Friday, January 23, 2015

Bible Study Recommendations

Posted by Christine Pack

photo credit: agent_mikejohnson via photopin cc
When I was newly saved, one of my new Christian friends told me: "Get into a Bible study, and when you are done, get into another one, and keep going." I asked her for how long, and she said, "The rest of your life." What great counsel this was! Learning about God takes a lifetime, and we can also study the Bible for years and years and years, and never fully plumb its depths. It is an amazing book, supernatural in wisdom and power and scope. So don't delay......roll up your sleeves, and get started today. With Amazon Prime (or even plain old Amazon), you can receive your new Bible study in just a few days. So here are my recommendations for getting started:

 Martha Peace 

For women who want to learn to think biblically, I highly recommend the resources of Bible teacher Martha Peace. Martha Peace is an author and a biblical counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC, formerly known as NANC). Her Bible studies and books have been extremely helpful to me, and I often give or recommend her book The Excellent Wife to the young women in my life. Martha's other books include Psychologized ManThe Faithful ParentTying The Knot TighterDamsels in DistressAttitudes of a Transformed Heart, and Becoming A Titus 2 Woman, which can all be ordered here. Martha also has a new book that will be coming out soon (we'll have a drawing here for one of them, so stay tuned for that). There are also a number of FREE resources (Bible studies, teaching sessions, etc.) that can downloaded from Martha's website (look on the sidebar under "Free Online Resources").


 Precepts Bible Studies (Inductive) 

I have learned so much in my Christian walk from doing Precepts studies. This verse by verse method of Bible study, also known as the Inductive Bible Study Method, is for both men and women. I like doing Precepts because I'm a visual learner, and this method forces you to slow down and take your time. I also like the marking up method used in Precepts (a Precepts marking card is shown, right). In fact, before I even discovered Precepts, I had developed my own sort of marking system. Now, after having done Precepts for so long, my system for marking is something of a combination of the Precepts method and my own marking system.

Kay Arthur is probably the most well-known of Precepts Bible teachers for women. I know that there are some concerns about Kay Arthur, and I share those concerns, but on the whole, the Precepts method itself is sound. This Bible study method majors on teaching Christians how to understand, interpret and apply scripture, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. You can't go wrong when you're sticking with straight Bible.
Precepts studies are available here.
Precepts studies for children are available here.
Precept Austin is available here. Precept Austin is an online resource for those using the precepts Bible study method.

 John MacArthur / GTY 

I love the GTY ministry so much, it's hard to express it. John MacArthur, the main teaching pastor at Grace Community Church in southern California, heads GTY, which is the resources/outreach ministry for the church.

Since 2001, GTY has been hosting an annual conference devoted to biblically equipping pastors for ministerial work. This annual event is called the Shepherds Conference; all of the media for those conferences can be accessed here.

John MacArthur's Bible studies are very straightforward, and are also verse by verse, chapter by chapter. I've done lots of them, and highly recommend them. You can access John MacArthur's Bible studies here, and you can access the main GTY site here.


 Phil Johnson / Grace Life Pulpit 

Phil Johnson is John MacArthur's right-hand man, and with his background in publishing, has taken his gifts and abilities and really made GTY what it is today, in terms of outreach and scope. But what some may not know is that Phil Johnson is a pastor in his own right, and an excellent one at that. His Survey of Heresies series is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to grow in discernment. This series explains the various heresies that were coming against the early church during its formation, but also shows how these sames heresies are alive and well today, albeit with slightly different packaging. Thanks to this series, I could look back on my own life and articulate that I grew up in a Socinian church (where I never heard the gospel), went off into Gnosticism, and was flirting briefly with Pelagianism and Judaized theology as a new Christian. Phil's series on the Attributes of God is also excellent.  You can access all of Phil Johnson's sermons here.


 Alistair Begg / Truth For Life 

Alistair Begg is one of my favorite pastors to listen to. Perhaps it's his charming Scottish brogue that lulls me into thoughts of green meadows, bagpipes and tartan woolens. Nah, I think it's the way he preaches through God's word with such commitment and passion. His lessons are rich, and yet so accessible that my sons (11 and 13) can understand and take in what he's teaching. You can download or listen to Alistair Begg's sermons here.


 Mark Dever / Capitol Hill Baptist 

Dr. Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist has done an overview of the entire Bible that I have thoroughly enjoyed going through. I also try to visit his church at Capitol Hill Baptist whenever I am in Washington, DC. Mark Dever, being located as he is in the nation's capitol, often incorporates topical and political events into his sermons, which I find makes them very accessible. And, how excellent it is to know that it is being clearly proclaimed in our nation's capital that there is One who is even more powerful than all the presidents, senators and representatives, past and present, combined. Mark Dever does an excellent job of continually pointing his young Wash DC crowd back to the One before whom one day "every knee shall bow," (Romans 14:11). You can access the entire sermon series below.

OLD TESTAMENT
Genesis | Exodus | Leviticus | Numbers | Deuteronomy | Joshua | Judges | Ruth | 1Samuel | 2Samuel | 1Kings | 2Kings | 1Chronicles | 2Chronicles | Ezra | Nehemiah | Esther | Job | Psalms | Proverbs | Ecclesiastes | Song of Songs | Isaiah | Jeremiah | Lamentations | Ezekiel | Daniel | Hosea | Joel | Amos | Obadiah | Jonah | Micah | Nahum | Habakkuk | Zephaniah | Haggai | Zechariah | Malachi

NEW TESTAMENT
Matthew | Mark | Luke | John | Acts | Romans | 1Corinthians | 2Corinthians | Galatians | Ephesians | Philippians | Colossians | 1Thessalonians | 2Thessalonians | 1Timothy | 2Timothy | Titus | Philemon | Hebrews | James | 1Peter | 2Peter | 1John | 2John | 3John | Jude | Revelation


 R.C. Sproul / Ligonier 

Dr. R.C. Sproul of Ligonier has also done an overview of the entire Bible, entitled "Dust to Glory" that I am working my way through now. It is excellent. You can begin listening to that series here. And Dr. Sproul, being a Presbyterian, is near and dear to my heart because my own father, who witnessed to me for ten years, is a Presbyterian (PCA) elder. Having grown up Presbyterian (though I no longer am), I have a soft spot for the Presbyterian church, even though it (like very denomination) has its issues. I still know every verse of the hymns I grew up singing at First Presbyterian in Marietta, GA. God bless the Presbys.


 Systematic Theology 

Don't be intimidated by the term "Systematic Theology." This form of Bible study is simply a way of organizing the Bible into categories in order to be able to study it in a systematic way. You can learn systematic theology through this teaching series by Pastor Ryan Habbena:

Intro and Theology Proper | Christology | Pneumatology | Bibliology | Soteriology, pt1 | Soteriology, pt2 Soteriology, pt3 | Theories and Extent of the Atonement | Israel and the Church | Eschatology


 Additional Resources