I’ve provided a list of recommended books that will hopefully aid you in having a foundational Christian worldview by being knowledgeable in many fields. Today I’ve provided a list of my top ten recommended biblical studies books.
10. Bible Commentaries: Commentaries will aid you in gathering critical background information for your text as well as assisting you in contextualizing the material. Don’t become to reliant on commentaries for your exegesis, they should be used as a catalyst for deeper inquiry and to help you keep your contextual flow. (For NT Exegesis I recommend the Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament series and for the OT I recommend Word Biblical Commentary. I have found these two series to be quite beneficial, though there are several other excellent commentaries as well.)
9. Lexical Aids: Lexicons will aid you in handling biblical languages in more adept ways then commentaries. I was never a student of Greek or Hebrew (I’m a student of German) but I found that lexical aids helped me understand tenses, conjugations, moods, and other grammatical features of the text.
8. Diagrammatical Analysis by Lee Kanttenwein: I admit, diagrammatical analysis is my least favorite component of exegesis but it is critical to a fundamental understanding of the text. Getting down the grammar in absolutely critical for sound exegesis and will affect it more than you think. It’s not much fun but it’s very important.
7. Word and Works of Jesus by J. Dwight Pentecost: Words and Works of Jesus give a complete comparison of the Gospels’ references to Jesus words and works. You’ll be able to view side my side accounts, which is easy for noting comparisons, differences, and thematic elements/development when working through the Gospels.
6. An Introduction to Early Judaism by James VanderKam: This is an excellent book to aid you in understanding background information for Judaism. This will help primarily with intertestamental studies and New Testament backgrounds.
5. The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity by James Jeffers: This book is incredibly beneficial for your New Testament backgrounds studies. This will aid in placing your exegesis in its historical, social, and political contexts. This book is a must for New Testament research.
4. Reinventing Jesus by Ed Komoszewski et. al: Reinventing Jesus is not only excellent in helping you understand the authorial intent of the Gospel writers but it also aids in apologetics. It touches on types of literary, textual, and form criticisms and serves to aid in developing a sound model of historical reliability for the Gospels.
3. Jesus in Context by Farrell Bock and Gregory Herrick: I have found this book to be one of the most valuable works on historical background information when it comes to studying the Gospels and Jesus. This will provide historical background on passages and how it relates to what other historians have said. It will list a passage for you and then give you relevant historical data as provided by Babylonian texts, the Talmud, Josephus, and other historical figures and documents.
2. Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays: This book will teach you all the necessary steps and components for a sound biblical exegesis. You will learn what steps are taken in exegesis and when those steps should be completed. This also helps break down the different methods and requirements needed to exegete different biblical genres. This is an absolute must for biblical studies students.
1. Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson: If you don’t have this book you need to click the link and buy it right now. This book will teach you the boundaries in your exegesis. This is not an introductory book for exegesis, you’re already expected to know hermeneutics, this will teach you to fine-tune your hermeneutic and caution you of the so-many fallacies that are often committed.