As I’ve prepared each podcast series, I do in-depth study using a variety of resources. It’s always important for you to be able to check out those resources for yourself and not just take my word for it. That’s true for anyone you learn from. So, on each episode’s page, you will find the resources that I studied and I highly recommend these resources as you learn. I’ve tried to provide a wide-range of resources – some more in-depth and some basic, some require more time and some less. To see the specific resources for each episode and the ones mentioned in each podcast, go check them out on the Blog page.
As I mentioned in the podcast’s earliest episodes, it’s really vitally important for you to know the framework that a teacher is using as they approach the Bible. I find that this is not often provided by teachers and preachers and leads to confusion especially for those who are new to learning and are trying to put together information from various Christian sources.
So, let me share my framework. I grew up learning a systematic theology approach to the Bible, but after much study, I believe the Bible is best understood in the way it was written….in an overarching narrative. Therefore, while I’m very familiar with systematic theologies like Calvinism and Armenianism, I do not believe they yield proper understandings. I also rarely learn from preachers or teachers. My source material heavily leans into scholars and Biblical theologians – many of which are considered the top theologians of our time – and who understand the narrative of the Bible.
On this page, I wanted to provide some of the most overarching and general resources that you may find useful. And, I wanted to provide a list of the scholars that I have learned so much from myself. I will likely never know these people personally, but I want to say a quick thanks to all that they have done in their research and writing. My life is not the same because of what I’ve learned from them. I am forever indebted and continue to learn about our amazingly good Dad and life in His Kingdom now and forever from these dedicated scholars.
N. T. Wright (Tom Wright) – New Testament scholar and historian of the 1st Century and 2nd Temple Judaism. Highly regarded among his peers and considered by many to be the most influential Biblical scholar of our time. Professor at the University of St. Andrews. He’s the author of over 70 books that range from introductory to scholarly level. These include commentaries for each book of the New Testament, popular level books on Jesus, Scripture and Christianity, and seminal books on the history and time period of Jesus, His resurrection and the Apostle Paul.
Scot McKnight – New Testament scholar at Northern Seminary. Very similar approach to the Bible as N. T. Wright. Hosts a popular blog called Jesus Creed at Patheos. Author of over 30 books which also range from introductory level to scholarly. His books range widely from commentaries to topical books on living life with God, reconciling science and the Bible and understanding the gospel.
Ben Witherington III – New Testament scholar at Asbury Seminary. Highly regarded among his peers. Author of over 50 books. These include a number of in-depth commentaries for New Testament books and books of his scholarly work on women in the early church and women in the ministry of Jesus.
Craig Keener – New Testament scholar at Asbury Seminary. He wrote the New Testament IVP Bible Background Commentary covering every New Testament book as well as a number of other commentaries and books.
Richard Hays – Retired New Testament scholar at Duke Divinity School. He is an expert in looking at the overall narrative story of the Bible by looking at the New Testament and its overt use of the Old Testament Septuagint (Greek OT). He demonstrates the narrative thinking used by the New Testament writers themselves and shows their explicit connections with the Old Testament. In addition, his book The Moral Vision of the New Testament was named in Christianity Today’s top 100 most important religious books of the 20th century.
John Walton – Highly regarded Old Testament scholar and expert in Hebrew and in Ancient Near East civilizations at Wheaton College. He’s written some amazing books that provide tremendous insights into the ancient time that the Old Testament was written in. These include “The Lost World….” series and books on generally understanding the Old Testament. He is particularly an expert in Genesis and the narrative of it and has used his insights to discuss the interaction of science and the Bible.
Dallas Willard – Although he passed away a few years ago, his work continues to have a deep impact on those who want a deeper spiritual life with God. Dr. Willard was a professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, but had also been a pastor and student of the Bible, familiar with the New Testament Greek. He won Christianity Today’s book of the year twice; once for The Divine Conspiracy and once for Renovation of the Heart. There is no one like him in terms of learning an everyday life with God. In fact, several of today’s popular teachers on topics like hearing God or the spiritual life borrow greatly from his work. So, just go to the original source….you’ll learn more!
Introductory Level Books:
Simply Jesus – N T Wright
Simply Christian – N T Wright
Simply Good News – N T Wright
One. Life – Scot McKnight
The King Jesus Gospel – Scot McKnight
Understanding the Bible Narrative:
Surprised By Hope – N T Wright
The Day the Revolution Began – N T Wright
The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard
The Lost World of Genesis One – John Walton
The Lost World of Adam and Eve – John Walton
Old Testament Theology for Christians – John Walton
Spiritual Formation and Life:
The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard
Hearing God – Dallas Willard
Scholarly Level Books on the Bible in General:
New Testament and the People of God – N T Wright
Jesus and the Victory of God – N T Wright
Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels – Richard Hays
Echoes of Scripture in Paul’s Letters – Richard Hays
Learning Koine Greek:
Learn to Read New Testament Greek – David Alan Black
Basics of Biblical Greek – William Mounce
Early Church Writings (First 300 Years or so):
Irenaus’ Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching and Against Heresies
The Letter to Diognetus
Ignatius’ Letter to the Churches
Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho
The Epistle of Barnabus
Athansius’ On the Incarnation