Building a Bible Study Library

I recommend the following types of books for every serious student of scripture. Choose some from each category, and build over time.

Books on Interpretation

  • How to understand and apply the Old Testament
  • How to understand and apply the New Testament
  • Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics
  • Exegetical Fallacies
  • Biblical Words and their Meaning
  • Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Study Bibles in Multiple Translations

  • ESV Study Bible
  • NIV Study Bible
  • Reformation Study Bible (NKJV)
  • CSB Study Bible
  • Ryrie Study Bible (NASB) – I’m going to disagree (though not strongly) with many of the views here (premillennial dispensationalism), but good to have for reference, as it is a very popular viewpoint, even if it doesn’t have much historic backing behind it (relative to church history).

Single-volume Commentaries

  • The International Bible Commentary
  • New Bible Commentary (21st Century Edition)

Systematic Theology Texts

  • Grudem’s
  • Frame’s
  • Horton’s
  • Hodge’s
  • Erickson’s
  • Berkhoff’s
  • Calvin’s Institutes

Biblical Theology Texts

  • The Promise-Plan of God by Kaiser
  • Biblical Theology by Vos
  • Biblical Theolgogy by Owen
  • A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament by Van Pelt
  • A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament by Kruger
  • The Cradle, The Cross, and the Crown – by K√∂stenberger
  • God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgement
  • From Heaven He Came and Sought Her

Whole-book Commentaries

It is hard to recommend entire sets for this as it is typically better to buy single volumes rather than an entire series. However, some of the best sets I consistently go back to are:

  • The NICOT and NICNT
  • The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
  • The Pillar Commentary
  • Baker Exegetical Commentary
  • Preaching the Word Commentary
  • Tyndale Old/New Testament Commenary
  • Christ-centered Exposition Commentary

Bible word dictionaries


Historical Theology and Philosophy Books

  • A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by Frame
  • Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by Moreland and Craig
  • Consequences of Ideas by Sproul
  • Historical Theology by Allison