Within the realm of those who study the Bible, there are a great many of us “old-schoolers” who don’t believe in the corruption of electrons. They insist that the only appropriate way to read the Bible is with a leather-bound book in their hands illuminated by candlelight. Of course most of them won’t have clicked into this post, so let’s move on to the 21st century.
For the rest of us, we realize the advantage of having multiple versions of the Bible installed on our cellphones and within our immediate grasp 24/7. For us – there are a few different options when we decide to progress up from Bible READING to real Bible STUDY.
Online Bibles / Resources
First off, there are some FANTASTIC online Bible sites out there, some of which (Biblehub) even have commentary and concordance resources incorporated. The best part of these is that they are generally free! These sites are an excellent step forward from the paper days.
The next step up are Bible study apps. There are apps that can be installed on your phone or computer and are MUCH more available that websites. They don’t lag, they don’t require an internet connection (in most cases), and they have much more advanced features for searching, cross referencing and etc.. Some apps focus on one version of the Bible, and others offer several different versions.
An EXCELLENT free Bible study app for the computer is E-Sword. I used this program for over a decade, and still love it. It comes with your concordances built right in, so it’s ready to go right out of the box if you want to do basic translational criticism and word studies. There are even some very BASIC study materials that can be added on (some for free, some at a price) to expand your study.
Now, when you’re ready to get up into the state of the art, there are TWO different Bible study programs which can both accommodate any level of study, and they are Accordance and Logos. These have timelines, atlases, dictionaries, lexicons, commentaries, graphics and much, much more. They are expandable by adding modules (books / resources / databases) which integrate across everything elseand enable you to build your own (massive) study library.
Logos is great, but personally, I went with Accordance. I’ve built my library up to about $6,000 worth of material, and the amount of insight I can get into a topic and the speed at which it is revealed is unimaginable. I am able to run a single search across every single resource in my entire library, and then get a summary of all the articles which I cn very quickly scan and expand as necessary. There is also an iPhone app which allows me to carry the entire library around with me in my pocket (10gb worth of material) at all times. Logos also offers the same.
Don’t be shy about getting deeper (and more advanced) into your Bible study. Contrary to what many people will tell you, there relly is no “sin” in utilizing all of the resources modern technology affords us to learn YHWH’s will for His people.
The Scriptures we study were written 2,000-4,000 years ago, have been thrice-translated and are removed from our understanding by an immense cultural divide. Trying to understand the Bible is a monumental task, and it behooves us to take full advantage of every resource at our disposal to accomplish the mission.