Preaching practicum
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Preaching Practicum. For more details, See Frederick Danker, Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study . 3 rd ed., 1993. This is a good resource for giving an overview of useful tools for Bible study. It is particularly helpful for the pastor. Exegetical Resources.

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Preaching Practicum

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Preaching practicum

Preaching Practicum

  • For more details, See Frederick Danker, Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study. 3rd ed., 1993.

    • This is a good resource for giving an overview of useful tools for Bible study.

    • It is particularly helpful for the pastor.

Exegetical resources

Exegetical Resources

  • Good surveys on how to do exegesis are very helpful.

  • Why are they necessary

    • First, provide “How to” guides for exegesis.

      • These will save you from following “blind alleys.”

      • Proper exegesis is a stewardship issue.

        • It keeps you from wasting your congregation’s time.

        • It provides tools for responsible exegesis

    • Second, having resources for review are very helpful.

Guides to exegesis

Guides to Exegesis

  • Gorman, Michael J. Elements of Biblical Exegesis. Rev. ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009.

  • Fee, Gordon, New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors. 3rd ed. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2002.

  • Stuart, Douglas, Old Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors. 3rd ed. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2001

Good bible dictionaries

Good Bible Dictionaries

  • These resources provide background on life and times of the ancient world, and the backgrounds of scripture.

  • There are certain types of Bible dictionaries that should be in every pastor’s study.

  • These include at least one single volume Bible dictionary, and, if possible, one multivolume Bible dictionary.

One volume bible dictionaries

One Volume Bible Dictionaries

  • Freedman, David Noel, ed. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.

  • Achtemeier, Paul J., ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996. An update of the 1985 Harper’s Bible Dictionary.

One volume bible dictionaries1

One Volume Bible Dictionaries

  • Advantages.

    • They provide ready reference.

    • They are convenient.

    • They provide simple, or initial, bibliographic help.

  • Disadvantages.

    • Information is brief.

    • Bibliographies are quite short.

Multivolume bible dictionaries

Multivolume Bible Dictionaries

  • These include the Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992, 6 vols.) and the Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary (1962 4 vols. + 1 Supplement, 1975) and the New Interpreter's Bible Dictionary(2006- . Vols. 1-3 published).

Multivolume bible dictionaries1

Multivolume Bible Dictionaries

  • Anchor Bible Dictionary and Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary are both available on CD-ROM, perhaps DVD-ROM.

    • Electronic access allows for greater flexibility in searching.

    • This can save time.

    • Shelf space is saved.

    • Disadvantages

      • Computer industry requires obsolescence

      • How long will this software be useful?

      • Usefulness may make these questions fade into background.

Specialized dictionaries

Specialized Dictionaries

  • I would be remiss not to mention the specialized dictionaries produced by IVP.

    • They have the advantage of extensive articles and bibliographies.

    • They are also reasonably priced.

Specialized dictionaries1

Specialized Dictionaries

  • Titles of the dictionaries are:

    • Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.

    • Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments.

    • Dictionary of Paul and His Letters.

    • Dictionary of New Testament Background.

    • Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch.

    • Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books.

    • Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry and Writings.

    • More issues of the Dictionary of the Old Testament will follow.

Language tools

Language tools

  • Average pastor cannot afford, nor is likely to use, a large library of tools.

  • There are certain tools that will be helpful to the pastor.

  • Electronic Resources

    • Bible Works 8.0.

      • An integrated software program, includes modern language translations, Greek and Hebrew language and tools.

      • This is the program currently used by ATS

Language tools1

Language Tools

  • Electronic Resources

    • Logos software

      • An integrated system, including language tools, texts and translations.

      • It also includes commentaries, but these are mostly public domain resources.

      • It comes with various packages.

    • Electronic software can be extremely helpful in keeping up with languages, as well as provide powerful means for utilizing languages in preparation for sermons and teaching.

Language dictionaries

Language Dictionaries

  • Good language dictionaries are important, so your skills do not fade.

    • Bauer, Walter, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Translated by William Arndt. Edited by Frederick Danker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

      • This is one of the best 1 v. Greek English lexicons of the NT.

      • It is expensive.

      • It provides a great start to research.

      • In the 3rd ed., the format is much clearer and easier to use.

Language tools2

Language Tools

  • Hebrew Lexica

    • Brown, Francis, S. R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament.

      • Although dated, especially in its theory of roots, it is still the standard Hebrew-English Lexicon.

      • Are more recent works that are also helpful.

    • Köhler, Ludwig and Walter Baumgartner. A Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Study ed. Translated under the supervision of M. E. J. Richardson. Leiden: Brill, 2001. Abbreviated HALOT.

      • This is a convenient 2 v. edition of the HALOT.

        • It is a much more up to date lexicon.

        • As such, I would highly recommend it for the pastor’s study.

Language tools3

Language Tools

  • Theological Dictionaries.

    • These differ from lexica in that theological dictionaries are concerned with only words the editors deem important.

    • They are very helpful for word studies.

    • While the premier Theological Dictionaries are the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (TDOT still incomplete) and Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT 10 vols.), these may not be the most useful tools for the pastor’s study.

Greek theological dictionary

Greek Theological Dictionary

  • For the busy pastor, there is one theological dictionary of the New Testament I would recommend.

    • Brown, Colin, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975. 4 vols.

      • This dictionary does something other dictionaries do not.

        • Instead of going from Greek to English, it does the reverse.

        • It goes from English to Greek.

      • It also has helpful indexes.

      • Check distributors, such as Christian Book Distributors, for the possibility of an electronic version.

Hebrew theological dictionary

Hebrew Theological Dictionary

  • VanGemeren, Willem A., ed. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997. 5 vols.

    • This 5 vol. work is not only priced reasonably, it has very helpful features, including:

      • A good set of indexes.

      • Good general theological articles.

      • An index of English glosses.

      • Terms tied to the numbering system of Strong’s Concordance.

    • The articles have good bibliographies and are well written.

    • The articles are also very accessible to non-Hebrew language specialists.



  • Concordances are extremely helpful.

    • They are great tools, when you can remember some words of a verse or passage, but cannot remember the specific reference.

    • They are also of great benefit for word studies.

      • Greek and Hebrew concordances are available.

      • One may also use either analytical or exhaustive concordances are also helpful by providing access to terms in both English translation and the original languages.

      • These types of resources are very helpful for determining a biblical author’s use of a word or words.



  • Greek Concordances

    • There are numerous Greek concordances, including Moulton and Milligan (dated, based on the Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament), and the Computer Concordance to the NovumTestamentumGraece.

    • These works are usually expensive, and require a good knowledge of Greek.

    • For most pastors, however, there is a good Greek-English Concordance of the New Testament.

      • This is Kohlenberger, John R. III, Edward A. Goodrick and James W. Swanson, The Greek-English Concordance to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Academic and Professional Books, 1997.

      • This work is a concordance of the Greek NT, and linked to the NIV.

      • It also utilizes the numbering system of Strong’s Exhaustive concordance, which will be discussed shortly.

      • IT is a great resource for pastors.



  • Hebrew Concordance

    • Kohlenberger and Swanson have also edited a Hebrew English concordance.

    • It is: The Hebrew-English Concordance: With the New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.



  • Analytical concordances

    • These give an English word, and then provide a list of Hebrew or Greek terms in each listing.

      • In particular, there are three basic analytical concordances.

        • Young’s (KJV)

        • Whitacker’s (RSV)

        • Whitaker and Kohlenberger, (NT, NRSV).



  • Exhaustive concordances

    • These give terms in English, followed by a list of words.

    • Next to each entry, there is a number.

    • The number is keyed to a lexicon of Hebrew or of Greek in the back.

      • These are very useful for individuals lacking knowledge of original language.

      • Many with knowledge of original languages also find them more helpful than analytical concordances.

    • Most useful exhaustive concordances:

      • Strong’s (KJV)

      • NIV Exhaustive Concordance. Also issued as: Strongest Strong’s.

        • This concordance is based on the NIV.

        • The dictionary, however, uses Strong’s numbering system.

World of the old or new testament

World of the Old or New Testament

  • Why are these resources necessary?

    • People of the OT and NT lived in a very different world than we do.

    • Understanding the original cultural context is necessary we are going to translate accurately the text’s meaning for today.

      • Without such context, we misrepresent what the text is saying.

      • For example, how often is Jesus called “Savior,” without reference to the fact that this is an imperial title?

      • Understanding ancient context also helps us combat the media’s misapplications and misrepresentations of the ancient texts.

World of the old or new testament1

World of the Old or New Testament

  • Texts.

    • New Testament

      • Barrett, C.K., ed. The New Testament Background: Selected Documents. Rev. ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1989.

        • This is the standard one volume anthology of ancient texts in translation.

        • It provides a handy reference tool for understanding ancient thought.

      • Evans, Craig A., ed. Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2005.

        • Another useful anthology of texts in translation.

World of the old or new testament2

World of the Old or New Testament

  • Old Testament.

    • Sparks, Kenton L., ed. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2005.

      • An anthology of more than 400 ancient texts.

      • Is reasonably priced.

      • Can be an invaluable tool for study.

World of the old or new testament3

World of the Old or New Testament

  • A semi-scholarly archaeological journal can also be helpful.

    • Biblical Archaeology Review has great pictures.

      • It can sometimes be somewhat sensationalist.

      • However, there are enough good articles, many warning about abuses in the field or the media, so the pastor is forewarned and forearmed.

      • It does need to be read critically.

    • Near Eastern Archaeology (formerly Biblical Archaeologist).

      • This journal is something of a standard.

      • The change of name does reflect how the discipline of archeology of the Near East has changed.

Expository resources

Expository Resources

  • Here I am focusing on commentaries.

  • I have not listed these commentaries under exegetical tools.

    • These commentary series are specifically geared toward pastors

    • Also, a great temptation of students is to go first to commentaries before taking a careful look at the text

      • Commentaries should be the last resources to be consulted.

      • While there are many fine exegetical commentaries, such as the Word Biblical Commentary, the International Critical Commentary, and the Hermeneia series, they will not be focused on here.

      • For pastors, these commentaries may be too expensive (although Word Biblical Commentary and Hermeneia arenow available electronically, and paperback copies of the ICC are now available) or too esoteric for their immediate needs.

Commentaries for preachers

Commentaries for Preachers

  • Interpretation: A Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.

    • As the title states, this commentary series is focused not only on providing assistance to the guild of biblical studies, but also to pastors who preach scripture.

    • It contains helps for application of scripture.

    • It is geared to the life of the church.

Commentaries for preachers1

Commentaries for Preachers

  • The New Interpreter’s Bible.

    • This 10 vol. set is available both in hard copy and electronic form.

    • It provides excellent homiletical as well as exegetical sections.

    • Its articles have been written by name scholars.

Commentaries for preachers2

Commentaries for Preachers

  • Lectionary series.

    • Proclamation Commentaries.

      • In the 1970s-1990s, Fortress Press produced a series of short commentaries for preachers.

      • These are the Proclamation Commentaries.

      • They are written by name scholars.

        • However, they are not for use in exegetical papers.

        • They are meant to be homiletical resources.

      • Originally they were written on books of the Bible.

      • Later, commentaries were issued based on the cycles of the New Common Lectionary.

        • For those of you in a liturgical tradition, these are excellent resources.

        • The provide commentary for each cycle, A, B, and C.

Commentaries for preachers3

Commentaries for Preachers

  • Feasting on the Word.

    • This is a new series, published by Westminster/John Knox Press, 2008-

    • It started with the “B” Cycle.

      • Lectionary preaching follows the church year, Advent, Epiphany, Lent, etc.

      • There is a 3 year cycle.

      • The goal is to cover the whole Bible in three years.

      • For each Sunday texts are read from the OT, Psalms, Gospels, and Epistles.

      • Liturgical commentaries provide assistance for preaching the Sundays of the cycle.

    • In Feasting on the Word, there will be more than one volume for each cycle.

      • Thus, the first issue is for the B cycle, v. 1.

      • There will be commentaries for cycles C and A in coming years, with multiple volumes for each cycle.



  • There is one journal I would recommend for each pastor

  • That journal is Interpretation.

    • Not only does it include theological articles.

    • It also includes a section of articles entitled “From Text to Sermon.”

      • These are focused on the church year, but are vey helpful to those not following the liturgical calendar.

      • They are great references for pastor’s study.

      • I know of pastors who subscribe to it specifically for the articles.

      • A new service for alumni/a of ATS is that they may now subscribe to access the ATLA Database with ATLA serials.

      • Access would look like this



  • For more information, contact the research librarian at:

    • Russell Morton

    • Research Librarian

    • Ashland Theological Seminary

    • 419-289-5434

    • [email protected]

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