Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Introduction to Hermeneutics, Part 3 of 4: Tools

The following material is adapted from what I am teaching in the Cumberland Area Pulpit Supply ministry.
 

STUDY TOOLS FOR HERMENEUTICS

(I have placed in boldface type the volumes I consider most helpful)

 

I.                    Bibles

a.        Translations (at least one of types 1 & 2 are good to own for comparison)

                                                               i.      Formal equivalence ("literal") – NASB, NKJV, KJV, ESV, HCSB, AMP

                                                              ii.      Dynamic equivalence – NIV, NLT, NRSV, TNIV, NAB

                                                            iii.      Free (paraphrase) – JB, GNB/TEV, NEB, Phillips, Living, The Message

b.       Interlinear

                                                              i.      Jay Green (Hebrew/Greek/English with Strong's #'s)

                                                              ii.      George Ricker Berry (Greek/KJV interlinear)

c.        Study Bibles (Good ones incorporate things from these other tools)

                                                              i.      MacArthur (available in NASB, NKJV) – very comprehensive notes

                                                              ii.      Literary (ESV) – great for understanding genre and the place of a book in the big picture of the Bible – does not spoon feed you interpretations (in-text notes are very limited)

                                                            iii.      Reformation (available in ESV, older editions in NKJV)

                                                            iv.      NIV Study Bible OR Zondervan KJV Study Bible (same notes)

d.       Audio Bible – good for learning pronunciation of Bible names

 

Dictionaries typically give the range of meaning of a word, and concordances are useful in finding the precise meaning in a given usage.  Remember that words do not mean all of their possible definitions in every usage!

 

II.                  Dictionaries

a.        English dictionary can be useful, but use with care

b.       Lexicons

                                                               i.      Brown, Driver, Briggs (Hebrew)

                                                              ii.      Thayer; Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich (Greek)

c.       Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

d.       Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT & NT Words (Mounce also has one)

 

III.               Concordances (all Bible computer programs will have this capability built in)

a.        English Bible Concordance

                                                               i.      Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (many things are keyed to this)

                                                            ii.      Young's Analytical Concordance

                                                            iii.      Concordance specific to the translation you prefer

b.       Hebrew/Greek Concordance

                                                              i.      Englishman's Hebrew-English Concordance (by Wigram)

                                                            ii.      Englishman's Greek-English Concordance (by Wigram)

 

IV.               Books on literary elements of the Bible

a.        Gordon Fee/Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

b.      Ryken, How to Read the Bible As Literature … and Get More Out of It

c.         Robert H. Stein, A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible

d.       E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible

 

V.                  Other Bible references

a.       Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

b.       Bible Charts (Charts on OT & NT published by Zondervan)

c.        Bible Handbooks (such as Ryken's)

d.       Bible Encyclopedias, such as the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

e.        Manners & Customs book

f.        Bible Atlas, such as Oxford Bible Atlas

g.       Bible Surveys/Intros

                                                              i.      OT:  Walton/Hill

                                                            ii.      NT:  Carson/Moo; Machen; Elwell/Yarborough

h.       Theological Wordbooks

[After having studied a passage, it is helpful to compare your conclusions with theologies and commentaries.]

VI.               Theologies

a.        Biblical

                                                               i.      Vaughan Roberts, God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible

                                                              ii.      Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan and The Goldsworthy Trilogy

                                                            iii.      Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology

b.       Systematic

                                                               i.      Daniel Akin, ed.  A Theology for the Church

                                                              ii.      James P. Boyce, Abstract of Systematic Theology

                                                            iii.      John L. Dagg, Manual of Theology (very pastoral and edifying)

                                                            iv.      Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Great application and even hymns to sing in response to the glorious truths considered)

 

VII.             Commentaries (many available on CD-ROM now and often cheaper)

a.        Types of commentaries

                                                               i.      Classic – John Calvin, Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, John Gill

                                                              ii.      Modern – John MacArthur, Kent Hughes, Philip Ryken, etc.

                                                            iii.      Whole Bible commentaries

                                                            iv.      Individual books

                                                             v.      Sets

1.       Warren Wiersbe is good as a model of communication

2.       Expositor's Bible Commentary

3.       Hendrickson/Kistemaker's NT Commentary

b.       Resources that evaluate/recommend commentaries

                                                               i.      C. H. Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries (reviews older commentaries)

                                                              ii.      D. A. Carson, NT Commentary Survey*

                                                            iii.      Tremper Longman, OT Commentary Survey*

                                                            iv.      www.TheoSource.com (compiles reputable lists of recommendations)

                                                             v.      MacArthur's Recovering Expository Preaching lists recommended books

                                                            vi.      Fee/Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth*

                                                          vii.      Stuart Custer, Tools for Teaching and Preaching the Bible

                                                         viii.      Rosscup, Commentaries for Biblical Expositors

 

* Use w/caution as some critical scholars are mentioned without warning;

 furthermore, it is best to borrow or browse commentaries before buying or read reviews first if you can.

 

VIII.          Electronic Resources

a.        E-sword.net (includes many resources mentioned above – and it's FREE)

b.       TheoSource.com (recommended booklists, including commentaries, book reviews)

c.        Monergism.com, Crosswalk.com, BibleGateway.com give access to helpful Bible study tools, commentaries, and other resources.

d.       Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology <http://bible.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary>

e.        Online book purchases:  www.addall.com, scripturetruth.com, wtsbooks.com, christianbook.com, cvbbs.com, half.com, and amazon.com are good places to look.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Mention of a resource does not constitute a full endorsement of the contents of the book/website or all the teachings of the author(s) by Bancroft Gospel Ministry, the Cumberland Area Pulpit Supply, or the CAPS director or instructors.

 

 

Previous posts:

PART 1 - Why We Should Learn How to Study the Bible

PART 2 - Prerequisites for Bible Study

 

Upcoming posts:

PART 4 - Approaches to Bible Study

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