Must-Have Bible Study Tools For Beginners And Pros

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bible study tools for beginners

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You might be a new believer or ready to take your bible study sessions into high-gear. These are the best tried-and-tested bible study tools to help you as you grow. 

What Are Bible Study Tools?

If we were to disassemble a whole vehicle to understand how it worked, we would need to have some tools handy. The same applies to the Bible.

Bible study tools are little help elves; instruments used to:

  • research words, characters, themes, and Bible verses
  • understand customs, culture, places, 
  • bring the Word of God to life through mental time travel

Who needs soap-operas! The Bible can be just as addictive!

Some Words of Advice:

  1. Always opt for free before choosing to buy: There are some great free bible study tools online. So, unless you are a bookworm like myself, who prefers something to run my fingers through, why not use the convenience of the internet.  
  2. Invest in tools where necessary: There are purchases worth making. Don't hesitate to invest in your future.
  3.  Take it one step at a time: Learn everything you can about each bible study tool before. 

Best Bible Study Tools for Beginners

#1 Start with a Study Bible and a Notebook

Let me tell you a personal story about my first bible study years.

When I began, all I used was a bible, notebook, google for assistance in finding passages, and an English Dictionary, and that was it! I have to admit, it was basic, but I had a whale of time back then. Then, I started to crave more in-depth research. When I elevated to a Study Bible, I quickly realized that I had been missing out. 

For beginners in bible study, I would recommend something similar: A study bible, and a notebook as the first two resources in your arsenal. I've created note sheets and a guide for creating your very own notebook. Now, let's talk about study Bibles.

Bible reading is one thing. Bible study is another. When looking to go deeper into the Word:

  • Your study Bible should be thorough enough for an in-depth study without requiring additional tools.  
  • Study bibles vary in the number of footnotes, side notes, and details they go into it. Study bibles should include cross-references, introductions, a standard concordance, essential atlas, and Bible helps. 
  • Remember, more supporting information, the bigger the bible, limiting portability. You may prefer to buy a standard Bible and have comprehensive bible study tools separate to use at your leisure.

Recommended Study Bibles

1) The Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible Large Print 

click here

This Study Bible was selected because:

  • It is KJV: if you have been following my post or read this, you probably know that I am a strong supporter of the King James Version. I do love it. So, having a study bible in a translation that is significantly accurate to the primary text is a big plus for me! Can I get an Amen?!
  • It has centered-column references with translation notes
  • Full colored maps, pages, images, and charts
  • 5700 time tested study notes
  • Archaeological notes
  • personality profiles of characters in the Bible
  • Book introductions and outlines

And the biggest plus for me is that it has the Hebrew and Greek word study concordance. 

It's a bible studier's dreams come true. Here's a video of how it looks

2) ESV Study Bible

click here

Although I love King James Version, I would be biased if I did not highlight another great study bible out there. The scholars and people love it. If you don't believe me, look at the 4.5 % rating it has on Amazon!

Here are some great features about this Study Bible:

  • it's easier to use, read, and widely accepted.
  • 20, 000 study notes that provide supporting information to every verse and chapter 
  • 80, 000 cross-references
  • Over 200 charts, maps, and illustrations

Just having a bible that is easy to read is a big thing, plus these added features have made this study bible a strong contender. Here's a video review 

#2 Get An English Dictionary

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This bible study tool is wonderful for beginners. It may seem unnecessary, but you will be amazed by the clarity you received just by looking up words in an English Dictionary.

For example when studying the word "Faith" found in Hebrews 11:6" But without Faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is ...", I learned that "faith" means

  • confidence or trust in a person or a thing
  • a belief that is not based on proof
  • belief in God or the doctrines and teaching and religion
  • an obligation of loyalty and fidelity to a person, promise, etc

All I did then was replace the word "faith" with its definition, and as you can see, this definition enhanced my study. 

But without [confidence or trust/belief that is not based on proof ], it is impossible to please Him, ..."

#3 Get A Bible Concordance 

In the world of Bible study, cross-referencing [ which is finding supporting scriptures to improve your understanding of a particular word or text] is a big deal. And at some point, you'll want to be able to do more than a Study Bible can offer.

A mini-concordance to the back of your Bible won't cut it. 

I hate when I am really into a bible study session, and I get stagnated because I cannot find a supporting scripture verse. Ahhh, it is frustrating! These two bible study tools help immensely with cross-referencing, but there are subtle differences.

Bible Concordances

The person who invented a Bible Concordance had to have had my frustration. Bible Concordances contain:

  • Every reference to every word in the Bible. 
  • These words are in alphabetical order and indexed. 
  • It also lists every single biblical text in which the word appears.

This is helpful because it means you'd be able to : 

  • Find the number of times a word appears in the Bible, and every different context, which is excellent when doing a Word bible study.
  • Discover references to every word of the Bible version on which it is based
  • Also, if you ever have a problem remembering a scripture verse in its totality, you'll only have to remember one word within that verse. That's it! The concordance takes over from there and finds that elusive scripture in no time.

1) The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

click here

Now, I'm sure no one likes anything half done, so, why not buy an Exhaustive Bible Concordance, that has EVERY single word, and be done with it. No use wasting money on a concordance that may drop you mid-way, right? Well, that's my point of view.

The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance has all the nifty cross-referencing features above with the bonus of: 

  • Strong's numbering system, 
  • Naves Topical Bible Reference System
  • Most Updates Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

#4 Get A Topical Bible

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The Topical Bible is a handy bible study tool for cross-referencing, but it does it with a little twist. It takes passages of scripture and organizes them by topic. 

This means that for your search on the topic "prosperity," the Topical Bible will not only show scriptures with the word "prosperity" but verses with related terms like "money," "abundance," and other instances in Bible that express the same meaning.

Powerful, isn't it?

Yep. I think so too.

I have to get myself a physical copy of a topical bible—the one on my kindle is limiting my navigation. I now have my eyes on this one, The Nave Topical Bible which works with any Bible translation.

Bible Study Tools For The Seasoned Bible-Studier

The four bible study tools for beginners above, can pack a punch even for seasons students of the Word. The next set of tools help you to time travel back to where events unfolded, taking the bible-studier on a visual and descriptive journey of the lifestyle in biblical times, filling in missing historical facts, cultural backgrounds, geographical makeup, which is extremely helpful when doing an in-depth study.

You may not be able to acquire all, but having at least two in your bible study toolkit is a must.

#5 Bible Dictionary & Encyclopedia

This bible study tool provides a summarized biblical perspective then dives into every topic with descriptive details and tons of supporting scriptural references as you follow along.

1) Barkers Illustrated Bible Dictionary

click here

This bible study tool is a good starting point when first using a bible dictionary. It presents information with a down to earth approach making it easy for anyone to understand and see the big picture.

The tool boasts of having:

  • Over 3000 accurate entries
  • A to Z Dictionary and scripture references
  • Over 400 Full-color illustrations, maps, and photos

2) The New Unger's Bible Dictionary is the one that I use, which is quite concise and provides enough supporting information to have you researching one topic for weeks to come.

click here


  • over 6700 thorough research entries, with photography, illustrations, and maps whenever needed
  • cross-referencing to facilitate the study of related words and topics
  • up-to-date archeological, geographical and historical information
  • updated bibliographies

It's great

#6 Bible Characters

This book is a bible dictionary with a twist. If you love studying Bible characters, then investing in a Bible Character study tool is worth every penny. 

There are countless benefits derived from the study of personalities, while many bible dictionaries include only significant characters; having a tool focusing solely on all characters in the Bible is a great idea!

#7 Bible Atlases 

Wayne Styles explained it so beautifully, why its necessary to include bible maps and atlases in your study of the Bible. Bible maps are essential for 

  • A better understanding of a significant event, present a clearer picture of distances, and obstacles that participants had to overcome. 
  • It lends clarity to cultural relationships and provides a keener appreciation of the physical accomplishments of biblical events. 
  • It paints a picture of resources, geographical landscape, roads, and rivers, that was accessible during those times.

#8 History, Culture and Custom Books

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The power of this bible study tool has been a recent discovery for me, and I tell you - it's the bomb! It provides more information for a person who wants a deeper understanding of biblical settings. 

I used it all through the creation of my Gospel of John Bible Reading Course. For example, I found out that it was customary for the lowest slave to wash the feet of the guest who enter the home of the host. So for Jesus to de-robe himself and dress in the manner of a slave, then kneel and wash his disciples' feet - was a huge deal! Then, it was clear why Peter exclaimed in protest!

I was given the Manner and Customs of Bible Times by a friend, but buying the Newest Version with more updates is on my to-do list!

You'll find writings about:

  • clothing, dwellings, domestic activities, food and meals, family, education, agriculture, shepherding
  • towns, villages, hospitality, social and political groups

My gosh, I could read this bible study tools as a novel!

It's All Up To You, Now.

I've laid it all out on the table.

Giving you bible study tools for beginners and aids to help as you develop.

Now, the chance to take your bible study to the next level is in your hands. 

You can decide just to read this post and do nothing, or

You can take one step.

Buy one tool.

And get started today.

Your choice.

Win or lose, at least you would able to say that you tried.

Let me know if this guide was helpful by leaving a comment below. And, if there's a tool or tip we missed, please don't hesitate to share it.

Make sure to check out these 30 Great Bible Study Apps to Explore God's Word With

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