Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041

Bible Study Tools

Building a Theological Library

NYSB 11/90 Bill Cobb

I. Tools for Bible Study

1. An interlinear Greek/English New Testament. (keyed to Strong's numbers)

Use this text to do your structural layout. THe KJV II translation in the side column by Jay Green is particularly useful for getting your initial reading of the verb tenses but not inerrant nor very readable sometimes.


2a. Strong's Concordance (make sure you get the dictionaries in the back)

2b. Englishman's Greek Concordance. (keyed to Strong's numbers) The most helpful book I own. Use to see where else word is used by the author (a fact frequently obscured by translations). Don't neglect to study the root and related forms for key words.


3a. A lexicon: Thayer's. (keyed to Strong's numbers) More conservative than BAGD, easier to use, but less definitive & scholarly

3b. A lexicon: BAGD: Bauer Arndt Gingrich Danker (Alsop's Index).  The standard work in the field, somewhat liberal bias. A good lexicon gives you related groupings of words, a range of meanings, and examples of each.

3c. OT = BDB: Brown Driver Briggs  (keyed to Strong's numbers)


4a. Analyzed Greek NT -Frieberg. Identifies the various parts of speech and verbs; a grammatical interlinear.

4b. OT Parsing Guide -Beals


5. Linguistic Key to the Greek NT -Reinecker/Rogers. A real timesaver, gives summary linguistic and grammatical data and key parallel passages, and sometimes outstanding word studies and interpretative ideas and insights.


6. Theological Dictionaries give Classical, LXX (Greek OT), Koine (common business Greek), NT, and Patristic (early church fathers) usages of the words. Sometimes group NT use by author and/or meanings.

6a. Theological Dictionary of the NT (TDNT) -Kittle. The definitive work, 10 volumes, liberal, provocative.

6b. Theological Dictionary of the NT (TDNTA) -Abridged (Little Kittle). One volume focus on NT, unfortunately.

6c. New International Dictionary of NT Theology (NIDNTT) -Colin Brown, ed. A three volume parallel to TDNT with a more conservative bent. Particularly good with distinguishing synonyms.


7. Manual of NT Grammar -Dana & Mantey. An intermediate grammar with examples of various syntax. Excellent on prepositions.


8. Bible Dictionary/Encyclopedia (NBD or Ungers; ISBE or Zondervan's) Quick guides to historical and cultural backgrounds, purpose of books, introductory linguistic groupings and theological perspectives.


9. Bullinger's Figures of Speech. Cumbersome but complete guide to figures and structures. Sometimes crucial.


10. Commentaries. Use for surfacing options, alerting you to problems and background information, critiquing other views, hints for preaching/exposition, but NEVER for interpretation.


SETS: Bible Knowledge Commentary (Edited by Walvoord and Zuck)

Expositor's Bible Commentary (Edited by Gabelien);   NICNT/OT;

Word Biblical Commentary (not Communicator's);   Keil & Delitzsch


Exceptional Individual Volumes:

Genesis...Creation & Blessing -Ross

Exodus...Umberto Cassuto

Leviticus...Gordon Wenham NICOT

Deuteronomy...Peter Craigie NICOT

Judges...Distressing Days of the Judges -Leon Wood

Ezra & Nehemiah...Charles Fensham NICOT

Job...Roy Zuck EBC

Psalms...Perowne (Zond) or Kidner (IVP)

Proverbs...Kidner (IVP) or Allen (Baker)

Song of Solomon...Song for Lovers -Craig Glickman

Prophets...Charles Feinberg or Leon Wood

Lamentations...Walter Kaiser

Daniel...Walvoord (Moody)

Malachi...Walter Kaiser


Gospels...Words & Works of Jesus Christ -J. Dwight Pentecost

Matthew...Toussaint (Multnomah) or Walvoord (Moody)

Mark...William Lane NICNT

Luke...I. Howard Marshall NIGTC

John...Leon Morris NICNT or F. F. Bruce


Romans...John Murray; Stiffler; Cranfield; Newell; Hodge; Sandlay

I Corinthians...Godet; Gromacki; Hodge

Galatians...Merrill Tenney

Pastoral Epistles...Kent or Heibert

Hebrews...Bruce; Hughes; Newell; Hodges in BKC

Revelation...Walvoord (Moody)


11. Methodology

How to Enjoy Your Bible - Sterrett

Joy of Discovery - Oletta Wald

Methodical Bible Study - Robert Traina

II. Books to prepare a theological study

A. Find the key verses and major divisions/approaches to the subject.

1. For a quick listing of the major verses and key divisions of a doctrine see the Theological Summaries in the back of a Ryrie Study Bible.


2. For a quick overview of a subject and some pertinent verses look it up in a Bible Dictionary or Encyclopedia (New, Ungers, Zondervan, ISBE, etc.)


3. More detailed discussions and divisions of a topic may be found in order increasing length:

Elwell: Dictionary of Theology.

Ryrie: Survey of Bible Doctrine

Ryrie: Basic Theology**

Chafer/Walvoord: Major Bible Themes

Willmington's Guide to the Bible*

Theisson's Lectures on Systematic Theology

Chafer's Systematic Theology (2 vol)

Torrey: The Fundamentals


*[If you could only buy one book, Willmington's Guide to the Bible presents not only the divisions of theology and survey of the Subject matter, but includes the verses written out (a real time-saver) plus a survey (also with verses and charts) of each book in the Bible.

**[If you want to buy one theology book, Ryrie's Basic Theology is your best bet.]


B. After familiarizing yourself with the subject, study what appear to be the key Biblical verses, using whatever skills and tools you possess.


C. Arrange the results of your study in an orderly fashion: group related verses, note logical progression/development, highlight key conflicts (between verses and systems of thought) and resolve them.


D. Synthesize your findings into a concise statement and compare it to other doctrinal statements on the same subject. Note where you'd agree and where you understand a statement to depart from Scripture. Study verses which supposedly support a view with which you'd differ.


E. Write out a number of lifestyle responses or commitments someone should make who believes what you've believe the Bible states about the subject, which would be appropriate to include in a covenant of membership for a Biblically based church.

III. TOYL Reading List

A. Work  

Your Work Matters to God -Sherman & Hendricks

Finding a Job You Can Love -Mattson & Miller

What Color is Your Parachute -Bolles


B. Relationships  

Happiness is a Choice -Minirth & Meier

John Powell: Why am I Afraid to Tell You...Fully Human, Fully Alive...Secret of Staying in Love

Dale Carneige: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Caring Enough to Confront -David Augsberger

Quality Friendship -Gary Inrig

Building Up One Another -Gene Getz


C. Personal Growth   

Psychology of Winning -Dennis Waitley

Lead On -John Haggai  

The Making of A Christian Leader -Engstrom

Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be -Leroy Eims

Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman -Anne Ortlund

Spiritual Leadership -J. Oswald Sanders

How To Get Control of Your Time and Your Life -Alan Lakein

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People -Steven Covey

Managing Your Time -Engstrom & Mackenzie


D. Spiritual Life  

True Discipleship -MacDonald

The Healthy Christian Life -Minirth & Meier

Scripture Talks with God -Anders & Boa (Drawing Near)

Money Possessions and Eternity - Randy Alcorn

Shadow of the Almighty -Elizabeth Eliott

My Upmost for His Highest -Oswald Chambers

The Man Who Shook the World -John Pollock (Bio of Paul)

Growing Deep in the Christian Life -Chuck Swindoll

A Layman's Guide to Applying (Interpreting) the Bible -Hendrichsen

Joy of Discovery -Wald;   Methodical Bible Study -Traina

How to Enjoy Your Bible -Sterrett;   How To Read a Book -M. Adler

The Lies We Believe -Chris Thruman (M/M)


E. Ministry  

Disciples are Made, Not Born -Walt Hendricksen

Lost Art of Disciplemaking -Leroy Eims

The Essentials of New Life (Follow Up) -Francis Cosgrove (Navs)

The Dynamics (Essentials) of Discipleship Training -Gary Kuhne (CCC)

I'm Glad You Asked -Boa & Moody

Sharpening the Focus of the Church -Gene Getz;   Body Life -Stedman

Dynamics of Church Growth -Jenson & Stevens


F. Other  

Marriage Takes More Than Love - Jack & Carole Mayhall

Dare to Discipline -James Dobson ; Christian Child Rearing - Meier


IV. Authors worth Reading





F.F. Bruce

Minirth/Meier & Clinic

Zane Hodges

Neil Anderson

Gene Getz

Norman Geisler

James Dobson

Ray Stedman