Mike Erre's RECOMMENDED BOOK LIST FOR STUDY
If you need a general and basic introduction to how to understand the Bible I would recommend these three as a beginning:
If you have questions about how the Bible came together:
If you wonder if the Gospels actually record what actually happened:
Basic: Reinventing Jesus: How Contemporary Skeptics Miss The Real Jesus and Mislead Popular Culture, J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications), 2006.
If you have questions about books that were not included in the Bible:
The Missing Gospels: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities, Darrell L. Bock, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson), 2006.
Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels, Craig A. Evans, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), 2006.
The Case For the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ, Lee Strobel, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 2007.
If you want some guidance on how to read the Bible:
Reading The Bible With Heart and Mind, Tremper Longman III, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress), 1997.
Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation, Richard J. Foster, (New York: HarperOne), 2008.
The Contemporary Christian: Applying God’s Word to Today’s World, John Stott, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), 1992.
Eat This Book: A Conversation In the Art of Spiritual Reading, Eugene H. Peterson, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.), 2006.
If you want some help understanding the Old Testament:
Making Sense of the Old Testament: Three Crucial Questions, Tremper Longman III, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic), 1998.
The Bible Jesus Read, Philip Yancey, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 1999.
An Introduction to the Old Testament, Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 1994.
A Survey of the Old Testament, 2nd ed., Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 2000.
The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant, Walter C. Kaiser Jr., (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), 2001.
Alec Motyer, The Story of the Old Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books), 2001.
Christopher J.H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic), 2006.
If you have questions about how to interpret the Bible:
Basic: Playing With Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul, Walt Russell, Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress), 2000.
Intermediate: Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, 2nd ed., J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 2005.
Intermediate: Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed., D.A. Carson, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic), 1996.
Intermediate: New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors, 3rd ed., Gordon D. Fee, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press), 2002.
Intermediate: Old Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors, 3rd ed., Douglas Stuart, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press), 2001.
Advanced: Interpreting The New Testament Text: Introduction to the Art and Science of Exegesis, Darrell L. Bock and Buist M. Fanning, eds., (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books), 2006.
Advanced: Introducing New Testament Interpretation, Scot McKnight, ed., (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books), 1989.
Advanced: The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, 2nd ed., Grant R. Osborne, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), 2006.
If you are curious about understanding the Bible as a story (and why that matters):
The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story, Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic), 2004.
Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview, Michael W. Goheen and Craig G. Bartholomew, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic), 2008.
The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach To Christian Theology, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press), 2005.
N. T. Wright, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture, (New York: HarperSan Francisco), 2005.
If you are interested in some of the historical background of the Old and New Testaments:
Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament, J. Julius Scott, Jr. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic), 1995.
The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity, James S. Jeffers, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), 1999.
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, Craig S. Keener, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), 1993.
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, John M. Walton, Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), 2000.
A Survey of the New Testament, 4th ed., Robert H. Gundry, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 2003.
The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament Within Its Cultural Contexts, Gary M. Burge, Lynn H. Cohick, Gene L. Green, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 2009.
Resources for the Jewish Worldview/Background behind the Bible:
Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five books of Moses, Bruce Feiler
Jewish Spirituality, A Brief Introduction for Christians, Lawrence Kushner
The Jewish New Testament Commentary: A Companion Volume to the Jewish New Testament, David Stern
Biblical Literacy: The Most Important People, Events, and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus (Hinges of History, Vol. 3), Anchor Books, Thomas Cahill
The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Hinges of History, Vol. 2), Thomas Cahill
The Complete Works of Josephus (Kregel)
Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, Marvin Wilson
The Jews in the Time of Jesus: An Introduction, Paulist Press, Stephen Wylen
Jesus the Jewish Theologian, Brad Young, Hendrickson
Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels, Kenneth E. Bailey (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008)
The Cross and the Prodical: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants, Kenneth E. Bailey (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2005)
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible, E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2012)
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith, Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009)
Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life, Lois Tverberg, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012)
Listening to the Language of the Bible, Lois Tverberg and Bruce Okkema, (En-Gedi Resource Center, 2004).
The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation (Oxford University Press, 2004).