Infographics are a tremendous resource for studying the Bible. They help us picture what we’re reading, and they visualize concepts that may be foreign to us, allowing for much greater understanding. And you’re in luck—the Faithlife Study Bible is full of biblical infographics!
Creation begins with the separation of light and darkness. Interestingly, God creates light before he creates any sources of light. Some have speculated that God’s glory served as the initial source of light. The FSB study notes point out that the order of creation is consistent with the ancient perception of the universe. An article by Michael Heiser explains this, and this helpful chart is included to illustrate.
Six times in the first chapter of Genesis, God affirms his creation as “good” or in a right relationship with him. This changes a few chapters later when, because of sin, God curses the earth and all its inhabitants.
The first day, and all the subsequent days of creation, close with an expression: “evening and morning.” Ken Ham is a staunch literalist, meaning he interprets the seven days of creation as 24-hour periods of time. But there are several different approaches to the creation narrative. For a quick summary of some ways the creation story is perceived by theologians, refer to the table, “Interpretation of Days in Genesis.”
The FSB study notes point out how Genesis 1 provides a subtle critique of prevailing ancient–Near Eastern beliefs by deliberately avoiding the words for “sun” and “moon” that carried idolatrous undertones. The writer makes it clear that these two bits of creation respectively rule over the daytime and nighttime only at the creator’s divine appointment.
One of the most exciting applications of Genesis 1 for me is the precedent of creativity that God sets for mankind. Trey Boden explains in his devotional article about creativity:
To understand our place in the drama of creation, we should look at how God created us. God made us in His image to give Him glory through service and love to the world. Because we are made in His image, we can assume that we have a likeness of His creative spirit within us. God initiated this sharing in His creative works by giving Adam the tasks of cultivating the garden (Genesis 2:15) and naming the animals (Genesis 2:20). The major difference between God’s creative action and ours, however, is that God has the power to create something from nothing.
The creation story closes in Genesis 1:27’s summary of mankind’s origin:
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
The FSB study notes summarize the first chapter of Genesis with this huge infographic (click to enlarge) that depicts the seven days of creation like never you’ve never seen it before.
To explore the creation narrative and the rest of Scripture in a new way, download the free Faithlife Study Bible on your smartphone or tablet today.
In the information age, it’s hard to spend as much time as you want in Scripture. You’re constantly bombarded with more information than you can handle, so you have to constantly prioritize and filter the things that matter and the things that don’t. And that’s what makes Bible study feel like a paradox. You know you’re supposed to see all Scripture as valuable (2 Timothy 3:16). But when you’re dragging yourself through lists of names and types of sacrifices, the treasure of Scripture can feel like it’s slipping through your fingers. That’s because jumping into the Bible without any understanding of context is like diving into the ocean from a helicopter with no equipment. If you don’t really know what you’re doing, it won’t be pleasant. Equip yourself for the dive with Logos 5.
Of course, with the right translation, you can find parts of the Bible that you can read without difficulty. Maybe you enjoy the powerful stories of the Old Testament, or the beautiful picture of love in the Gospels, or the challenging representations of faith in the early church. There are always parts of the ocean that you can swim in, but without the right knowledge and tools at your disposal, there’s still a whole ocean you’ll never see.
In Bible study, these tools are commentaries, key theological texts, Bible dictionaries, and works by popular pastors and Bible teachers. On their own, each of these resources has something to offer your Bible study. For the casual reader and the average Christian, however, the walls of text that often accompany these valuable tools makes them too intimidating. Even if you own one, a Bible dictionary or commentary can make Bible study feel like more work, and you don’t end up reading as much of the Bible. With Logos, that all changes. Logos links all of your texts together, and every verse is linked to every resource you own that references it.
One of the most important parts of reading Scripture is taking the time to reflect on it. Whether you set a goal to read one chapter a day or five chapters a day, what do you gain from it if you don’t take a moment to reflect on what you’ve read? The truths of individual verses can get lost if they don’t stand out to you right away. Important contextual information is easiest to skim over, but it’s some of the most important content when interpreting what that Scripture means for your life thousands of years later. When you read Scripture with Logos, you can spend as much time as you want reflecting on a single verse. Right now, your library could have hundreds, even thousands of references to the verses you read today in your personal devotions. If you wanted to track them down, you’d have to spend hours flipping through books to find what you’re looking for. Even if you’re organized and you’ve carefully sorted your library, you have better things to do than scanning sticky notes, underlines, and margin notes. Logos is more organized than any physical library could ever be. A single search in Logos can save you hours—and that adds up.
When talking about Logos 5, Mark A. Kellner from Washington Times said, “If studying the Bible is something of professional or personal interest, there is, right now, nothing else that comes close.” Logos 5’s datasets add a whole new dimension to your Bible study and bring lists of names, places, and dates to life. You can’t get these datasets anywhere else. Here’s how Sean Boisen, Logos’ director of content innovation explains it:
Don’t let yourself feel like the Bible is too deep or difficult to navigate. Get Logos 5, and you’ll have all the tools you need to plunge into Scripture. Turn every verse into a diving board and see what depths your Bible study can take you. If you already have Logos, but you don’t have Logos 5, upgrade today and take advantage of your very own custom upgrade discount!
The Bible is filled with passages that are so baffling we tend to ignore them. Dr. Michael S. Heiser suggests that the passages that seem weird might be the most important. In his book, I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible, Dr. Heiser visits some of the Bible’s most obscure passages and uses ancient context to illuminate truth for today. With articles like “Why Circumcision?,” “Is My Bible Right?,” and “When Giants Walked the Earth,” Dr. Heiser combines a believer’s curiosity with a scholar’s critical analysis.
Check out this passage from “The Most Horrific Bible Story”:
‘In those days, there was no king in Israel.’ This line, repeated throughout Judges, frames the horrific tale of the Levite and his concubine. The grim details of this story showcase the anarchy and spiritual decay of the period, but this story is not just a cheap thriller.
When reading this story, our attention fixates on the grim details of murder, rape, war, and abduction. But there are crucial, less repugnant elements—tribal affiliations and the locations of events. The story was designed to prompt readers into favoring kingship—the people needed a Messiah, a savior.
The book of Judges does not name its author; it was likely written after the time of David. All of these elements add up to not only a rationale for kingship—but a polemic for the superiority of a king from Judah (David), not Benjamin (Saul) or Ephraim.
Dr. Heiser goes on to say, “The appalling nature of this story provides an appropriate context for God’s plan of redemption. It sets the worst of human nature against the need for divine rule.” Without proper context, we would completely miss the significance of powerful Old Testament accounts. In this brief, easily digestible article, Heiser provides the context we need to connect the dots from Judges to Jesus.
The Bible isn’t boring. Sometimes, though, we make it that way. Thousands of years have passed since the words were fresh, but they aren’t dead. The Bible is living, active, and relevant (Hebrews 4:12). With I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible, context brings Scripture to life in your Bible study, and Dr. Heiser shows you that the Word of God is far from boring.
Right now, you can pre-order I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible for just $4.95—that’s 67% off the regular price! Pre-order yours today before the price goes up.
If you already have a Christian book group, or you’ve thought about starting one with your friends, you might want to consider Vyrso. Vyrso is constantly providing the best deals on Christian ebooks—with tons of freebies, and deals starting as low as 99 cents. But reading with Vyrso is about more than just getting the best deal on your books.
1. Catch up on your reading from anywhere
With Vyrso, you can read your books wherever you are—whether you’re at home, waiting to pick up your kids, or standing in line at the grocery store. There’s no need to worry if you fall behind on your reading plan, because you can catch up anytime. The Vyrso app works on iOS and Android devices, so your smartphone or tablet can quickly become a library full of your favorite books. The app integrates with both Logos Bible Software and Faithlife—it’s one of the many places where the world’s leading Bible software and your faith community meet.
2. Stay in touch with Community Notes
When you download the Vyrso app, it syncs with your Faithlife account and displays your groups’ daily readings right on the homepage. Not only that, but you can read and write Community Notes within the Vyrso app, and you can choose which groups you want to share those notes with, creating a more interactive experience.
Whether your book group meets every day or once a month, Vyrso and Faithlife work together to keep your group connected. With Community Notes, you can finally have a practical book group with friends who live far away. Don’t lose momentum. Share thoughts with your group right as you have them, and use your friends’ notes to get more out of your books and take your personal devotions further. Read with the collective wisdom of your whole book group.
3. Go deeper—instantly
Christian authors constantly refer to Scripture, but with Vyrso, you don’t have to pull out a Bible—it’s already right there with you. Vyrso turns references to Scripture links that take you directly to the referenced passage. Whether you’re reading print or ebooks, these references can often feel overwhelming and make reading feel like a lot more work than it should be. Vyrso does part of the work for you, so you’re free to effortlessly follow the author’s leadings and take your conversations further with your friends.
When you combine the community of Faithlife, functionality of Logos Bible Software, and the accessibility of Vyrso, there’s no better way to read books together. Download the Vyrso app today, get some free books, find your favorites, and start reading together.
Every month, Logos Bible Software has hundreds of Christian books on sale. If you haven’t gotten in on April’s savings, there’s still time to grow your library this month. Act soon though, because these deals end April 30. Here are just a few of the resources you can save big on:
Small Groups with Purpose Collection by Steve Gladen
On sale for 17% off!
Steve Gladen oversees more than 3,500 adult small groups at Saddleback Church. Pastor Gladen is eager to share his personal secrets, failures, and lessons to equip both new and experienced small group leaders. Rick Warren says Leading Small Groups with Purpose (included in the collection) “is the one book that you simply must get into the hands of every one of your small group leaders.”
On sale for 30% off!
A Public Faith and On God’s Side present a Christian perspective on contemporary topics like living in a multifaith society, engaging in politics, working for social justice, and ultimately, serving Christ by working for the common good of all of his creation. Publishers Weekly named A Public Faith one of the “Top 100 Books” and one of the “Top 10 Religion Books” of 2011. Professor Scot McKnight says of On God’s Side, “I have read all of Jim Wallis’ books, books that call evangelicals to full conversion and an ecclesial faith that works. On God’s Side is Jim’s best book; it is personal, pastoral, and prophetic . . .”
On sale for 17% off!
In an age where “hypocritical” and “judgmental” are used to describe Christians, it’s easy to see why young adults are disengaging from their faith communities as they transition to adulthood. The Rethinking Christianity Collection presents two studies of teens and twentysomethings that came from Christian backgrounds and analyzes the reasons why they left the church. It contains insights from respected Christian leaders and offers parents, leaders, and educators tools for contributing a lasting and vibrant faith to the next generation of young adults.
On sale for over $50 off!
Whether you find yourself in a healthy relationship or whether your family is tearing itself apart, the B&H Marriage and Family Collection can help you mend fractured relationships and strengthen existing ones. Give your marriage and your family the chance to thrive with the practical advice and rich wisdom offered by the most seasoned counselors the church has to offer.
These aren’t all the deals available this month. Be sure to check out the rest of the lineup. Get your books soon—these deals end April 30.
For over five years, Bible Study Magazine has been encouraging individual relationships with God by equipping personal Bible study. Every issue features articles and interviews with biblical scholars and pastors, like John Piper, N. T. Wright, and Josh McDowell. You’ll also get Bible study tips and tools, ongoing devotionals, reading plans, and topical studies. To top it off, each issue gives you Hebrew and Greek word studies, info on historical and archaeological findings related to Scripture, wisdom from the Church Fathers, reviews of recently published books and commentaries, and infographics that show you the Bible’s world.
Simply put, Bible Study Magazine brings you closer to God’s Word.
Subscribe to Bible Study Magazine now and you’ll receive our May and June issue, which features the views of Kevin DeYoung (member of The Gospel Coalition and pastor at University Reformed Church) on the foundations of Bible study in our lives. DeYoung encourages us to guard our rest and daily time in God’s Word in the midst of our busy schedules, saying “Bible study isn’t just a vocational responsibility; it’s a necessity we have as Christians, and it’s what we need today in order to know God better.” He also discusses Scripture memorization and the process of learning to love Scripture.
You’ll also get details from the recent archaeological discovery of the first-century Magdala synagogue. Synagogues were the primary venue for Jesus’ ministry (John 18:20); the article discusses Jesus as a teacher, treating the historical purposes of such synagogues and providing both images of the Magdala synagogue and an immensely helpful infographic to simplify the learning.
Bible Study Magazine gives you all this and more. Subscribe now for only $19.95—33% off the cover price—and you’ll receive a full year of issues, including our detailed May–June issue!
Know the Bible better: subscribe to Bible Study Magazine today.
The last week of Jesus’ ministry, often called Passion Week, was packed with action—powerful teaching, bold confrontation, intrigue, and prophecy both fulfilled and made anew. Explore it all with the free Faithlife Study Bible app.
Passion Week begins when Jesus rides into the Jerusalem on a donkey to the adulation and cries of, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” The account is recorded in several different places in Scripture, but the most detailed is found in Matthew 21:1–11. The study notes accompanying that passage include an detailed and visually interesting infographic:
In this one event, Jesus fulfilled a number of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, something he did no less than 68 times in his life. This chart details each of them:
Jesus found many opportunities to preach throughout Passion Week. The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28–32), Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21:33–45), Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1–14), The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34–40), and the Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1–36). And whenever Jesus taught, the religious leaders were close by to challenge him. One of their Passion Week challenges came in the form of a trick question about taxes, intended to trap Jesus. The Pharisees asked him if it was lawful to pay Roman taxes—a clever question because whether Jesus answered yes or no, the answer could be used against him. Jesus managed to answer without giving them the ammunition they anticipated. The Faithlife Study Bible notes explain: “Jesus both settles the matter and avoids incriminating Himself. The coin had Caesar’s image and title on it, and therefore by extension, belonged to Caesar—it was his currency. However, if Caesar got his due, God should likewise receive His due—the whole earth is His and everything in it (Psalm 24:1). What they were required to give God was of far greater worth than a coin—their entire lives. The currency of the kingdom of God is based on following Christ.” The Faithlife Study Bible also includes this great image so we can visualize the coin in question:
After this, the religious leaders in Israel began making plans to kill Jesus. Scripture uses a unique word to describe their actions—dolos. It means deceitful, underhanded, or treacherous. The FSB’s study notes point it out and suggest that Matthew used it to contrast Jesus’ innocence and righteousness. I also see a link to A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament, since I have that book in my Logos library (don’t forget that books you get on Logos.com network automatically with your other resources to make them more powerful). The last night of Jesus’ ministry was spent with his disciples celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover. He instituted our New Testament observance of communion in the midst of the Passover celebration. Afterward, Jesus and his disciples walked from the city to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he would be arrested later that evening. We sent a video-production team to Israel to capture images and video of important locations like this. You can take a virtual stroll through the garden in the study notes on Matthew 26:36:
Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples, led his enemies to the garden where they could arrest him in secret. Ten of the disciples fled, but Peter jumped to his defense, wounding a servant of the High Priest. Jesus intervened, reminding him that the armies of heaven stood ready to defend them all, but he chose not to call on them. The religious leaders of Israel bribed witnesses to accuse him in a secret trial held in the council chamber. The Faithlife Study Bible includes this image, helping you imagine the setting:
They found him guilty, but lacked the authority to carry out the death sentence they sought, so they brought Jesus to appear before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect in Jerusalem. For years, Scripture was the only record of Pilate. Many skeptics denied his existence until an inscription was uncovered by Robert Bull in 1982. With this archaeological discovery, the details of the biblical narrative were once again confirmed accurate:
Though Pilate did not want to order Jesus’ execution at first, eventually he succumbed to the public pressure whipped up by the religious leaders. Jesus was crucified outside the city walls at a place called Golgotha, which means “place of the skull.” Protestant archaeologists in the nineteenth century identified this hill as the most likely spot because its location fits the biblical description and the rock formation does resemble a skull. The Faithlife Study Bible includes this image:
If the story ended there, we probably would not know it today. But of course, Jesus did not stay dead. Three days after his execution, two women traveled to his tomb to pay their respects and felt an earthquake beneath them. When they arrived at the tomb, they found it empty. An angel told them not to fear, because Jesus had risen from the dead. The account is recorded in Matthew 28, and the Faithlife Study Bible puts it this way:
This chapter contains the most important event in human history: the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead. In fulfillment of his prediction, He conquers the grave and rises again to life.
So we celebrate, once a week on Sunday and once a year on Easter, the victory that Jesus won over death, hell, and the grave. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
To explore Passion Week and the rest of Scripture in a new way, download the free Faithlife Study Bible on your smartphone or tablet today.
Logos Mobile Education is a new way to get a biblical education. The program’s world-class professors teach on a broad range of biblical, theological, and practical topics in helpful video lessons, all accompanied by enriched transcripts in Logos Bible Software—or even your Faithlife app. Each word connects you, with a click, to the rest of your Logos library for further learning. You can learn at your pace, on your schedule.
Every Mobile Ed course allows you to interact with Faithlife in helpful and exciting ways. In each syllabus, you’ll find a link (right above the course outline) to a Faithlife group made specifically for that class. This integration of Faithlife and Logos Mobile Ed helps you get the most out of your studies and learn together.
As you develop your notes on each course, assemble reading lists, and create reading plans and clippings of important material, you can upload them straight to the course’s Faithlife group in the “documents” section, sharing your insights and helping others follow along.
Highlight required readings
In every Mobile Ed course’s Faithlife group, you’ll find a “Readings” document. Simply click the document and make a private copy—the required readings will have a start and end note, so you’ll know exactly which portions are important to supplement your course.
Discuss important concepts
Connect around each course’s most important concepts and sections. Write and share Community Notes within each course’s Faithlife group, and view them right in your app or desktop software.
Faithlife and Logos Mobile Education make the perfect platform for family or small group study. Invite your friends and church groups to study important biblical topics together: you’ll learn with Mobile Ed, and you’ll collaborate and share encouragement, insight, and questions in the Faithlife group. Biblical learning in community has never been so easy, so accessible, or so affordable!
Bible study tools come in all different shapes and sizes, but the most common resources usually fit into one of a few basic categories. They each have a specific purpose to aid your studies.
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of different kinds of Bible study tools and what they can do for you, along with some suggested resources to get you started.
Bible dictionaries are a lot like English dictionaries, but they are focused on biblical words. Rather than providing modern definitions, they describe what a given word means when used in the Bible. They often include details like the meanings of biblical names. Some more technical Bible dictionaries will include references to the Greek and Hebrew, while others stick to the English.
- Smith’s Bible Dictionary
- The Tyndale Bible Dictionary
- Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
Bible encyclopedias are similar to Bible dictionaries in concept, but they are greater in scope. While dictionaries typically have short entries for quick reference, encyclopedias tend to have longer articles covering people, places, events, objects, and more as found in the Bible. Bible encyclopedias often go into much greater historical and cultural detail than dictionaries.
- Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible
Both Bible dictionaries and Bible encyclopedias are organized alphabetically by topic. When you get one from Logos.com, you’ll see links to it in your study notes whenever the text you’re reading mentions a topic it addresses. In this way, your FSB app gets more detailed and powerful as you add resources from Logos.com.
Commentaries go verse by verse or passage by passage through the Bible, or through a particular section of the Bible. This system of organization is called “versification” because it follows the book, chapter, and verse structure of the biblical text. Commentaries are meant to be used in parallel with the Bible’s text, offering explanations, insights, textual notes, historical background, and more. Most commentaries also include introductions to the books of the Bible, providing details such the book’s author, as well as when, where, and why it was written.
Study Bibles combine multiple study tools (such as a Bible dictionary and commentary) into one relatively compact volume. Like commentaries, study Bibles are versified, but the notes in study Bibles are usually much more concise and to the point than full commentaries. When sold in print, the text of the Bible is placed right alongside or above the notes and articles. The world’s largest, most advanced study Bible is free! If you’re not already using it, get your free Faithlife Study Bible now. You can also add notes from other study Bibles to your FSB.
Versified resources like commentaries and study Bibles offer a great alternative to the study notes included in your FSB app. If you’d like to survey multiple opinions while you study, add a commentary set or another study Bible to your FSB, and you can quickly switch between them.
Concordances are designed to help you find things in the Bible. Basic concordances have fallen out of popularity, due to the ease of searching digital Bibles. However, the more advanced concordances are still useful, due to their ability to search by topics and themes or even people and places, rather than simple word searches.
Harmonies take books of the Bible that overlap one another in content, and they show how the books fit together. They reorganize the biblical content to flow chronologically, so you can find parallel passages more easily. The most common variety are Gospel harmonies, combining the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; however, harmonies also exist for other books, such as Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Many harmonies only include Scripture references, while others place the actual texts in parallel columns. A few harmonies actually combine the four Gospels into a single text that flows chronologically.
Lectionaries are reading plans for the Bible that group texts into weekly readings. They often span three-year cycles, designated year A, year B, and year C. The idea is to provide believers around the world with a shared reading schedule. While some lectionaries include only the readings themselves, others include reflections on the texts.
- Lectionary Reflections
- Revised Common Lectionary
- Twelve Months of Sundays: Reflections on Bible Readings, Year A, Year B, Year C
Devotionals are one of the most common Bible study tools, but they have wide variety among them. Some focus on a book or passage of the Bible, while others focus on a certain topic, while others still cover multiple topics. Some devotionals include a year’s worth of reading, while others only last for a month. Some are meant to be read in the morning, while others are meant to be read at evening, while others still have entries for both morning and evening.
- Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional (included free with the Faithlife Study Bible)
- Renewed Day by Day, Volume One, Volume Two
- Streams in the Desert
Bible atlases are collections of maps that show the world as it was in Bible times. They are helpful for seeing how different biblical locations fit together. Many Bible atlases show the paths followed by biblical people during their travels.
- Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History
- New Bible Atlas
- Zondervan Atlas of the Bible
All the study tools you see here can be enjoyed in your free Faithlife Study Bible app. Buy one from each category, and you’ll have a robust Bible study library that will serve you well for years to come.
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Serious Bible study is easier with serious Bible study software. The Faithlife Study Bible is a great place to start, but if you’d like to study in greater detail, Logos 5 is for you. Its powerful, intuitive tools and vast libraries are the perfect way to expand your understanding of the Scriptures. Visit Logos.com/Logos5 to learn more.