Free Theological Resources Omnibus

Free Theological Resources Omnibus March 24, 2020

Over the past several years I have amassed a wealth of free resources for furthering your study of the Bible. My hunt for good, free resources first began prior to me becoming a Christian. To make a long story short, I was an atheist reading through the Bible to try and disprove the Bible, but I recognized there was often a disparity present between what many popularizers claimed the Scriptures were saying and what I was actually reading for myself. Something didn’t quite pass the “smell test,” so I sought out some additional resources to study. I was also doing a comparative study of world-religions, so I needed more than just resources on Christianity.

Rather than interact with the arguments second-hand, I wanted to interact with the arguments myself. To do that, I needed to find material, but I also didn’t have the resources to purchase these materials on my limited budget. Inevitably, what came out of that process of study was a convinced, young Christian. At this point—that quest for good resources and my fervor for study only grew. Thus, I started to hunt down more resources, the best I could, and have continued to this day.

If you’ve tried to do this yourself, you’ll know that you can easily run the gambit on any mix of material, some reputable, some not. I’ve done my best to vet these sites to ensure good, quality resources to be used. This is a (growing) list that I’ve compiled from the first day of my studies, through my days in undergrad and seminary, to today. What I want to do today is share all of those resources with you, as I believe they might be of help to you.

A couple of quick notes before the full list:

The aim of this is primarily to highlight resources that I’ve used for a number of reasons. Not all sources are created equal, and therefore, not all sources are going to represent the conservative, historic Christian faith, which I believe and affirm wholeheartedly. Certain websites are broad in their purpose, so you will get resources from a myriad of positions. My only point here is that you ought to use with discernment. It should already be the practice of any student of Scripture, but test all things against the Scriptures themselves, as they are the final standard and rule, against which everything else must be measured.

The primary bent of these resources is academic, so many of them will be geared towards having peer-reviewed source materials. Since that is the case, many of them will go beyond the scope of a “beginner” in the faith. However, there is also a relatively large portion devoted to free materials for laypersons as well, and you’ll find even much of the more advanced material is digestible. My point here is that you ought not to let this dissuade you from reading something, even if you feel it is beyond your grasp. That’s how you grow.

I’ve tried to categorize them adequately for ease of use in their particular formats, but some of these resources carry a tremendous amount of overlap. This is not an exhaustive catalogue where you can download the resources, but one which points you to the places you can download everything. I think Patheos would have my head if I tried to upload every document to their servers, but so too would my wife simply for the time that would take.

This will be a work in progress, with the hopes that it becomes a good resource for scholars, pastors, doctoral candidates, seminarians, undergraduate students, and laypeople alike. I will do my best to update the list as I find new resources or links end up expiring so that it stays accessible.

This will not be a blogroll, nor a sermon archive, but will nonetheless include these resources where applicable and useful. If you don’t see your favorite resource here there are probably a couple of good reasons for that:

  • I overlooked it somehow.
  • It is already included in one of the sub-links below.
  • I don’t know it exists yet.
  • I don’t think it fits the bill for what I’m posting here.

Feel free to shoot me an email if you think this is an oversight (chorusinthechaos@gmail.com), otherwise, sit back and enjoy these resources at the cool cost of nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Literally every resource on here is free. I hope it is a blessing to you in your studies.

 

P.S. If you haven’t already, download Zotero so you can catalogue your new (and existing) resources. Andy Naselli provides an incredibly helpful breakdown on just how useful Zotero really is here. This tool allows you to digitally catalogue your entire library, tag your resources with keywords, and also generates citations quickly and accurately (which, you can simply go to Amazon with the plug-in, click the little “Z” button, and it automatically pulls in all of the bibliographic data so you don’t have to enter it manually). Get it. Use it. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.

 

Biblical Languages

Daily Dose of Greek provides an incredible swath of resources available for new and returning students interested in learning or sharpening their Koine Greek.

Daily Dose of Hebrew is the same as the above, except with biblical Hebrew.

gntreader.com is truly a phenomenal online Greek New Testament, that includes parsing information, lexical usage, concordance information, and more, simply at the highlight of a word. I’ve been using this for years and it just continues to get better and impress me with every iteration. It is available for use on both desktop and mobile.

Exegetical Tools continues to be another helpful resource for beginning students of Greek. However, be sure to check out some additional resources on their website, as there are things to avail yourself to after you’ve exhausted the free resources, if you desired.

Master Greek is a wonderfully helpful online tool for all your parsing needs for Koine Greek students. This resource is designed for your memorizing needs, which is crucial for the languages if you are going to have any success.

Bill Mounce also has some great beginner resources available for students to avail themselves to as they’re learning the language. Additionally, he has some intermediate Greek resources that continue to become available on the Zondervan academic blog here.

Perseus Tufts has a great morphology tool available for use. The keyboard is a little clunky and takes some getting used to, but it is nonetheless helpful. The full version of the site also includes access to all sorts of classics from the Greco-Roman period, so be sure to explore a bit beyond the morphology tool.

Logos Flashcards App is a great tool to memorize your flashcards without having to carry massive stacks around with you wherever you go. Download the app for your device, and then follow the steps here to create your own word list (or find ones already created here).

Textual Criticism and Manuscript Data

Emanuel Tov is one of the foremost scholars on Hebrew textual criticism. At his website, not only can you find some good outbound links to other digital resources, but he has uploaded many of his own scholarly articles as downloadable PDFs.

The Evangelical Textual Criticism blog is a hub for those wishing to stay abreast on discussions regarding textual criticism and manuscript evidences, from the perspective of historic evangelical theology. The contributors come from various, yet related disciplines within the field and given that the blog was established back in 2005, you’ll find plenty to read.

The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament that we have. You can see the manuscript for yourself through digitized copies online, which is pretty neat.

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts has quite the resource available for public access. Daniel Wallace has been at this project for years now, but the website hosts one of the largest (if not the largest) digital manuscript libraries available. In addition to this, they have been digitizing some important, old, and rare copies of the New Testament. They have truly paved the way and given an incredible gift to the church by making these resources available to everyone.

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls is another resource available where you can see digitized copies of, you guessed it: The Dead Sea Scrolls.

Believe it or not, Wikipedia actually has some pretty substantial (and accurate) information catalogued on New Testament papyri, minuscules (1-1000, 1001-2000, 2001-), and uncials (Majuscules). I wouldn’t normally link to them for anything, especially in light of academic work, but this truly is the exception to the rule.

Seminary Lectures

Biblical Training is the brainchild of Bill Mounce and it is an incredible resource to the church. What he has done is set up seminary level classes for anyone with a computer, where they not only have access to lectures from top professors, but supplemental materials and certificate programs that will essentially take you through a module. I can’t recommend this resource enough.

The Gospel Coalition also offers up a decent list of classes offered to anyone, but in partnership with various seminaries across the country. You’ll find lectures, links to supplemental resources, and more.

Many seminaries have also been making the move in recent years to offer up various courses for free access. You can find various seminary institutions below:

Reformed Theological Seminary

Westminster Theological Seminary

The Master’s Seminary

Covenant Theological Seminary

Dallas Theological Seminary

While not always free, Credo Courses deserves an honorable mention here, as often enough I have seen them make resources available at no cost (or reasonably priced otherwise).

Historical Theology

Christian Classics Ethereal Library is basically a one-stop shop for any historic, Christian work. From the Patristics, to the Medieval, through the Reformation, and even some within the modern period, are all available for free and hyperlinked in the table of contents.

Puritan Library offers an incredibly wide-array of puritan era works for free. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, perhaps you’ll find it in J.I. Packer’s rare, digitized collection.

Scholarly Articles, Books, & Journals

The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society houses issues dating all the way back to the 1950’s, which is available to the public for open access (save the most recent two full years). The website doesn’t appear to have search functionality, so I would recommend a religious data-base site that allows you to see what topics are included in which issues.

JSTOR is another website that houses journal entries, yet from various different disciplines and publishers. You can create an account and keep a few items at a time on your virtual “shelf”—or you can also opt out of doing so and simply go to their open access portal to the sources available for download.

Foundations, Themelios, The Westminster Theological Journal (only partial), 9Marks, The Davenant Institute, The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womenhood, among some of the others listed here, all make their journals available for free download.

Frame-Poythress John Frame has a few titles available for free, and a few extended previews. However, Vern Poythress has a substantial selection of his works in full-length format for free.

Douglas Moo has many of his scholarly articles available for free download here, as well as a complete list of his current publications.

Academia.edu is another great resource to find some peer-reviewed materials from several prominent scholars, as well as students. However, a quick note of caution: not everything on this site is peer-reviewed, so use with caution and make sure that the source is reputable. Anyone can create an account and upload their own works to it.

Seminary Research Resources

The following are research resources listed by seminary institutions. You’ll notice some of the materials I’ve included in the body of the post itself and others I have not. The reason for this is mainly that I haven’t had the chance to take a look at every resource they’ve highlighted and I still wish to pass this information on to people so they aren’t limited by my own lack of time (or follow through). These are posted in no particular order, and to be sure, you will find some overlap.

Westminster Theological Seminary

Moody Theological Seminary

Reformed Theological Seminary

General Resources

The Carl F. H. Henry Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School offers up some good, general resources that are primarily in lecture format. In many instances, you’ll find many top Evangelical scholars discussing various issues within academia in moderated debates. Since that is the case, it should be mentioned that you’ll find some things at odds with the historic understanding of the Christian faith, yet it is nonetheless a valuable resource.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Durham University, EBSCO Open Dissertations, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, have made many doctoral student’s dissertations, theses, and projects open access to the public. This is truly a wonderful way to read works from many who have spent grueling years pursuing their doctorate studying niche topics that might not make their way to the public otherwise.

The Association of Religion Data Archives is a collection of surveys, polls, and other data submitted by researchers and made available online. This is a really interesting tool with some incredible data, that if you take the time to understand how the data is compiled and coded, you can interact with it right on the page’s interface.

The Ancient World Online offers up a wide array of resources available to the public that range from the beginnings of human habitation to the late antique / early Islamic period. I include this on the list simply because it is a wide-reaching resource, containing materials in the original languages, as well as various tools useful for exegesis. It is easy to go down the “rabbit hole” with this one, but nonetheless can be a useful resource for comparative religious, linguistic, and historical analysis.

The Digital Collections Overview from Princeton Theological Seminary gives a rather eclectic sampling of some good resources, some bad. This is largely owing to the seminary’s rich theological history, yet its current slide into theological liberalism. However, because you can find things written from some of Princeton’s finest men (i.e. B.B. Warfield, Abraham Kuyper), as well as have full access to some of their full libraries, I felt it necessary to include for that reason alone. Use with discernment.

Bible.org has long been one of my favorite resources, not only because of the large amount of good, theological articles widely available on all books of the Bible, but that you can have free access to the NET bible, which contains a plethora of footnotes that pertain to reasons why certain words and phrases are translated accordingly, manuscript evidences, as well as some explanatory notes—and you have the ability to include your own digital notes as well.

The Gospel Coalition has over 30,000 resources available, including lectures, sermons, journals, book reviews, and more. It is a little difficult to pin this on the “academic” side of things for some of these things, but nonetheless, it does include peer-reviewed material through many older publications made public access.

This Resource Page for Biblical Studies from torreys.org provides some good outbound links for various texts and translations related to the Bible, sources and studies dealing with the social world related to the New Testament, and another section that is devoted to studies of Philo of Alexandria.

Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive presents more than 65,000 images of biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, printers’ devices, engravings of church buildings, and other theological topics. They are available for teaching, research, and other non-commercial purposes.

Desiring God offers up many full-length titles as a downloadable PDF, however, some of them are free previews, while others are outbound links to purchase. You’ll have to sort through them, but any with the “download” button are the full-length PDF.

Biblestudy.org provides a rather lengthy list of maps, timelines, pictures, and lineage resources available. While not necessarily peer-reviewed, these are helpful, quick guides you can use for various reasons.

Biblical Software & Bible Websites

There are too many software programs and websites to list in any particular fashion in terms of functionality, so what I aim to do here is simply offer some of the ones I’ve found the most helpful (beyond ones listed in any sections above):

Blue Letter Bible has been a resource I’ve used since the earliest days of my faith. You can perform any number of word searches and have access to some good lay level commentaries, yet also, some decent analytical concordances.

I haven’t used Biblearc a ton, but from what little I have, it is a great tool. I moved away from it simply due to using syntactical and diagrammatical outlines for advanced exegesis. Biblearc gives you the ability to arc, bracket, and phrase out passages of Scripture so that you can see how the passage fits together as part of the whole.

Bible Hub is another site that is similar in nature to the other standard Scripture references sites, however, you can also bring up multiple translations and cross references at the same time. In addition, you can also access some older resources that are public domain (i.e. commentaries, lexical tools, concordances, etc.). However, I probably use this website most as a quick check on the interlinear texts when I don’t have access to some of the other tools I use.

Logos Bible Software is truly a great tool for many reasons, and despite the hefty price tag for some of its more well-stocked options, you can download the basic program for free and gain access to the reference tagger. In addition to this, you can sign up for their monthly free book of the month newsletter. Likewise, you can also get free books monthly from their sister companies Faithlife and Verbim (Verbim is a Catholic resource that I primarily snag works from the Patristics and some Medievals when they are available). If you’re patient, you can eventually build a halfway decent library from them, all for free.

All of the Above

Theology on the Web – This website boasts of over 32,000 articles available for free download, yet it also contains links to monographs, books, journals, audio, video, eBooks, computer software, bibliographic data, and more, all broken down by subject matter. It can be a little overwhelming to take in at first, but this website is an incredible blessing to the church. If you can’t find what you’re looking for anywhere else, it is very likely you will find it here (and stumble upon something else you need in the process).

Direct links to each subsection on the “master” domain can be found below:

Open Access Theological Library – This is another one of those websites that provides open access content in one convenient, single-search location. While it does include resources primarily for theology and religious studies, it extends beyond to their related disciplines. That being said, you’ll find an exorbitant amount of content here, so I would suggest aptly narrowing your search results.

Monergism.com is a phenomenal resource designed to provide people with ample, theologically orthodox materials for free. It has long been one of my favorite places to go simply because of its broad range of content available for consumption. You’ll find books, articles, sermons, blogs, podcasts, etc., all for free.

Google Books and Google Scholar are also great tools for searching for either print/digital books (though beware—some of these are only previews) and peer-reviewed materials. Additionally, Google Scholar is a wonderfully helpful resource that allows you to generate citations quickly and easily (another quick disclaimer here: be sure to check the formatting and information provided to make sure your citation is adequate).

WorldCat is another tool that deserves an honorable mention in this category. While it doesn’t give you downloadable links or resources, it does tell you where you can find what you need at a library near you. Once you search for the title of the resource you’re looking for, simply click on it and on the next page you’ll find a field to enter your zip code in, and voila!

 


“Apply yourself wholly to the text, apply the text wholly to yourself.” Johann Albrecht Bengel


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