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Bible Study Tools Chart

Framework for appraising Bible study resources:

  1. Check the publisher. What kinds of books do they publish? What perspective do they publish from (conservative, moderate, liberal)?
  2. Check the table of contents. Read sample sections to understand how the author handles particular interpretive issues.

Download this chart by scrolling to the bottom of this page.





Bible Atlas

Collection of maps and explanations showing places mentioned in the Bible; may also touch on history and significance of locations

Overcome geographic barriers to interpretation

Moody Atlas of the Bible

REF 912.122 BEI

Zondervan Atlas of the Bible L

REF 912.122 RAS

Baker Encyclopedia of Bible Places L

REF 220.91 BIM

ESV Bible Atlas

REF 912.122 CUR

New Bible Atlas

REF 912.122 WOO

IVP Atlas of Bible History

REF 912.122 LAW


Bible Dictionary / Encyclopedia

Explain the origin, meaning, and use of key words and terms in the text

Do general Bible research.


This is a general purpose research tool with short articles that concisely explain concepts.

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary A

REF 220.3 BRA

Tyndale Bible Dictionary L

REF 220.3 ELW

Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible L

REF 220.3 FRE

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary L

REF 220.3 YOU

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary L, O

REF 220.3 VIN

New Bible Dictionary, 3rd ed. A, L

REF 220.3 WOO

New Unger’s Bible Dictionary A, O

REF 220.3 UNG

The Handbook of Life in Bible Times

220.95 THO

New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties A, L

220.6 ARC

New Unger’s Bible Handbook

220.3 UNG

The World of the Bible

220.61 WOU

What the Bible Is All About L

220.61 MEA

Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible A, L

REF 220.3 ZON



Index to the Bible. Lists all of the words of the text alphabetically, with references for where they appear, along with a few of the surrounding words to provide context.

Understand words in their context


Connect words and terms from one passage to the next

Holman CSB Comprehensive Concordance of the Bible

REF 220.2 COM

Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance

REF 220.2 GOO

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, NAS

REF 220.2 STR

Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible

REF 220.2 YOU

Crossway Comprehensive Concordance, ESV

REF 220.2 MOU

NKJV Exhaustive Concordance (Nelson)

REF 220.2 N







Explains and interprets sections of the Bible; defines words; provides background information

Gain an understanding of a portion of Scripture

Note: Many of these series have a variety of authors with a range of Christian perspectives. Keep in mind that not all authors in a series hold to the same convictions.

Expositional: For those with general Bible training

NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) A, L

InterVarsity’s Bible Speaks Today (BST) A, L (NT only)

InterVarsity Press New Testament Commentary (NTC) A, O (

New American Commentary (NAC) A, L (NT only)


Technical & Semi-Technical: For those with training in the original languages

New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC) A, L

New International Commentary of the Old Testament/New Testament (NICOT, NICNT) A, L

Baker Exegetical Commentary (BECNT) A, L

Pillar New Testament Commentaries (PNTC) A, L

Apollos Old Testament Commentary

Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) A, L


Commentary Survey

Assesses the content of commentaries, identifying evangelical, moderate/conservative, and liberal resources *

Determine which commentary you should use, depending on the perspective you’re looking for





Old Testament Commentary Survey

Tremper Longmann III


REF 016.2217 LON

New Testament Commentary Survey

D. A. Carson


REF 016.2257 CAR

Commentary & Reference Survey

John Glynn



A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works

John Frederick Evans


REF 016.22 EVA

Commentaries for Biblical Expositors

Jim Rosscup


REF 016.22 ROS

Evangelical: Scripture is absolutely inerrant; the Bible was written with full historical and scientific  accuracy on all matters that it affirms, and thus is completely        truthful
      Moderate: Inerrancy is restricted to theological content rather than historical or scientific statements
      Liberal: Scripture’s claim to divine origin is dubious

A = Available on Accordance 
L = Available on Logos 
O = Available online

Sources:  Glynn, John.  Commentary & Reference Survey. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2007. Print.
                   Hendricks, Howard G., and William D. Hendricks. Living By the Book. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2007. Print.                                                                                                              Last Updated 11/6/2013 BY

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Nov 6, 2013, 9:24 AM