The most important study tool is an accurate Bible. The serious student should stick with the King James Version or the New King James Version, because they are based on the most accurate Greek texts. The others (NIV, New American Standard, New Living Bible, etc.) are based on questionable Greek texts. The net result of these "modern" texts has been a weakening of key subjects, including the divinity of our Lord.
The second most-important study tool is the set of cross-references in a good Bible. Follow these trails and be amazed at how Scripture will interpret itself.
Third, I suggest you invest in a study Bible with notes by a trustworthy author. Here are Bibles that I own and cherish:
- The Word For Today Bible, published by The Word For Today ministry, with study notes by Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel. My personal favorite, this is available in a variety of bindings from hardcover to fine leather.
- The Defender's Study Bible, published by the Institute for Creation Research, with study notes by Henry Morris. Excellent book with strong scientific evidence for the literal truth of the Creation account and other key portions of Scripture.
- The Companion Bible, published by Kregel Publications, with study notes by E.W. Bullinger. This is an astonishing work of scholarship that gives detailed insight into the exact Hebrew and Greek texts behind our English Bible. If you are a diligent student of Scripture, you should own one of these.
- The Apostolic Bible Polyglot is actually a complete Greek/English interlinear version of both the Old and New Testaments. What makes this Bible unique is that the Old Testament is based on the Septuagint (LXX) text. This gives a more accurate picture of the Hebrew Scriptures at the time of Christ than the Masoretic Text which was heavily edited sometime after 100 AD. You can find this Bible at the online bookstore here.
Fourth, I recommend Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. This will enable you to discover which word is used in the original language and look up its meaning.
Fifth, I recommend Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary. This document helps you understand the flavor of particular words compared to alternative words.
The most helpful book for understanding prayer is Rees Howells, Intercessor, by Norman Grubb. This might be the most important book (outside of the Bible) that you will ever read.
Three of my own books have content you might enjoy:
- Durable Joy explains how the secret of joy is backwards to our carnal minds. This book can be a discipleship manual for a new believer or treated as a series of devotionals for a mature saint. You can read the book for free online here.
- Book of Revelation: A Portrait of Jesus and the Key to Prophecy is an updated and expanded version of the lessons on this website. At present, it is only available in iBook format, for those of you with Mac computers or iPads. It is available on the iTunes bookstore.
- 7 Flights to Forever has content found nowhere else: a complete explanation of the seven Rapture/Resurrection events described in the Book of Revelation. It is available in iBook format, for those of you with Mac computers or iPads, on the iTunes bookstore. Best of all, it's a free download. If you don't have an iPad or a Mac, you can click here for a free copy of the book in PDF format.