4. Resources: Introduction

While the Bible is and will always be God’s unchanging word the books written about it come and go. Therefore these articles will by their nature be out of date before they are posted. We will endeavour to return to them on a regular basis to ensure that, so far as is humanly possible, we keep them current but if you spot any errors please contact us and we will make the necessary changes. You will notice that we keep flagging up the date we checked websites which is intended to remind all of us when these articles were last checked.


In the first distance learning version of Introduction to Bible Study (INT01) and over many years of teaching the residential programme at Corby we made many book recommendations either for purchase or for long term loan. Our approach now is to recommend the appropriate tools for the job, in other words the resources you will need as a student of the British Bible School. These could be books, software, or website addresses or indeed anything that enables you to access the information you will need for any or all of the modules on offer and, beyond that, a lifetime of Bible study and ministry.

In textual modules where you study a particular book in the Bible you may be told that you need a specific commentary (or any one from a selection). Those specified will enable you to get the most out of the module and continue to serve you for as long as you continue to learn, teach or preach from that book. Introduction to Bible Study does not need to be that specific so there follows a discussion of tools that will help you to get the most out of any module you study. You may already have some. Good. Use them well. You may be able to access some of what you need on-line or through your local library. Great. Just so long as you can find out what you need when you need it.

We can no longer claim to be giving you a definitive list as the ways information is transmitted are changing faster than we can record. Books that have been long out of print, for example, can now be found through many and various second-hand bookshops that connect to the Internet or are being shared on the Web or for purchase as e-books. When I first taught at the British Bible School in the late twentieth century my advice to students was to travel to Cambridge or London for a day and work their way around the many academic second-hand bookshops, confident they would find most if not all of their required textbooks. Now you would almost certainly have to work your way round many charity shops. I am not saying do not try but I do suggest you will get quicker results searching on-line. For those who like visiting the remaining second-hand bookshops (including charity shops) do some research on www.thebookguide.co.uk 1 which gives a comprehensive and searchable list of British shops with their opening hours, specialisms, and customer reviews as well as much else of interest to bibliophiles.


Which book?The following articles (Sections 5 to 12) were accurate in April 2016. All books listed are in print (which means available to buy new) or easily available second-hand at a price comparable to the publishers’ list price (although if postage has to be added then this will make a difference). I do not like Amazon as I believe it has too much control over the market and will, in the long run, be detrimental to book buying but I admit that its website is quick and easy to use so I do my research on Amazon and then try to buy from my local independent shop (http://www.standrewsbookshop.co.uk). My default Amazon is www.amazon.co.uk/books but for research purposes www.amazon.com/books offers a wider range, as American readers seem to be more interested in Bible study that their UK counterparts. In an unscientific survey in May 2016 we searched Amazon.co.uk for “bible” and found 350,000 results (with the English Standard Version first on the list) while Amazon.com gave 450,000 with the King James Version first up.

Both Amazons sell new and second-hand books but please keep a close eye on postage costs. My favourite second-hand book site is www.abebooks.co.uk which is a portal to many sellers around the world (some trade, some amateurs) although it is possible to search for UK sellers only or only those offering free postage. Personally I have never had any problems buying through Abe: the books have always been as described and have always arrived so I have not yet had to click their “Help” button.

A book I used a great deal when I first came across it was:

Baur, David R., Annotated Guide to Biblical Resources for Ministry (Peabody MS: Hendrickson, 2003).

However as it was published in 2003 it is now out of date and was replaced by Essential Bible Study Tools for Ministry in 2014. Its current price (on Amazon in April 2016) is £28.99 in paperback or slightly less for a Kindle edition. It is possible to “Look Inside” on Amazon and the content headings look much the same but of course some of the recommended books are different (although from the first page by no means all, which is significant). From the “Look Inside” preview I did not see any specific web links although one of the books recommended is Roland H. Worth Junior’s Biblical Studies on the Internet: A Resource Guide (2nd edition) (2008) listing 4,800 resources at 10,000 sites – as of 2008.

For interest I checked availability of the 2003 Annotated Guide at www.abebooks.co.uk and found two second-hand copies both under £10 plus multiple copies at over £10. (It is an American book so most of the copies on offer had to be shipped from the States. If you have an American friend who is willing to help you may well be able to cut your costs.) While on Abe I looked to see if there were copies of Essential Bible Study Tools (2014). There were, as of 29th April 2016,  sixteen new copies from £17.56 plus postage (and, as before, all from USA). I paid £12.99 for my (new) copy of the Annotated Guide from my local Christian bookshop and, so far as I remember, this was a spontaneous purchase, not a special order. It is useful but I am writing this as a teacher not a student and unless you happen to stumble across a bargain in a charity shop I could not say it is worth the money, particularly given the fact that it will inevitably soon be out of date.

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  1. All websites on this page were checked and working on 11/5/2016.