This am I was looking for my concordance, and realized how often I reach for my “tools” during my time with the Lord. Thought I might share with you some of my tools in case you are interested in a deeper relationship with the Master. You know, developing an intimate relationship with Him is optional…if you look carefully, particularly in John 14-16, His urging to OBEY is preceded by IF because He does not want anyone in His inner circle that truly does not want to be there, it is up to each of us to say yea or nay. Let me tell you from experience, when you say yea, you’ll never regret it! He becomes more and more precious every hour, as you discover things about Him, His character, personality, and love you never dreamed possible.
TOOLS…I mentioned concordance. A concordance is a book of words, listed alphabetically and subdivided into verse addresses. ever, single listing. If I remember right, the first word study I ever did was on the word WALK. I found it in my Crudens concordance, and was pretty excited at how many places in Scripture the word walk was used. I wrote them all down, read them, re-read them, and was tickled at just what they all said to me about my personal walk with Christ. Try it! Don’t go for a Strong’s at first, it will discourage you with TMI!
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words, a great reference book. Every word in the NT is listed alphabetically, an a definition of it each place where it is used. The Greek language (language the NT was written in) is very “wordy”…probably why God chose to have it the language of the Roman Empire at the time the NT was written. Lots of Greek words that may be one word in English. You will find it absolutely fascinating.
Handbook, Haley’s or other work, gives background and detail about the NT and is handy to “round out” a study.
Biblical Atlas, a good book to have but not critical as your Bible will have several. However, an atlas gives you more maps. I used an atlas to define the lines of Israel according to what God gave Abraham. Very enlightening in light of the Arab claim that the Israeli’s are “occupiers.” No way according to Scripture and world maps.
John MacArthur’s Bible Commentary, single volume commentaries are bulky but also handy. MacArthur happens to be my favorite author and from my perspective the most reliable Bible expositor today. An expositor “opens up” Scripture word by word, verse by verse. He is awesome at this. I love Charles Stanley, a fabulous teacher with a different style, he expounds on meaning from a heart perspective, a little different than Dr MacArthur but just as profound. You can also get multi-volume sets of commentaries by some excellent authors but you must be careful whose work you “feed” on especially if you are a new believer. Get advice before buying.
That’s a good start. As you grow in the faith, you’ll want to add to you books. So much is available right here on your computer and on tablets, everything in one place. And don’t forget to avail yourself of more than one version of Scripture. Start with a NKJV or NIV, very reliable, then go to paraphrases like The Message.