We are discussing how to do a series of sermons or lessons on lesser-known Biblical characters. This allows our audience or class to learn about people and stories they have probably never known about before. At the same time, making good application should provides a fresh and memorable way to grasp the Biblical lessons from the text.

Here are a few of the book resources I have found especially helpful as I have prepared these biographical lesson series over the years.

  1. Good cross-references whether in print books or by means of Bible software. My favorite software is e-Sword. Printed cross-references might include Naves Topical Bible or the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
  2. Rely on your better Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias for articles on the appropriate characters, as well details about the place or event providing the context for the story.
  3. Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984) has several books, mostly in his “All” series, which are great resources for this type of study: All the Men of the Bible, All the Women of the Bible, All the Angels in the Bible, All the Children of the Bible, All the Apostles of the Bible, All the Kings and Queens of the Bible, and Lives of Fame and Shame.
  4. John MacArthur’s Twelve Extraordinary Women, Twelve Ordinary Men, and Twelve Unlikely Heroes.
  5. Max Lucado’s book entitled Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God.
  6. Warren Wiersbe’s “Be” Commentary Series (also published as a 6 volume set entitled The Bible Exposition Commentary).
  7. William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible commentary series on the New Testament.

The image used is from James Tissot’s collection of paintings on the life of Christ and provided by the Brooklyn Museum and www.freeBibleimages.org. It might be used in a series on the people at the foot of the cross of Christ.