There are so many resources on the internet, at your local bookshop, in the library, etc, that it can be confusing as to what to use. So, on this page we've tried to give some good recommendations to help you choose what would be of benefit to you.

Click the following links or scroll down this page to view all:

Bible Versions - Which One?
Bible Reading Tips / Guides
Books about the Bible
Great Authors
Great Books to have at home

King's has a library of books which can be borrowed.  Email the office for a list of what's available.

Bible Versions - Which One?

So many Bibles, which one to buy? As well as having your regular Bible that you use regularly, we suggest that you own several versions of the Bible so that you can compare translations and can check that you understand what you are reading.

Recommended Versions
  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • New International Version (NIV) 2011 edition
  • New Living Translation (NLT)
The ESV is probably the most accurate word-for-word version of the Bible available and it follows the style of older valued translations (the AV, NASB, and RSV). Sometimes that means sentences and phrases don’t read easily in English but it is worth this to get to the meaning of the text. There is an ESV Study Bible available soon that looks very good.

The popular NIV has been thoroughly re-edited (2011). The language has been improved and is more word-for-word accurate than previous editions. It also tries to deal fairly with the gender inclusive issues. So for example, the regular Greek word for brothers (adelphos) normally in its context means ‘brothers and sisters’ and so the latest NIV translates it that way. This is however an interpretation and sometimes mistakes slip in.

A Bible version which is easy to read and very accessible to anyone not so familiar with the Bible is the NTL. Based on a earlier paraphrase version called the Living Bible, it has tightened up the language but leaving it very readable.

Other Contemporary Versions
  • New International Version (NIV)
  • The Message
  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • New Century Version (NCV)
  • God’s Word (GW)
  • Today’s English Version (TEV)
  • Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Click here to see examples of how some of the different versions read.

Bible Reading Tips / Guides

There are many different methods and tips for how to read the bible.   Below are a few of our favourites.    This doesn't mean we should do each and every one, but it gives some good ideas to choose from.

Bible Reading Tips
  • Have one bible you are familiar with
  • Find a regular time and place where you can spend a few minutes reading
  • Underline and write in your bible / write out thoughts in the back of your bible
  • Think about reading something from the bible before you go to sleep
  • Read the whole bible - Genesis to Revelation
  • Reading the bible chronologically
  • Read a mixed bag (OT, Psalms & Proverbs, NT)
  • Read through one book every day for a week
  • After some bible reading go through a theology book
  • Use a concordance
  • Buy some bible reading notes
  • Use a classic devotional book (My Utmost for His Highest, Streams in the Desert, Purpose Driven Life)
  • Date what you read (next to the verse that speaks to you or in the index when you’ve finished a book)
  • Use a Bible reading guide
  • Through the Year Planner (see
  • Read through a book in different translations
  • Read grouped books (Mt & Heb, Mark & Peter, Luke & Acts, John’s Gospel & Letters, etc.)
  • Write out verses in your own words
  • Read through a book with a commentary
  • Pray through what you have read
  • Read until you feel God has spoken to you
  • Read a background book or article on the book you’re reading 
  • Think through what you’re reading (SPACEPETS - see below)
  • Use a journal
  • Memorise verses
  • Buy a study Bible (Thompson Chain, NIV Study Bible, NIV Thematic Bible, Life Application Bible)

Think Through what you Read

When you read some text, think how the following could apply to what you've read.  It could be useful to write the SPACEPETS list below onto a card and keep it in your bible:
  • Sin to confess
  • Promise to claim
  • Attitude to change
  • Command to obey
  • Example to follow
  • Prayer to pray
  • Error to avoid
  • Truth to believe
  • Something to thank God for

Bible Reading Guide

If you have a great Bible reading plan stick with it!   If you need something new click here to look at our recommended option and also Michael Eaton's order for reading the bible.


The following is our list of recommended websites which have teaching to listen to:

Recommended Books about the Bible

  • New Bible Commentary 21st Century Edition (IVP)
  • Lion Handbook of the Bible
  • Introduction to the OT/NT John Drane
  • Jesus and the Gospels; From Pentecost to Patmos Craig Blomberg
  • Tyndale Commentaries on the OT/NT (IVP)
  • Bible Speaks Today series (IVP)
  • NT commentary series by Tom Wright (Paul for Everyone, Matthew for Everyone, etc)

Some Great Authors

  • John Stott
  • John Piper
  • CS Lewis
  • Tom Wright
  • JI Packer
  • AW Tozer
  • FB Meyer
  • Sam Storms
  • Don Carson
  • James Dobson
  • John White
  • Jerry Bridges
  • Gordon McDonald
  • Philip Yancey
  • Andrew Wilson
  • Phil Moore

Great Books to have at home

At a foundation level here are seven great starter books:
  1. A Bible Dictionary/Encyclopaedia
  2. A Concordance
  3. Operation World
  4. Desiring God by John Piper
  5. The Cross of Christ by John Stott
  6. Simply Christian by Tom Wright
  7. How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart