Bible study guides have their place!

What are Bible study guides? I define them as a smaller (one volume) Bible study resource that gives more of an at-a-glance perspective of the Bible and some of it's important passages.

Some, like books on manners and custom, give information on specific aspects of the Bible. Others simplify by condensing the Bible into readable parts.These types of Bible references are great for quick study of Bible books. But they tend to be "light" on the information. They give you a bird's-eye view of what you're studying.

Look at it this way...

A commentary would be like a mallet and chisel that take off small chunk by small chunk to create a finely crafted work of art.

Bible study guides are more like sledge hammers that beat the boulders into more manageable chunks.

Both are great tools. But you wouldn't try to substitute on with the other. They just wouldn't do the job. Each has it's place and works well in it's proper context.

So here are some of the quick-reads I use at times to get a bird's-eye view...

Bible Handbooks

Halley's Bible Handbook

Author - Henry Halley

A terrific "at a glance" resource of the whole Bible. Although I've included a link to a new version, many times, older copies have lots more resources than newer copies, so I would look at older editions. Editing on older works seems to be done solely to "soften" the material for more modern audiences. This is a shame mainly because no one should have to "soften" the truth for us. At any rate a must-have for the beginning Bible student or the battle-hardened veteran.

MacArthur Quick Reference Guide

Author - John F. MacArthur Jr.

Another solid resource from Dr. MacArthur. It has brief synopses of every book of the Bible. For me, it was a little disappointing in what it didn't have but deep in what it did provide. A good resource for the beginner.

Manners and Customs Books

Just a really quick note here...

I love these things! They give great background material to what really was going on during Bible times. Great Bible study guides! Here are a few I've found useful...

Manners and Customs in the Bible

Author - Victor H. Matthews

This resource is set up much like a college text, so it doesn't lend itself to ease of referencing. But even with this, I've found this particular reference a great help. It divides it's manners and customs into different eras of Biblical history. Each era comes in chronological order and makes it relatively easy to find what you're looking for. A good resource.

Manners and Customs of the Bible

Author - James M. Freeman

An oldy but goody! This one's waaaaaaayyyyyy out of print. I think this particular edition that I inherited was my grandparent's book. But if you can find an older copy, it's great! It divides material into chapters and verses of the Bible which makes it super easy to find info for the part of the Bible you're studying.

I was surprised to even find this one on Amazon. But I guess you can find anything there, just about. But it's definitely a resource worth having if you can find it at a decent price.

Nelson's New Illustrated Manners and Customs

Author - Howard F. Vos

I'm sorry. I have to admit it...I love pictures! And this one is loaded with some great shots! It's loaded with information too following biblical history in order. Another good resource. It's one I still use all these years (albeit, now in electronic format).

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