We live in a day of staggering privileges. There was a time when the only copy of the Scriptures would have been chained to the pulpit in the town’s church, and there are places where the rulers still ruthlessly hunt down copies of the Bible to be destroyed. But today in the English speaking world, we are infinitely privileged to have such free access to the word of God.Beyond the accessibility of the Bible itself, we also have extraordinary access to powerful Bible study tools, many of which are available for free. Here are five of the best free Bible study tools online—or at least, five of my favorites that I personally use all the time.
Free Bible Study Tool #1: Blue Letter Bible
There are several powerful Bible software packages that you can spend hundreds or even thousands (!) of dollars to help you study the Bible in the original language, with helps to parse the verbs, see lexicon (dictionary) entries to define the words used, or to see cross references to other places where those words are used. With Blue Letter Bible, however, you get 90% of that functionality for free.
I use Blue Letter Bible all the time—every time I prepare to preach a sermon, write something where I need to do some closer exegetical analysis, or just where I’m curious about what’s happening “behind the scenes.” Here’s how I use Blue Letter Bible.
First, from the search bar at the top of the home page, select the Bible verse you want to study:
Then, hover your mouse over “Tools” beside the verse you are interested in, and then select “Interlinear”:
Clicking interlinear will pull up the original language of the verse (Greek or Hebrew), along with word-by-word comparisons from the original language to English. You might want to click “Parse” on the right side of the verb to get more information about the type of the verb you are dealing with, but most of the time, you’ll probably only need to click the Strong’s Concordance ID number:
This is the page that you are going to want to spend lots of time on. From Vine’s Expository Dictionary, you can get a short dictionary entry, and in the section marked Outline of Biblical Usage, you can see the various ways that the word in question is used in the Bible:
For a deeper definition, keep scrolling down to find the section marked “Thayer’s Lexicon” and get a very detailed definition of the word, including information about how the word was used in literature outside the Bible. But my favorite tool of all is the Concordance, where you can see all the places that the same word was used in other places in the Bible.
With the Concordance, it’s easier to see textual connections, where an author is deliberately referencing another passage, or where the same author develops a theme in another book of the Bible that he wrote.Read the rest of the free offers at the link.