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john 3:16 - John's Gospel chapter 3, verse 16 The Bible comprises sixty-six books written by various authors over the span of several millennia.  The Bible's 39 Old Testament books were written in the Hebrew language, whereas its 27 New Testament books were written in Greek.  The last Old Testament book was written prior to 400 B.C. by the prophet Malachi, while the New Testament books were written between 35 A.D. and 100 A.D.  Christians believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God.  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 16 and 17).

Bible study should be taken up with the mind and heart engaged to learn of Jesus, rather than in a merely mental manner.  For Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:  and they are they which testify of me." (John chapter 5, verse 39).  The apostle Paul writes, in his second letter to Timothy, "Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 15).  These quotations are taken from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.

Noted Bible scholar James Butler Stoney (1814-1897) offers five helpful approaches to studying the Bible:

  1. To ascertain the one great subject of Scripture, to the expression and development of which the whole without interruption conspires.
  2. In reading it, to be convinced of its plenary inspiration, and because of this, to note down every word and ascertain its meaning, which is best done by writing the word and seeing then the use made of it.
  3. To read a distinct book at a time and seek the leading idea or aim of it, which is easy to do, but not so easy to sustain through all the parts of the book.  To connect all these points like the parts of a map is very useful.
  4. To take a subject and see how it is exemplified in different parts by different aspects and different characters.  This gives power in the practical application of Scripture.
  5. To read the Bible ad lib, by which the soul acquires a color and tone.  In trouble, sorrow, or conflict, it is wonderful the effect which reading Scripture will have on you — you are carried into its mind and current, almost unknown to yourself.  It is change of air and scene, the best restorative power to the moral invalid.  The better we understand Number 1, that is, the grand aim of Scripture, the more strength do we imbibe from reading it, even in a desultory way.

With these considerations in view, there are several good English Bible translations available, reflecting the English vocabulary at the times in which they were translated, the Hebrew and Greek texts available to the translators, and the predispositions and intents of the translators.  None of these Bible versions is perfect, but the 1611 King James Version, the Darby translation, and the New King James Version are all regarded as useful for Bible study purposes.

When studying the Bible, a Bible concordance can help you quickly find verses which contain specific words.  An interlinear Bible edition, which literally translates the Hebrew and Greek texts word-for-word, can provide important insights that are sometimes obscured in translation, and a Bible dictionary can help you understand the meanings and varied usages of Hebrew and Greek words found in the Bible.  Some of these resources are available online while others can be purchased at your local Christian book store.

This website,, features convenient access to Christian book publishers, ministries, and educational institutions that offer various Bible translations and editions as well as online Bible study tools and printed Bible study materials.

Bible Study Aids
Bible study books
Bible commentaries, Bible concordances,
Bible dictionaries, and Interlinear Bibles

Bibles and Bible Study Resources

  • American Bible Society
    The Mission of the American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format that people can understand and afford, so everyone may experience its life-changing message.  Find a good selection of Bible study resources.
  • Hendrickson Publishers
    Provides premium scholarly publications to the academic biblical studies community.  Find interlinear Bibles and a selection of affordably priced Bibles in several translations and editions.
  • Grace To You
    Features the MacArthur Study Bible, which is well-suited for student use or bookshelf reference.  Edited by John MacArthur.
  • Bible Study Tools
    Offers a selection of Bible study tools including an online study Bible, interlinear Bible, parallel Bible, Bible commentaries, concordances, lexicons, Bible dictionaries, sermon helps, and other resources.
    This Gospel Communications ministry features online Bible concordances for several languages and English translations.  Use this free service for reading and researching Scripture online — in the language or translation of your choice!  Find advanced tools for searching the Bible by keywords or verse, as well as other tools to enhance your study of the Bible.
  • Christian Classics Ethereal Library
    Features a World Wide Study Bible that organizes web-based Bible-related resources according to Scripture reference.  Find commentaries, meditations, sermons, pictures, word studies, musical settings, and historical notes.
  • Logos Bible Software
    Logos Research Systems offers a wide selection of software tools and electronic publications for Bible study and exegesis.
  • Tyndale House - Doorway to Biblical Studies
    Tyndale House is an international centre for biblical research, founded in a spirit of loyalty to the historic Christian faith.  It is a community of scholars at Cambridge University, working mostly at postgraduate level.  It welcomes bona fide scholars in the field of Biblical Studies.
  • Study Bible
    This online Bible study website features several Bible translations as well as interlinear Greek and Hebrew Bibles.  Resources include Strong's lexicon numbers and other Bible study texts.

Bible Colleges

  • Dallas Theological Seminary
    The mission of this Texas-based seminary is to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.
  • Israel College of the Bible
    The focus of this Israel-based college is to immerse students in the words of the Bible as well as in the land, people, and culture of the Holy Scriptures.
  • Cairn University
    This Pennsylvania-based university invites students to walk a path that (1) is centered on Jesus Christ and the Word of God, (2) will challenge, inspire, and prepare them for life and work, (3) will give them a broad, engaging, and purposeful perspective on the world, and (4) will change and direct their lives to make a difference in this world and the lives of those around them.

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