THE PREACHER'S TOOLS
"A teacher of the Scriptures needs teachers" (H.W.Robinson, Expository
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.
1. BIBLES AND COMMENTARIES
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
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.
2. OTHER 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
J.E.Adams, Truth Applied: Application in Preaching, Wakeman
D.Carnegie, The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking,
M.Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, Hodder &
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
John R.W.Stott, I Believe in Preaching, Hodder &
Steve Chalke has written a series of excellent articles on preaching in
Alpha magazine (October 1995 - July1996). The Amazon web site is worth
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.
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.