Ravi considers the consistent, daily disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, and other spiritual reading of the utmost importance. He recommends M’Cheyne’s daily Bible reading, which can be found online here: http://www.mcheyne.info/calendar.pdf. On this plan, a person reads a portion of the Old Testament and a portion of the New Testament every day.
If you are not involved with a local Christian church, I encourage you to seek out a fellowship of believers in order to have the support, fellowship, and encouragement of other Christians in your area as you study the Bible.
Our writers and speakers consult multiple translations when they study; for example, the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV, or NLT.
We would highly recommend the following books to deepen one’s understanding of the Bible and how to interpret it:
- How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. This book gives an overview of the different genres we find in the Bible to help us interpret it correctly.
- There is also a companion book titled How to Read the Bible Book by Book by the same authors that gives an overview of each book of the Bible.
More detailed in-depth resources on hermeneutics (how to study and interpret the Bible) include:
- Living by the Book by Hendricks and Hendricks
- Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays
Resources on the inerrancy and inspiration of scripture include:
- Inerrancy edited by Norman Geisler
- The Last Word by N.T. Wright
- From God to Us by Norman Geisler and William Nix
If you would like in-depth book-length treatments on the subject of the reliability of the Bible, the following resources may be helpful:
- On the Reliability of the Old Testament by K.A. Kitchen
- The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? by Walter Kaiser
- The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg.
There are several online Bible study websites on which you could perform your own research and study for free. These resources will give you access to Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, timelines, maps, word searches, and more:
- https://www.biblegateway.com/ (has an app)
- https://www.blueletterbible.org/ (has an app)
- https://biblehub.com/ (has an app)
- https://www.logos.com/ (has an app)
- YouVersion has an app
The Navigators is a good resource. They have Bible studies about particular books of the Bible or biblical topics. They also will have information on the logistics of starting and/or teaching the Bible to others. Their website is located here: https://www.navigators.org/
In regards to understanding the Bible in its historical and cultural context, here are several potential resources for you to consider:
- Cultural Background Study Bible
- A Bible Atlas (both Holman and Zondervan are excellent)
- Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (or another respected Bible dictionary)
- Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Everett Ferguson
- Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament; Bible Background Commentary on the New Testament
- Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Sets (Old Testament and New Testament)
- IVP Academic publisher has an excellent series (although it can be somewhat academic and expensive) for each section of the Bible. These include: Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch; Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books; Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets; Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings; Dictionary of New Testament Background; Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels; Dictionary of Paul and His Letters; Dictionary of the Later New Testament.
You will find additional articles and videos on specific topics on the following websites:
- Be Thinking: https://www.bethinking.org/
- Centre for Public Christianity: https://www.publicchristianity.org/
- Associates for Biblical Research: https://biblearchaeology.org/
Commentary resources for further study include:
- The NIV Application Commentary Series by Zondervan
- The Tyndale Old Testament and New Testament Commentary series by Inter-Varsity Press
- The Expositor’s Bible Commentary by Zondervan
- The New International Commentary of the Old and New Testaments (in-depth)
- The Pillar New Testament Commentary (in-depth)
- The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament ; The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
- Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set (Old Testament and New Testament)
- International Critical Commentary on the Old Testament
- Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
We have an extensive bibliography by topic on our website at this link: https://www.rzim.org/site/help/bibliography
Please note that our presenting a list of resources does not imply an official endorsement of any particular position or author.
May God give you His wisdom and grace as you study His Word.