by Eddie Hastings, Pastor of Discipleship
During the month of April, our adult LifeGroups have been talking about the Bible. That may sound a little strange as we talk about the Bible every week in LifeGroup. But we mean the Bible as a whole book. We’ve been discussing questions like “Can I trust the Bible?” and “Why does the Bible matter?”. As we end this series, we wanted to pass on some of the amazing resources that are out there now to help you spend time in God’s Word.
The first time I really began to dig into the Bible was after coming home from Fuge Camp as a 9th grader (yes, Fuge has been around that long). I remember asking my parents for a new Bible and I picked out an NIV Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible (and a big brown leather case with a sword on it to carry it in). I loved that almost every verse had a comment that helped explain it and a reference to another part of Scripture. I found that the more I read, the more I wanted to read. If you feel a bit stuck or not sure where to start, the good news is there are plenty of resources to help you.
Remember, none of these are meant to take the place of the Bible itself (except the ones that actually are a Bible!). These are to spark you into further study and energize your time in God’s Word.
I think in selecting a Bible, the best thing to do is go into a Christian book store and check them out “hands-on.” Look at the size of the text, the size of the Bible, what resources it includes (maps, charts, character studies, word studies, book intros, notes, etc.). When you find one that you like, it might be cheaper online and you can ask if the store will price match.
Life Application Study Bible (various translations)
Thompson Chain Reference (still a classic!)
ESV Study Bible
David Jeremiah Study Bible
NIV Study Bible
For a refreshing look at Scripture, try reading in a different version than what you normally use. Web sites like BibleGateway.com or The Bible App offer lots of different translations. Here are some interesting ones to try: The Amplified Bible, The Message, The Voice, or The Living Bible.
Click here for a helpful guide to the various translations and paraphrases of the Bible that are available.
Bible Reading Plans
Most of the web sites like BibleGateway.com and YouVersion have lots of different plans to read through the Bible in a year, 6 months, 90 days, etc. They also have lots of different types of plans from chronological to topical.
Books (links are to Amazon)
How to study the Bible
Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods
What the Bible is All About by Henrietta Mears
Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by Howard Hendricks
Family Devotions for Kids (links are to Amazon)
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
The Action Bible Series
Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski
Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids about God and Science by Louie Giglio
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young
God’s Little Angel: Shine Your Light Devotional by Sheila Walsh