Bible Study Aids – Books that I cannot live without
I got a comment from a friend recently in Canada expressing an interest in getting some solid resources for Bible study. My father, Dr. Ernest L. Martin, provided a nice outline many years ago (Foundation for Biblical Research Exposition October 1976), which I still find to be very relevant so I want.to share it with you.
Your Research Library
“The two most important books that everyone ought to have in his library are:
The Englishman's Greek Concordance and the Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance.
Both are published by Samuel Bagster and Sons in London, England. But I understand they can be obtained through Zondervan Press in Grand Rapids, Michigan, whom, I understand, bought out Samuel Bagster. [Please note that new editions of these are available and they have added the Strong's numbering system which makes them all the more effective.]
These books give a concordant treatment to all of the words of the New and Old Testament. By studying the words in their context, we can find God's meaning of them much better. I highly recommend these two books.
It is not enough just to buy these concordances. You really must read the introductions carefully to understand how they have been developed in the first place and to appreciate how to use them properly.
The best Greek-English Lexicon is that of Arndt and Gingrich. This is published by the University of Chicago Press. The best Hebrew Lexicon is that of Brown-Driver-Briggs, published by Oxford University Press.
The best general Encyclopaedia, though it is somewhat old now, is that of M'Clintock and Strong. This set has 31,000 articles and while it is over 100 years old, it is an important part of my own library. [Carol: This is my recommendation for your son.]
The best one-volume Encyclopaedia (and this is one you must have at all cost) is the New Bible Dictionary published by the Inter-varsity Fellowship in London, England. This could be obtained from any religious bookstore.
There are two other essential Encyclopaedias you ought to have. One is the Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, two volumes, and the Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, two volumes. Both of these were edited by James Hastings.
Another excellent little volume which is indispensable to me, is one which has over 500,000 scriptural references and parallel passages in it. It is called The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and is also published by Samuel Bagster and Sons.
The best King James Bible is the Newberry Edition. This has copious internal and marginal notes which help make the Hebrew and Greek far clearer.” (Ernest L. Martin, FBR Expositor October 1976)
My favorite Bible version for modern study is the ESV. See www.esvstudybible.org.
Please keep in mind that all modern English versions of the Bible position the order of the books wrongly. Please see www.originalbible.com.
Concordant Word Study from the Hebrew Bible Using “The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament.”
This data is taken from the invaluable and timeless work produced under the leadership of Mr. George Wigram titled: “The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament.” It is mentioned in the previous list.
I have even referred to this information in my own book "Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy." Many peope who rely on the King James Version of the Bible will find this information eye opening.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with studying from the King James Version of the Bible as long as we know its limitations.
The following is taken from page 1220. The word in the various texts below that appears in italics is the English word that is translated from the Hebrew original “sh’ol.” (שאול) This shows the power of studying using this concordant method to see what is really underneath our English texts. Note that most of these resources use the King James Version as a standard template for their reference as they were produced more than 160 years ago.
Word study on the Hebrew word “sh’ol” (שאול)
Genesis 37:35 I will go down into the grave.
Genesis 42:38 my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Genesis 44:29 my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Genesis 44:31 gray hairs of thy servant…to the grave.
Numbers 16:30 they go down quick into the pit;
Numbers 16:33 went down alive into the pit,
Deuteronomy 32:22 shall burn unto the lowest hell,
I Samuel 2:6 he bringeth down to the grave,
II Samuel 22:6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about;
I Kings 2:6 his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.
I Kings 2:9 hoar head bring thou down to the grave
Job 7:9 he that goeth down to the grave
Job 11:8 deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
Job 14:13 wouldest hide me in the grave,
Job 17:13 the grave is mine house:
Job 17:16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit,
Job 21:13 in a moment go down to the grave.
Job 24:19 (so doth) the grave those which have
Job 26:9 Hell (is) naked before him,
Psalm 6:5 in the grave who shall give thee
Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell
Psalm 16:10 thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
Psalm 18:5 The sorrows of hell compassed me
Psalm 30:3 brought up my soul from the grave:
Psalm 31:17 let them be silent in the grave.
Psalm 49:14 sheep they are laid in the grave;
Psalm 49:14 their beauty shall consume in the grave
Psalm 49:15 my soul from the power of the grave:
Psalm 55:15 let them go down quick into hell:
Psalm 86:13 delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
Psalm 116:3 the pains of hell gat hold of me:
Psalm 139:8 if I make my bed in hell,
Psalm 141:7 bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth,
Proverbs 1:12 swallow them up alive as the grave;
Proverbs 5:5 her steps take hold on hell.
Proverbs 7:27 Her house (is) the way to hell,
Proverbs 9:18 her guests are in the depths of hell.
Proverbs 15:11 Hell and destruction (are) before the
Proverbs 15:24 depart from hell beneath.
Proverbs 23:14 deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full;
Proverbs 30:16 The grave; and the barren womb;
Ecclesiastes 9:10 no work, nor device, … in the grave,
Song of Songs 8:6 jealousy (is) cruel as the grave:
Isaiah 5:14 hell hath enlarged herself,
Isaiah 14:9 Hell (marg. or, the grave) from beneath is moved for thee
Isaiah 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave,
Isaiah 14:15 thou shalt be brought down to hell,
Isaiah 28:15 with hell are we at agreement;
Isaiah 28:18 your agreement with hell shall not stand;
Isaiah 38:10 I shall go to the gates of the grave:
Isaiah 38:18 the grave cannot praise thee.
Isaiah 57:9 didst debase (thyself even) unto hell.
Ezekiel 31:15 he went down to the grave
Ezekiel 31:16 I cast him down to hell
Ezekiel 31:17 They also went down into hell
Ezekiel 32:21 speak to him out of the midst of hell
Ezekiel 32:27 gone down to hell with their weapons
Hosea 13:14 ransom them from the power of the grave;
Hosea 13:14 O grave, I will be thy destruction:
Amos 9:2 Though they dig into hell,
Jonah 2:2 out of the belly of hell (marg. or, the grave),
Habakkuk 2:5 enlargeth his desire as hell,
It must be pointed out that there is no other word in the Hebrew Bible translated as “hell.” Because of this, one has to ask: Why it was deemed necessary by the translators of the King James Version to translate this word “hell” in one place and the “grave” or “pit” in another? If you look at the texts, which feature the word “hell”, it is clear that in some cases the translators themselves put the word “grave” as a marginal reference. See Jonah 2:2 and Isaiah 14:9. The reason for this was that Jonah was obviously not in “hell” when he cried from the belly of the fish.
I hope that in this short example you can see the value of this type of concordant studying approach. To be sure, untold riches await the student who uses this method of Bible study.