Friday, January 3, 2014

Building a Personal Theology Library

This has gotten very out of date -- I need to come back and update, and promise to keep it more up to date!!!

I love books. I love real books. I know I'm supposed to be a nerd, or geek and like gadgets but I can not read on a screen. I can in a pinch but not for extended amounts of time and not with any enjoyment. I like books.

That being said, I've been gradually building a Theology library here at home. I wanted to share what I've already collected, and what I have in my "wishlist". I'm definitely looking for suggestions, so please, share in the comments!

Now, for what I already own:

I'll do my best to divide into categories below.

Regular Text/Reference Bibles

NASB Pitt Minion Reference Brown Goatskin
Zondervan NASB Wide Margin Bible

Those are the only "non-study" Bibles I'll mention (or use regularly). I also use YouVersion on my phone and various online resources. I should do another post on the technology I use for Bible Study.

Study Bibles
This is one area where I simply can't use an electronic book. I don't have a "real" Kindle, but I use the Kindle app on my iPhone and the browser based cloud reader. It's okay for a regular book, but navigating a Study Bible is a nightmare going between the scripture text and the notes and back. The best Kindle based Study Bible I have found is the NIV Study Bible Kindle Edition, so if you are in need of one, that's the one I recommend. (I also own the MacArthur ESV Study Bible and the HCSB Study Bible in Kindle format).

Okay, so here are the physical Study Bibles I have so far:

NIV Study Bible

NKJV New Geneva Study Bible
This is out of print, however it is now published as the Reformation Study Bible using the ESV Translation (however the current printing is the slightly out of date 2007 ESV Text). The link above is where I found a Black Leather NGSB like I have, and it seems they go for a premium. I have seen the ESV RSB, and I will say that I think the NGSB is laid out much better, just my opinion though. Since I already have an ESV Study Bible, I like having the NKJV anyway -- It's a good translation to check sometimes, but I mostly use this Bible to check the notes. In either version, however the notes are the same, they have just been updated for the ESV in the new version. This Bible is a great resource with notes by R.C. Sproul and others from a Reformed Theological perspective. I thank my friend Jimmy again for giving me this Bible -- I use it often!

ESV Study Bible
(Mine is the "Personal Size" -- smaller font and only missing a few essays from the back.)

HCSB Study Bible

NIV Life Application Study Bible (1984 NIV)

NIV Archaeological Study Bible

Harper Study Bible RSV
This Bible is a Revised Standard Version. I bought mine off of eBay really cheap. The only thing I could find to link was a Hardcover but mine is a regular Leather bound Bible. I don't use it much, but I wanted a hard copy of the RSV, and when I found this Study Bible for cheap, I nabbed it.

ESV MacArthur Study Bible [Kindle Edition]

Bible Study Resources/Commentaries

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

The NIV Harmony of the Gospels

The MacArthur Bible Handbook
by John MacArthur

The MacArthur Bible Commentary
by John MacArthur

An Introduction to the Old Testament
by Tremper Longman III, Raymond B. Dillard

An Introduction to the New Testament
by D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
by R. A. Torrey

The Zondervan Greek and English Interlinear New Testament (NASB/NIV) 
by William D. Mounce  (Author) , Robert H. Mounce (Author)

What the Bible Is All About: NIV Bible Handbook, Revised and Updated
By: Henrietta C. Mears

What's In the Bible: An All-in-One Guide to God's Word
By: R.C. Sproul, Robert Wolgemuth

New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition
Edited By: Gordon J. Wenham, J.A. Motyer, D.A. Carson, R.T. France

The International Bible Commentary: New International Version
by F.F. Bruce (Editor) , G. C. D. Howley (Editor)

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary
by Herbert Lockyer (Editor)

Zondervan NASB Exhaustive Concordance
by Reuben A. Olson (Editor) , Robert L. Thomas (Editor) , Peter P. Ahn (Editor) , W. Don Wilkins (Editor)

Word Meanings in the New Testament
by Ralph Earle

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, 6 Volumes

Single Book Commentaries

Basics for Believers An Exposition of Phillipians
By: D.A. Carson

by Daniel L. Akin  (Author)

John (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary) [Kindle Edition]
by R. C. Sproul  (Author)

The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23
by John Piper

Other Reference Books/Theology Books

What Is Reformed Theology?
by R. C. Sproul

Knowing Scripture
by R. C. Sproul

How to Study the Bible
by John MacArthur

Exegetical Fallacies
by D. A. Carson

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
By: Wayne Grudem

Discovering the God Who Is
By: R.C. Sproul

The Holiness of God
by R. C. Sproul

Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God's Grace
by John Piper

It is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement
By: Mark Dever, Michael Lawrence

Step By Step Through The Old Testament
By: Waylon Bailey, Tom Hudson

Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
By: John Piper

Christology: The Study of Christ (The Concise Theology Series) [Kindle Edition]
Daniel Akin (Author)


Dictionary of Hermeneutics : A Concise Guide to Terms, Names, Methods, and Expressions
by James D. Hernando

40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible
by Robert Plummer (Author) , Benjamin Merkle (Series Editor)

Living By The Book
by Howard G. Hendricks (Author) , William D. Hendricks (Author)


I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference
By: Thom S. Rainer

Simple Church [Kindle Edition]
Thom. S. Rainer (Author), Eric Geiger (Author)

Lectures To My Students [Kindle Edition]
Charles H. Spurgeon (Author)

King James Version Debate, The: A Plea for Realism [Kindle Edition]
by D. A. Carson

Which Bible Translation Should I Use?: A Comparison of 4 Major Recent Versions [Kindle Edition]
Andreas J. Köstenberger (Author), David A. Croteau (Author)
With: Douglas Moo, Wayne Grudem, Ray Clendenen, and Philip Comfort

Honestly, most of these (aside from the Bibles, NIV Concordance and NIV Bible Study Commentary) were purchased used on eBay or Amazon for next to nothing. I'd buy many more on my wish list, but often shipping cost as much, or more than the book and once you get a few used books in your cart on Amazon shipping winds up through the roof, so I do one or two at a time.


And now, for my "wishlist".
These are books I have on my online "wishlists" at Amazon and CBD. I'm also open to suggestions, additions, subtractions or comments.

In no particular order...

NASB MacArthur Study Bible Hardcover

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings : A Contemporary Version of a Devotional Classic Based on the New International Version
by C. H. Spurgeon

New Bible Commentary
by Gordon J. Wenham, J. Alec Motyer, Donald A. Carson

New International Bible Commentary
by F. F. Bruce

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
by Charles F. Pfeiffer, Everett F. Harrison

Zondervan NIV Atlas of the Bible
by Carl G. Rasmussen

The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made
by Mark Dever, Graeme Goldsworthy

The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept
by Mark Dever, John MacArthur

Collected Writings on Scripture
by D. A. Carson and Andrew David Naselli

Sermon on the Mount: An Evangelical Exposition of Matthew 5-7
by D. A. Carson

Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians
by D. A. Carson

Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians, 12-14
by D. A. Carson

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
by D. A. Carson

Knowing God
by J. I. Packer

Chosen by God
by R. C. Sproul

Romans (St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary)
by R. C. Sproul

Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists
by Collin Hansen

It Is Well: Expositions on Substitutionar​y Atonement (9Marks)
by Mark Dever, Michael Lawrence

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (9Marks)
by Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
by John Piper

Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology
by R. C. Sproul

The Soul's Quest for God
by R. C. Sproul

God's Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children (Classic Theology)
by R. C. Sproul

Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity
by R. C. Sproul

Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics
by R. C. Sproul

Renewing Your Mind: Basic Christian Beliefs You Need to Know
by R. C. Sproul

Essential Truths of the Christian Faith
by R. C. Sproul

New Testament Survey
by Walter M. Dunnett

New Testament Introduction
by Donald Guthrie

Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker Reference Library)
by Walter A. Elwell

New Dictionary of Theology
by David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson

And added based on comments below:

The Expositor's Bible Commentary - Abridged Edition: Two-Volume Set
by Kenneth L. Barker (Author) , John R. Kohlenberger III (Author) , Verlyn Verbrugge (Editor) , Richard Polcyn  (Editor)

New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: Abridged
by Verlyn Verbrugge (Editor)

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament
by John H. Walton  (Author) , Victor H. Matthews (Author) , Mark W. Chavalas (Author)

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
by Craig S. Keener  (Author)

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
by R Laird Harris (Author) , Gleason L Archer Jr. (Author) , Bruce K. Waltke  (Author)

Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
by William D. Mounce

Also, I just came across this list -- many from my list are there and I'm sure there are many others I will add!


  1. Since you seem to be an NIV person like me, I'd suggest these:
    The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Abridged Edition (2 Vols.) by Barker and Kohlenberger III (ed.)
    Abridgment of the 12 vol Expositor's Bible Commentary
    Word Meanings in the New Testament by Ralph Earle
    Word studies by one of the original NIV translators
    The Greek and English Interlinear New Testament, NASB/NIV by Mounce and Mounce (ed.)
    Fully packed interlinear with G/K numbers and parsing codes plus Greek text and two translations!
    New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Abridged edition by Verlyn Verbrugge (ed.)
    Perfect companion to the Mounce interlinear
    The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament by Walton, Mathews & Chavalas and
    The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S Keener
    Better than the Archaeological Study Bible for background, manners and customs
    Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament by Harris, Archer and Waltke
    Many of the contributors were in the NIV translation team

  2. Awesome! Thank you, those are great!

  3. This Bible is a great resource with notes by R.C. Sproul and others from ...