Why pay for something when you can have it for free? I put together this list of free Bible study aids when I realized that there are many Christians (and non-Christians) who desire to know more about the Word of God, but think that they have to spend a lot of money or have a formal education before they can properly interpret the Bible. The resources that I have provided here will allow both the casual student and the serious one (and everyone in between) to study the Bible. Best of all, these resources are all free!
Note: I am in no way affiliated with any of the software that I list, or any of the Web sites that I recommend. Neither do I agree with everything that these resources say. There is enough variety here to let people see the different views that are out there and to formulate their own opinions.
There are two components to this list. The first is a Bible study program called e-Sword. E-Sword is completely free, but there are many "plugins" that are available for it. Most of the plugins are free, so I have compiled a list of ones that I recommend people download. Downloading and installing all of these plugins will give a person an excellent library for studying the Word of God. The second component is a list of several Web resources that a person can bookmark and use for further study and reading.
Note: e-Sword is for PCs and PocketPCs. Mac, Linux, and Palm users will need to find alternative software. However, this list can still serve as a useful guide, since most of the resources that I recommend can be found for free through other programs or Web sites.
Table of Contents
- Bible Translations
- Web Links
- Lightfoot’s Commentary on the Gospels
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Steps for Installing e-Sword and the Associated Plugins:
- Download and install the main e-Sword application from this link: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
- Note: The PocketPC version of the program can be downloaded from here: http://www.e-sword.net/pocketpc/index.html
- After the main program has been installed, go to the Bible downloads section and download the following translations (you can install each file as you download it, or wait until you have them all downloaded and then install them all at once):
- English Standard Version (ESV)
- King James Version (Red Letter)
- Good News Translation (GNB)
- God’s Word (GW)
- Go to the Commentaries downloads and download the following commentaries:
- Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
- Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
- John Darby’s Synopsis
- Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
- Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
- John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible
- Vincent’s Word Studies
- Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (Note: This is an electronic cross-reference)
- Scofield’s Reference Notes
- Robertson’s Word Pictures
- The Treasury of David (a commentary on the Psalms of David)
- The People’s New Testament
- Go to the Dictionaries downloads section and download the following dictionaries:
- Thayer’s Greek Definitions
- Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions
- Noah Webster’s Dictionary of American English
- King James Dictionary
- Smith’s Bible Dictionary
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary
- Fausset’s Bible Dictionary
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Nave’s Topical Bible
- R.A. Torrey’s New Topical Textbook
- (Optional) Go to the Extras downloads section and download any of the resources that you choose
- These are mostly books. I recommend downloading whichever ones you think you might like to read. I personally recommend "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer.
- (Optional) Go to the Devotionals downloads section and download any devotions that you would like
e-Sword is really all that a person needs to seriously study the Word of God. However, here are a few more Web links that a person can bookmark. These will greatly enhance the resources of the serious student.
- Lightfoot’s Commentary on the Gospel’s
- John Lightfoot is a famous specialist in Hebraics. His commentary on the four Gospels is done from the perspective of the first-century Jew. Even though it was written almost 400 years ago, it is still one of the best commentaries available on the gospels.
- Note: Lightfoot’s commentary can be downloaded to your computer as a free SWORD plugin. This is not part of the e-Sword program. It is a separate program that can be found here, and the Lightfoot plugin can be found here.
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library
- This is a collection of Christian writings.
- e-Catena: Compiled Allusions to the NT in the Anti-Nicene Fathers
- This valuable resource is a compilation of comments that the early church fathers made on Scriptures. It is broken down by chapter and verse. A person simply navigates to a passage that they are studying, and they can see a breakdown of what the early church fathers had to say about the passage.