Recommended Books

Links updated May 2010

recommended book

THE following is a list of books that I would recommend to beginning students. I have made an attempt to find these books in the catalogs of online booksellers, and have created some links for those that I could find. Click on the titles to go to a bookseller's catalog. (NOTE: I am not a "partner" of any of these booksellers, and so I gain nothing from these recommendations). The books that are not linked to a catalog are currently out of print, but you can probably get them second hand from one of the used booksellers listed below. Also, try the used book search form at the bottom of this page (it really works).

Bible Versions. No version is perfect. I have never seen a version of the Bible that completely satisfied me. But I recommend the following three versions for people who are able to read English at a twelfth grade level.

Commentaries. Rule of thumb: The old commentaries are generally more helpful for orthodox theological interpretation than the newer ones. Be especially cautious about works published after 1900. Most of them are heterodox, and even the "evangelical" ones tend to avoid theological interpretation.

General History of the Bible

Response to the 'King James Only' Movement. The following books written from a fundamentalist perspective are very helpful in answering the claims of those who say that all modern versions of the Bible are perversions of the Word of God.

Canon of Scripture

History of English Versions. Unfortunately, nearly all books on English versions published since 1950 are written with the special purpose of promoting either the RSV or the NIV. But the following books, written by men who were not involved in the making of these versions, are relatively free of such bias.

Translation Methods

Ancient Versions

Textual Criticism. There is no way around it: knowledge of Greek and Latin is necessary for any serious study of NT textual criticism. For the OT, you need to know Hebrew and Greek. The books listed here assume that you are at least somewhat familiar with these languages.

Theology. Here is my advice for learning theology at home. Read from the books listed below, in this order, (1) the Westminster Shorter Catechism; (2) the Larger Catechism; (3) the Westminster Confession; (4) Watson's Body of Practical Divinity; and finally, (5) Berkhof's Systematic Theology. If you do this you will get within a year a better theological education than most seminary graduates.


Doctrine of Inspiration

Study Helps

Electronic Books and Bible Study Software

Historic Bibles


Useful books in a particular field of interest can often be found by browsing or searching the catalogs of booksellers on the web. There are two kinds of theological booksellers on the web: those who sell only conservative books and those who sell anything and everything on the subject. I would recommend the following conservative booksellers:

For students who are looking for a particular book or author, the following booksellers can also be very helpful, although they include books written from a secular perspective in their catalogs. Discretion advised!

Used Books

Used Book Search