Recommended Books

I know when I became a Christian I didn’t really have anyone to point me towards good books and resources, so I wanted to offer some help from my years of reading and theological training.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list this will help you take a deeper dive into your faith and in understanding Biblical Studies and Theology. I will add to this as I find and read new resources, and if you want to follow along with what I’m reading right now follow me on Goodreads.

If I missed one of your favorites, it’s probably because I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet 😊.

Christian Living

Blackaby, Henry. Claude King. Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, revised and expanded. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2008.

Morgan, Allison. Following Jesus: The Plural of Disciple is Church. Somerset, UK; ReSource, 2015.

Christology

Witherington, Ben, III. What Have They Done with Jesus?: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History—Why We Can Trust the Bible. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.

Wright, N.T. How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels. New York, NY: Harper One, 2011.

Wright, N.T. Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did and Why He Matters.

Church History

Gonzalez, Justo. The Story of Christianity Volume 1: The Early Church to the Reformation.

Gonzalez, Justo. The Story of Christianity Volume 2: The Reformation to the Present Day.

Jenkins, Philip. The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Churh in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia – and How it Died. New York, NY: Harper One, 2008.

Shelley, Bruce. Church History in Plain Language 4th ed.

Commentaries (Accessible)

A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

New Covenant Commentary Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press, 1988.

Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Commentaries (Technical)

Keener, Craig. The Gospel of John: A Commentary Volume One. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003.

Keener, Craig. The Gospel of John: A Commentary Volume Two. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Milton Keynes, UK: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.; Paternoster Press.

UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies.

Dictionaries

Freedman, David Noel, Gary A. Herion, David F. Graf, John David Pleins, and Astrid B. Beck, eds. The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Porter, Stanley E., and Craig A. Evans. Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Ryken, Leland, Jim Wilhoit, Tremper Longman, Colin Duriez, Douglas Penney, and Daniel G. Reid. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Van der Toorn, Karel, Bob Becking, and Pieter Willem van der Horst. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999.

Eschatology

Leadership & Teaching

Palmer, Parker J. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscapes of a Teacher’s Life. San Francisco, CA; Jossey-Bass, 2017.

Tye, Karen B. Basics of Christian Education. Chalice Press, 2000.

Linking the New Testament with the Old Testament

Beale, G. K. A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.

Beale, G.K., D.A. Carson ed. Commentary of the New Testament use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007.

Moyise, Steve. The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation. Edited by Stanley E. Porter. Vol. 115. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995.

Richter, Sandra L. The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.

Literature & Narrative

Markos, Louis. From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2007.

Markos, Louis. On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis. Chicago IL: Moody Press, 2012.

Modern Culture and Worldview

Russell, Jeffrey Burton. Paradise Mislaid: How We Lost Heaven – And How We Can Regain It.

Sider, Ronald J. Good News and Good Works: A theology for the whole gospel. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993.

Van Gelder, Craig. The Essence of the Church: A community created by the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000.

Wright, Tom. Spirited and Religious: The Gospel in an Age of Paganism. London: SPCK, 2017.

New Testament Background, Culture and Context

Bailey, Kenneth. Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011.

Burge, Gary M., Gene L. Green. The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament Within its Cultural Contexts 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2020.

Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans, 2003.

Keener, Craig. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament 2nd edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014.

Johnson, Luke Timothy. Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity. New Haven;  London: Yale University Press, 2009.

Powell, Mark Allan. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018.

Wright, N.T., Michael Bird. The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2019.

Old Testament Background, Culture and Context

Collins, John J. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. Third Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016.

Dempster, Stephen G. ­Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible.

Pritchard, James Bennett, ed. The Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament . 3rd ed. with Supplement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.

Walton, John H. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006.

Walton, John H. The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.

Patristic Resources (100AD-500AD)

Athanasius of Alexandria. Athanasius: On the Incarnation of the Word of God. Translated by T. Herbert Bindley. Second Edition Revised. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1903.

Athanasius and Didymus. Works on the Spirit: Athanasius’s Letters to Serapion on the Holy Spirit, And, Didymus’s on the Holy Spirit. Edited by John Behr. Translated by Mark DelCogliano, Andrew Radde-Gallwitz, and Lewis Ayres. Vol. 43. Popular Patristics Series. Yonkers, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2011.

Basil the Great. On the Holy Spirit (popular patristics series). Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2011.

Gregory of Nyssa. Gregory of Nyssa: The Life of Moses. Edited by Richard J. Payne. Translated by Abraham J. Malherbe and Everett Ferguson. The Classics of Western Spirituality. New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978.

Pentecostal Resources

Castelo, Daniel – Pentecostalism As Christian Mystical Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI; Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2017.

Duffield, Guy & Nathaniel Van Cleave. Foundations of Pentecostal Theology: Revised and Updated Vol.1. Los Angeles, CA; Foursquare Media, 2016.

Duffield, Guy & Nathaniel Van Cleave. Foundations of Pentecostal Theology: Revised and Updated Vol.2. Los Angeles, CA; Foursquare Media, 2016.

Johnson, Jeremiah & R. Loren Sanford. The Micaiah Company: A Prophetic Reformation

Keener, Craig. Gift and Giver: The Holy Spirit for Today. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.

Keener, Craig. Spirit Hermeneutics: Reading Scripture in Light of Pentecost, Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans, 2016.

Keener, Craig. The Mind of the Spirit: Paul’s Approach to Transformed Thinking. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.

MacNutt, Francis – The Nearly Perfect Crime: How the Church Almost Killed the Ministry of Healing. Grand Rapids, MI; Chosen Books (Baker), 2006.

Stronstad, Roger.  The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.

Wagner, C. Peter. The Book of Acts: A Commentary. Ventura, CA: Regal, 2008.

Philosophy

Allen, Diogenes., Eric O. Springfield. Philosophy for Understanding Theology 2nd edition. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.

Crowder, Jason D. Philosophy, Who Needs It?: A Layman’s Introduction to Philosophy. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2016.

Smith, James K. A. Thinking in Tongues: Pentecostal Contributions to Christian Philosophy. Edited by James K. A. Smith and Amos Yong. Pentecostal Manifestos. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010.

Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering our Hidden Life in God. New York, NY: Harper One, 1997.

Spiritual Worldview

Heiser, Michael. Angels: What the Bible Really Says about God’s Heavenly Host. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018.

Heiser, Michael – Demons: What the Bible Really Says About the Powers of Darkness. Bellingham, WA: Lexam Press, 2020.

Heiser, Michael. Reversing Hermon: Enoch, the Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ. Crane, MO: Defender Press, 2017.

Heiser, Michael. The Unseen Realm: Recovering The Supernatural Worldview of the Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015.

Reed, Annette Yoshiko – Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature.

Spiritual Formation

Foster, Richard. Prayer: finding the heart’s true home. London: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., 1992.

Nouwen, Henri J.M. The Genesee Diary: report from a trappiest monastery. New York: Doubleday, 1976.

Wardle, Terry. Outrageous Love Transforming Power: how the Holy Spirit shapes you into the likeness of Christ. Abilene, TX: Leafwood Publishers, 2004.

Temple, Tabernacle and New Earth

Beale, G.K., Mitchell Kim. God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2014.

Beale, G. K. The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God. Edited by D. A. Carson. Vol. 17. New Studies in Biblical Theology. Downers Grove, IL; England: InterVarsity Press; Apollos, 2004.

Middleton, J. Richard. A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology.

Snyder, Howard, Joel Scandrett. Salvation Means Creation Healed: The Ecology of Sin and Grace. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011.

Theology (Western – 20th-21st Century)

Beale, G.K. A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.

Beale, G.K., Mitchell Kim. God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2014.

Beale, G.K. We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.

Fee, Gordon. Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1996.

Hamilton, James M., Jr. God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.

Heiser, Michael. The Bible Unfiltered: Approaching Scripture on its Own Terms. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017.

Imes, Carmen Joy. Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2019.

McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: An introduction, 25th anniversary edition. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2017.

Webb, William J. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2001.

Theology (Western – Reformation – 19th Century)

Theology (Eastern)

Behr, John. The Way to Nicaea. Vol. I. The Formation of Christian Theology. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001.

Collins, Paul M. Partaking in Divine Nature: Deification and Communion. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2012.

Lossky, Vladimir. The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1976.

Payton, James R. Jr. The Victory of the Cross: Salvation in Eastern Orthodoxy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019.

Russell, Norman. The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2005.

Rybarczyk, Edmund J. Beyond Salvation: Eastern Orthodoxy and Classical Pentecostalism on Becoming Like Christ. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2004.

XYZ (aka everything else that doesn’t fit in the other categories)