I teach a couple of basic bible reading classes each year at our church. They cover basic interpretive issues in the Old Testament and also in the New Testament. At the completion of one of the classes a person asked me for a book recommendation. They wanted to give a family member a book that would help them understand the Bible as they read it. After drilling down on this issue, I discovered what they want is something like a commentary, but at an introductory level.

Why Do We Need Basic Bible Reading Books?

I’ve told people plenty of times that Jesus did not tell us to go and make seminary students, but to go and make disciples. Now I sure hope that all seminary students are disciples, but not all disciples are seminary students, you see? So people can be obedient to the message of God relayed in the Bible even if they aren’t seminary educated. In this case, I’m interested in giving someone a resource for reading and understanding the basic intent of the Biblical books.

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What Do I Recommend for Basic Bible Reading Books?

basic bible reading books old testament

As far as the Old Testament goes, I would recommend this book – Old Testament Survey, by Paul House. The author is well-respected and conservative. I’ve met him a few times, and we have some mutual friends. His book is one of the more understandable ones on the subject too.

basic bible reading books new testament

Now in terms of the New Testament – The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger appears to be a good one. I have heard him speak a few times and respect him. I was really hoping to find a couple that would be around the $20 mark, but these are more like $30 for hardback and $15 for ebook.

Conclusions about Basic Bible Reading Books

Those are my recommendations, but I’m interested in your recommendations. What did I miss, what should I be reading? If you have a recommendation for Basic Bible Reading Books please let me know in the comments below.


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