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Reference Tools for Biblical Studies

By way of sequel to my list of favorite New Testament commentaries, here are what I consider to be some of the most helpful reference tools for biblical studies. A similar list appears in the first edition of my hermeneutics text (co-authored by Richard D. Patterson), Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology (Kregel). Note: This resource is now available in a thoroughly updated and revised second edition.


Introductions and Surveys

Old Testament

Arnold, Bill and Bryan Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.

Hill, Andrew and John Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

LaSor, William, David A. Hubbard, and Frederick W. Bush. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form and Background of the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.

Longman, Tremper and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.

New Testament

Carson, D. A. and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.

Elwell, Walter A. and Robert W. Yarbrough. Encountering the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005.

Gundry, Robert H. A Survey of the New Testament. 4th ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. Rev. ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1990.

Köstenberger, Andreas J., L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown. A Comprehensive Introduction to the New Testament. 2nd ed. Nashville: B&H, 2016.


Drane, John, ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998.

Metzger, Bruce M. and Michael D. Coogan, eds. The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Packer, J. I., Merrill C. Tenney, and William White, Jr. The Bible Almanac. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980.

Porter, J. R. The Illustrated Guide to the Bible. London: Barnes & Noble, 2000.

Old Testament

Hoerth, Alfred J., Gerald L. Mattingly, and Edwin M. Yamauchi. Peoples of the Old Testament World. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.

Kaiser, Walter. A History of Israel: From the Bronze Age Through the Jewish Wars. Nashville: B&H, 1998.

Long, V. Philips, David Baker, and Gordon Wenham, eds. Windows into Old Testament History. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

Long, V. Philips, Tremper Longman III, and Iain W. Provan. A Biblical History of Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003.

Merrill, Eugene H. Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996.

Millard, Alan. Discoveries from Bible Times. Oxford: Lion, 1990.

New Testament

Arnold, Clinton E., ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. 4 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.

Barnett, Paul. Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1999.

Barrett, C. K. New Testament Background: Selected Documents. 2nd ed. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1989.

Evans, Craig A. and Stanley E. Porter, eds. Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000.

Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Porter, Stanley E., ed. Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000.

Biblical Languages


Fuller, Russell T. and Kyoungwon Choi. Invitation to Biblical Hebrew: A Beginning Grammar. Invitation to Theological Studies Series. Grammar and Workbook. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2006.

Pratico, Gary D. and Miles V. Van Pelt. Basics of Biblical Hebrew. Grammar, Workbook, and Study Aids. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.

Ross, A. P. Introducing Biblical Hebrew. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Seow, C. L. A. Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. Nashville: Abingdon, 1995.

Intermediate/Advanced Grammars

Joüon, Paul and T. Muraoka. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. 2 vols. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1993.

Kautzsch, E., ed. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Translated by A. E. Cowley. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1910.

Waltke, Bruce K. and M. O’Connor. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990.


Baugh, Steven M. A New Testament Greek Primer. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1995.

Black, David A. Learn to Read New Testament Greek: Expanded Edition. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994.

Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.

Intermediate/Advanced Grammars

Baugh, Steven M. A First John Reader: Intermediate Greek Reading Notes and Grammar. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1999.

Mounce, William D. A Graded Reader of Biblical Greek. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

Mounce, William D. The Morphology of Biblical Greek. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. Abridgement: The Basics of New Testament Syntax. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

Textual Criticism

Both Testaments

Wegner, Paul D. A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods and Results. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2006.

Old Testament

Scott, William R. A Simplified Guide to the BHS. 3rd ed. N. Richland Hills, TX: Bibal, 1987.

Würthwein, Ernst. The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.

New Testament

Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. 2nd ed. New York: United Bible Society, 1994.

Metzger, Bruce M. and Bart Ehrman. The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. 4th ed. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Lexical and Syntactical Study


Carson, D. A. Exegetical Fallacies. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996.

Cotterell, Peter and Max Turner. Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1989.

Silva, Moisés. Biblical Words and Their Meaning: An Introduction to Lexical Semantics. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

Both Testaments

Green, Jay P., gen. ed. The Interlinear Bible. 2d ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1986.


Brown, Francis, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1979.

Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Chicago: Moody, 1980.

Kohlenberger, John R. and James A. Swanson. Hebrew-English Concordance to the Old Testament. Zondervan. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.

Rudolph, W. and H. P. Rüger, eds. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 2d ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1983.

Wigram, George V. The New Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1986.


Bauer, Walter, Frederick W. Danker, William F. Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. (BDAG)

Goodrick, Edward W., John R. Kohlenberger, and James A. Swanson. Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.

Köstenberger, Andreas J. and Raymond P. Bouchoc, The Book Study Concordance. Broadman & Holman, 2003.

Louw, Johannes P. and Eugene A. Nida. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. 2 vols. New York: United Bible Society, 1988, 1989.

Wigram, George V. and Ralph D. Winter. Word Study New Testament and Concordance. 2 vols. Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1978.


Both Testaments

Alexander, T. Desmond, Brian S. Rosner, D. A. Carson, and Graeme Goldsworthy, eds. New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000.

Freedman, David Noel, ed. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. Garden City: Doubleday, 1992.

Marshall, I. Howard, Alan R. Millard, J. I. Packer, and Donald J. Wiseman, eds. New Bible Dictionary. 3rd ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1996.

Ryken, Leland, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III, eds. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J., ed. Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005.

Old Testament

New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.

New Testament

Balz, Horst and Gerhard Schneider, eds. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. 3 vols. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990–93.

Brown, Colin, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. 4 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986.

Green, Joel B., Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall, eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1992.

Hawthorne, Gerald F., Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid, eds. Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993.


Biblical Theology

Goldsworthy, Graeme. According to Plan. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2002.

Hafemann, ed. Biblical Theology: Retrospect and Prospect. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2002.

Scobie, Charles H. H. The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.

Old Testament

Dempster, Stephen. Dominion and Dynasty: A Biblical Theology of the Hebrew Bible. NSBT. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003.

Dumbrell, William J. The Faith of Israel: A Theological Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

House, Paul R. Old Testament Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998.

Kaiser, Walter. Toward an Old Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Martens, Elmer A. God’s Design: A Focus on Old Testament Theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.

New Testament

Caird, George B. New Testament Theology. Completed and edited by L. D. Hurst. Oxford: Clarendon, 1994.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1981.

Ladd, George Eldon. A Theology of the New Testament. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Marshall, I. Howard. New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004.

Thielman, Frank. Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.

Systematic Theology

Akin, Daniel, ed. A Theology for the Church. 2nd ed. Nashville: B&H, 2014.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013.

Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.


Duvall, J. Scott and J. Daniel Hays. Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.

Goldsworthy, Graeme. Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2006.

Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.

Osborne, Grant R. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. 2nd ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2006.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. Is There a Meaning in This Text? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005.

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