How to Choose Bible Study Resources

I’m often asked to review material to see if it is adequate, appropriate, or in some way useful for Bible study, either privately or for small groups.  In my business, I must know what my church embraces (The Baptist Faith & Message 2000) and to a small extent what I’m willing to defend for use as a resource.  As always, the Holy Bible is the only source.  Everything else should simply cause us to understand things better.

Paper, rock, scissors.jpg

Here are some helpful guidelines or actions I take.  These are by no means exclusive (or exhaustive) and sometimes personal opinion or bias slips in.  Mostly, I offer some degree of affirmation on that which is in question.  I might have confidence in it, I might suggest using it with caution because it leans a certain way, or I might say run away!

How to choose resources:

Some safe:  Baker, Barbour, Broadman & Holman (B&H), Eerdsmans, InterVarsity Press (IVP), Moody, NavPress, Revell, Tyndale House.

Some caution:  Answers in Genesis, Crossway, David C. Cook, Group Publishing House, Guideposts, LifeWay Christian Resources, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan.

Run away:  Reader’s Digest, Harper Collins, MacMillan, Simon & Schuster, most internet sources.

  • Investigate the author and credential thereof.

Some safe:

  • Discover the statement of faith that is used as a guide.

Look for:

  • Know the version of the Bible that is primarily used in the resource.

Solid interpretations:  New American Standard Bible (NASB), New King James Version (NKJV).

  • If it’s an internet resource, check links to see with whom/what there is connection.

Watch out for:

  • If in doubt, don’t buy it, use it, or recommend it.  Ask your pastor or spiritual advisor if you have questions about a resource.

 

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