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10 Must-Read Christian books

10 Must Read Christian books
Here are 10 must-read Christian books that got God's Word into my heart. The written Word, the Bible, and the living Word, Jesus Christ.

Table of Contents

Must read Christian books #1: The Old Testament

The Old Testament is the only book that Jesus read while He was here. It had already become the final authority among the Jews and was honored as the Word of God. Jesus and the apostles preached from it and used it to show that Jesus was the Messiah promised in over 300 texts. This is the same text we use today in translation. It is reliable, historic and given by the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Himself instructed his disciples in it and commanded them to use it to preach the Gospel:

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Luke 24:44-45

Because it is so fundamental, authoritative, and trustworthy, we must know it inside and out if we want to know Jesus. Look for Him on every page, and you will find Him. Every time you see the word LORD (all in caps) think of Jesus! You will find LORD 7,970 times in 6,749 verses! And as you think of Him and His word, you access this promise:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

(Note: When the KJV Bible uses the word “MAN” and its pronouns, it is INCLUSIVE not exclusive, i.e. the generic “Man” means “human,” and includes male and female:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1:27

This reading/meditating process is a lifelong, continuous one. As you read you are “plugged in” to the life of Jesus, and you will become more and more like Him as you read.

Must read Christian books #2 : Egermeier’s Bible Story Book, Elsie Egerneier, 1969

Jesus, and indeed all Jews, knew the Old Testament stories and characters well. Their narrative formed a framework for the presentation of all of the doctrines and teachings of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.

My father read me the 1927 first edition before I could read myself. It has formed the backbone of my understanding of the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole, and taught me the nobleness and integrity of God and His people.

It will do that for you too, and for your children and grandchildren when you read the 312 stories to them. They will be delighted and so will you! You will gain respect and admiration for the men and women of faith who stood up for the Lord in every circumstance.

As you read, Jesus will open your heart to His Word and His story. As you learn these stories, you will build a narrative framework for the whole Bible, and Jesus will reign in your heart.

Must read Christian books #3 : Treasury of David, Charles Spurgeon, 1890

Jesus loved the PSALMS. They were His hymnal, and He sang one with his disciples at the Last Supper. He quoted another on the cross. They are filled with Him as the Son of David and the prophetic Son of God.

The Treasury of David is a detailed analysis of every verse in every one of the 150 Psalms and a record of the comments and insights of many famous Christians on each verse. You will find it rewarding in many ways and see Jesus there as you have never seen Him before.

It is a long work; VI volumes, one on Psalm 119 alone. It took me 20 years to read it through, page by page, verse by verse.

This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and will be one of yours too if you stay faithful. You will understand the Psalms better than ever, and Jesus will meet you as your read.

Must read Christian books #4: The New Testament

This is, of course, the basis for our Christian faith. The King James Version has been the standard for Protestants for centuries, and because of that, the verbal reference standard for concordances and other Bible reference books. I recommend avoiding “reference” or “study Bibles” where the editors insert their views and imply they are authoritative. Ask the Holy Ghost to anoint you as you read and follow this advice from St. John:

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. – 1 John 2:27

Must read Christian books #5: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim, 1883

This is a classic, an in-depth analysis of the four Gospels with an emphasis on geography, the culture and customs of the Jews of Jesus’ time. Born into a Jewish home in Vienna, Alfred Edersheim was a linguist, well-versed in Hebrew and in the Torah and Talmud.
When he was converted he served as a pastor and for one year as a missionary to the Jews before returning to Scotland where he wrote and ministered for the rest of his life.

It’s worth getting a copy if you can. The two volumes combined are 1156 pages, but you will learn things about Jesus you can learn nowhere else. He identified 456 Old Testament references to Jesus. My Dad, not a reader, valued it highly, and so will you.

Must read Christian books #6: John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes of the Whole Bible, 18th century

John Wesley was the greatest preacher/writer of the 18th century. His collected works amass to 23 volumes, and earned him more income than anyone in England save the king!

Wesley gave it all away and lived an itinerant life, riding on horseback some 250,000 miles and preaching 5 sermons a day

His ministry transformed England and his NOTES OF THE WHOLE BIBLE will be a valuable companion as you walk with Jesus through the Bible. This is not a book you read through but it will help you understand difficult passages.

Both the commentaries of Wesley and Gill (below) are just a click away from the KJV text on BIBLE HUB and E-SWORD.

Must read Christian books #7: John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible, 18th century

A contemporary of Wesley, John Gill was the first Baptist theologian to write an exposition of the entire Bible.

A scholar and very learned Calvinist, Gill’s expositions are more lengthy and complete than Wesley’s and are a very valuable tool for understanding difficult verses.

Sometimes his Calvinism obscures our understanding but he is an intelligent and able disciple of Jesus.

Must read Christian books #8: Halley’s Bible Handbook

Henry Hampton Halley (April 10, 1874 – May 23, 1965) was a preacher from Kentucky who began to gather notes for Bible study in 1924. His 12-page pamphlet grew and grew and became an 864-page book that has sold over 6 million copies. Its contents are:

  • An Abbreviated Bible Commentary,

  • Amazing Archaeological Discoveries,

  • How We Got the Bible,

  • An Epitome of Church History,

  • Select Bible Verses.

I discovered this wonderful book in my mother’s small collection of Christian books as a boy, and it ignited a love of Christian history that has continued to this very day.

It is still fascinating, and every time I pick it up it is hard to put down. It is saturated with scripture.

Wikipedia tells us over 10 years HALLEY SPENT AT LEAST 10,000 hours memorizing scripture in achieving one of the greatest feats of memorization of scripture known to man. He could recite a total of 25 hours of nothing but scripture, including narratives of every book from the longest to the shortest.

What evidence of his love of the Bible! It is full of life and full of Jesus! You will love it.

Must read Christian books #9: The Wonders of Bible Chronology, Philip Mauro, 1987

Just as Egermeier’s Bible Stories provide a narrative framework for understanding the Bible, Mauro’s keen analysis of Bible genealogies and dates provides a historical framework, a timeline on which everything hangs.

Published first in 1933, these 150 pages lay out in detail every event in the Bible beginning with the creation of Adam through the prophet Daniel’s vision of the 70 weeks, heralding the coming of Jesus.

I will never forget one little girl who asked me in Sunday school, “Why did Jesus come when He did?” The answer, of course, is to fulfill the 490-year time frame that Daniel provided over 500 years before!

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. – St. Paul in Galatians 4:4-5

“In the fulness of Time.”

You will be amazed to learn that one man who was on Noah’s Ark lived to see the birth of Esau & Jacob 500 years later! You will also learn the precise date of the Exodus and how it fulfilled exactly….to the day…God’s promise to Abraham.

Christianity is a historical faith, and Mauro shows us its solid historical foundation. You will come away confident in your faith and in Jesus who has orchestrated all these things!

Must read Christian books #10: Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason L. Archer, 1982

Our final reference book answers all the inevitable questions people raise about the Bible. Is the Bible really without error? Why is God the Son called the Everlasting Father? Was David one of 8 sons as Samuel says or 7 recorded in Chronicles?

All these “difficulties” and more are faced head on by Gleason Archer, a pastor, scholar and Harvard PhD. Its 482 pages take on every “difficulty” occurring from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 21:27. These are carefully indexed by Book, Chapter and Verse and by subject.

TNot all must-read Christian books are meant to be read through, but a reference to have on hand when someone seeking Jesus comes to you with a question casting doubt on the Word of God. It affirms the words of St. Peter

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16

Must read Christian books for Bible study: final conclusion: it’s all about Jesus!

Each of these resources will help us see more of Jesus in His book, the B-I-B-L-E. As we live in its pages, its Spirit will lead us to know Jesus more, even as we hear Him speak:

the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. - Jesus in John 6:63

And as we walk with Him, He will walk with us and sanctify us, changing us from glory to glory as St. Paul describes:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. — 2 Corinthians 3:18

I believe that “glass” is the Bible, Praise God! We close with this affirmation of God’s Word and its Author, the Spirit of Jesus!

As we read the Bible we begin to dwell in it and become a part of God's reality. Soon you will have spiritual eyes to see Biblical happenings in your life. You will walk with Jesus and He will reveal Himself and His will to you through the Bible and these other Christian books that put the ancient experiences in our modern thought and understanding. Read on!

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