Ours is a generation of unique advantages and resources, for better or for worse. Information is available at the movement of our fingertips with a quickness that rivals the typical NHRA top fuel car. For that information to be effective, we must harness the tools we have and turn them into productive resources though. With such an abundance of resources available to us, it can be hard to distinguish between the reliability of each. Therefore, over the course of the last several weeks we have been looking at the various resources that enable a productive Bible study when used rightly. This week I want to layout for you, four internet-based Bibles and their accompanying tools.
The Single Serve Options
As we have looked at various Bibles, I have focused on those in which a person can easily make personal notes. My intent here is to primarily focus on two web Bibles in which you can do the same thing.
o mywsb.com: Meaning “My Word Study Bible” this site is developed by Broadman & Holman Publishers. The sole Bible available was the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a translation that I really like. However, they have since opened it up to other translations as well, so you can choose your favorite or even compare translations. While there are purchases you can make, including commentaries, devotionals, etc. the greatest benefit of this site is simply its functionality for personal Bible study. The emphasis has been primarily on being able to do word studies, but you can highlight words, phrases, or entire sections and enter your own notes. This is why I love it.
o esvbible.org: Another great version, the English Standard Version, is offered via the web. Like “My Word Study Bible” the ESV Bible program allows you to create highlights and make notes at your discretion. The layout of the site is on the minimalist side which is nice because you can focus solely on the text. It also has purchases that can be made, although not as extensive as the other. Two great advantages here are the study notes associated with the site which include the wonderful ESV Study Bible and the ability to download an app for offline use.
Each site has their advantages and disadvantages. Like the hardcopy Bibles I previously mentioned, it is a matter of what works for you. Frankly, I use both but on a very limited basis. Instead I keep most of my notes in my physical Bibles. Although an upside here versus what I do is that your notes are backed up. If my Bible is ever lost, stolen, or damaged, I lose my notes (something I have seen happen to a number of people).
The Full Meals
While I have wanted to focus solely on those with note-taking options, because of their prevalence and usage, I share with you two other options.
o blueletterbible.org: Blue Letter Bible has been around for quite some time and is well-known by many people. While you can create your own account, there is little emphasis on note taking features. However, the use of the site comes with tools to compare translations, look up commentaries, and utilize concordances and much more. Specifically with this site is I like to use it as a quick reference to look up the Greek words used, when I just need a fast look at something and not in-depth.
o biblegateway.com: Very similar to Blue Letter Bible, there is a vast amount of resources available here. While there is a lot of overlap of both the types of resources offered and even some of the specifics, there are some different ones as well.
I like to use these for quick reference information. With both sites, you must be careful about the resources you pick and choose to use. Some are great while others tend to lean on the liberal side. You’ll notice this especially on Bible Gateway’s recommended resources that they offer (advertised resources in order to fund the site).
Certainly this is not an exhaustive list, yet I find these to be the most beneficial and exhaustive of all sites. I have purposefully left out apps and Bible programs and instead focus solely on those we find on the internet and instead will look more at those in the upcoming weeks.
For now, these are resources worth noting and utilizing them in a way that promotes your spiritual growth. I urge a great cautioning in relying upon these tools as your sole information and as your study. Instead, they must be used in a way that enhances your personal study.
Previous Posts in the Biblical Resource Series: