5 Helpful Tips to Deepen Your Bible Study

Posted by on 12/14/2017 in:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

The Bible is not an end in itself, but is a means to the end of knowing God and doing His will. The apostle Paul said, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). God has given us the Bible in order that we might know Him and that we might do His will here on earth.

Therefore, devotional Bible study is the most important kind of Bible study. Devotional Bible study means reading and studying the Word of God in order that we may hear God’s voice and that we may know how to do His will and to live a better Christian life.

For your devotional reading and study of the Bible, here are several important, practical suggestions:

1. BEGIN YOUR BIBLE READING WITH PRAYER

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. — Psalm 119:18, KJV

 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13-15

2. TAKE BRIEF NOTES ON WHAT YOU READ

Keep a small notebook for your Bible study.

3. READ SLOWLY

Read slowly through one chapter, or perhaps two or three chapters, or perhaps just one paragraph at a time. After reading, ask yourself what this passage means. Then reread it.

4. IT IS OFTEN VERY HELPFUL IN FINDING OUT THE TRUE MEANING

of the chapter or passage to ask yourself the following questions, then write the answers in your notebook:

  1. What is the main subject of this passage?
  2. Who are the persons reveals in this passage? Who is speaking? About whom is he speaking? Who is acting?
  3. What is the key verse of this passage?
  4. What does this passage teach me about the Lord Jesus Christ?
  5. Does this passage portray any sin for me to confess and foresake?
  6. Does this passage contain any command for me to obey?
  7. Is there any promise for me to claim?
  8. Is there any instruction for me to follow?

Not all of these questions may be answered in every passage.

5. KEEP A SPIRITUAL DIARY

Either in your Bible study notebook mentioned above, or in a separate notebook. Write down daily what God says to you through the Bible. Write down the sins that you confess or the commands you should obey.

Additional Note: Do not try to adopt all of these methods at once, but start out slowly, selecting those methods and suggestions which appeal to you. You will find, as millions of others have before you, that the more you read and study the Word of God, the more you’ll want to read it.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Share them in the comments

This content was taken from the KJV Study Bible Notes, Full Color Edition. Learn more about this fantastic resource on our website.

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Team-Oriented Ministry

Posted by on 12/13/2017 in:

Ministry is not something that we do alone! Learn about team-oriented ministry from 1 Thessalonians. The content in this blog is taken directly from the Story of God Bible Commentary.

PAUL’S TEAM-ORIENTED MINISTRY

Paul’s opening in his letter to the Thessalonians demonstrates something important about ministry. It is never done by one person. Although Paul may be the primary person in this tripartite ministry team, there is much that he would have been unable to accomplish if he did not also have the support and assistance of Silas and Timothy, his fellow missionaries.

This type of support is evidenced in many of Paul’s letters where he mentions those who assist him — people like Prisca and Aquila (Rom 16:3), Urbanus (Rom 16:9), Timothy (Rom 16:21; 1 Thess 3:2), Apollos (1 Cor 3:5, 9), Silvanus (2 Cor 1:19), Titus (2 Cor 8:23), Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25), Eudoia, Syntyche, and Clement (Phil 4:2–3), Aristrachus, Mark, and Jesus Justus (Col 4:10–11), Demas, Luke, and Philemon (Phm 1, 24; see also Col 4:11).

When you take stock of the number of Paul’s ministry companions and all that he accomplished with them, you realize he had a lot of help.

THE DIFFICULTY OF LEADING A SMALL CHURCH

Most people who train to be pastors will never serve a large congregation. Unless there is someone who works in the church office, chances are they will be the only paid staff member. This means that a lot of responsibility for the ministry of the church falls to them. They are the ones doing the preaching, planning/leading the services, performing weddings and funerals, and visiting the congregation (to name a few).

Leaders feel it’s their job to know everything about everyone in the congregation and to be there for them. And to some degree this can’t be helped. The pastor is usually the one who has the calling and the training for ministry while those she or he serves are often working in jobs outside of the church. But the inherent danger here is that the pastor and congregation can enter into an unspoken agreement that all ministries are the purview of the pastor. The pastor cares and does so much that the congregation forgets or is unaware of its responsibility to bear one another’s burdens.

Ministry, however, is a community effort. It requires all of us to pitch in and do what the Lord bids.

DELEGATION IN MINISTRY

Helping a congregation participate in the ministry of the church can happen in small ways. Rather than do everything, a leader can delegate some responsibility to others in the church.

For example, the pastor doesn’t always need to be the one who opens and closes in prayer or says grace over the church dinners. There may be some who are more gifted in the area of mercy and compassion and have more time in their schedule to visit and minister to the sick.

Developing a lay ministry team within the church can help alleviate the leader of some responsibilities while at the same time training future leaders who will either serve that congregation or another one in some other location. I have met many a student who heard the call to ministry while serving as a volunteer in their home church.

PAUL’S EXAMPLE: TIMOTHY

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is an example of team-oriented ministry. Although Paul is the lead person, he is careful to talk about the apostles’ ministry in the plural (“we”).

The role of Timothy in this letter may seem a minor one as he acts as messenger. But this is a role he will serve in faithfully later as he travels on behalf of Paul to both Corinth (1 Cor 4:17) and Philippi (Phil 2:19–24). He is also listed as the coauthor to six of Paul’s letters (2 Corinthians; Philippians; 1 and 2 Thessalonians; Colossians; Philemon). In later life Timothy served the church at Ephesus, and instead of writing and delivering letters for Paul, he was receiving them from Paul (1 Tim 1:2).

Timothy is an excellent example of how team-oriented ministry not only helps the leader to be successful but also prepares them for a leadership role in the church.

LEARN MORE

This content came directly from the Story of God Bible Commentary! You can learn more about this fantastic resource by visiting our website.

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New! Verse of the Day Graphics

Posted by on 12/11/2017 in:


We’ve had the option for our users to receive Verse of the Day notifications for awhile now. We know that it can be a great reminder to get into the Word and to spend time thinking about the Lord.

Now, we’ve been able to add something new to this already well-loved feature on iOS devices.  Let’s check it out.

WHERE TO FIND IT

All you need to do is open the main window and tap “Verse of the Day.” If you have your apps set-up to automatically update on your phone, you’ve probably already seen this! If you haven’t updated yet, you’ll need to do so.

HOW TO USE IT

There’s much more you can do with Verse of the Day than simply read the verse. Tap “Read” to be taken to the passage in context in the main window. Tap “Share” to share the Verse of the Day on social, in a text, or anywhere else. Lastly, tap “settings” to customize this feature the way you want.

VERSE OF THE DAY SETTINGS

Inside the settings, you’re able to select your preferred translation and turn on verse delivery. You can even choose what time you want to receive the notification on your device.

ENJOY!

We hope you love this new feature. Always remember that you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ll be sharing these graphics once in awhile!

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Reading Proverbs In the Context of the Old and New Testament

Posted by on 12/11/2017 in:

This post is curated from the Zondervan Academic blog.

Reading Proverbs

One of my seminary professors used to cheekily refer to common Christian devotional practices as our “daily bread crumb.” Meaning: we often take a verse or even part of a verse and spin out a comforting crumb of exhortation at the expense of the whole loaf of biblical bread—whether the surrounding pericope or greater.

Perhaps with no other place in Scripture do we do this than with Proverbs. Ryan O’Dowd offers an important reminder in his new commentary on Proverbs (Story of God Bible Commentary) when studying this book:

such casual study of individual proverbs can be shortsighted, both because it is apt to overlook the endless depth of each saying and also because the sayings take on a whole new life in the larger collection of thirty-one chapters….To get wisdom one must wrangle seriously with all of these proverbial sayings as a collection. (17)

Further still, to fully appreciate this collection of wisdom, we need to set it into its proper context by understanding the entire breadbasket, as it were, of wisdom in the Old and New Testament. Below we’ve briefly engaged the five contexts O’Dowd outlines in his sturdy introduction to fully appreciate the wisdom Scripture offers us.

Wisdom and Creation

First, the Old Testament expresses a role of wisdom in God’s creation of the world. “‘Wisdom’ here is not merely an inert adjective. Rather it speaks to the pattern by which God creates three realms in days 1–3 and then fills them with their appropriate form of life in days 4–6” (39). Psalm 104:24 expresses this relationship:

“How many are your works, O Yahweh! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Author translation)

The wisdom-creation dynamic isn’t limited to the original creation, but also informs earthly project, like building the tabernacle. “The craftspeople are specifically skilled with ‘wisdom’” (40) in order that the glory of Yahweh might fill it.

Wisdom and Law

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries scholars struggled to relate wisdom literature to Israel’s covenants and redemptive history. Franz Delitzsch was an exception. He argued Proverbs and Deuteronomy echo one another, and many recent scholars have followed suit, O’Doud included:

I argue throughout this commentary that wisdom provides insight into the created and moral order of God’s world, so it makes perfect sense for it to give way to just laws. If Israel had actually obeyed the law, it would have been clear to the nations that this way of ordering society surpassed their own stories and law codes. Indeed, Deuteronomy has a uniquely humanitarian character to it. (41)

Wisdom in Crisis

Then there is the relationship between Proverbs and the similar wisdom works of Job and Ecclesiastes. “The crises in these latter books do not react to the worldview in Proverbs so much as narrow and enhance the more idealistic message of Proverbs.…Job and Ecclesiastes react more strongly to the challenges of life in a fallen world” (40).

So Proverbs strong correlative view of character and consequences is sharpened in Job, drawing us to argue with God in prayer. Where Ecclesiastes is often styled as a reaction to Proverbs’s optimism, in the end it still brings its despair around to Proverbs same foundation of wisdom.

O’Dowd concludes, “whereas Proverbs looks back at the goodness of creation with a hope that is never fully articulated or justified, Job and Ecclesiastes look forward with desperate hope for relief from the heavenly realms” (43).

Wisdom and Prophets

Wisdom within the prophetic literature carries an interesting dynamic, for they are both critical and expectant of it.

On the one hand, “many of the prophets are critical of a class known as ‘the wise’” (43), and criticize Israel for breaking their covenant with Yahweh. On the other, “The prophets also look forward to the coming of a wise messiah,” the One who would “bring together the wisdom, hope, and justice of the law and the wisdom literature” (43-44).

Wisdom and the New Testament

Finally, O’Dowd observes, “We are also prone to overlook wisdom in the New Testament because Christian theology tends to focus more on Jesus’ kingship than his kingdom” (44). And yet wisdom shows itself in four distinct ways in the New Testament:

  • As a child Jesus is depicted as wise in his words and deeds; he is the model son of Proverbs 1:8 and 6:20
  • Jesus’ wisdom is evident in his teachings and works
  • Jesus is revealed through a “wisdom Christology”
  • Wisdom enables Christians to know God’s mysteries in Christ and to live them accordingly

***

“Wisdom is God’s gift to us, not merely to get by in life, but to bring about the flourishing of the whole creation….It could be argued that wisdom has the broadest applicability of the genres in the Bible. It is concerned with everything.”

Engage O’Doud’s commentary on Proverbs inside the Story of God Commentary Series. Learning to navigate Proverbs will help you live and teach others to live flourishing lives. Visit the Olive Tree website to learn more.

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Look Inside the Complete Word Study Bible

Posted by on 12/08/2017 in:

The Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) from AMG Publishing House is a powerhouse resource in the Olive Tree Bible App.

In print, this title takes up 4 whole volumes:

  • The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament
  • The Complete Word Study Old Testament
  • The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament
  • The Complete Word Study New Testamentcwsb plain

This is a massive original language study in one resource!

WHY OUR EMPLOYEES LOVE THIS RESOURCE

“I love that you can search by the English, Greek, Hebrew, or by Strong’s Numbers! Even though I personally have limited knowledge about the underlying original languages, the CWSB allows me to read through the text in English, and quickly get in-depth info on any word there just by tapping on it!

The CWSB will give you information on the parts of speech for a word (and give you links that explain what those parts of speech mean if you don’t know – with examples no less!) – the Strong’s Number for that word, a VERY robust dictionary / exegetical discussion about the word in question as well as a link to a concordance at the end of nearly every entry showing you every verse in the Bible where a word is used.” — Joe Carter

COMPARE CWSB TO STRONG’S

Compare this resource to a standard “Strong’s” Bible and the amount of information available with the CWSB is staggering.

As an example, let’s look at the entry on αγαπαω. In a Strong’s Bible you get this:

g0025. αγαπαω agapao;
perhaps from αγαν agan (much) (or compare h5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):— (be-) love (- ed). Compare 5368.
AV (142)- love 135, beloved 7;
of persons to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly of things to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

By comparison, in the CWSB, the entry on αγαπαω goes on for over 2 pages when pasted into a Word document – with various usages of the word compared and contrasted between different passages of scripture.

Here’s a very small taste of the article on αγαπαω from the CWSB (comparing the different words for love used in Peter’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus in John 21 – FYI: Greek words in the text are transliterated into English for ease of use):

The third question of Jesus to Peter was different, “Do you love me [phileo, Are you my friend]?” (a. t.). Are your interests, now that you have seen Me risen from the dead, different than before the resurrection? Peter became sorrowful because he understood the deeper meaning of Jesus ‘question (John 21:17).

His answer utilized two similar, but distinct verbs, oida, to know intuitively, and ginosko (G1097), to know experientially:”Lord, thou knowest, [oidas, intuitively] all things. Thou knowest [ginoskeis, know experientially] that I love thee [philo, that I am now your friend].”

AN ACADEMIC LIBRARY IN YOUR POCKET

With this one resource you can get a backpack full of resources that you can carry around in your pocket. You don’t have to open up several volumes of books, hold your finger in a spot you want to save, or even flip a page. Simply tap a word, and tap the links. You can seamlessly move between all the volumes in the collection.

LEARN MORE

As you can see, the Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) is a great resource that helps you find original word meanings quickly and easily.

You can learn more and purchase the CWSB by visiting the Olive Tree website here.

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The Satisfied Life – Psalm 91

Posted by on 12/07/2017 in:

Life can be difficult and dangerous, but in the Psalms we see God’s faithfulness to us through the difficult and dangerous times. This excerpt, taken directly from the BE Series Commentary by Wiersbe, walks us through Psalm 91. Even when life is dangerous, in God we can have a hidden, protected, and satisfied life.

BE Exultant – Book IV, Psalm 91

The previous Psalm focuses on dealing with the difficulties of life, but the emphasis in this psalm is on the dangers of life. The anonymous author (though some think Moses wrote it) warns about hidden traps, deadly plagues, terrors at night and arrows by day, stumbling over rocks, and facing lions and snakes! However, in view of terrorist attacks, snipers, reckless drivers, exotic new diseases, and Saturday-night handgun specials, the contemporary scene may be as dangerous as the one described in the psalm.

The saints who abide in Christ (vv. 1, 9) cannot avoid confronting unknown perils, but they can escape the evil consequences. Moses, David, and Paul, and a host of other servants of God faced great danger in accomplishing God’s will, and the Lord saw them through. However, Hebrews 11:36 cautions us that “others” were tortured and martyred, yet their faith was just as real. But generally speaking, walking with the Lord does help us to detect and avoid a great deal of trouble, and it is better to suffer in the will of God than to invite trouble by disobeying God’s will (1 Peter 2:18-25). The psalmist described the elements involved in living the life of confidence and victory.

FAITH IN GOD–THE HIDDEN LIFE (vv. 1-4)

The most important part of a believer’s life is the part that only God sees, the “hidden life” of communion and worship that is symbolized by the Holy of Holies in the Jewish sanctuary (Ex. 25:18-22). God is our refuge and strength (46:1). He hides us that He might help us and then send us back to serve Him in the struggles of life. (See 27:5) The author of the psalm had two “addresses”: his tent (v. 10) and his Lord (vv. 1, 9). The safest place in the world is a shadow, if it is the shadow of the Almighty. Through Jesus Christ we find safety and satisfaction under the wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies (36:7-8). Jesus pictured salvation by describing chicks hiding under the wings of the mother hen (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34), and the psalmist pictured communion as believers resting under the wings of the cherubim in the tabernacle.

The names of God used in these verses encourage us to trust Him. He is the Most High (Elyon, vv. 1, 9), a name found first in Genesis 14:18-20. He is higher than the kings of the earth and the false gods of the nations. He is also the Almighty (SHADDAI), the all-sufficient God who is adequate for every situation. (See Gen. 17:1.) He is Lord (vv. 2, 9), Jehovah, the covenant-making God who is faithful to His promises. He is God (ELOHIM, v. 2), the powerful God whose greatness and glory surpass anything we can imagine.

This is the God who invites us to fellowship with Him in the Holy of Holies! This hidden life of worship and communion makes possible the public life of obedience and service. This God shelters us beneath the wings of the cherubim, but He also gives us the spiritual armor we need (v. 4; Eph. 6:10-18). His truth and faithfulness protect us as we claim His promises and obey Him. The shield is the large shield that covers the whole person. (See Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29; 2 Sam. 22:3.) Some translations give “bulwark” or “rampart” instead of “buckler.” The Hebrew word means “to go around” and would describe a mound of earth around a fortress. But the message is clear: Those who abide in the Lord are safe when they are doing His will. God’s servants are immortal until their work is done (Rom. 8:28-39).

PEACE FROM GOD–THE PROTECTED LIFE (vv. 5-13)

When we practice “the hidden life” we are not alone, for God is with us and compensates for our inadequacies. This paragraph emphasizes that we need not be afraid because the Lord and His angels watch over us. In the ancient Near East, travel was dangerous, unless you were protected by armed guards. (It is not much different in some large cities today.) “Terror by night” could mean simply “the fear of the dark” and of what can happen in the darkness. Contaminated water and food, plus an absence of sound health measures, made it easy to contract diseases by day or by night, although “the destruction that lays waste at noon” (v. 6 NASB) could refer to the effects of the burning rays of the sun.

Verses 7-8 read like the description of a battle and may have a direct relationship to the covenant promises God made with Israel (Lev. 26:8; Deut. 32:30). With their own eyes, Israel saw the grief of the Egyptians over their firstborn who died on Passover night (Ex. 12:29-30), and they also saw the Egyptian army dead on the shore of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:26-31), yet no harm came to the people of Israel. God’s angel went before them to prepare the way and to lead the way (Ex. 23:20). Satan quoted part of verses 11-12 when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:6), and the Lord responded with Deuteronomy 6:16.

If the Father had commanded Jesus to jump from the temple pinnacle, then the angels would have cared for Jesus, but to jump without the Father’s command would have been presumption, not faith, and that would be tempting the Father. In Scripture, the lion and serpent (cobra) are images of Satan (1 Peter 5:8; Gen. 3; 2 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9; 20:2; and see Luke 10:19; Rom. 16:20). In the ancient Near East, both were dangerous enemies, especially for travelers walking along the narrow paths.

LOVE FOR GOD–THE SATISFIED LIFE (vv. 14-16)

The Lord spoke and announced what He would do for those of His people who truly loved Him and acknowledged Him with obedient lives. The word translated “love” is not the usual word but one that means “to cling to, to cleave, to be passionate.” It is used in Deuteronomy 7:7 and 10:15 for the love Jehovah has for His people Israel. (See John 14:21-24.) Among His blessings will be deliverance and protection (“set him on high”), answered prayer, companionship in times of trouble, honor, satisfaction, and a long life (see 21:4; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 30:20).

The salvation mentioned at the end of the psalm may mean help and deliverance during life, as in 50:23, or the joy of beholding the glory of God after a long and satisfied life. To the Jewish people, living a long life and seeing one’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was the ultimate of blessing in this life. Like Abraham, they wanted to die in a good old age and “full of years” (Gen. 25:8), which means “a fulfilled life.” It’s one thing for doctors to add years to our lives, but God adds life to our years and makes that life worthwhile.

QUESTIONS FOR DEEPER THINKING

  1. What two addresses did the psalmist have (vv. 1, 9, 10)? Which one is everlasting? How should you live, knowing which address is everlasting?
  2. Do you agree or disagree that the believer who does the will of God is safer in a war zone than in a house in the suburbs? Explain.
  3. How would you define “high quality of life” according to this psalm? What is the good life?

LEARN MORE

Interested in more articles and questions like these to enrich your study of God’s Word? The BE Series Commentary is currently on sale! You can learn more about this resource and how it works in our app by visiting our website.

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A God Who is Everywhere: Omnipresence

Posted by on 12/06/2017 in:

Our God is not bound by space and time. This characteristic is called “omnipresence.” Although it is described in the Bible, the word “omnipresence” or “omnipresent” won’t be found in there. So, how do you learn what the Bible has to say about this characteristic of God?

WHAT IS OMNIPRESENCE?

Our God is omnipresent. Systematic theologians use this term frequently when discussing God’s incommunicable attributes—the attributes that we, humans, can never participate in. We can be loving like God to an extent. We can be holy like God to an extent. But we cannot become omnipresent.

That means, it can be difficult for us to comprehend God’s omnipresence. We can try our best to describe it… but in the end, it’s a concept that we cannot fully-communicate: hence, incommunicable.

Thankfully, the Bible gives us lots of great examples! I grabbed all the verses from the Olive Tree Bible Threads resource that refer to omnipresence for you to read.

VERSES ABOUT GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. — 1 Kings 8:27

May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
— Psalm 20:2

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
—Psalm 139:1

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
—Psalm 139:7

This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
—Isaiah 66:1

“Am I only a God nearby, ”
declares the Lord,
“and not a God far away?
Who can hide in secret places
so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”declares the Lord.
—Jeremiah 23:23-24

This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name…”
—Matthew 6:9

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ — Acts 17:28

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. — Hebrews 1:3

OLIVE TREE BIBLE THREADS

How did I quickly gather these verses? Olive Tree Bible Threads contains large, searchable lists. Just tap to see all the verses in the Bible that reference the topic you’re interested in.

Also, while reading your Bible, you can open up the Olive Tree Bible Threads in the Resource Guide. That way, you can quickly read verses related to the passage you are in. This is a great tool for learning to read the Bible as one, cohesive book. You will be able to make connections across Scripture and grow in your understanding of God.

LEARN MORE

Do your own study on a topic in the Bible by adding the Olive Tree Bible Threads to your library! Check out our website for more information.

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Look Inside the BE Series Commentary

Posted by on 12/04/2017 in:

This set brings the 50 volume Old Testament and New Testament BE Series Commentaries together with all the life-changing truth of the Scriptures combined with the personal wisdom of one of America’s best-known Bible teachers, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe.

He was a pastor at Moody Church in Chicago and served for ten years as General Director and Bible Teacher for Back to the Bible. Currently at age 88, he has written over 80 books. Wiersbe has spent his life contributing to the spiritual growth of the church, and that passion is reflected in this series.

WHAT’S INSIDE THE BE SERIES?

Whether you are a pastor, teacher, or layperson, now you can study the Bible in easy-to-read sections offering biblical insights and personal application.

The Be Series contains:

  • Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy historical explanations and insights on the entire Old and New Testaments
  • Introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible
  • Clear, readable text which is free of academic jargon
  • Questions for personal reflection or group discussion

LET’S TAKE A LOOK INSIDE!


The BE Series Commentary will follow along as you read the Bible.

It has helpful questions for discussion and deeper thinking.

You can easily navigate between all 50 volumes.

There are outlines, introductions, and notes from the author.

You can open references in a pop-up window for quick reading.

You can also open a pop-up window inside the Study Center.

LEARN MORE

Head on over to olivetree.com to learn more about this resource! You can also tap on any of the photos above to enlarge them. Plus, be on the lookout, because later this week we will be posting an excerpt from the BE Series on our blog.

Go look at the BE Series now!

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Warm Up with Devotional Reading

Posted by on 12/04/2017 in:

Once upon a time, Olive Tree didn’t have devotional reading plans. This meant that, when you wanted to work your way through a devotional, you had to find it in your library and get yourself to where you last stopped reading. But now, with a few improvements, devotional reading in the app is an amazing experience. After this blog post, you’re going to want to warm up by the fireplace with Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment or C.S. Lewis’ A Year with Aslan.

1) WHAT ARE DEVOTIONALS?

When looking at enhanced devotionals on olivetree.com, you will quickly see what sets them apart from simple reading plans. These are well-crafted, thought-out devotional books that you might think to buy at a bookstore. They all contain great content meant to encourage and inspire you. Some devotionals pick a certain passage of Scripture to talk about each day. Meanwhile, other devotionals may be topical.

On our website, you will see familiar names like Ann Voskamp, Sarah Young, Franklin Graham, and Brian Simmons. You could start on a year-long devotional plan or work through a 40-day plan with your family.

2) WHAT ARE ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS?

This is where our addition of reading plans really improved the way certain devotionals work inside our app. Any devotional that is enhanced (see a full list here) can be read and tracked as a reading plan. All you have to do is head on over to the reading plan tab and start reading.

Enhanced devotionals will appear under “My Devotionals.”

Look at your assignments in advance.

Receive reminders and customize your plan in the settings. 

Read until you reach the “Completed Reading” button. Tap it to finish!

3) START A NEW DEVOTIONAL PLAN!

Look through all of our enhanced devotionals by clicking here! You can start your reading plan today and keeping reading on any device that is logged into the Olive Tree Bible App.

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3 Resources for a Starter Library

Posted by on 11/28/2017 in:

We hear this question a lot: “What are some great resources to get me started with the Olive Tree Bible App?” We’ve decided to share our recommendation because there might be others asking the same question. So, here are 3 resources for a starter library!

1) STUDY BIBLE

WHAT MAKES A STUDY BIBLE USEFUL?

If you’ve ever opened-up a paper version of a study Bible, you know it looks a little different than a regular copy. At the bottom of each page there are notes that give deeper insights to the passage you are reading.

These notes aren’t difficult to understand or highly academic, like a commentary would be. Instead, a study Bible provides you with tidbits of information to enhance your Bible reading along the way.

WHY GET A STUDY BIBLE FOR THE OLIVE TREE BIBLE APP?

First, at Olive Tree, we sell you the study Bible notes. What does this mean? If you purchase the ESV Study Bible, you will receive two resources: the ESV (which we offer for free) and the study Bible notes.

If you open the notes in the Resource Guide, they will follow along with your Bible reading in the main window.

COOL TIP! You can open any Bible translation along with your study Bible notes. For example, you could be reading the NKJV but have the NIV Study Bible notes open.

NIV Study Bible

ESV Study Bible

NKJV Study Bible

NASB Study Bible

KJV Study Bible

2) CONCORDANCE

WHAT MAKES A CONCORDANCE USEFUL?

God’s Word is the best interpreter of the Bible. When we use tools like a concordance to gain more insight, we aren’t looking to voices outside of the Bible for clarity. A concordance lists significant words in the Bible, tells you the Greek or Hebrew word, and shows you the other places that word is used in the Bible.

That way, you can make comparisons and double-check the way you are interpreting the Bible.

WHY GET A CONCORDANCE FOR THE OLIVE TREE BIBLE APP?

When you use a paper concordance, you open not only multiple pages inside the concordance, but also have your Bible open next to you! With the app, all you do is select a word and tap “look up.” Choose your concordance and you’ll be given a list of every instance that word is used in the Bible.

Better yet, the list is hyperlinked! All you need to do is tap on the reference in order to see the verse. You can also tap “Dictionary” to read the Strong’s definition.

NIV Concordance

ESV Concordance

NKJV Concordance

NASB Concordance

KJV Concordance

3) STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLE

WHAT MAKES STRONG’S USEFUL?

The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is one, huge book when it’s printed in paper. It lists every single significant word in the Bible! Then, it pairs the English word with the Greek or Hebrew word and provides you with a definition. You can also discover other places the word is used in the Bible.

This tool is perfect for the beginner’s library because it equips you to understand Greek and Hebrew… without needing to learn Greek and Hebrew. You will be able to discern the original language and meaning of the Bible.

The only problem is… with a paper version of Strong’s, you do A LOT of page-flipping and time-wasting. But we have a solution.

WHY GET A STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLE FOR THE OLIVE TREE BIBLE APP?

Instead of leaving Strong’s as a separate concordance that you have to search through, we fused it into the Bible text.

Every blue, hyper-linked word will open a pop-up window, providing you with the Greek or Hebrew word, Strong’s number, and a definition.

If you want to see all the other places this word is used in the Bible, just tap “Search for ###” You can scroll through a list of verses and even tap on them to read in more context.

What makes this different than the concordances we mentioned in point #2? First, this information is fused into the Bible text. Second, a concordance will first show you the list of verses; meanwhile, Strong’s will show you the definition first. Both are useful for studying the Bible and provide you with a different angle for learning more.

NIV Word Study Bible (Strong’s)

ESV Strong’s

NKJV Strong’s

NASB Strong’s

KJV Strong’s

LEARN MORE

Interested in learning more? Visit the product page of any of these resources to read more about what comes with the resource. You can even watch a video to see how it works in our app.

As always, if you have any questions, email support@olivetree.com. We’d be glad to answer any of your questions!

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