Interesting reference works for those who want to read more.

Book cover. The First Edition of the New Testament

by David Trobisch argues that all New Testament Greek manuscripts share a common ancestor which David refers to as "The first edition of the New Testament."

The argument goes that nearly every single Greek manuscript in existence today, whether full or fragmentary, display a common book order. For this to be the case they all must be copied from an original, or first edition, that set the book order.

David does not suggest when the first edition was made, though he argues it was probably earlier then later in the scheme of things since every subsequent copy derives from it. He also does not suggest where it was produced or who published the work or set the book order. He also does not ask whether an earlier Aramaic New Testament might stand behind the Greek. These areas of inquiry are outside the scope of his book.

However, after building the case for a "first edition" of the Greek he argues persuasively that it is a better way to arrange the books of the New Testament than we do today, and he suggests the English Bible should be printed using the Greek arrangement of the New Testament books. The key difference between the Greek arrangement and the one traditionally used in English Bibles is a shift in the order of the Epistles. Paul's writings follow those by James, Peter and John since Paul was an apostle after them.

My take away from reading this book was the realization that the Bible has seen different book orders and there's still some debate in our day about what book order Bibles should have. I also appreciate that Mr. Trobisch used scripture as the basis to show why the Greek arrangement is better than the English. Obviously, I now think scripture explicitly sets the arrangement of the books, not just supports one traditional book order over another, but this read was key to my coming to that conclusion and for that I am profoundly grateful.

Book cover. Restoring the Original Bible

by Ernest L. Martin argues for a return to the "original" book order of the Old and New Testaments. In regards to the Old Testament, Ernest points at the Tanak, the standard Jewish book order. For the New Testament he suggests a return to the same order mentioned above.

Book cover. Isaiah: A Biblical Microcosm

by Dustin Blystone attempts to make the case that the modern, widely used, book order is the best book order and attempts to prove it by showing correlations between the books of the Bible and the chapters of Isaiah. The strength of this book is that it expresses the truth that there are correlations between the passages of Isaiah and books of the Bible. The weakness of the book is that the quality of those correlations suffer because the modern book order is not the best way to align the books of the Bible with Isaiah. As a result many correlations are only a verse or two, have long explanations, and yet do not seem to really fit. There are a few gems though, especially where the books have the same position in the traditional book order as they do in Isaiah's book order.

Book cover. A Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names

by J.B. Jackson is a simple Bible Names Dictionary. Other than a Preface and one page pronunciation guide the dictionary just lists names of people in the Bible, in alphabetic order, with a meaning next to each name. A handy little reference for starting a name study in the Bible.

Book cover. Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

by Roswell D. Hitchcock also is a simple Bible Names Dictionary. The names are sorted alphabetically with a meaning next to each name. Hitchcock's has the added bonus of being in the Public Domain and easily attainable on the Internet.

Book cover. Jones Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names

by Alfred Jones is the best Bible Names Dictionary in this list. Although it's limited to the names of the Old Testament, it provides the Hebrew spelling so you can check the author's work. Each entry also reads more like a normal dictionary entry, with several possible definitions for each name.