Sunday, December 23, 2007

Building Your Theological Library (Part One)

After buying a good study Bible for yourself or someone else then you can take your Christmas cash and/or gift certificates and begin building a good theological library. Along with a good Bible, most pastors recommend a good concordance, which is a book listing the occurrence of every word in the Bible and where it appears. A concordance is a good way to begin doing word or thematic studies (more on this later). Thanks to good software (like Logos or Pradis) and websites like, a concordance is no longer an absolute essential but is still handy.

It is important to buy a concordance that matches your main study Bible. Because the NIV is the most popular among Evangelicals, I recommend the Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance from Zondervan (who are head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to basic Bible study tools). My favorite translation is the ESV and, unfortunately, there isn't a great concordance for it but the Crossway Comprehensive Concordance of the Holy Bible is pretty strong. The NLT Complete Concordance is a very good companion to the best thought-for-thought translation on the market. More later.