A Few of My Favorite Things: Bible Study Resources Edition

These are A Few of My Favorite Things, an on-going, once-a-month (or so) series that sheds some light on, well, my favorite items throughout my home. (To read through all posts in the series, click here.)

In this Bible Study Resources Edition, I'll be looking at five of the resources that I find most essential to nurturing a deep quiet time with the Lord and his Word each day.

1. Life Application Study Bible (New Living Translation): This is the study Bible I currently use in my daily Bible reading. I have been using it consistently for almost a decade and have come to love how it provides a great mix of insights from how to apply what I'm reading to my own faith to gaining a better understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of what's in the text. You can read a more in-depth review of this study Bible that I wrote about here.

2. Devotion Journal: I've found that it's much more fruitful for me to take notes while I'm reading through the Bible or praying, so I recently created a devotion journal where I can write out my thoughts, prayers and notes all in one place. There are sections devoted to a variety of categories, which helps me be able to go back and see what I learned about a certain section I was studying or read through prayers and see how God has answered them. I wrote more about creating my devotion journal (along with instructions for making your own) here.

3. Seminary Lectures and Podcasts from iTunes U: Thanks to iTunes U, you can download lectures from a variety of seminaries around the country and listen to them for free. I've found this really helpful, as I've been wanting to dig deeper into certain bits of Scripture and hear insights from other scholars. Some favorites that my husband and I like to listen to come from Reformed Theological Seminary, Fuller Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary and Covenant Theological Seminary, all of which have selected lectures available on iTunes U.

4. YouVersion: YouVersion is a free app you can download onto your computer or mobile device (I have it on my iPod) that includes hundreds of Bible translations in all different languages. I've found it helpful to have on hand when I'm reading a verse and am not quite sure what it means; I'll pull the verse up in this app and scroll through the different translations of it so that I get a better understanding of what the verse means. It's also handy to have with you on the go to be able to look things up. You can bookmark verses, use their Bible reading plans and more via the app.

5. Bible Study Workbooks: I've done a lot of Bible studies in my day, but there are a couple that I keep coming back to because they were so enriching for me: Beth Moore's Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent and Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God. Whereas I feel like a lot of packaged Bible studies can be overly simplistic and empty, both of these were eye-opening for me and taught me so much about the Lord and my relationship with him. They both include lots of space for taking notes and engaging with the text as you go, as well as delivering deep insights and personal stories that brought the texts alive for me like never before. I've written more about the Stepping Up Bible study here and a little about Discerning the Voice of God here.

What are some of your favorite Bible study tools and resources? Anything you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts
Psalms Bible Study Review 
Making the Psalms Your Own
10 books I want to read 


  1. Thanks for this post! I have listened to Reformed Theologial Seminary before, and was wishing I could find some others.

    I also REALLY want to do a Beth Moore study. Did you do it with a big group? I've heard you can do them on your own, but I don't imagine I would get as much out of it.

  2. Thanks so much for the i-store app. listing. I love my i-touch. It is my favorite electronic tool in my home and I love it when others share ways to use it even more.

  3. I often use the Zondervan Handbook to the Bible. It guides you through the entire bible, providing historical and cultural context, and it often clarifies words or phrases that may have made sense a long time ago but are unfamiliar today. I've found it very helpful in guiding me towards a general deeper knowledge of the Scriptures!

  4. Brittany - I've done the studies on my own and in group settings before. I did do the Beth Moore one in a group, but I felt like I got a ton out of it just doing the workbook on my own. I guess it kind of depends on your working style (I work from home, so I'm pretty good at being self-disciplined!) and from what you want from the study (to learn more or develop more Christian community?). Depending on those kinds of factors, I think it can definitely be fruitful to do individually!

    There are also videos that go along with the studies, which you can stream from iTunes, and I felt that those were really useful, so I'd suggest that if you're having difficulty doing it on your own, to search out the videos and that should help fill in any gaps.

    Let me know if you try it on your own!

    Alexis - I am not familiar with that resource but it sounds really insightful. I'll have to look into it more. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. I love the resources you listed. I have a resource bible and completely forgot about it. If you want a rich, deep bible study experience, consider doing Kay Arthur's "Inductive" studies. I started to study the bible 9 years because of her studies. -Elisabeth Oakes (on FB)


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