Bible Studies

These Tools Can Transform How You See the Bible

Tanya Walker

A microscope is an amazing tool. It allows you to see things your ordinary eyesight would miss. Remarkable things. Things that awaken a sense of wonder.

Why Do I Need Tools to Study the Bible?

Bible study tools do this too.

They help you to see the significance of things you might otherwise miss. Your amazement grows as your understanding of God — His love and purposes  — expands. And that, in turn, leads to worship.

Which Tools Should I Use?

Throughout the history of the church, thoughtful Christians and scholars have been adding to our knowledge and understanding of the Bible’s inexhaustible treasures. So we have a lot of resources from which to choose.

Here are a few good tools that can help you discover the Bible’s riches. (At the end of this article, we’ll reveal the number one tool you’ll need.)


Information about the authors and historical contexts of the various books of the Bible. Verse-by-verse notes provide insights to help you understand the meaning of the Bible passage you’re reading.

Try Dr. Thomas Constable’s Commentaries.


Expository Word Dictionaries

These help you understand the meaning of a word in its original language: Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic.

Try BlueLetterBible.


Cross References

Some Bibles include a list of additional verses that relate to the passage you’re reading to broaden your understanding.

See an example from Ephesians; just hover over the blue letters in the passage.


Bible Translations

Comparing different translations of the same Bible passage can help you see subtle differences in translation and understand nuances in meaning.


Literary Structure Overviews

A big-picture overview of a book’s literary structure and flow helps you see how each verse relates and connects back to the author’s main message.

Watch The Bible Project’s video on Ephesians.

The No. 1 Tool You Need in Your Toolkit

The best tool to study the Bible isn’t a tool at all. It’s a person: the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13, New International Version).

Studying the Bible isn't about figuring out an intellectual puzzle; it’s about engaging with the One whose very words bring us life, hope and transformation.

So before you use any other tool, stop to pray:

“Holy Spirit, open my eyes to see, my ears to listen and my heart to respond.”

Note: Many free online Bible study tools have ads to offset their costs. Cru does not necessarily endorse these advertisers. Each of these sites is governed by their own terms and privacy practice.

Explore Further:

Learn more about different Bible translations.
Read about how to study the Bible.

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