Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Layman's Library

I've had several people ask me where I get my resources. It's well known that I'm not seminary trained, Bible-school trained, nor did I even grow up in Christian school. My dad's not a pastor, I don't live near a university library, and I don't even know my Greek alphabet by heart. So, what resources are there available to "joes" like me who want to dig into the Word without spending thousands on a small library? Tons! So, I'd like to share a few of my favorites.

First, if you're looking for commentary that's worth the read, check soniclight.com. Now, there are a lot of things on this website, and to be honest, I've never looked at any of it other than the study notes. Click the link to visit study notes and you'll find Dr. Constable's entire set of notes on every book of the Bible. Constable is a professor at Dallas and evidently a thorough researcher. I like his notes because in them I actually find cited commentary from countless other theologians.

Next, and probably my favorite, has to be BlueLetterBible.org. This is how I end up sounding like a Greek scholar on Sunday mornings. Now, here again, there are tons of resources on this website. The only one I utilize is the Strong's concordance, which you find by clicking the tiny little "C" in the midst of those six links that appear next to every verse. Once the Greek is displayed, also be sure you click the Srong's code, not the translated word itself. You want to find the Greek definition of that word and where it's used elsewhere in scripture. Clicking the English word gives a word search of the english translation, which is not always as accurate.
Finally, one of the most influential self-study resources that I have found in all my life has been BiblicalTraining.org. Here, you can essentially audit a complete track of seminary MDIV courses via mp3. As an auditory learner myself, I've taken systematics I & II, some Biblical Theology, a smattering of Greek, etc. Best of all, it is free. Now, you'll find two links, one called "foundations," the other "leadership." The latter is the deeper, more detailed of the two and the one that I recommend.
Aside from that, I also frequent biblegateway.com for a quick look at various translations of a text, and from time to time I even venture on to wikipedia for a secular view of Biblical and Church history topics.

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