Studying the Bible
Listed below is a selection of books and other materials to help you study the Bible. See also the 'Small Group Resources' section of this website.
Open your Bible
by CLC Publications
Open your Bible is designed to be an “all-in-one Bible Guide” to help Christians in their understanding of the Bible and of Jesus and, at the same time, to provide resources to help preachers and teachers communicate the message of the Bible more effectively. It is available in two formats – an 848-page book and a DVD-Rom. These are backed up by a website that includes free downloadable PowerPoint presentations.
Open your Bible is divided into six main sections:-
* Knowing Jesus – His person, teaching, works and salvation
* The Bible book by book – Summarising the background and content of each book
* Bible teaching – an outline of the foundation truths of Christianity
* Discovering God’s way – to help Christians grow in their faith
* Living the Christian life – showing how to apply the Scriptures to everyday life
* Resources for the Journey – including an index and guide to Bible themes
Material is presented in a colourful and accessible format. Within each section, the content is divided into brief chapters, with introductory comments sub-headings and bullet points that indicate the key themes. Tinted panels apply the content of different parts of the book with things “to think about”, suggestions for Bible study or other action points.
The DVD Rom is essentially an electronic version of the book in PDF format.
CLC explicity states that material in the book may be freely used for study and teaching purposes in a non-commercial personal, church or teaching setting. There is even a section giving guidance on preparing PowerPoint presentations while the associated website offers 60 ready-made PowerPoint presentations covering major teaching themes in the book.
Open your Bible is a brainchild of Robert Hicks. Contributors include John Balchin, Richard Bewes, Gilbert Kirby, Alec Motyer and Derek Tidball.
Published by CLC. 848 pages. £25.00. (DVD Rom also £25.00)
The Bible Book - A user's guide
by Nick Page
This updated 400-page book is designed as a practical guide to the entire Bible in bite-sized sections that are informed yet easy to understand. It includes:-
• At-a-glance introductions to each book
• A ligher look at some of the difficult issues
• Explanations of some of the more puzzling bits
• A guide to the structure of each book
• Important events and themes
• Information on cities and countries of the Bible
• A guide to different interpretations
• Brief lives of major Bible characters
Paperback, 400 pages. £1`2.99
Getting started on Reading the Bible
Essential 100 - Journey through the Bible in 100 readings by Whitney T Kuniholm
This attractively-presented book from Scripture Union is intended for somebody who really wants to start reading the Bible in earnest. It forms part of the E100 programme to challenge people to make a commitment to reading the Bible, but it stands on its own. As the name suggests, it takes 100 key passages from the Old and New Testament to give the reader an understanding of key themes in the Bible while also providing an introduction to Bible Study methods. The format means that it does not matter if the reader misses a day, or spends more than one day on a study.
Each day's study is covered on a single page, beginning with a short suggested prayer, then a reading (typically one or two chapters) a 'reflection', an application and prayer. The book devotes 50 days to the Old Testament and 50 to the New Testament, following a historical sequence. The studies are grouped in fives with an introductory page and ending with a review page where users can write down significant insights and challenges from the five studies.
For anybody who does not want to use the book, the daily readings are listed on a DL colour leaflet available from re:fresh books at 25p. It includes a simple 100-day calendar for users to tick off as they complete each reading plus other helpful hints.
The IVP New Bible Dictionary
An invaluable tool for anybody wanting to get to grips with the Bible. Prepared by leading biblical scholars it offers a comprehensive guide to people, places and subjects in the Bible, from Aaron to Zuzim. Each subject is covered in depth with detailed Bible references and bibliographic information. Now in its Third Editiom, The New Bible Dictionary has stood the test of time. It has long been recognized as an essential reference work, and it has been revised and improved for the Bible students of today. Key articles, time charts and bibliographies have all been updated to reflect recent developments in biblical studies. We refer to it regularly.
1328 pages hardback.
£34.99 and worth every penny!
The Lion Handbook to the Bible
A one-volume Handbook with background articles and a book-by-book guide to the whole Bible. Beautifully illustrated with many photographs by the late David Alexander, it offers 27 introductory articles on the Bible and it's history and a survey of the Old and New Testament books with numerous maps, charts and timelines.
The Lion Handbook to the Bible has sold more than 3.5 million copies since it was first published in 1973. It is now in its fourth Edition. 816 pages paperback. £20.00.
Re:fresh highly recommended!
Sample Spread from the Lion Handbook to the Bible
The Lion Guide to the Bible by Peter Walker
Accessible, engaging, authoritative and lavishly illustrated with beautiful illustrations, maps and helpful timelines. After a helpful introductory section on the nature and composition of the Bible and how to read it, the Guide takes the reader on an illuminating tour through all 66 books, sketching the principal themes, detailing the main characters and highlighting memorable passages or verses. Issues requiring more detailed attention are highlighted in boxes grouped together towards the back in order not to interrupt the narrative flow. There is also a handy fact-finder. Hardback, 320 pages. £20.00.
Click HERE to view a typical chapter in PDF format.
Unlocking the Bible by David Pawson
This book sets out to do just what it says - to open up the Bible book-by-book explaining the culture, historical background and spiritual significance of events and passages and seeking to examine their impact for us today. Containing the fruit of a lifetime of Bible teaching, Unlocking the Bible offers a highly affordable study aid at £10.99 for 1343 pages.
The Bible from Scratch by Simon Jenkins
Who said the Bible is boring? Simon Jenkins' book is the ideal medium to bring it to life, especially for young people in school or youth group. Interspersed with pithy cartoons, speech bubbles, maps and charts it gives a useful synopsis of every book of the Bible and much more. There is introductory material on the Bible, including how it all fits together and different views on inspiration; a 30-day reading programme for first timers; and mini-features at strategic points to explain material in context. Published by Lion Hudson. 256 pages, £7.99
What the Bible is all about by Henrietta Mears
First published more than 50 years ago, this classic has been thoroughly revised and is lavisahly illustrated with more than 500 full-colour photographs, illustrations, maps and charts. It offers a book-by-book summary in much more detail than many books of this genre, exploring major themes of each book in some depth. Claining to be "the world's best-selling Bible handbook", and endorsed by Billy Graham, it is suitable for pastors and teachers, youth and children's workers and students. Also includes a 22-page glossary of Bible words, a section on "Becoming a member of God's family" and an index.
Published by Candle Books, 447 pages hardback at £11.99.
Looking at overall themes and doctrines
Storylines - tracing threads that run through the Bible
by Andy Croft and Mike Pilavachi
A top-selling book by the Founder and Associate Director of Soul Survivor, Storylines opens up the Bible for new (and many more established) readers by tracing six major themes that run through Old and New Testaments - Jesus, The Covenant, The Presence, The Kingdom, Salvation and Worship. It is written in a racy, modern style commencing with an introductory chapter "The Bible in 20 pages" that gives a quick tour of the entire Bible, and ending with a chapter that discusses how we got the canon of Scripture and related topics.
God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts
With the sub-title "Tracing the storyline of the Bible" this is another book that seeks to give an overview rather than a book-by-book guide. It is based on the premise that the kingdom of God is the unifying factor from Genesis to Revelation, with Jesus Christ and the message of salvation as its supreme theme. Vaughen Roberts is Rector of St Ebbe's Oxford and a member of the leadership team of the Proclamation Trust.
Published by IVP. 170 pages softback. £7.99
How to Read the Bible for All its Worth
by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart
This is aimed at people who really want to get to grips with the Bible by providing insights into its content and meaning, both at the time it was written and today. It includes studies of the context and significance of the Epistles, the parables of Jesus, the Covenant and much more. The authors are eminent American theologians.
Published by Zondervan, 287 pages softback. £11.49