We all have our methods and tools to help us understand the Bible better. An understanding that a translation is merely an intrepretation helps us understand the importance of using multiple translations. But how do you find out what the Bible really says? That is where other tools come in.
Strong’s Concordance is the ‘go to’ and ‘standard’ for beginning to translate what the Bible acutally says. Many tools are based on the Strong’s numbers. This exhaustive work is often overlooked for its ease of use, but I find it the best starting place for translating a word or phrase as many many other tools are based on the Strong’s numbers and the Strong’s spellings are often a big help.
Hebrew to English can be done here. Simply type in the English spelling of the Hebrew word found in Strongs
Greek meaning , just type in the English word.
Vines Dictionary of the New Testament is a good tool to help you find other verses with a particular word or phrase.
An Interlinear Greek English New Testament is one of the least used but at times one of the most important tools to our understanding.
Nave’s Topical Bible. This is an excellent tool and I will give you a ‘testimony’ about it sometime but this is used to look up all the references to a particular topic.
(Note: Check back often. More will be added in the future.)
This is a very delicate subject, but there are literally hundreds and hundreds of commentaries availaible. There are complete sets, commentaries on a particular book, commentaries on subjects, and on and on. I recommend using commentaries but be careful which ones you choose as there are some commentators that really aren’t worth reading. Also, the age of the commentary has meaning. For instance, the Works of Josephus was written 2000 years ago. yet it has much insight to that era and historically validates many of the Old and New Testament writings, it is extremely important. The same is true of Mathew Henry Commentaries. They are a ‘standard’ in Bible study, but must be read with some degree of questioning.
When using commentaries for factual or historical information, that is one use, but when you start reading their deductions, be careful. They may be based on bias, incomplete truth or lack of understanding.
Mathew Henry – Keil and Delitzsch – Robertson’s Word Pictures – Clarke’s – The Pulpit Commentary – Treasury of David – Wesley’s Notes and some others I recommend.. Here is a place to find most of these in one spot as well as a few others.
Remember, use caution. Let God talk to you, be wary of men.
On occasion, I find it helpful to look at a map or chart to see a particular journey or some other specific reference point, but I am finding it more and more enjoyable to did into the maps and locations of various places mentioned in scripture.
Here is one location to find many maps and charts that are useful.
No recommendations, just a listing… if you have one you would like to add, let me know.