Introducing Bible Resources
A brief definition and list of some common titles for that type
1. INTRODUCTION TO EXEGESIS
EXEGESIS is “to explain or interpret.” A critical interpretation of a text or a portion of Biblical scripture involves exegesis and brings together your own reflection and thought with a thorough examination of a text in context (historical, linguistically, etc.). The first step is to thoroughly read and understand the text and then to branch out to look at the history, word meanings, and other topics.
2. BASIC TOOLS FOR STUDYING THE BIBLE
Concordances help to locate specific words or phrases in the Bible, to survey how many times a term is used and some provide additional helps in articles and indices.
- Corresponds to the King James Version
- Identifies Strong’s numbers (every word was given a unique number and this number can be used in some other resources)
- An “exhaustive” concordance – small words “the” are included.
Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible
- Corresponds to the KJV
- It has a simple dictionary of Greek & Hebrew words; pronunciation guide
- Two articles on “The Canon of Scripture” may be useful
Nelson’s Complete Concordance to the Bible: Revised Standard Version
- Cross references words and names
Word Study Concordance: a modern, improved, and enlarged version of both.
LEXICONS AND DICTIONARIES
These works define the meaning of specific words in the Biblical resources and translations to provide grammatical forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, syntax, context in their original language, etc.
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), Kittel.
A listing of the meaning, roots, and contextual use of words in the Greek language in the N.T. A working knowledge of Greek is needed.
Genesius’s Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament: coded to Strongs…. Genesius.
Similar to the above – Hebrew essential.
Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (EDNT)
This work is a guide to the forms, meaning, and usage the words in the Greek New Testament (3rd ed. , or to the 23rd ed. Of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testament Graece. Each heading supplies information as to the gender of common nouns, the transliteration of the word, and one or more English word translations. The index is significant in this work for locating words.
Vine’s Vincent’s , Expository Dictionary of Bible Words ,Mounce’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words , etc.
3. TOOLS FOR UNDERSTANDING HISTORY AND CULTURE
Understanding the Bible. Harris
An Introduction to the Bible. Hauer
A survey of the Old Testament. Archer
BIBLE DICTIONARIES / ENCYCLOPEDIAS
Dictionaries and encyclopedias are always the best way to get started in any research project. These provide a quick overview of historical, cultural, archaeological, and theological topics. Basic information about people, places, and events are quickly grasped and applied to your understanding and writing.
Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible
- Stands as a major work of scholarship, though it is a bit dated and does not reflect the most recent archaeological discoveries.
- Major Biblical words are given extensive treatment
HarperCollins Bible Dictionary
- Handy one-volume work summarizes recent scholarship
- Emphasizes sociological & cultural interpretation
- Avoids technical jargon and also does not give the original terms for the original Hebrew or Greek biblical words
- Well illustrated
Holman’s Bible Dictionary
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Manners and Customs in the Bible
This type of resources provides many additional helps in understanding the context and history of a portion of scripture. Maps, photos, articles may all contribute to understanding meaning.
Hammond’s Atlas of the Bible Lands
Intervarsity (IVP) Atlas of the Bible
Macmillan Bible Atlas
Baker’s Bible Atlas
4. GENERAL TOOLS FOR UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT
Common COMMENTARY SETS and BOOKS
Ancient Christian commentary on scripture [set] - A commentary series utilizing the writings of the Early Church period; useful for gaining appreciation or insight into how some of the earliest Christians understood the texts.
Expositor’s Commentary on the Bible [set] - A moderate work on the Bible using minimal Greek or Hebrew citations.
Word Biblical Commentary [set] - A more indepth commentary with discussions designed for the scholar and the lay individual.
Calvin’s Commentary [set] Does not include all texts of the Bible.
FINDING BOOKS ON BIBLICAL SUBJECTS IN A LIBRARY CATALOG OR DATABASE MAY REQUIRE USING CONTROLLED VOCABULARY:
- Search using “Bible. O.T. Judges” or “Bible. N.T. Matthew”