Nine Major Types of Bible Study Tools–But where’s the Tenth?

On the Faithlife Blog in a March 6, 2014 article by Chuck McKnight, a very helpful listing of nine types of Bible study tools is given, as follows:

(1) Bible dictionary

Smith’s Bible Dictionary
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

(2) Bible encyclopedia

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible

(3) Commentary

The Bible Knowledge Commentary
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
Tyndale Commentaries

(4) Study Bible

Believer’s Study Bible
ESV Study Bible
The MacArthur Study Bible

(5) Concordance

Everyday Access: Your Bible Concordance
The New Thematic Concordance
The Thematic Bible

(6) Harmony

Harmony of the Gospels
Jesus Christ the Greatest Life
A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels

(7) Lectionary

Lectionary Reflections
Revised Common Lectionary
Twelve Months of Sundays: Reflections on Bible Readings, Year A, B, C

(8) Devotional

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional (included free with the Faithlife Study Bible)
Renewed Day by Day, Volume One, Volume Two
Streams in the Desert

(9) Bible atlas

Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History
New Bible Atlas
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible


One category of Bible study tool is surely missing, as it almost always is on lists like this. So I’ll add it here:

(10) Cross References

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible

Since 1955 I have been using The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. I developed The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge after 26 years of research and by the grace of God it was published in 1992. Then at the publisher’s request, I developed Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible which was published in 2007.

I believe that for the ordinary reader of the Bible, cross references are of the greatest help to understanding the Bible of all the Bible study tools mentioned. Since cross references are available for every verse, you can get help by using them for any verse you want to study. Furthermore, cross references as compiled in these resources are unbiased, so you get the Bible’s own light on what any verse says because the cross references lead to the other passages in the Bible that explain the verse you are consulting.

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3 Responses to Nine Major Types of Bible Study Tools–But where’s the Tenth?

  1. ken sagely says:

    there are alot of good books on this list. the 3 at the bottom have been the most
    help to me in my studying the bible, tsk, ntsk,cgb. large print kjv bible. and
    large print scofield are my favorite bibles. i am thankful for these tools they
    have a big help and great investment in daily bible study.

  2. Jerry Weinhausen says:

    It’s been long time since I’ve communicated with you or been to your website. Do I remember correctly that you were working on a new cross reference work?

    In the interest of precision in our theology, may I recommend a website run by Dr. Paul Henebury called Telos Theological Minsitries? My wife and I have been listening and studying with Paul for the past year and benefited tremendously from his teaching.

    More rare than finding a needle in a haystack is read of a Reformed blogger complimenting a Dispensational theologian for the work they’re doing. I submit for your perusal.

    Search for Paul’s articles on the “Rules of Affinity”. Simply outstanding. They serve as a great deductive check to our inductive results.

    I’ll check back more often. Enjoy.

    In Him,


  3. Jerry says:

    Dear Jerry Weinhausen,

    Thank you for alerting me to the resource you name. I will, Lord willing, soon take a look at the site.

    I am currently working on Revelation chapter 18 in my rather vast project, so at least the end is now somewhere in sight!

    I just took a quick look at the website you furnished a link to in your comment.

    I find it very good, but not always quite correct. We all need to do more homework to better understand these issues. For example, I found this statement in an interesting article on the site:

    And the hermeneutics owned by dispensationalists; the same hermeneutics that reveals a clear distinction between Israel and the Church; the same consistently applied hermeneutics which excludes infant baptism, will not support aspects of the doctrine of election espoused by 5 Point Calvinists.

    The author is correct about the important matter of maintaining a clear distinction between Israel and the Church.

    But his statement that “the same consistently applied hermeneutics…excludes infant baptism” is incorrect.

    Now I have myself not yet understood the doctrine of infant baptism enough to figure out how to properly work it in to my own understanding of theology. But that is not the issue. The issue is that infant baptism was practiced by the original apostles in the history found in the Book of Acts and the epistles of Paul. This is an unmistakable fact. See my note on Acts 16:15 which points to the Biblical evidence that supports that fact.

    The author of these articles makes a brief mention of James W. Dale, so this author must have some knowledge of what Dale has written. Dale wrote five massive volumes on the one Greek word baptizo. I have read them quite thoroughly in the past, and I suggest the author of these articles has not.

    Nevertheless, this author makes a most helpful contribution to a discussion on the five points of Calvinism, and is most correct when he rejects the Reformed theologians’ invention of so-called Covenants that are not revealed as such in Scripture (like the Covenant of Grace, etc.), and criticizes the neglect of Reformed theologians of those great Covenants that are revealed explicitly in Scripture.

    Thank you again for pointing to this site.

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