Helpful Study Bibles

Helpful Study Bibles
The Word at Westminster
The Word at Westminster
Helpful Study Bibles

Pastor Ruttan

In this podcast and blog, I’m going to highlight some helpful Study Bibles.

Perhaps you are wondering what makes a Study Bible different from a regular Bible. A regular Bible includes the text and no more. A Study Bible is meant to help you go deeper with your study. It provides introductions to each book including information about who wrote it, when it occurred in history, and the major themes it addresses. As you read through each book a Study Bible has footnotes and cross-references to clarify terms and concepts that might be confusing. Many also have small articles on themes that are relevant to specific topics raised in the text or that relate to the Christian life in general.

Here is why I’ve put this together. As followers of Jesus, it is important that we are reading the Bible every day. As I like to say, the more you get into God’s word, the more God’s word gets into you. The Bible is the primary way we learn about God’s will. At the same time, we acknowledge that it is sometimes hard to understand. To help we should be praying that the Holy Spirit illuminate us, sit under biblical preaching, and speak to others about what we are learning. But we should also seek to study the Bible.

Bernard of Clairvaux said there is a difference between reading the Bible and studying it. It’s like the difference between having a casual acquaintance and a close friend, he said. That’s where a Study Bible can help. It gives us a greater and more intimate knowledge of the text—and therefore, about the God to whom it points. As the great Reformer Martin Luther would say: “Let the man who would hear God speak, read Holy Scripture.”

Previous generations would have been baffled at the study tools we now have at our fingertips. Someone can read the Bible, study its origins, learn from the insights of others (stretching back thousands of years), and even gain basic insights into the nuances of Greek and Hebrew without going to seminary. In Psalm 81:10 the Lord says, “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” What a nourishing gift. Crank open your jaw.

First, I’m going to tell you about seven general Study Bibles. Second, I’m going to mention a few other specialty Study Bibles that might be of interest to some of you.

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