That Christmas List–Part 1
I imagine that the question "what do you want for Christmas?" has been asked multiple times already this year in christian homes all over the world. For the hyper-organised it might already be too late. However, here are the adailydevotion.com book and christian resource recommendations for the 'younger' and 'everyday' christian.
The Younger Christian
It is likely that you are still building your library, and therefore some of the resources older christians have come to rely on are either foreign to you, or borrowed from someone else. Try these for starters:
As far as Word Study helps are concerned, there are more technical resources available, but for an all round dictionary of Bible words, this is an excellent resource. Mr Vine–who spent 50 years compiling this volume–orders his work by English word (based on the KJV, although it has been adapted for some newer translations) and lists the different Greek words that lie behind them, helpfully pointing out the specific distinctions and similarities.
To be frank, the advent of the internet has largely made the need for a concordance redundant, but if you prefer paper to 'bits and bytes' then this will help you to locate all bible words as they occur.
A decent commentary of the whole bible will prove to be an invaluable resource, and for a dispensationally focused contribution, this is the most helpful. MacDonald's work ethic and output was simply staggering and you won't be using this volume long before you feel the benefit of his diligence.
Again, this has been largely replaced by the internet, but if you are in the market for a dictionary then you can do no better than this. A second hand copy of Morrish's 'Concise Bible Dictionary' is also a good option.
A quality and hard-wearing bible is a must, and Thomas Newberry's 'Englishman's Bible' (don't be put off by the title!) is (in my opinion) the most viable option, even if you don't use it for day-to-day use. In his introduction Mr. Newberry states his purpose; "In the original languages of the Scriptures there are precisions, perfections, and beauties which cannot be reproduced in any translation...the object...is to put the reader in possession of many of these, by means the most simple, yet most complete, in connection with the (1) articles; (2) numbers; (3) emphatic pronouns; (4) tenses; (5) particles or prepositions; (6) uniform and correct renderings; (7) divine titles; and other particulars." Sound too complicated? Get a copy and you'll soon have a basic understanding of these grammatical terms.
The Everyday Christian
Some older christians will have the majority of the books listed above (or suitable equivalents), but might be looking for something to extend the library, and stretch the thinking. If so, you can't go wrong with this list:
1. A Harmony Of The Gospels (A. T. Robertson)
There are a number of good works that fit into this category, but A.T, Robertson's has the best blend of comprehensiveness and readability. Ever wondered which gospel's contain which miracles, and how they differ in the telling? This is your book!
A. T. Robertson features twice in this list but for good reason. This volume is essentially a dictionary but arranged in canonical order and also including subjects (or concepts) as well as words. Very helpful particularly in understanding idioms and other figures of speech where meaning is harder to uncover.
Renald Shower addresses his subject by a consideration of the Revealed and Personal Word of God. For an overview of God's revelation in Creation, Scripture and His Son, this is an excellent starter, written from a pre-millennial/dispensational perspective. Volume 1 was published in 2002, but there is no Volume 2 as of yet!
All volumes on this list will serve as a library building block or a valuable addition. Tomorrow we will make some recommendations for the serious student and some general interest books.
Mervyn Hall and his wife are in fellowship in the assembly that meets in Hebron Gospel Hall in Bicester (UK) and is employed as a business consultant to the Healthcare industry.