The Holy Bible
There is surely no better resource for the sanctification of your soul than Scripture itself. However, it can be difficult to discern the differences between translations and, therefore, which Bible you should buy. We highly recommend the ESV and/or the ESV Study Bible. The ESV translation is faithful to the very words written in the original language and the ESV Study Bible is a fantastic resource which provides just enough commentary to aid the reader in his or her understanding of Scripture without wandering too deeply into the details. This balance allows you the opportunity to achieve a crash course in certain theological doctrines while maintaining whatever pace of reading you prefer.
If you'd like to gain a better understanding as to how to go about choosing a different translation, be sure to read our post, What is the best English Bible translation?
Systematic Theology (Wayne Grudem)
Don't be overwhelmed by the prospect of reading a Systematic Theology. Yes, it can easily be over 800 pages long, but you should look at such a book as a long-term resource for deeper learning, not as a feat to be accomplished this month. Systematic Theology is a discipline that simply categorizes the Biblical "data" and seeks to use it in order to answer the question, "What does the whole Bible teach us about any given topic today?" Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology is among one of the best-selling of all time. It is carefully curated, easy to read, and above all, it places a priority on Scripture.
Systematic Theology (John Frame)
Never read just one author; you will inevitably become nothing more than his mouthpiece to the world. With this in mind, Take & Seal recommends another fantastic Systematic Theology by John Frame. Frame's work is the culmination of a life spent carefully and meticulously developing his theology. He covers many of the same topics as Grudem, but always through his unique framework of God's sovereignty, control, and authority.
God's Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture (Matthew Barrett)
As 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation (Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door on October 31, 1517), there is no better time to learn the doctrine of sola scriptura. Matthew Barrett's work is a fantastic primer on the primacy of Scripture above all else. He specifically leverages the Reformers (such as Martin Luther and John Calvin) and their understanding of Scripture to argue its authority over everything - including church tradition.
From Eden to the New jerusalem (t. Desmond alexander)
T. Desmond Alexander's introduction to Biblical Theology is a fascinating read for both those who are searching for the a clear answer to the question, "What is the Bible really about?" to those who are mature believers and have read the entirety of Scripture many times. Alexander's work is extremely well researched, easy to read and understand, and most importantly, is exceedingly faithful to the words of Scripture.
40 questions about interpreting the bible (robert plummer)
Dr. Rob Plummer's book is an incredibly simple read with clear and concise answers to many questions you've had for years, as well as questions you didn't know you should be asking. One of the more convenient features is that his book is comprised of chapters of just 5-10 pages: it can easily be absorbed by the busiest among us. Some of the topics he covers include:
- Who wrote the Bible - humans or God?
- Does the Bible contain error?
- What are some general principles for interpreting the Bible?
- Can a text have more than one meaning?
- Do all the commands of the Bible apply today?
- What are the different genres and how do we interpret them?
- ...and many more.