*A simple fact is that you will not agree with everything you read. A great example is the “theology” section in which you will quickly realize that the authors have different views on some subjects. For all of the books listed: I have read the books on this list and found them orthodox in essentials and valuable in one way or another.
- The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns contains a great overview of biblical theology, systematic theology, historic theology, and contemporary theology. It’s a great quick resource for a variety of issues.
- Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem is a fantastic introduction into systematic theology and is very readable. This is the most common text used in universities on the subject of Theology.
- Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof is a classic and a fairly easy read. You’ll be presented with plenty of proof texts to crack your bible open with to get the most of your study of systematic theology.
- Reformed Dogmatics: Abridged in One Volume by Herman Bavinck is a harder read, but well worth the time and effort. A very thorough treatment that is excellent, especially in the abridged edition.
- Institutes of the Christian Religion is a pretty massive text. There is a lot of good stuff to be found here, but you can expect it to be a difficult read in comparison to the other texts mentioned in this section.
- 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power Vol. 1: The Age of the Early Church Fathers By Nick Needham. This series (4 books in total while the fifth book is still being written) is fantastic! Easily accessible and has a lot of information. This will prove to be an amazing introduction into church history that I highly recommend.
- 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power Vol. 2: The Middle AgesBy Nick Needham
- 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power Vol. 3: Renaissance and Reformation By Nick Needham
- 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power Vol. 4: The Age of Religious Conflict By Nick Needham
- The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation By Justo Gonzalez is a fantastic read and handles the information of church history very well. It doesn’t feel bogged down or overbearing.
- The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day By Justo Gonzalez has the same comments as the first volume as I find both volume one and two to be very accessible.
- A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada By Mark Noll is a good treatment of history in North America. I enjoyed the detail Noll puts into the text and personally found it to be fairly readable and accessible.
- Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers by Andrew Louth is a great little volume of the early christian writings. The type of writings you can expect, in terms of readability, I would compare with the Pauline corpus.
- The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity by Michael Kruger is a solid book with an important message. Sometimes the read can be difficult, but over all I found it to be accessible.
- Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books by Michael Kruger deserves to be read by every Christian for the sake of understanding the text of the Bible. Kruger breaks down the subject vey well.
- The Real Martin Luther (Holy Misfits) (Volume 1) by Josh Hamon is a great book that takes the life of Luther and explains it in a way that is humorous and readable. I personally find this style of writing to be a fun way to address topics that could otherwise be seen as dry.
On the Bible:
- From God To Us Revised and Expanded: How We Got Our Bible by Geisler and Nix is a great book that covers a lot of ground. On the subject of the Bible, I think this will leave you with a well rounded view of the Bible as a whole and it is extremely readable in comparison to other texts.
- Textual Criticism of the Bible by Amy Anderson and Wendy Widder. This is a fantastic introduction into textual criticism. Read my full review here.
- The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th Edition) by Metzger and Ehrman is a great volume if you are wanting to dig into the Text of the New Testament. It is a hard read, but information abounds on the subject of the NT manuscripts.
- Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism is a fantastic work that covers a lot of misinformation that is out in the world regarding textual criticism. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about textual criticism. See my review here.
- Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence (Text and Canon of the New Testament) by Daniel Wallace is a hard read in that some of the book features greek. Overall, it is a fantastic apologetic for the Text of the New Testament that will encourage any believer that can read and understand it.
- By James White – King James Only Controversy, The: Can You Trust Modern Translations? (Revised Edition) (5.2.2009) is a great book on the subject of the KJVO movement. The writing is readable and the information is expressed in an easy to understand way. You will learn a little bit about the text of the NT and why the King James Version differs from Modern translations.
- Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible’s Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity by James White is a fantastic treatment on a vitally important subject of our day and age. I highly recommend every protestant consider this book.
- Grasping God’s Word a basic introduction into biblical interpretation. It is a great beginners book.
- Introduction to Biblical Interpretation is a bit more hefty and dense when comparing it to grasping God’s word. You’ll learn a bit more about the history of interpretation, canon, etc. It’s solid, but it’ll take some work to get through.
- An Introduction to the New Testament by Carson and Moo is a thorough, but readable treatment of the New Testament, that will help one have a better picture of the world of the New Testament and the texts of the New Testament.
- Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) by Arnold and Beyer is a fantastic treatment of the Old Testament, and I found it to be extremely helpful in it’s readability.
- ESV Study Bible is a fantastic study bible with great notes, images, and articles! If I had to choose a study bible, I would opt for the ESV study bible.
- Reformation Study Bible (2015) ESV, Leather-Like Charcoal the Reformation study bible thrives in its introductions and in the fact that it holds the confessions of faith in the back.
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