Wanting to upgrade your chapter Bible study? Here are some resources we suggest for helping you prayerfully study the Scriptures.
- The Orthodox Study Bible: If you’re not already using it, the OSB has some helpful, basic articles and footnotes throughout the text.
- An Interlinear or Side-by-Side Bible or New Testament: Using both the Greek and/or Hebrew text alongside the English text can really help when you get stumped on a passage or everyone has really different translations. Plus, it brings up other interesting questions as you go along. There are a few online sources like BibleHub or BibleStudyTools or you can find them on Amazon (here’s one suggestion). For this and other books, I suggest purchasing one or two OCF copies that can be passed down rather than having everyone in the chapter get one.
- A Concordance: This nifty little book is basically a fancy index for the Bible, letting you find passages by topic. Again, there are some online tools on BibleStudyTools or you can go for Strong’s Concordance in print.
- A Bible Dictionary: Ever come across a word and wonder the history of that word, idea, or object? A Bible Dictionary is a step up from Wikipedia. Try Vine’s.
- Commentaries: There are about a million of these you could try, but the best, of course, are the Orthodox patristic commentaries, but certainly modern Orthodox (and non-Orthodox) authors have some things to add, too. Probably your local parish has a few of these you can borrow or might be willing to purchase them for the parish. Here are just a few:
- Ancient Christian Commentary Series: This gives you just little snippits from a number of Fathers, East and West, on each passage. This is great for hearing from the cloud of witnesses and getting to know which Fathers you connect with the best.
- The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox: Similar to Ancient Christian Commentaries in that it gives brief patristic passages, but compiled by an Orthodox author to be used with an Orthodox daily lectionary.
- St. Theophylact: St. Theophylact’s commentaries on Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Ephesians, Galatians are available on Amazon.
- St. John Chrysostom: Of course, St. John’s homilies are incredibly useful! You can find many of them for free in somewhat archaic English from Christian Classics Ethereal Library or you can order a volume such as this one. St. John has homilies on Genesis, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. Whew. I think that’s it.
- The Orthodox Bible Study Companion Series: Written by Fr. Lawrence Farley, these offer some simple and helpful reflections on the entire New Testament and are meant to be especially helpful if you are reading in the OSB.
- Fr. Paul Tarazi: A biblical scholar from St. Vlad’s, Fr. Paul has written on Genesis, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (including his letters), Paul’s letters (with full volumes on Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Romans, I Thessalonians, and Galatians.
- ExeGenius: Have you seen this really cool tool put out by the GOA’s Y2AM team? Go through the Sunday Gospel readings word by word with this interactive commentary which pulls together interesting portions of Bible dictionaries, concordances, and commentaries as well as adds a few thoughts geared specifically toward youth and young adults.
- OrthodoxYouth: These resources from the Antiochian Archdiocese include study guides, quizzes, and mp3s on the books of the New Testament for youth and young adults.
- Orthodox Scripture Study: Thanks to the ACROD seminary Christ the Saviour, you can tune in to live lectures on the Gospel of John or the Gospel of Matthew. They also archive video and audio versions of the lectures.
- Your Spiritual Advisor: You can never go wrong with having a priest helping you walk through the words of the Bible.
Illumine our hearts, O Master Who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Thy gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, Who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.