.
Kingdom Bloggers also has some great resources for Bible study.
Begin to Study the Bible – Free Online Bible Study
John chapter 1 is a great place to begin to study the Bible because it’s a great introduction to the life, ministry, and deity of our Lord and Savior.
Get the free printable Inductive Bible Study of John 1