STEP 1---SURVEY THE BOOK
Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa. Talk Thru the Bible. Nashville: Nelson, 1983.
This survey of both the Old and New Testament is easy to understand and to use. It provides an outline, dating, and purpose of each book.
STEP 2---BACKGROUND MATERIAL OF THE TEXT
Craig Keener. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000.
This is a two volume backgrounds commentary of both the Old and New Testament. It is a brief commentary with important insights on the cultural background of the text.
STEP 3---LOOK UP WORDS AND PLACES
W.E. Vine. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville: Nelson, 1996.
This is a basic dictionary of most words in the New and Old Testaments. It provides verses and the original language behind each word.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 3rd ed. 1988.
This is a four volume Encyclopedia. It is in-depth but not too technical. It is also conservative in its approach to the scriptures.
The Living Word Commentary Series by ACU Press.
This set is produced by Church of Christ members. Each volume is by different men. It is brief, easy to understand, and insightful.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Series.
This is a more in-depth set from a denominational mindset. It is conservative in its approach to the text, but there are errors in the views. This is a good series to see what the religious world says about a certain verse.
STEP 5---BIBLE DOCTRINE
Jack Cottrell. The Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today. Joplin: College Press, 2002.
This book is written by a Christian Church scholar. He agrees with mostly everything we believe. He is simple to understand and writes clearly.
Everett Ferguson. The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.
This is written by a member of the church. He is a scholar that is balanced in his approach. He can get deeper into the doctrine, but makes a point to be clear.