Good Bible study reference materials can be hard to find!
I have classed the following bible study references as “reference materials”: commentaries, dictionaries, and concordances. I used some of the below materials, in addition to other printed material, as references in my Bible story facts. I also use references like these to guide me in areas of the Bible that I don’t fully understand.
Bible commentaries contain the author’s thoughts on a particular book, verse, or chapter of the Bible. Keep this in mind when using these as references materials – they are only someone else’s thoughts / interpretations (not to be taken as gospel). Some good commentaries are:
Free Bible Commentary.org
Commentary by book of the Bible published in PDF Format by Dr. Bob Utley. An excellent read. Historical, archaeological findings to support research. The site has other resources as well (audio, video). Some old and some new testament. More commentary to be added in the near future. Amateur look and feel.
Matthew Henry Concise
Laid out well. Professional look and feel. Original book written in 1706, but seems very up-to-date and relevant to today. An excellent bible study reference.
A collection of commentaries. Easy to navigate, good, thoughtful information. Great L&F.
Good information. Free service. The site is dedicated to (and named after?) his son who died in the Sept 11 terrorist attacks in New York. Information seems to be up to date. Looks like original language is Spanish – pretty good english translation, though. Site author is a medical doctor. Commentary on the entire Bible. Navigation isn’t real friendly. Amateur look and feel.
Bible dictionaries contain definitions for terms used in the Bible. The terms could be places, people, objects, or animals. Knowing what you are reading about can help to understand the purpose of its place in the Bible. Some good Bible dictionaries are:
Eastons Bible Dictionary.com
Written over hundred years ago, good definitions otherwise. A great Bible study reference which is easy to use.
Good description of Nephilim. I noticed a references/quotes by an evangelist that I don’t necessarily agree with some of his views on creation. Great dictionary search capabilities, though. I highly recommend this site.
Good online dictionary. Written over hundred years ago. Easy to use – a little too dark L&F for my liking. Many more links to other resources like archaeological digs, etc. Very useful site.
Bible concordances are basically indexes of subjects, people, places, animals, or objects in the Bible. A typical use of a concordances would be, for instance, if you looked up “Adam”. You would find references to Adam in Genesis, I Chronicles, Hosea, Romans, Luke, I Corinthians, I Timothy, Joshua, and Jude. This is a very handy tool to cross reference topics in the Bible uncovering all sorts of biblical knowledge. Some good concordances are:
By far the best topical Bible study reference on the net. You can search by keyword, verse, or browse topics. Many (if not all) translations of the Bible available. Loads quickly, not a lot of graphics. Some neat tools here. I particularly like the English word search for Hebrew/Greek translation – pretty cool. The search screens are split apart, but if you know what you want, it’s pretty easy to get used to to find whatever it is you are looking for. It’s all free, no advertisements!
This has no search capabilities, and is a little annoying in that you have to navigate back an forth between windows/tabs, but the cross references are thorough.
Note: Please make sure you use the actual Bible for making final decisions on your opinions. Don’t base your opinions on someone else’s interpretation of the Bible – unless it fits within the Biblical teachings. Normally, God backs up what he says at least twice. Cross reference several verses to be sure!