What are my top two favorite online Bible study tools?
I’m sure there are thousands of online Bible study tools, but I have two particular favorites.
NET Bible for Bible Translators’ Notes
First, I love using the NET Bible. The NET Bible is the New English Translation published in 2005. While the NET Bible is an excellent translation, what makes it unique is that it includes almost 61,000 translators’ notes. And using it online allows for easy navigation of the notes. Just click on the blue superscript numbers in the text and read the corresponding note at the bottom of the screen.
Here’s a screenshot of the beginning of John 4 in the NET Bible.
The steps to using the NET Bible are:
- Select the book of the Bible
- Select the chapter
- Click on the superscript numbers in the text
- Read the information at the bottom of the screen in the beige text box
While the notes contain technical details, such as Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, readers without professional training should be able to understand most of the information. And that information pertains to how particular words and phrases could be translated. If you haven’t been to seminary to study Hebrew or Greek this is an excellent way to hack your way through that information.
BibleGateway for Bible Translations and Keyword Searches
Second, BibleGateway is extremely helpful. It contains the entire text of Scripture in dozens of translations. I use those to copy then print out a passage so that I can mark it up by highlighting the repetition and making notes in the margins. I also like to compare translations when I encounter translation issues in the NET Bible. If you like to listen to the Bible, you can do so in various translations as well.
BibleGateway also has a concordance feature so that you can find each time a particular word or phrase is used. Here’s a screenshot:
And here are the steps to conducting a keyword search:
- Go to the Bible tab in the upper left corner
- Select Keyword Search
- Enter the word or phrase you are searching for
- Under Options, choose your search parameters (the part of the Bible you want to search)
- Hit the Search for keyword or phrase button at the bottom of the screen