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Reference Books

Encyclopedias

David Robert’s Approach to Mount Sinai

The title of of David Robert’s beautiful water color, Approach to Mount Sinai, suggests an approach you might take to Bible study. Your purpose (Jesus Christ) is in sight. You’ve set a course of obedience to God’s word. Your approach is both thoughtful and deliberate.

We believe that most of your time should be spent in the Bible itself. The works on this page should support that effort, but not become the focus of your study.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. The folks at studylight.org had this to say about the ISB: “This encyclopedia, written in 1915, was published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Hailed for its authoritative explanation of every significant word, person and place, it is the standard by which all other biblical encyclopedias are measured.” Where appropriate we quote from this encyclopedia to provide you with authoritative information on a variety of biblical topics.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism. We include this reference for LDS users of this website. This and other links to lds.org (conference talks, videos, Book of Mormon passages, and so on) are clearly marked LDS. Our intent is to make sure Bible Stories & More is for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.

For example, Mormons & the Holy Bible is an LDS topic. You get to it from the main Holy Bible page, where there is a link at the bottom of the page marked LDS …

Commentaries

Several good, generally accepted, Bible commentaries are in the public domain. We make use of two important volumes described below. We also quote from George Adam Smith’s Historical Geography on the Holy Land, and Frederic Farrar’s Life of Christ.

Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible. Forty Bible Scholars contributed to this book, which J. R. Dummelow edited. It has remained one of the most popular commentaries since its publication in 1908, for the completeness and conciseness of its commentary, and because it was written for the ordinary Bible reader.

Clarke’s Commentary. Adam Clark’s interdenominational commentary is one of the most respected ever written. Clarke was a British Methodist theologian and biblical scholar, who lived between 1762 and 1832.

Reverend George Adam SmithThe Historical Geography of the Holy Land. Smith’s descriptions of the land, and his commentaries on the land and the Bible, and on the land and the mission of Christ, are without equal. This volume should be read by everyone interested in biblical backgrounds. You will be inspired by the beauty of his language, and by the clarity of his thought. If you want to know the Land of the Bible, this book is a great beginning.

The Life of Christ. First published in 1874, Frederic W. Farrar’s book is one of the classic texts on the subject of Jesus Christ, and something of a window into the past. On every page, and with every description, you feel that you are in the Holy Land.

Dictionaries

A good Bible dictionary can be an important study tool if properly used as a reference. It is important to remember that every dictionary is different in its approach, with the authors often writing from a personal religious perspective.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary. This public-domain classic was introduced in the 1860’s and remains popular today. It defines over 4,500 subjects and proper names, and remains a valuable reference tool for anyone who wants to understand Bible backgrounds better.

Easton Illustrated Bible Dictionary. The author, Matthew George Easton, was born in 1823 and died in 1894. His classic resource contains excellent background information on over 4,000 subjects. It was published in 1897, three years after the author’s death. It contains both dictionary type entries and long encyclopedic entries. Easton was a Scottish Presbyterian minister known for his masterful reference work, which is based on 19th century Christian/Protestant thought.