Bible Study Tools
In the first article of this series, I discussed the importance of making time in God’s word, even if it is just listening to your audio Bible. Simply reading can have a huge impact on your spiritual life if you are willing to put what you learn into practice. Bible study is like peeling an onion, the more layers you peel back, the more potent the onion. You can gain so much by dedicating yourself to deep examination of the Scriptures.
Thankfully, we have been enormously blessed by having access to a multitude of Bible study tools at our fingertips, many of which are even free! Here are my favorite free resources for stepping into deep Bible study and where to find them.
This is arguably the single most valuable resource available to you. Most likely your church and/or public library have copies of this book. It is also available at no cost on several websites, one of which is Always, when you are using a concordance, make sure that the version of concordance you are using matches the version of the Bible you are using (i.e. if you use a New King James bible, you need to use a New King James concordance). Strong’s takes every word in your Bible and lets you search for verses by specific words. This can be done on by typing the word you are searching for into the search bar on the home page and then selecting the correct version. Each word is then labeled with a “Strong’s number” that corresponds to the word which you looked up. You will be able to look in the back half of your Strong’s using that number and find the exact translation of the word from its original language. If you are using, simply click on the little number next to the word you looked up. This will give you a very basic definition for a word. If you are looking for a more in-depth definition, there are several Greek and Hebrew lexicons that allow you to look up words using the “Strong’s number.” These numbers are a standard in Bible study tools.
When trying to find information on a specific topic, this is one of the best resources. It is also very common and available for free online in many places. I recommend When using the version, simply click on “Concordances” on the left side menu, and then click “Nave’s Topical Bible.” You will be able to type a specific word in the search bar or simply browse topics alphabetically. Instead of looking up verses simply by the words they contain, Nave’s has them broken down by topic. It will also show you related topics that may be helpful to look up.
If you are doing a study of a particular passage or book, this is one of the best cross reference tools available. It is available in book form or on, when using the online version, click on the Library tab and then on “Concordances.” You will then click on “Treasury of Scripture Knowledge,” and from there you will be able to search by verse. You look up the verse you are studying and the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge will show you any related verses throughout the Bible.
This encyclopedia contains a wealth of information about various words and concepts throughout scripture. It is an excellent source of background information for any study. It can be accessed online at by clicking on “Encyclopedias” in the Library Menu.
Baker’s is also available on by clicking on “Dictionaries” in the Library Menu. It is another extremely useful tool for background information on certain keywords and ideas throughout scripture. In the midst of the information it shares, Baker’s also lists useful cross-references.
You will notice the conspicuous absence of commentaries on this list. I typically stay away from commentaries unless absolutely necessary because they are no more than the thoughts of men on various scriptures. While there are times when they can be extremely useful, you must remember that these are the thoughts of men and not scripture. Commentaries can be very useful in finding background information such as date, place and information about various cultures. The Truth for Today Commentary Series bears mentioning because it is written by members of the church of Christ; however, continue to keep in mind that no commentary, no matter who it is written by, should be your primary source when studying.
Over the course of the next several articles, we will look at a step-by-step method for breaking down a text using these tools and others.