I have read a number of good books of late...it was my intent to tell you about one of them but then I saw something...something wonderful and I could not resist letting you know about it!
The new Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary!!
A good commentary is one of the most helpful tools when studying and this week we received one that has me very excited! This is a beautiful book that is filled with section-by-section notes from 43 leading scholars; it provides not only a great overview of the text but includes vibrant, full colored images designed to help us gain a deeper understanding of the time or place. This commentary is filled with great information that can be used by everyone, it is accurate and intelligent without being so academic that it is hard to use.
I am a bit of a geek and I love reference books, they give us such great insight into the Bible and help us to understand His Word which in turn gives us a better understanding of God Himself. When studying there are a couple of core books that will help us tremendously, they are as follows.
1) A Commentary-a collection of 'comments' from various authors that speak about how they have come to interpret verses of the Bible, they can add additional details regarding the geography, customs and traditions of Biblical times, not found in other reference tools.
2) A Dictionary-a reference resource that gives concisely worded definitions and historical information - about people, places, words and events found in the Bible - all in alphabetical order.
3) A Handbook- a companion to Bible reading and a great introduction to the whole Bible. It’s arranged in the order of the books of the Bible, and provides critical background information that is helpful to know before you read through a Bible book.
4) A Concordance-an index to the words (arranged alphabetically) found in the Bible. Often useful in helping to locate certain passages or topics.
5) An Atlas- useful in gaining context to where Biblical events took place.
I have a couple of study books that I would be lost without, The IVP Background Commentaries (Old & New) and The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery are among them. What are your favorite study tools? I would love to hear about some of them.