Pastor’s Library

These eleven books are a good starting place from which to build a personal library to assist in the study of Scripture in preparation for a sermon. They should not be the only books on the shelf, but they are a good starting place for a library. They tend to represent an evangelical and broadly Western academic tradition, so when building out your library be intentional about including other perspectives into the mix. The sources listed on the Bibliography Page will hep with that.

Starter Bookshelf

OT & NT Introduction

Hill, Andrew E. and John H. Walton. Old Testament Today: A Journey from Ancient Context to Contemporary Relevance. 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

Burge, Gary M., Lynn H. Cohick and Gene L. Green, The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament within its Cultural Contexts. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

* Click here for additional recommended OT & NT Introductions.

Historical Context

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. 2nd edition. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2014.

Walton, John H., Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000.

* Click here for additional recommended resources on the historical context of the Bible.

One Volume Dictionary

Douglas, J.D., Merrill C. Tenney, and Moisés Silva. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Based on Articles from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.

* Click here for additional recommended Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Other Essentials

Beale, G.K. and D.A. Carson, eds. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007

Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. 4th edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.

Rasmussen, Carl G. Zondervan Atlas of the Bible. Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.

Marshall, I. Howard. A Concise NT Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2009. (This is an abridgment of his longer New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel, 2004.)

Walton, John H. Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2017.

Bird, Michael. What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostle’s Creed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016.

Free Online Resources

Blomberg, Craig L., William W. Klein, and David L. Mathewson. “New Testament Exegesis Bibliography – 2020.Denver Seminary.

Dallaire, Hélène, Knut Heim, and Richard S. Hess. “Annotated Old Testament Bibliography – 2020.Denver Seminary.

Dolansky, Shawna and Lynn Huber, eds. “Bible Odyssey.” Bible Odyssey.

Espinoza, Terance. “New Testament Studies.”

Espinoza, Terance. “Old Testament Studies.”

Harris, W. Hall, III, ed. “NET Bible Notes.”

Mackie, Tim, and Jonathan Collins, The Bible Project.

Advanced Bookshelf

Multivolume Bible Dictionary

Alexander, T.D., and D.W. Baker, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2002.

Arnold, Bill T. and H.G.M. Williamson. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2005.

Longman, Tremper III. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008.

Boda, Mark J. and Gordon McConville. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2012.

Green, Joel B., S. McKnight, & I. H. Marshall. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 2nd edition. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2013.

Hawthorne, G. & R.P. Martin, Dictionary of Paul and his Letters. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993.

Martin, R.P. and P.H. Davids, Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1997.

Evans, C.A. and S.E. Porter, Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000.

* Click here for additional recommended Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Multi-volume Introductory Commentaries

Longman, Tremper III, and David E. Garland, eds. Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Revised. 13 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006-2012. The older edition edited by Frank E. Gabelein is also helpful, but does not have the same rigor of the revised edition.

Muck, Terry, Ed. The NIV Application Commentary Series. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Schnabel, Eckhard J., ed. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008-2018.

Firth, David G., ed. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008-2015.

Wright, NT. The New Testament for Everyone. 18 vols. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2011.

Goldingay, John. The Old Testament for Everyone. 17 vols. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2016.

* Click here or for additional recommended commentaries.

Word Study Resources
if you don’t read Greek or Hebrew

Espinoza, Terance. “Word Study.” BibTheo.

Dyer, John. “Bible Web App.” BibleWebApp. Digital Bible Society.

Step Bible.” STEP Bible.

NET Bible.”

 “Interlinear Bible.” BibleHub.

Greek and Hebrew Lexicons
if you read Greek or Hebrew

Koehler, L. and W. Baumgartner, et al., eds. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. 3rd ed. 5 vols. Brill, 1994-2001; Study edition, 2 vols. Brill, 2001. (HALOT)
If the two-volume study edition is out of the price range, then go with Clines, David J.A. The Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Sheffield:Sheffield Phoenix, 2009.

Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Edited and revised by F.W. Danker. Translated and adapted by W.F. Arndt, F.T. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. (BDAG)
If this lexicon is out of the price range, go with Liddel, H.G., and R. Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. Rev. ed. Aug. by H.S. Jones. 9th rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon 1996. (LSJ)

Moisés Silva, ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014. (NIDNTTE)

VanGemeren, W.A. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Carlisle: Paternoster, 1997. (NIDOTTE)

* Click for additional recommended lexicons. See or for additional recommended resources for the study of Biblical Hebrew or Biblical Greek. See for further guidance and resources on biblical word studies.

More Essentials

Aland, Kurt, ed. Synopsis of the Four Gospels: RSV. Revised edition. New York: American Bible Society, 2010.

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