Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Top Five Books

What are your top 5 books?

Just to start the discussion I think the top book should be the Bible. Preferably a version with no study notes and not additional comments so that you can just sit and read it. This way you can meditate on the text and the text alone. If you have been around me long you have heard me say that the trouble with study bibles is that most people read them from the bottom up to the top, rather than read them from the top to the bottom. In other words, too many times we read the notes without fully reading and meditating on the text.

I have nothing against study bibles and I have several. I recommend first, The ESV Study Bible, The MacArthur ESV Study Bible, and The New Open Study Bible. I do believe you shall at least one good study bible - just make sure you have a bible with no notes or comments in order to truly meditate.

Having said that, then, and realizing that is going to be every one's number one choice, what are your top 5 books in addition to your favorite study bible? Why are they your top five books?


Lisa said...

Good morning, Gregg!

I used to be a voracious reader, but have gotten to the place where I mostly read just the Bible and occasionally a self-help book. I loved Gone With The Wind and Scarlett, but have read so many over the years that it would be a hard choice to pick 5.

I hope you have a blessed day!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I have a varid collection of books I like ,
1: Everything I Know about Men I learnt From My Dog BY Clare Staples
2:Jonathon Livingston Seagull a story:BY Richard Bach:
3: PS I Love You.Celia Aherene
4: Any book by Paul Mckenna.
5: Where the Rainbow Ends by Celia Aherene.

That's my five, I have many favourites but narrowed them down to these,


Persis said...

It's hard to just pick 5 but here goes...

In addition to the Bible (ESV version)
1. Holiness by J.C. Ryle
2. The Courage to be Protestant by David Wells
3. Spiritual Depression - D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
4. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment - Jeremiah Burroughs
5. The Mortification of Sin - John Owen

Wanda said...

Oh I love reading and choosing five would be so difficult. I agree with you about reading a Bible w/o notes. We can rely too much on someone's else insights gathered from Scripture rather than trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal to us. I'd be curious to know what other reference material you use in your study of God's Word.

Wanda said...

Oh I love reading and choosing five would be so difficult. I agree with you about reading a Bible w/o notes. We can rely too much on someone's else insights gathered from Scripture rather than trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal to us. I'd be curious to know what other reference material you use in your study of God's Word.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Gregg I thank you for your visit and comment. The symbol of "Lighting A Candle" is a sign of respect for the ones who have passed on. It is known world wide and is practiced through the churches. In Spain when my son's father in law died the first thing my daughter in law did was to light a candle. I have seen it in the US when I came over a few years back.
I have tremnedous respect for those whose lives were lost on 11th September in your country and the utmost respect for my late husband, I light a candle every year. Surely with your religious background you can understand that.
I was surprised and shocked that you should ask that question at such a sensitive time.


Scott said...

5 Books that Impacted me the most at first thought:

Pilgrim's Progress
Foxes Book of Martyrs
Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer
Institutes of the Christian Religion by Calvin.

The fifth choice of biggest impact is harder: Matthew Henry's Commentary (all of Paul's Epistles plus various others - Job, the Gospels, Acts), or Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, or Holy War, or The Life of David Brainerd, or Heavenly Footman, Various Puritans.

james said...

I'd have to say the Top 5 books that have impacted my life are:

1. Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
2. Chosen by God by RC Sproul
3. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
4. Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore
5. Prodigal God by Tim Keller

Gregg said...

Lisa - thanks for dropping by.

Yvonne - thanks for reading and I know from reading your posts that you would have listed those books.

I know that people light candles certainly, but I don't see the significance of the candle itself. It is not a biblical practice so I have never done it nor probably will. Nor will I judge those who do. I certainly believe we should respect those whom have departed this life into the next.

I have never made martyrs out of the 911 people. They were murdered by premeditated murderers but I don't look at their murder any different than I look at the murder that happened last night in downtown Portland on a dark rainy city street. I am sorry for the loss and I know that there are many who grieve over their loss.

Scott - some very good choices! Thanks for sharing.

James - I have never read Chan or Keller. They are little out of my circle or sphere of influence. I never heard of Chan until this "event" of him wanting to resign a church and re-invent himself. I haven't heard or read Keller either.

Gregg said...

Wanda - my basic references are:

Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek Words

Kittle's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Multi Vol

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Evanelical Dictionary of Theology

Guthrie New Testament Introduction

Edersheim Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Canon of Scripture (F F Bruce)

Terry - Biblical Hermeneutics

Erickson, Calvin, Gruden, and Berkhoff Theology

Schaff - History of the Chruch

Those are basic reference materials. Then I have specific materials related to specfic topics or doctrines.

I have individual commentaries for books I have taught, preached, or am preaching through.

When I taught on John I had over 25 commentaries

I am now teaching I John and I have about 15 commentaries on I John

I forgot I have as reference and worship The Trinity Hymnal Baptist Edition

I have a number of works by Puritan writers.

I also use as a great resource and reference site

Those are a few that I can think of off the top of my head

Gregg said...

Wanda - I also forgot that I have a number of Lexicons, Vocabularies, Greek Concordances, Greek Grammars, and etc for reference material.


1. Ashamed of The Gospel by John MacArthur

2. Two Views of the Gospel by Will Metzger

3. Basic Christianity by John Stott

4. Knowing God by J. I. Packer

5. Where Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancy

Favorite Study Bible
The MacArthur Study Bible -NKJV

Wanda said...

Thanks Gregg for the list and I apologize for the double comments. I didn't catch that yesterday. I've been looking for a good dictionary to find the original meaning words/phrases in Hebrew/Greek. Sometimes my computer and blogger do strange things.

Brian Ray Todd said...

After the Holy Bible ...

1. Real Christianity - Wilberforce

2. Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

3. What If Christ Had Never Been Born - D. James Kennedy

4. America's God and Country - William Federer

5. Pilgrim's Progress - Bunyun