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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

5 great Bible study resources - all free!

There's a surprising amount of high-quality Bible study material and helps available online nowadays, and with just a little effort your library can exceed what once would have required literally yards of bookshelf space. Let's look at five of these, each one of which has its own unique flavor.


















eBible.com

Christians haven't ignored society's increased reliance on the Web, and are also taking note of the "Web 2.0" phenomenon, where web applications can replace, or nearly replace desktop software. A new entry in the online bible study field, eBible.com, consciously takes a Web 2.0 approach by allowing you tag verse and save bookmarks. Several different Bible versions are available and they seem to be adding features. Note: this is a beta release.

Crosswalk.com
This site boasts an impressive number of Bible resources and free commentaries, and also hosts a lot of articles, audio resources, pastoral and worship resources, etc. Visually, this site is a litle cluttered, but I can excuse that because they are packing so much into it. It's a great place to poke around.

Bible.org
Those who want to do a little more theological digging should try out Bible.org. This site also seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, probably capitalizing off the interest in their NET Bible translation. If you want to read a deep, exegetical commentary on the Book of Nahum, this is the place for you! Another bonus: the organization not only enables you to freely download their translation, but to use it without fear of copyright infringement.

Blue Letter Bible
I've had this one bookmarked for a long time - and for good reason! It has some great features, including easy phrase searches. If you still rely on Strong's Concordance, you'll find it a joy to be able to search phrases like "Kingdom of God" without going blind in the process. Lots of study tools round out the picture, including audio and video from preachers past and present such as J. Vernon McGee, Ray Stedman, and many of the well-known Calvary Chapel pastors.

E-Sword
This last one is a real gem - the most powerful free Bible software you are likely to find in the English language. This is not a website, but a free software download for Windows and Pocket PC. Developer Rick Meyers believes in "freely you have received, freely give," and he demonstrated it here. He compares E-Sword to $500 packages that the typical layperson finds inaccessible - and he's not bragging. A number of additional "modules" can be downloaded to add extra dictionaries, concordances, and other well-known works. There are powerful note-taking features and basic word processing for your own writing. A fuller feature list is available here.

Whether you're looking for a good daily devotional or are up to your elbows in serious study, even sermon preparation, these free resources will prove to be a great blessing.

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1 comment:

KJV said...

The Bible is under attack from all sides. Satan knows it tells the truth about him, the victory that Jesus had at the cross, and what will happen in the future. As such, Satan has and still is making every attempt to destroy the Word of God. What better way to do this, than to change the meaning of the Bible over time with different bible versions; each version as it comes along claiming it is the truth and the most accurate of all the versions up until that point.
The line must be drawn where we say, "If the King James Bible was good enough for 400 years, then it is still good enough for me." For by it men and women have been saved and the knowledge of God imparted unto them. When new bible versions come along, they always take something away that is never replaced, only to be lost forever. If you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then stand up for it. Take a stand and speak out against these new bible versions. An objection often raised against the "King James Only Crowd" is that people learn something from the other (modern) versions, too, and that some even get saved: but I dare say that this occurs in spite of these errant versions, not because of them!
The Authorized Version of 1611, or, in other words, the King James Bible, stands alone in its uniqueness, integrity, and fidelity to the truthfulness of God’s Word. Among reasons why this writer holds this conviction is because of the great harm done not only to the Word of God, but the detriment wrought in the local church in its public worship, and, of course, because of the confusion created in countless group and individual Bible studies. After all, it could be said: How do you think your professor would think or feel if all of his students used different textbooks in his class?! In our case, God is our Great Professor! He alone is the one true God, who has walked among us upon this earth and left us the living and enduring legacy of His Word and His Spirit. Until He comes, Amen.