While the holiday leftovers are digesting in our stomachs, we’ve all got plans to hit the gym or walk the dog (and some of us let the dog walk us!) What plans are you making for your spiritual health? Are you setting goals for that as well?
When we were putting together our One-Year Bible Reading Plan pamphlet to help others read the entire Bible in a year, we wanted to add a list of additional tips and tools readers could go out and add to their study arsenal! For your 30-Day Bible Challenge, here are the 7 Helpful Tools for Reading Through the Bible (and no, we’re not just thinking a big hot cup of coffee!):
1. Study Bibles
A study Bible will help you by giving explanations, introductions, outlines, cross references, and study notes. A good study Bible has a concordance, maps, and a topical index. Ask your pastor to recommend one.
A concordance helps you look up any word in the Bible. It gives an alphabetical listing of key words, names, and topics, plus a list of verses that contain that word.
3. Bible Software
Bible concordances and other references are available on both desktop and handheld devices as software! Enter a word or reference to quickly find and print out Bible verses in various versions. Complete Bible study libraries and study Bibles are available on computer software.
4. Bible Dictionaries
Look up words you don’t understand, such as “grace,” redemption,” or “faith.” Expository dictionaries give you detailed meanings and explanations.
5. Bible Atlases, Maps, and Time Lines
On a map, locate where Bible events took place. Daniel was in Babylon. Babylon ruins are south of Baghdad today. On a time line, locate when Bible events took place. During the fierce Assyrian Kingdom, around 781 BC, Jonah went to Nineveh to warn the people to repent.
6. Bible Commentaries and Handbooks
First, study the Bible yourself. See what it means and how it applies to you. List questions you have. Later, you can read commentaries to see how Bible scholars explain it. Commentaries sometimes have historical insights that you didn’t know about!
7. Special Bibles
Topical Bibles organize Scripture in special areas of interest, such as Salvation, Marriage, or Prayer. Interlinear Bibles compare original language (Hebrew or Greek) to modern language. Large-print Bibles are easy to read and helpful for many people.
FREE “One Year Bible Reading Plan” eChart
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This “One Year Bible Reading Plan” eChart includes a daily reading checklist to encourage you to keep up the spiritual discipline of reading the Bible every day. Read from three books of the Bible a day, including a passage from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Allow God to speak to you through his Word and learn more about God’s character.
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