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Preach the Word


"A teacher of the Scriptures needs teachers" (H.W.Robinson, Expository Preaching).

Introduction Any textbook or study on hermeneutics will suggest basic books for studying the Bible. But here are some thoughtful suggestions, which accommodates those who don't have a working knowledge of the biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek.


Bibles and concordances
A good, modern translation is a must for 21st century preachers. You will misrepresent the Lord and the way he seeks to communicate with men and women if you use the 16th century King James Version (AV, KJV) in the pulpit (which is a revision of Tyndale's earlier translation). Use the NIV, NRSV or RAV (NKJV) in the pulpit. The ASB, NASB and NJB are useful for private study. Concordances enable Bible word searches - and these must relate to the original biblical languages. Robert Young's Analytical Concordance of the Bible or James Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible are helpful (they both relate to the AV). Advanced students of the Word will want to use BAG's Greek-English Lexicon revised by F.W.Danker (2000).

Word study books
The study of words involves translation and grammar. A.T.Robertson's Word Pictures (two volumes) provides meaningful insights for the preacher. W.E.Vine will help the exegete to appreciate the context of words in his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

Commentaries and theological dictionaries
The NIV Study Bible is a very useful tool. Three books published by Inter-Varsity Press (IVP) will serve you for life: The New Bible Commentary (revised), The New Bible Dictionary (revised) and The New Dictionary of Theology (revised). The Systematic Theologies by Donald Guthrie (IVP) and Wayne Grudem (IVP) are worth having. The Tyndale or Word Bible Commentaries are excellent for studying individual Bible books in depth.


Basic textbooks
Words are the tools of the preacher's trade. Obtain a good English dictionary and a thesaurus (e.g., Roget's Thesaurus). Words can add colour and music to your delivery. A final word: read widely. A strong word of advice here. Don't use an English dictionary to study or explain biblical words.

A basic reading list on preaching

J.E.Adams, Truth Applied: Application in Preaching, Wakeman Trust.

D.Carnegie, The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking, Vermilion.

M.Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, Hodder & Stoughton.

A.G.Mears, Speak in Public, Paperfronts.

H.W.Robinson, Expository Preaching, Inter-Varsity Press.

K.Runia, The Sermon Under Attack, Paternoster.

W.E.Sangster, The Craft of the Sermon, Epworth.

C.H.Spurgeon, Lectures to my Students, Hodder & Stoughton.

James S.Stewart, Teach Yourself Preaching, English Universities Press.

John R.W.Stott, I Believe in Preaching, Hodder & Stoughton.

Steve Chalke has written a series of excellent articles on preaching in Alpha magazine (October 1995 - July1996). The Amazon web site is worth searching.

CD Roms
Many Bible translations and study aids are now obtainable on CDs. Christian web sites also support the Christian ministry. The Christianity Today web site is a good place to start.

Bible abbreviations
AV: Authorised Version;
ASB: American Standard Bible;
KJV: King James Version;
NASB: New American Standard Bible;
NIV: New International Version;
NJB: New Jerusalem Bible;
NKJV: New King James Version;
NRSV: New Revised Standard Version;
RAV: Revised Authorised Version.

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Copyright 2007 Vernon Ralphs

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