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.
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15 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…
- 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.
- Bible Cross References — This means related Bible verses are noted so you can reference similar passages or Bible verses that speak to the same topic.
- Bible 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.
Some other great study Bibles to consider:
- She Reads Truth Study Bible — Beautiful devotionals and reading plans in this Bible. See my full review here.
- 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.
- ESV Study Bible — A great study Bible that has robust resources–maps, book introductions, historical notes, cross references, commentary and more!
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”.
A journal and pen are important to help you listen and remember the things the Holy Spirit speaks uniquely to you as you study the Bible.
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.
GRAB YOUR VIBRANT QUIET TIME BUNDLE
Here are a few simple daily Bible reading plan options:
- 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.
“Hi Jesus, I read today about you healing a man that was blind. That’s kind of crazy to think about. Some people that are Christians seem to be all about healing and it seems fake, but it didn’t seem fake when you did it. I don’t know. I’m still not sure if it’s real, but you seemed really kind and like you noticed people and I like that about you. I’d like to be like that too….a person that helps others. Thanks for listening. -Amen”
This easy to use this app has tons of Bible tools in one nice, easy to use app!
Bible verse of the day, many Bible translations, daily 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 and share graphics on social media!
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 original Greek words, cross reference what you’re reading with other parts of the Bible and read Bible commentaries, 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 a Hebrew word or Greek word when I’m studying! Normally looking at these words is a great way to 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 of the Word of God.
9. The Bible Project website
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.
11. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary
Bible dictionaries are helpful to understand the full meaning of the original languages in the Bible. While you can use an online tool, you may prefer to have this resource on your Bible book shelf.
“This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew.”
One of the best ways to make sure you aren’t taking Scripture meaning out of context is to understand how it was used in the original language and this book will help you do that!
12. Bible Concordance
While you can use an online tool, if you prefer a book grab a classic concordance which you can use to look up specific topics and word usage in the Bible! This important tool will add depth to your Bible study or seminary paper prep or sermon writing.
13. Biblestudytools.com Bible App
Bible dictionary, Bible commentaries, sermons, devotionals, Bible concordance– basically a full Bible study library in website and app form! While there are many tools you can use with free access, some additional resources are only available with a paid subscription. This Bible study tool is a great way for in depth study of Biblical text or even sermon preparation.
14. Tony Evans Bible Commentary
I have greatly enjoyed using this Bible Commentary for my latest read through the gospels and while prepping my last two sermons. Dr. Evans has insightful commentary that goes along with each section of Scripture, making this a great addition to your devotional Bible reading.
At my Christian college we were required to take one Bible class a semester. During my sophomore year I opted for an End Times class (I heard there was no Bible verse memory required) and decided against Bible Geography (there was Bible verse memory). I seriously regret that choice–especially when my best friend sang the classes praises and talked about how knowing Bible geography changed her perspective on so many Bible stores!
Since I can’t time travel back to 2007 and choose that Bible Geography class, I will have to make do with amazing resources like this Holman Bible Atlas.
With beautiful maps, charts and photographs “it places readers in the geographical, historical, and cultural contexts of the Bible and enables them to experience its perennially relevant message.”
More Bible Study Help
Click here to see more of the Best Bible study tools!
Bible Study FAQS
Where should I begin to study the Bible?
I recommend beginners start reading in the gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
These are the books that capture the time of Jesus Christ 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.
What are Bible translations?
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 different languages — 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) different Bible translations and 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.
Which Bible translation should I use?
There are many opinions on what version of the Bible is best.
Overall, I read most often from the New International Version and it is probably my favorite Bible version for reading and Bible study. I also really like to use the English Standard Version for Bible study. Both are reliable and easy to read and follow the original text closely in translation.
I also like switching to the New Living Translation for reading longer passages, it is very conversational. I like The Message paraphrase 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 amazing Bible study resources 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 download the Bible Study Worksheet Bundle!