10 Resources for Reading and Applying God's Word


by Ryan Plantz - Associate Pastor

We believe that when we’re all in on God’s Word, we will experience God’s supernatural power to transform our hearts. And you don’t need special classes or an advanced degree to read and study God’s Word for it to have it’s transformative effect in your life. Plus, there are plenty of resources that we can use that will help us grow in our ability to better understand God’s Word and apply it to our lives. Check out some of the following resources:


  1. ESV Study Bible - If you can only make one additional purchase to aid you in your personal reading, study, and application of God’s Word, we would highly recommend picking up a copy of the ESV Study Bible. It combines some of the best evangelical scholarship with ESV’s “essentially literal” translation of the original text, which is especially suited for bible study.

  2. ESV Gospel Transformation Bible - This is essentially a study bible, but with one major difference - ESV’s “essentially literal” translation is accompanied instead with scholarly insight helping the reader see Scripture as a unified message of God’s grace culminating in Jesus. It is especially helpful for readers looking to see Jesus in all of Scripture.

  3. Bible Study: A Student’s Guide by Jon Nielson - While this book was originally written with high school students in mind, it might be the most comprehensive introductory resource into what real bible study is. Nielson unpacks five truths about Scripture: it is God speaking, powerful, understandable, literary, and it’s one story, He then goes on to demonstrate multiple ways as to how God’s Word can be studied and applied.

  4. How To Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon D. Fee, Douglas Stuart - This is probably the most widely recommended and highly regarded book regarding how to read Scripture. This book covers everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical reading, all with the focus of helping you uncover the immense worth that is in God’s Word.

  5. Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by Howard G. and William D. Hendricks - This book is designed to help you remove common barriers and obstacles to reading God’s Word. It puts forth easy-to-apply principles to use while reading Scripture so you an better understand and apply it to your life.


  1. ESV.org - This resource’s free tier provides you with the entire ESV Bible, as well as the ESV Global Study Bible, reading plans, and personal annotations. The paid versions make available a variety of resources including, but not limited to: ESV Study Bible, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible, ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible, and the 36-volume Preaching the Word Commentary series.

  2. youversion.com - This is the most widely-used online and app-based version of the Bible in the world. Create a free account and make notes and highlights that will be saved for future reference. They also offer interactive videos and a wide selection of reading plans.

  3. biblehub.org - This free resource provides you a variety of translational options as well as the ability to compare translations side by side. Additionally, Bible Hub provides insightful sermons, commentaries, and original language resources like lexicons, concordances, and interlinear translations.

  4. thebibleproject.com - Another free resource that produces short-form, fully animated videos that make biblical stories accessible to everyone. They provide free videos, podcasts, and study guides to help readers understand the Bible’s overarching themes and each book’s literary design in its historical context.

  5. openbible.info/topics - This resource is a topical Bible that allows the reader to zero in on a single-topic and read what the Bible has to say about it. It is very helpful when studying a passage and you want a wider understanding of what the Bible says on a particular topic.

If you have any questions about the above mentioned resources, or have any additional questions on how to read and study God’s Word, contact us at info@harvestspringlake.org.

Ryan PlantzRyan Plantz