10 Best Bible Study Tools

Are you eager to get more out of your Bible study time? Study tools for the bible can help you get more from your time in God’s word. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated! The same Bible study tools for beginners are perfect for seasoned students of God’s word as well.

So what do you need to study the Bible? Well, all you need is a plan and a few good resources. Below are the 10 best Bible study tools that I use and love. I hope these bible study tools help you dive into God’s Word and make the most of your study time. Enjoy!

From basic Bible study tools to best Bible study resources, these are the 10 best Bible study tools that I have found.


10 Best Bible Study Tools

Study Bible {one dedicated for your studies}

Contrary to many others, I do not recommend starting with a “study Bible” as found on the market today. These Bibles include commentaries, notes, and other materials that can be terribly distracting and counterproductive to actually studying the Bible for yourself.

While these bibles can be helpful as a resource, I recommend purchasing a regular Bible that you’ll dedicate JUST for Bible study, note-taking, and marking up. Commentaries and other’s insights can be done AFTER you have studied a passage for yourself.

I personally use this ESV journaling Bible. I have a feeling your dedicated study Bible will become one of your most prized possessions!


English Dictionary

This may seem like an “I don’t need that” item but you’ll be amazed at how this simple habit of looking up words in an English dictionary will add to your study. For example, when studying the word “trust” found in Psalm 125:1, I discovered “to trust” means:

>> to place confidence in or to be confident
>> to commit or place in one’s care
>> to stay, go, or do something without fear or misgiving
>> to rely on the truthfulness, strength, ability or accuracy of
>> to confidently expect something; hope.
 As you can see, these definitions enriched my study as I pondered what trusting the Lord actually looks like. I’d say that a simple dictionary is a super tool!

Bible Concordance

This is an absolute must for anyone looking for good study tools bible to dive in to serious study. You want to make sure you get an “exhaustive” concordance, as it will list every occurrence of every word in the Bible. The entries are listed alphabetically for ease.

So for example, if I were doing a topical study on “grace” I would simply start by looking up the word “grace” in the concordance, listing each reference cited, and then looking each one up in my study Bible. Easy!

I personally use this concordance and love it because it includes Greek and Hebrew dictionaries as well as a topical study guide. I cover exactly how to use a concordance for both Word studies and Topical studies in my Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days course.

Bible Study Methods: Printables, templates, video instruction for learning how to get more from God's word.

Bible study books that provide background or commentary:

Part of good Bible study is understanding the background and context of the passage you’re studying. Having a reference tool that gives book, author, and cultural background is extremely helpful when doing your study.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible–and richer–Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the Bible. Both Old and New Testament editions are available and these are some of the best Bible study aids for in-depth study.

Another resource I love (my husband introduced me to this one!) is Nelson’s Little Book of Where to Find it In the Bible. This is great for getting started on topical studies or if you just need a quick reference on where things are in the Bible. It’s a favorite of many… and for good reason!


Bible Study Maps

Understanding geographical locations, distances, missionary paths, and contexts is another great way to get more depth and understanding from your study. A great compilation of maps is the Rose Books of Bible Maps, Charts, and Time Lines. This spiral bound book includes more than 200 maps and charts to accompany your study time. Some resources, such as the IVP Bible Background Commentary mentioned above, include maps and charts as well, making it valuable as one of my best Bible study tools.



Do you remember using one of these in school? Ever think you’d need it again, lol?! The thesaurus is actually a great tool for Bible study! As you dig into scripture, you’ll start asking questions such as, “Why was this word used instead of another?” and “What are other related words for this particular word?” Having a good old thesaurus can help answer these questions and also help you discover hidden words and uses across the entire Bible. This tool is especially helpful when doing Topical studies.


Several versions of the Bible

Most Bible study methods involve reading a passage multiple times. I find it helpful to read it in several different translations as each uses different words, phrases, and flavor. I have several versions available in my home but there are more versions than you probably care to read available for free at BibleGateway. You can also listen to many of the versions here if you’d like. Utilizing these online Bible study tools is one of my favorite things to do when washing dishes :)

Also, it’s helpful if one of your Bibles is a cross-referencing Bible as this will allow you to search other passages regarding words, phrases, or theological issues that arise during your study time.



Of course every student needs a way of taking notes and keeping them organized. You can keep your notes in a 3 ring binder with dividers, a composition notebook, or a pretty journal such as this one.


Markers, pens, colored pencils, and hi-lighters

While pens or pencils are sufficient basic Bible study tools, marking words and phrases in different colors consistently over time is a wonderful way of recording your discoveries. The key is to have a color coding system and stick with it! I love these Bible gliders as some of the best Bible study tools because they don’t bleed through your Bible pages.


Bible Study Methods

Having a systematized way to study God’s Word is essential to actually doing it… and doing it effectively. One of the reasons many of us don’t study God’s Word is because we simply don’t know how.

It can be so overwhelming and chaotic if you don’t know where to start! One of the ways I mentor others is by teaching HOW to dig into Scripture via a few solid Bible study methods. These methods include verse mapping, Word studies and best Bible word study tools, Topical studies, APPLE study method, and more. Learning a few different ways to study God’s Word is an investment in your spiritual life like none other!

My prayer is that no one will leave my blog without having a deeper hunger for God’s Word and the resources for how to dig deeper into God’s Word!

There you have it! This is my list of best Bible study resources. I do hope these Bible study materials will help you dig deep into God’s Word.

If you’d like to go deeper into Scripture, check out my self-paced course on Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days here.

One friend told me, “I started this Bible Study Methods course to get into God’s Word but discovered His Word got into me.” Amen! I hope this course does the same for you!

Learn how to study God's word for yourself with these 7 Bible Study Methods!


Oh, and before you go be sure to click the image below to grab your FREE BIBLE STUDY SHEETS!  

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  1. You’ve provided some great ideas here, Arabah. I usually read the Bible online, through Bible Gateway, which provides a lot of the tools you mentioned. There are benefits and drawbacks to that. I DO miss holding an actual Bible in my hands and marking it up with highlights and notes. You’ve given me some food for thought. Thank you, as always, for pointing people to God. I appreciate you!

  2. I am so grateful God gave me a nudge to check this site out ! Thank you for finally giving your amazing honest sharing guidance as someone like me this is exactly a answered prayer ?

  3. Do you still recommend that ESV bible?
    And which bible study tool would you purchase first? What would be the most important? And this question includes your 7 methods in 7 days tool as well.

    My brain works/functions very slow due to cancer and now covid brain. I also need easy to understand and comprehend.

    1. Hi LJ, first, I’m sorry about your health issues. I pray it draws you closer to the Lord and trust he is near to your broken heart.

      I do recommend the ESV version. However, if you need help in understanding Scripture, the NLT is a paraphrase translation that is easy to read and understand. I suggest starting with this and read a portion every day. This is a great reading Bible. It is not so much a great study bible, as it is a paraphrase and not a phrase by phrase or word by word translation- so don’t base your studies on this version. However, for reading, and especially in your situation, it is very commendable. I would also start with an easy book, like one of the gospels as they are story driven. I hope that helps!

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