Tools for Interpretation: Resources

Tools for Interpretation: Resources

As you continue to think Biblical interpretation as turning the gem of scripture over and over to look at every possible face, here is a list of Bible study resources that you might find helpful. there are many more than I include in this brief list. And please note that some resources are great while others are not.

Bible Translations

It is always a good idea to start by reading passages of scripture in multiple English translations. this helps you to see a passage from several different angles just by the differences in word choices among translations.

  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • Common English Bible (CEB)
  • Amplified Bible (AMP)
  • New International Version (NIV)
  • English Standard Version
  • New American Standard Version (NASB)
  • New King James Version (NKJV)
  • The Living Bible (TLB)
  • The Message (more of a paraphrase than a translation, but extremely helpful)

Interlinear Bibles

These offer you a word by word study of the Bible from the original languages. In essenece, you can see the Hebrew or Greek words written in parallel with the English translation. For folks who cannot read Hebrew or Greek, this is the closest one can come to studying the Bible in its original language.

Cultural Study Tools

When studying the Bible, an important step is to understand the culture and context of the people who wrote the Bible.

  • A Good Study Bible, such as HarperCollins Study BibleThe New Oxford Annotated Bible, or NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
  • A commentary focused on culture and context such as IVP Bible Background Commentary
  • Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity (Marvin Wilson
  • The Essential Bible Guide: Bible Background with Maps, Charts, and Lists (Menashe Har-El, Paul Wright, & Baruch Sarel)
  • Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses (Bruce Feiler)
  • Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus: New Insights from a Hebraic Perspective (David Bivin & Roy Blizzrd, Jr.)
  • Poet & Peasant: A Literary Cultural Approach to the Parable (Kenneth Bailey)
  • Many others…just looks for books about culture, background, and context

Bible Dictionary

A Bible Dictionary is pretty much exactly what it says it is: a dictionary for use when reading the Bible. This is helpful when you come across words, ideas, phrases, places, names, etc that you just don’t understand.

  • Anchor Bible Dictionary
  • HarperCollins Dictionary of the Bible
  • New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible
  • Lexham Bible Dictionary (Free!)

Bible Atlas

Unless you grew up 2000 years ago in the Mediterranean, you will probably need a Bible Atlas to keep track of all the cities, regions, bodies of water, and places spoken about in the Bible!

  • HarperCollins Atlas of Bible History
  • Oxford Bible Atlas
  • IVP Atlas of Bible


Used to look up word occurrences in the Bible. These use to be very popular, but with the rise of online Bibles and Bible software one can simply search a Bible translation to find all occurrences of a word. I suggest just using a Bible app or software below.

Bible Study App or Software

  • Olive Tree Bible Software – (what I use) has all of the above resources, plus much more and everything is searchable right from your phone, ipad or computer
  • Logos Bible Software
  • Accordance Bible Software

There are many other books out there to aid in Bible Study. If you are struggling with a particular book in the Bible, you can find a book written about that book! Or you may need a book on a particular topic, idea, concept, person, time period, or something else. The point is to turn the scripture over and over using any and every resource available that can help you dig deeper. I hope this brief list helps!

Miss Sunday’s Message?

Read or or listen here:  The Bible: Something More than What You Read

This Week:

Tuesday, August 13th, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm – DUMA Food Pantry Open, Volunteers needed
Wednesday, August 14th, 1:30 pm – Prayer & Inspiration
Wednesday, August 14th, 6:30 pm – Choir Practice Begins
Thursday, August 15th, 2:00 pm – Ladles of Love, Meal preparation & delivery
Sunday, August 18th, 9:45 am – Sunday School Series  on Apocalyptic Literature
Sunday, August 18th, 11:00 am – Worship
Sunday, August 18th, 3:00 pm – Back to School Pool Party for ALL ages at Glenn Eagle’s Community Clubhouse; Hot dog dinner provided.  Bring chips or cookies to share.


School Supply Drive

We are providing some of the school supplies for students at Wayne Ave. Elementary School.  We want to provide supplies to as many children as possible.  We are focusing our attention on three supplies for students and one for teachers.  We are collecting:

  • packs of wide-ruled paper
  • #2 pencils
  • large wedge erasers
  • Expo dry erase markers

Donations can be brought to the pool party or to the church at any time.  There will be a collection box outside of the children’s classroom.


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