If you’re looking to grow your faith and are searching for some powerful Bible study tools you have come to the right place. Studying the Bible can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. God’s Word is clear and here are some great resources to help you study the Bible if you are a beginner or established in your faith.
Keep reading and you will be ready to dive into your own personal study of the Bible and grow your relationship with God.
10 Best Bible Study Tools
1. A Study Bible
I recommend choosing a study Bible as a great tool to help grow your faith! I love my NIV Study Bible. I like it because the translation closely follows the original text and is easy to read while having great notes and resources.
A study Bible doubles as a…
Some other great Bibles to consider:
- Bible Commentary — It has notes that run along the bottom of the page with helpful commentary. It also has introductions to each book of the Bible telling you about the author, date written, historical background, book themes and more.
- Concordance — There is also a large concordance in the back where you can look up, every use of the word “peace” in the Bible if you want to, for example, study the word peace or look up a Biblical character like King David.
- Bible Geography— Sharing helpful maps to understand the geography and how it influenced the characters and promises of God.
Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible — This is very nerdy; if you’re into history you’ll like all the extra info!
Journaling Bible — This Bible has wide margins so you can write notes or creative art journaling right in the Bible.
Truly picking a Bible comes down a lot to preference. You can go browse Bibles in person at a local bookstore so you can get a feel for weight, page thickness, and how each one reads. Don’t get caught in indecision though– just pick one and start reading!
RELATED: 7 WAYS TO UNDERSTAND BIBLE CONTEXT
2. A Journal and Pen
I like to have a journal and pen handy when I am reading my Bible so I can jot down notes, ask questions, write out Bible verse and prayers. Any journal or pen will do just fine.
I tend to start one spiritual journal and fill completely up over the course of a year or so, instead of using different journals for different studies.
- My favorite type of journal to use are these lined Decomposition Notebooks. They are available in a lot of independent bookstores or can be ordered online.
- I have these colorful, no bleed journaling pens and really like them to keep things colorful and fun while I’m writing down my Bible study “aha moments”.
3. A plan
If you approach reading the Bible with zero plan or forethought into what you will be reading, you will probably be lost and confused quickly! Don’t just flip to a page , close your eyes, point to a verse and start reading! You wouldn’t read any other book like that would you?
You can grab my FREE Bible Study Worksheet Bundle to help you read, think and pray through a passage of Scripture. These questions I have been asking myself and journaling as I read my Bible and they have hugely grown my faith.
Here are a few other simple Bible reading plans you could use:
- Read a Proverb that corresponds with the day of the month, write or notice things that could apply to you today.
- Read through the book of John, writing down things you see about Jesus.
- Do a Bible study around a topic. See some of my favorite Bible studies here!
- Use an app to find a plan that you like (more on that below!)
- Complete my Claiming the Promises of God Bible study
4. A heart posture of a humility and worship
I can remember when my daughter trotted off to Kindergarten, she came home surprised to have learned something new! The most important thing you can bring into your study of God’s Word is a heart posture of humility and worship.
Humility recognizes that you are the learner in the situation. Unlike my daughter who thinks at 6 years old she has life figured out, you know that you are lost, unsure, and in need of the nourishment God is eager to pour out on you through the Bible!
Worship is something we all do–we admire, we become fans, we give our time, attention, and income to things we love. An attitude of worship is a posture of awe and adoration and excitement that you get to be in a close, daddy-daughter, best friend relationship with Creator of the Universe who made you and loves you unconditionally.
Talk to God about studying the Bible. Ask Him for wisdom. Tell Him how you’re feeling about what you read in your Bible. Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to start a certain way, you don’t have to be confident, you don’t have to say the perfect “Christian thing, or be near and tidy in your prayers– just start talking.
Super easy to use, tons of translations, Bible reading plans and a community aspect that can link you to your friends who are also reading the Bible so you can complete studies together! I am currently using a chronological Bible reading plan called The Bible Recap and I love it. The app makes it simple and fun to move through Bible reading plans.
Our church often makes use of Youversion to read plans together as a church too! This is a great feature and it is a free Bible study tool!
If you’re ready to dive into the original meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words, cross reference what you’re reading with other parts of the Bible and get sermon notes from all over the world– this is the deep dive online Bible study tool for you! And it’s absolutely free!
My favorite way to use Blue Letter Bible is to research the original meaning of Hebrew and Greek words! Normally looking at these words can help clear up confusion and expand the meaning of so many passages.
Doing this is pretty simple.
- Go to Blueletterbible.com.
- Type the verse or phrase you want to look up into the search feature.
- Click “Tools”
- You should see the verse broken down into the original text.
- Click on the word you want to explore.
- Read the original word, it’s meaning, other ways it is translated, and roots of the word.
I like Bible Gateway the most for comparing different translations of the same Bible verse! Because we know some words are tricky to translate from the original language into English seeing how the different Bible versions interpret the verse helps us grasp the original intent better.
After typing your verse of choice into the search bar, click on the small hyperlink beneath the verse “Your verse in all translations”.
You can now see how each version interprets the verse and compare how they do compared to the original language you’ve studied up above.
I am not a Bible translator but I find it interesting we see the word complete or completeness listed first above, but the word “shalom” is not translated in that way in any of the versions noted here.
It’s clearly a word for which English doesn’t have an equal, but by looking at different translations you can see some of the nuance in the text.
From their website: “The Bible Project is a nonprofit ed-tech organization and animation studio that produces 100% free Bible videos, podcasts, blogs, classes, and educational Bible resources to help make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.”
I love the Bible Project! Their videos are super engaging and a succinct way of explaining overviews of books of the Bible and fundamentally truths! I have also found they deal gracefully with subjects Christians may disagree on or be unsure oef by explaining different points of view and their reasoning.
I love this app for busy days when I may not have time to open my Bible and sit down for a longer reading session. The pray as you go app is perfect for growing your faith as you go about your day– while driving to work, folding laundry or doing dishes.
Each day you:
- Listen to music
- Read Scripture
- Meditate with guided prompts
This may seem less powerful than some of the other tools, but staying connected to God doesn’t have to be complicated. The power of this online tool is it’s simplicity and portability.
Bible Study FAQS
I recommend beginners start reading in the gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
These are the books that capture the time of Jesus on earth. They are beautiful, insightful and historical. Each time I read them Jesus just captivates me. You will read familiar stories and Jesus life narrative from four different perspectives.
Then use your journal to write down things you notice about Jesus. How is he different than you expected? How is he like what you’ve heard about him? Write down questions you have and take them to a trusted pastor or Christian friend.
You may be surprised to learn that not all Bibles and Bible verses sound exactly the same. This is because the Bible wasn’t written in English, but in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.
The first English version of the Bible was the King James Bible published in 1611 and funded by a king of England. Like most things written in the 1600s it can be a bit difficult for a modern reader to understand, but may be familiar to you if you’ve heard the Bible quoted by your Grandma or in a movie (like the scene with Linus from A Charlie Brown Christmas).
In the 1970s Bible scholars wrote (and continue to write) newer versions that take into account modern English language and better tools for understanding the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts. You can learn more about the history of the Bible translation into English here.
There are many opinions on what version of the Bible is best.
Overall, I read most often from the New International Version and the English Standard Version. Both are reliable and easy to read and follow the original text closely in translation.
I also like switching up to the New Living Translation or The Message, especially when I’m reading something very familiar and I find myself skimming the passage because “I know this.” These two versions are “thought for thought” paraphrases, so I don’t prefer them for deep study, but they are definitely helpful and impactful!
There are so many great Bible study tools available to us today! What a blessing to have so many rich resources to know and worship God in our daily lives.
True vibrance in our in our everyday messy moments starts with being in a relationship with our heavenly Father. I know for me if I start my day with Jesus, studying His Word, praying, meditating on His characteristics, and journaling– I’m more able to be a patient mom, a kind spouse and a considerate friend.
Bit by bit, being with Jesus changes me.
I hope it does for you too, friend.
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your Free Bible Study Worksheet Bundle!