As mentioned in the previous post, I love books, software, electronics, things that make life easier and tools that help me study the Bible. While there are lots of great free resources available there are also some wonderful pay for tools available I think you should know about. Here are some that I highly recommend.
1. Get a great study Bible - What's your favorite translation? KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV? Mine? The ESV. All of these are great Bibles to read, teach, and preach from. Just so happens that this month Crossway is releasing the ESV study Bible for the very first time [link].
2. Bible Dictionary - Sooner or later you are going to come across a term or word you just don't get. A Bible Dictionary is a great help and there are many to choose from.
3. Commentary Set - You don't have to purchase a commentary set in order to study the Bible. A good commentary can give you background information, history, and color to what you are studying as well as an interpretation. Commentary sets range from 1 volume up to many and range in prices. I would recommend the two volume set - The Bible Knowledge Commentary [link] which is a fantastic set, doesn't cost much, and doesn't take up much room. I also like James Montgomery Boice [link] and Matthew Henry [link].
4. Software - I had the privilege of attending a conference in Seattle this February and during that time I attended a session hosted by Logos Bible Software [link] and was completely blown away! I had used Bible Software in the past but had never seen anything this powerful or easy to use. The intent of Logos really is to get people into their Bibles and to get those who do not know the Hebrew and Greek into the original languages. Logos is diligent in their ministry and are continually in the process of updating the software to make it easier and better and their customer service is...how should it say it? Magnific!
By the way....Thank you Phil for showing me how to add Reftagger [link] to our blog for free! I was contacted by one of the guys at Logos who helped me add a very neat tool to our blog that automatically links up scripture to any reference I type in. Here is an example - John 3:16.
5. Not a must but very nice - iPod. Why in the world did I include an iPod in the list of tools to help you study your Bible? One word - free podcasts! I guess that is two words. When you use itunes in conjunction with your iPod you have access to thousands of lectures, sermons, music, and preaching/teaching for free! I can provide a tutorial to anyone who needs help. You can download free audio Bibles as well. The best part is that you can take it with you where ever you go.
I hope this helps you in your studies and brings you closer to Jesus. Enjoy!
Feel free to post your suggestions in the comments section.