A friend at my church recently asked me for suggestions on resources that would help her understand each book of the Bible. After giving it some thought, I put together this list of options that could help a student of the Bible think through each book of the Old and New Testament.
But first, I must say:
There is no substitute for reading the Bible for yourself. I strongly encourage the use of good resources but only in conjunction with prayerful reading of the originals.
With that said, here are the resources I recommend:
MacArthur Bible Commentary.
A good commentary, like the MacArthur Bible Commentary (or even the MacArthur Study Bible), gives introductions to and overviews of each book. The MacArthur Bible Commentary is quite extensive while the Study Bible is more concise.
This is just the commentary: https://www.amazon.com/MacArthur-Bible-Commentary-John/dp/0785250662
This is a Bible with commentary in it: https://www.amazon.com/MacArthur-Study-Bible-Personal-Size/dp/1433540614/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1545510514&sr=1-5&keywords=macarthur+study+bible
Believer’s Bible Commentary.
William MacDonald’s Believer’s Bible Commentary is also excellent in its introductions and verse-by-verse explanations.
Essential Bible Background.
My seminary professor, Carl Laney, wrote this book: Essential Bible Background: What you should know before you read the Bible. It gives introductory info for every book of the Bible in brief.
Unger’s Bible Handbook.
“A rich treasury of Bible information! The New Unger’s Bible Handbook remains the one book indispensable to quality study, chock-full of color illustrations, photographs, maps, diagrams, charts and more.” (Amazon Introduction)
The Bible Project.
If you enjoy watching videos, the Bible Project has great, short videos that introduce each book of the Bible.
If you want to go deeper into each book, these 30-60 minute lectures by David Pawson give more info for each book. Some of the theology is a little off but for the most part, he does a good job.
Please let me know what you think of these resources! Should I add anything to this list?