I used to do my regular Bible reading with my Bible and the Believer’s Bible Commentary. I would read a chapter in the Bible, then read the same chapter in the commentary. Recently I started following Professor Horner’s Bible-Reading System, in which you read ten chapters per day, each from a different book. You can find a great explanation of the system at Tim Challies’ website. I have to admit, it makes reading the Bible flow a bit easier and I’m reading more each day than ever before.
When I do a more in-depth reading I like to sit at the kitchen table where I can spread out. I have my “Comfortable” KJV Evidence Bible, the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, the Wycliffe Bible dictionary, the Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, and the Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (see the end of the post for book covers and links). Now, I may not use all of these in the study session, but I like to have them handy in case. And of course, I have a notebook. I’ll read a chapter in the KJV taking notes on things I want to study further, or things I just feel led to write out to focus on. I’ll read the same chapter in the NIV, noting any differences in the translations which can lead to great word studies. I then read the chapter again in the commentary taking notes on questions I may have or things I want to study further.
When doing a fully in-depth word study or topical study I use all the same materials above, but I rely more on the Strong’s and my dictionaries, referring periodically to the commentary.