One question we repeatedly get is, “What Bible do you use?” The answer might seem simple, but the truth is that there is no way to get a full understanding or an accurate picture of what the scriptures say by using only one version of the Bible. Even using the Bible alone is not enough. To understand context, it’s often required to understand history as well, and through translation errors, often words we read in English mean something entirely different in Hebrew or Greek. We decided to put together a list of the resources we use in our studies and share that list with you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just the tools that we use in our studies.
First on our list is the Bible. There is NO perfect Bible, so we use a number of versions. These include the King James Version, The Scriptures, NASB, Holman Christian Standard Version, Complete Jewish Bible, Tree of Life Bible, and the World English Bible. This list is not exclusive though because the truth is, none of these Bibles are 100% correct or accurate. The good news is that the days of only having access to one printed version of the Bible are long gone. Today there are 100’s of versions/translations of the Bible available for free online.
YouVersion is an excellent website with 42 English versions available with the click of your mouse, or the touch of your finger because there is also an equally impressive App for your phone. The only downsize to this website/App is that one of the versions we like to use, the Complete Jewish Bible, is not included.
BibleGateway.com is another awesome website and App that we use. It includes 52 different versions of the Bible, including the Complete Jewish Bible.
This is one of our favorite Bible websites. It allows you to load different Bibles in the same window. The cool thing is that you can load English on one side and Hebrew/Greek on the other side, making it an interlinear Bible. It only offers six English versions, but the KJV, NASB, and NETi versions have a very neat feature. When you hover your mouse over a word, it highlights that same word in the other window. This will allow you to see what a certain word is in Hebrew or Greek. Also, if you click on a word, it displays Strong’s definitions for that word. VERY COOL! There are other features available that we won’t get into, but this website is sure to become a favorite tool for anyone who checks it out.
Bible Browser displays definitions, and that’s great for looking things up on the fly, but when we really need to dig into the meanings of words, we like BlueLetterBible.org. There are similar sites out there that do basically the same thing, but we enjoy the clean layout of BLB, and they have an App for Android too.
The above tools are what we use when reading/studying the Bible, but as we stated, often it’s important and even necessary to understand the history of when things in the Bible were said or done. It’s also important to know where many of the modern traditions in Christianity come from and to see that they are man-made or not found in the Bible. The following resources are great for exploring history to go along with scripture.
Today, if you can’t find something all you have to do is ask Rabbi Google. We use Google a LOT! It’s a great tool for finding information on the Internet, just remember “Don’t believe everything you read online,” even stuff we put out! It’s important to know that Google is not going to show you the most accurate results first. The way Google works is by showing the most relevant items first and when you do a search the most relevant is typically NOT the most accurate.
Since every denomination of Christianity can be traced back to Catholicism, the Catholic Encyclopedia is an excellent resource. Equally as significant is the fact that they do not deny the fact that they have added to the Bible.
This resource is great for having a central place to find historical documents that are free from advertisements. Want to read Emperor Constantine’s anti-Semitic edicts? You can find them here.
Doing word searches and really digging into the history of words and where they originated is also a very important tool. Not to mention that doing word searches is fun.
For the past year, we have been using Logos Bible Software. It is an expensive tool, but it allows us to have access to all the previous tools mentioned built into one piece of software. Logos has an impressive amount of tools and resources built into the program, so much so that we still have not fully learned every aspect of the software.
There are other great resources out there, but these are the ones that we rely on the most when studying the Bible. We pray that you will find them as useful as we do!