I read a lot. My library started quite small, first with just a Bible, then the realization I needed a Study Bible and commentary to really help me understand. From there I moved on to Theology proper and issues of Christian life. All this led, of course, to the terrible idea that I should start a blog, but I digress. Below is a guide to getting started. First set are the necessities, from then on I give categories to buy (in bold) and a few recommendations of each.
If you want to buy and use amazon, please go click the links or go through my store.
The “Introduction to Christian Life” Library:
- Study Bible – I have the Reformation Study Bible, but have heard good things on the The ESV Study Bible. I would avoid topical (apologetics, men’s, archaeological, etc.)
- How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee and Stuart
- Concise Theology
- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Whitney
The “I Want to Know More” Library
- Commentary – New Bible Commentary, The Expositors Bible Commentary
- Broader Christian classics – Desiring God by Piper, Knowing God by Packer, Mere Christianity by Lewis, etc.
- Church History – Church History in Plain Language by Shelley
- Systematic Theology – Erikson or Berkhof; Outlines of Systematic Theology by A.A. Hodge
- Topical books (broad) – What Does the Bible say about Homosexuality by DeYoung; How to Read Genesis by Longman
The “I Want a Deeper Understanding” Library:
- Bibles – you can pick up a topical study Bible here, or a bi-lingual version
- Church History – History of Christianity in North America by Noll; The Story of Christianity (2 Volume) by Gonzales
- Commentary – Full version of Expositor’s Bible Commentary; Tyndale Commentary (this one is shorter and works well digitally, Olive Tree often has a $99 sale); New American Commentary
- Theology – Biblical Theology by Vos; Historical Theology by Allison; Institutes of Christ Religion (2 Volume) by Calvin (Battles translation)
- Topical Books (narrowed)– Inspiration and Incarnation, Evolution of Adam by Enns; Any of the Counter Point series from Zondervan
- Basics of Biblical Greek/Hebrew
The “I Don’t Have Any Friends” Library:
- Bible – Interlinear or parallel Greek/Hebrew Bible
- Commentary – Word Biblical, Baker’s Exegetical, New International, etc.
- Theology –Systematic Theology by Hodge;Reformed Dogmatics by Bavinck(Follow along with Blogging Bavinck)
You can buy all these books from my store.