In this article I want to help those who teach in their local Churches. Teaching the Bible is extremely difficult and can be challenging to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). In fact, James warns the Church by saying “Do not become teachers in large numbers, my brothers, since you know that we who are teachers will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). So how do we make sure our words and teaching are accurate? Well, here are 5 helpful resources that give more insight for your study and exposing the text of the Bible. These resources will you do exegesis (pulling the authors meaning out of the text) instead of eisegesis (putting your own thoughts into the text).
- A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax – Simply put, syntax is studying the grammar tools of how words work with words. Studying syntax helps you understand how the author intended to use the order of language to communicate their point. This is a concise book with many examples that will assist you in studying the nuances behind Hebrew poetry, narration, and prophecy. I consider this a masterpiece of research and exegetical insight to the OT. You would not be complete without referencing this resource to understand concepts such as the different Hebrew uses of the conjunction or even the different grammatical implications of simple negation verses absolute negation. Your interpretation in these areas will affect your view of assurance, sanctification, salvation, and even the literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11.
- Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) – This book is a treasure trove for the OT. It goes through the important nuances of many important words that you encounter. It is the book that defines definitions. Meaning, it goes into the historical meaning of the words and traces the theological implications. This book will tell you what historical background is important, and why the author chose these words to communicate the meaning.
- The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HAL) – A lexicon is an intense database of words in their root meaning, as well as changes in meaning when the words are conjugated differently. For instances, depending on the conjugation of the verb stem you will see that the author is conveying completely different ideas. It could mean either cause of the action, intensity, reflexive action, or many other possibilities. Is the author saying ‘he broke’ or ‘he shattered’ or ‘he caused it to be broken’? Knowing these nuances is important to rightly diving the Word of God.
- Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) – A lexicon that gives insight beyond just the meaning of a Word. It exhaustively gives meaning and history to the Word through research about the etymology (changes through history) of the Word. This means you will know how Plato used the Word and how other classics used the Word and where we separate from secular meanings. Most importantly, it will show how the authors of the Bible made certain words unique to Christians (i.e. martyr). This book is a frequent guest in my Bible studies.
- Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics – A masterpiece of research and exegetical insight to the grammar of the NT. This book will give you exegetical insight to many difficult translations in the NT. It is a guide to understanding how you treat verbs, conjugations, changes in tone and tense, etc. The way you translate certain grammar will impact your view of tongues, woman’s gifts, the timing of Jesus’ return, if God’s atonement is limited or unlimited. It is important to treat these texts with the appropriate grammatical interpretation, and Wallace’s grammar is a one-stop shop for NT study.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, but should serve as a good primer for someone who is serious about their Bible study time. You might notice that I didn’t put any commentaries here. It is important to remember that commentaries can be helpful, but only after you create your own commentary through study. It is important as a Bible teacher to not jump right into another teacher’s thoughts. Instead, as teachers, we should work hard to study God’s Word for ourselves. Perform your own hermeneutics before using someone else’s. You are also able to download all these resources into LOGOS Bible software for efficient and effective study. I hope these resources help you grow as they have me for many years.
Resources:  Bill T. Arnold and John H. Choi, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Bilingual edition. (New York, N.Y: Cambridge University Press, 2003).;  R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr, and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, New edition. (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2003).;  Ludwig Koehler et al., The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Vol. 1, ed. Johann Jakob Stamm, trans. M. E. J. Richardson, Revised ed. edition. (Leiden ; New York: Brill Academic Publishers, 2001).;  Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 0010-edition ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977).;  Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament with Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Academic, 1997).
David J. Lupinetti is the Associate Pastor at San Tan Bible Church in Arizona. He has a passion for Expository Preaching, Biblical Counseling, Discipleship, and Evangelism.