How to use the NIDNTTE in the Olive Tree Bible App

Posted by on 03/27/2017 in: ,

NIDNTTE picA standard and widely-used reference work for nearly 40 years, the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE) has been thoroughly revised and updated to aid today’s pastors, students, scholars, and teachers in their study of the New Testament.

The NIDNTTE offers a wealth of background and information on the meaning of Greek words in the New Testament—as well as related usage in classical Greek sources, the Septuagint, Jewish literature, and more

Here are Five ways to use the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE) in the Olive Tree Bible App.

ONE – Traditional Dictionary

Open the NIDNTTE in the main window. Tap the GO TO button. From here you can search for the word you are looking for as you would another other dictionary through the Table of Contents.

TWO – Traditional Dictionary Search

Similarly, with the NIDNTTE in the main window. Tap GO TO > Browse Dictionary > Enter the Greek Word you are looking for.  The Bible App searches the NIDNTTE for the Greek word. Tap the word and read the article.

These first two options require a working knowledge of Biblical Greek.  I’m sorry to say that my Greek is a bit rusty. Okay, it’s a LOT rusty. (Apologies to Dr. Walls, my Greek professor)  This is where the Bible App’s functionality and integration with original language resources really shines.

THREE – Strong’s Tagged Bible Integration

If you have a Strong’s Tagged Bible, using the NIDNTTE is a snap.  Open your Strong’s Tagged Bible in the Main Window (I’m using the ESV Strong’s Tagged Bible in this example). Tap the word you want to learn more about.  I’ve chosen the word “worship” from Romans 12:1 latreia. From the Strong’s Popup, tap “Lookup latreia”.

There you will find an article in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis.  Tap the NIDNTTE book cover and you can read the article on the Greek word in the popup window.

You even have the option to open the article in the Main Window or Split Window.

FOUR – Original Language Integration 

Along the same lines is the integration with Greek Parsed texts like the NA28 with Parsings.

FIVE – Greek New Testament Interlinear Integration

Lastly, the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis integrates well with our Greek New Testament Interlinear titles.

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis is a great resource for going further in your understanding of biblical Greek.  Thanks to our partners at Zondervan, we’re able to offer a special price for the fully updated and revised 5 volume set, and the 10 volume bundle that includes it’s sister title the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE).  Hurry, because this is a limited time offer and we don’t know when we’ll be able to offer these discounts on these resources again.

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Making the Most of NIVAC

Posted by on 03/22/2017 in:

No matter your level of expertise with the Bible, there are certain things we all do when we come to a time of studying God’s Word. After reading the text, there are two things we always hope to walk away with from the text: 1) what does this passage mean, and 2) how does it apply to me? There are any number of good tools we can use to find these answers. The problem is that the majority of the tools available only do half the job. You either get really good commentary explaining the text, but little to no application; or, you get lots of anecdotes & application, but find it lacking when it comes to helping you understand what the passage says. The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) is a study tool that gives you everything you need to both understand and apply the text. Let’s take a look at how NIVAC can help you get the most out of any Bible passage.

Original Meaning

Before you can attempt to make any sort of application from Scripture you first have to understand it. This involves figuring out the author’s intent and how the original recipients would have understood what was said. Here you will find all the elements of traditional exegesis in concise form. NIVAC makes this incredibly simple with its easy to read commentary. Reading through this section brings forward all the historical & cultural background details needed to make sense of the text. Even when presented with original language or extrabiblical material, the commentary is still easy to follow and is never overly technical. Without a doubt, once you’re done with this section you’ll know what your passage means and how the original audience understood it.

Bridging Contexts

When you have a grasp on the passage & how the original recipients would have understood it, you must bring the text forward to the present day. NIVAC helps you do this with the “Bridging Contexts” section of their commentary. While God’s Word is timeless, it presents unique challenges in figuring out how passages relate to us. This section answers how the Bible fits into our world today. It helps you figure out what is timeless in a passage and what is not. Does a particular issue the recipients faced still hold true for us today? Was the instruction contained in a passage for that audience alone or does it apply for all time? These are the types of questions you’ll find answers to.

Contemporary Significance

One of the more difficult things about studying a passage is making application. How do you take what you’ve learned in the process of exegesis and speak to today’s problems? NIVAC has the solution. After you’ve identified what relates to the original audience & explored the contexts in which the text can be applied, you can then craft your application. The commentary does this in such a way that their applications don’t easily become dated. They don’t skimp on depth from the text at the expense of application. NIVAC’s goal is to put the tools in your hands so you can successfully make your own application for preaching, teaching, or personal edification.

It Helped Me & It Can Help You

The NIV Application Commentary series is a unique Bible study tool. It is a reference work in its truest sense, but helps you think through the process of making application, instead of giving handing you examples that will age with time. From beginning to end, NIVAC will help you get the most out of the biblical text. I’ve personally been blessed by this commentary. Whether I’m preparing a sermon or digging into the text for personal edification, NIVAC always has something for me. It has quickly become one of my go to resources for any type of study. Add it to your library and reap its benefits today!

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Look Inside: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

Posted by on 03/20/2017 in:

This week we’re able to offer some outstanding illustrated commentaries that are an amazing resource for use within the Olive Tree Bible App. The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on both the New and Old Testament brings to life the ancient world in informative entries and full-color photos and graphics.

The resource guide of the Olive Tree Bible App makes using Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary a seamless part of your study.

In the screenshot below (taken from an iPad) I have my Bible opened to Daniel chapter 1. The commentary section of the resource guide then shows me which of my commentaries have related entries to this text.

ibc1

The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary indicates five entries so I’ll click on that commentary to see a preview of the those entries.

ibc2

Since this chapter talks about Daniel and his friends being placed in a Babylonian learning environment, I’m interested in learning more about what that may have looked like. I then click on the third entry that talks about the language and literature of the Babylonians.

ibc3

I can then read a fascinating article about historical Babylonian education that Daniel and his friends would have been exposed to. Thanks to enhanced commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary I can easily gain some amazing insight that helps me view the Biblical text in new ways.

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Three ways to use the Split Window

Posted by on 02/27/2017 in:

Whether you’re on a phone or tablet, one of the main Bible study features of the Olive Tree Bible App is the split window.

In this blog, we’ll show you three ways you can use the split window for your Android smartphone, tablet, or Kindle Fire.
(Click here for iOS.)

First, to access the three features of the split window, do this:

Now you will see three different features you can access in the split window.

1. The first and most popular is the Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is your personal Bible study assistant. It looks to the main window of the app and pulls in relevant study helps such as people, places, topics, cross references, commentary notes, maps, and more. The more resources you have in your library, the more powerful the Resource Guide will be. Watch this video to see the Resource Guide in action.

2. My Stuff

Selecting ‘My Stuff’ allows you to access your notes, highlights, tags, notifications and more. A personal favorite is having my notes open in the split window next to my Bible text. Whether you’re journaling during your own devotion time or taking notes from the text as your pastor is speaking, having the ability to take notes in the split window is a convenient feature.

3. Library

This is the easiest way to set up a parallel Bible or put your commentary notes next to your text. Simply select a resource from your library and it will be side by side with whatever title you have open in the main window. If it’s an ‘enhanced resource’ like another Bible or study Bible notes, it will stay in sync with the resource in the main window.

If you are a regular user of any of these features in the split window, we’d love to hear what your favorite is. Comment below to share!

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Six ways to use the Split Window

Posted by on 02/27/2017 in:

Whether you’re on a phone or tablet, one of the main Bible study features of the Olive Tree Bible App is the split window.

In this blog, we’ll show you six ways you can use the split window for your iPhone or iPad.
(Click here for Android.)

First, to access the six features of the split window do this:

Once you tap the ‘More’ button, you will see six different features you can access in the split window.

1. The first and most popular is the Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is your personal Bible study assistant. It looks to the main window of the app and pulls in relevant study helps such as people, places, topics, cross references, commentary notes, maps, and more. The more resources you have in your library, the more powerful the Resource Guide will be.

2. Recently Opened

This feature allows you to quickly view a list of recently-opened resources. Whether you were recently reading another Bible translation or a Christian eBook, you can quickly pull it up in the split window here.

3. Library Favorites

This list is curated by you and chosen from your library. When you tap ‘Library Favorites’, you will see your current list and you’ll have the option to add or remove titles.

4. Open Library

This is the easiest way to set up a parallel Bible or put your commentary notes right next to your Bible text. Simply select an additional resource from your library and it will be side by side with whatever title you have open in the main window. If it’s an ‘enhanced resource’ like another Bible or study notes it will stay in sync with the resource in the main window.

5. My Notes

One of my personal favorites is having my notes open in the split window. Whether you’re journaling during your own devotion time or taking notes from the text as your pastor is speaking, having the ability to take notes in the split window is a convenient feature.

6. Add Note

Tap this option to create a note. You can connect it to the Scripture you’re reading in the main window by tag or category.

If you are a regular user of any of these features in the split window, we’d love to hear what your favorite is. Comment below to share!

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The Geneva Bible, A Bible of Firsts

Posted by on 02/27/2017 in: ,

An Interview with Dr. David A Bennett:

When it was first printed, the Geneva Bible was the most reader-friendly version of the Bible ever translated, with numerous innovations making it ideal for the common reader. What sets the Geneva Bible apart? I recently sat down with Dr. David A. Bennett, a local antique Bible collector and amateur historian of Bible history, to find out.

Q: Can you give us a brief history of the Geneva Bible?

During Queen Mary’s reign, from 1555 and 1558, she burned 288 Protestant ministers at the stake for their denial of one tenet or another of the Roman religion. During the 1550s, when the Protestants of England were under such fierce persecution, many of their minsters fled to Geneva, Switzerland, to a theocracy maintained by Calvin and his contemporaries. Such a blessed company of Protestant theologians and scholars produced a Bible in 1560 aptly called the Geneva Bible. John Calvin, John Knox, Myles Coverdale, John Foxe, and several other Reformers may have collaborated on the Bible, but most of the work was done by William Whittingham, the pastor of the Geneva Church and a dear friend of John Calvin. The Geneva New Testament of 1558 was barely off the press when work began on a revision of the entire Bible, a process that took two more years. The new translation was checked with Theodore Beza’s earlier work and with the Greek text. In 1560, a complete revised Bible was published, “translated according to the Hebrew and Greek, and conferred with the best translations in divers languages”. Not only was the Geneva Bible innovative and influential, it has a remarkable history. The Geneva Bible was a product of vicious persecution endured by the English reformers. Its marginal notes edified the people and infuriated a King. While previous English translations failed to capture the hearts of the reading public, the Geneva Bible was instantly popular. Between 1560 and 1644 at least 144 editions appeared. Even forty years after the publication of the King James Bible, the Geneva Bible continued to be the Bible of the home. Two of the prime attractions of the Geneva Bible were its cost – the average cost of this printed Bible was less than a week’s wages for a working man – and the commentary amply interspersed throughout the Bible. The Geneva Bible was the first study Bible ever printed, a fact which both endeared it to the laity and irritated the clergy and monarchy, as neither archbishop nor king was allotted the god-like status each sought. The Bible brought to the American colonies by the Pilgrims in 1620 was their much-beloved 1599 Geneva Bible. During the decades following the publication of the King James Bible in 1611, both political and commercial meddling by monarch and bishop was implemented to finally subvert the influence of the Geneva Bible.

Q: What sets the Geneva Bible apart from other translations?

The Geneva Bible was a Bible of firsts:

  • First entire Bible in English translated from the original languages, not depending upon the Latin Vulgate at all
  • First English Bible translation intended for use by lay Christians, following on the heels of Martin Luther’s 1534 German Bible for the German laity
  • First Bible in English to use contemporary verse divisions
  • First to use italicized words where English required more than a literal Greek rendering
  • First Bible in the English language with commentary, so it’s the first study Bible
  • First English Bible translated by a committee and not an individual

Q: Besides the study notes, are there any substantial ways in which the Geneva text differs from that of the KJV?

Using the verbiage of types and antitypes, the Geneva Bible was the antitype or fulfillment of Tyndale’s pioneering work, as well as the type or prototype of the King James Bible to come 50 years later. Fully 80% of the books Tyndale translated into English are present in the Geneva Bible, as also 80% of the King James Bible is attributed to the Geneva Bible – minus the marginal commentary! Quite frankly, its marginal notes both fanned the flames of the Geneva Bible’s success, but also resulted in its eventual demise and the succession of the King James Bible as the de facto English Bible for centuries to come. Had not the marginal commentary been so polarizing, there is good reason to suspect that neither the Bishop’s Bible nor even the King James Bible would ever have been conceived.

Q: How does the Tolle Lege edition that Olive Tree is releasing differ from the original 1599 Geneva Bible?

Today’s readers will find it difficult to read the original print edition due to its archaic typography and outdated spellings and word usage. For example, it is quite interesting to notice the progression of the English language, during which English acquired the use of the letter “j” to use in appropriate places where only “i” had been used before, and the consistent delineation of “v” and “u” as we know today.

The Tolle Lege Press edition removes the major obstacles for the contemporary reader, returning this historic Bible to its rightful place of influence and importance. The original 1599 Geneva Bible gave God’s Word back to the people, and Tolle Lege Press desires that the tradition continue.

Thanks to Dr. Bennett for his time and insights into the 1599 Geneva Bible. You can find the 1599 Geneva Bible available on the Olive Tree store here.

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What is an ‘Enhanced’ title?

Posted by on 02/22/2017 in: ,

If you’ve ever been on OliveTree.com or browsed the in-app store, you’ve probably seen the light bulb icon on a number of titles.

In the app, it looks like this:

On the website, it looks like this:

So what’s different about a title that has been ‘enhanced’ compared to one that isn’t?

An enhanced title means that we’ve taken a plain eBook and given it extra functionality, so that it can be easily accessed in the Resource Guide.

For example, many study Bibles include not just commentary notes but also maps, charts, images, and outlines. When we enhance a study Bible, all the information from the study Bible that is relevant to the passage of Scripture you’re reading will appear in the Resource Guide. All you have to do is tap on an outline, a map, etc. in the Resource Guide to make use of the study Bible’s full capabilities.

Now, whenever you see that a title is marked as enhanced, you’ll know you’re getting a great resource designed specifically to help you go deeper in your study of God’s Word.

For more information about how the Resource Guide works, go HERE.

For more on specific types of enhanced resources, check out our blog series.

To add enhanced titles to your library, browse our store.

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Tips on Using Preaching the Word Commentary

Posted by on 02/20/2017 in: ,

preaching the word copy

The Preaching the Word Commentary Series offers unique insight into Biblical texts from the heart of a pastor. It is noted for its unqualified commitment to biblical authority and clear exposition of Scripture. Its emphasis on application and shepherding makes it a valuable asset for sermon and class preparation, as well as personal study.

Here are Six Reasons to use The Preaching the Word Commentary Series in the Olive Tree Bible App.  (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4.  Click on Images for a larger view)

1. Resource Guide

Open your preferred Bible Translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window.  You’ll see relevant “hits” from Preaching the Word in the split window.

The Bible app keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.  As you move along in the Bible text, the commentary syncs to exactly where you are in your study.  No more flipping pages back and forth.  No more holding the commentary text open on your desk in one spot, reading through your Bible text, and having to go back and find your place in the commentary. You’ll save an enormous amount of time with this feature alone.

2. Search & Look Up Feature

Search The Preaching the Word Commentary Series for words or passages.  Take “Vine” as an example.  You can search the entire commentary  series for where “Vine” is mentioned in the commentary series.  You can also limit your search to the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical genre, or a specific book.

When your search hits are displayed, you can tap on the result to go directly to that passage. You can also copy the text to add to an existing note or add a note right from the search results.

3. Linked Reference Pop ups

One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the biblical references within the commentary.  For example, when I’m reading in John 15 where Jesus is talking about the Vine and the Branches. In the Preaching the Word Commentary there’s a reference to Isaiah 5:7. With a hard copy, I have to open a different Bible and find each and every reference to read how the verse relates to what I am currently studying.  This is time consuming, slows down my study momentum, and requires me to keep all of my study materials out and open, spread out over a large desk space. With the Bible App, scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text.  All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.

Related to this is footnotes/endnotes. The Preaching the Word Commentary Series has a lot of references to other materials.  In the past I would have to stop where I was in the reading, look at the footnote, then go back to where I was in the book.  This also was a huge time waster, and I would often lose my train of thought.  With the Bible app footnotes are linked.  Just tap on the footnote, read it, and go back to where you were without losing your place.

4. Copy/Paste into Notes

The Preaching the Word Commentaries are full of great content.  I often find myself reading a passage, going deeper with the commentary and finding that “perfect quote” that sums up what I was thinking but didn’t know how to express it in written form.  However, in the world of hard copy commentaries, I have to re-type it into my personal study notes.  With the Bible App, all I have to do is highlight the text I want, copy it and paste it into my notes.  This feature saves me a ton of time, not to mention the wear and tear on my typing fingers!

 

5. Integrated Dictionary (iOS Extra)

In the iPhone/iPad app, you also have an additional option.  Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options to Copy, Highlight, Note, Bookmark, Share, Define, Lookup and More.

If you tap “Define” you will get the integrated iOS dictionary pop-up.  This is extremely helpful when you run across a word in the commentaries or even the Bible text that you do not know.

6. Resource Guide on One Verse (iOS Extra)

An additional iOS feature is looking up additional information on just one verse.  Tap on a verse number in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up. From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, add a Note, Save Passage, Share, Guide, and More..

If you tap the “Guide” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific verse. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.  You can even choose to open the The Preaching the Word Commentary in the main or split window.

This is helpful if you want to read through your Bible “full screen” and refer to the commentary when you want to see what it says about a particular verse.

As you can see, The Preaching the Word Commentaries within the Olive Tree Bible App gives you the best content, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

Right now you can get the entire 41 Volume Preaching the Word Commentary set (normally 549.99) for $199.99!

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Five Benefits of Sync

Posted by on 02/13/2017 in:

The definition of synchronization (sync for short) is, the coordination of events to keep them in time. One of the most underrated and important features of the Olive Tree Bible App is the sync feature. If you’re not familiar with syncing, here are five things you need to know about sync:

Sync Between Devices

In the Olive Tree Bible App, sync includes your notes, highlights, tags, saved passages, book ribbons, reading plans, and categories (collectively called annotations). This means that if you have the Bible App on multiple devices, your annotations will be transferred between devices so you always have access to them. For example, if you highlight a verse on your phone, that same highlight will be present on your tablet. If you are taking notes on your laptop, you can access those same notes on your phone.

Don’t Lose Your Stuff

Whether it’s in water or on a hard surface, one of the worst feelings is dropping your device.  The thought of losing it and all of your important data can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the sync feature ensures that all of your annotations from the Olive Tree Bible App aren’t gone forever. Whether you’re switching devices or trying to recover your data from a broken device, Olive Tree sync gives you the assurance that your annotations are secure on the cloud and available any time you sync.

Up-To-Date Reading Plans

Sync also works for your reading plan. When you use a free reading plan in the app, you can switch between devices and sync will ensure that your plan is updated with your current progress. Whether it’s phone, tablet, or computer, you will always be up-to-date and ready to pick up where you left off.

 Sync Is Free

Sync is totally free with no storage limitations, but you do need to have an Olive Tree account to utilize sync. Once you have an account, you can log in with that account on up to five devices and your Olive Tree Bible apps will stay in sync on your various devices. If you are currently using the app and haven’t created an account, you can do it here.

Manual or Automatic

If you’re logged into the Olive Tree Bible App with your account, sync is set to automatically update whenever you edit or make a new annotation. You have the option to turn this setting to manual or leave it on automatic. For more info on sync or to change this setting, click the link below for your device:

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Is that in the Bible?

Posted by on 02/07/2017 in:

When I was youth pastor, at least once a year I would open up my Bible and tell the students to turn to the book of Hezekiah. After 30 seconds of pages flapping and Bible app searching I would then reveal that there is no such book (although you can find King Hezekiah in 2 Kings). While it’s true that social media has fed our desire for bite sized quotes and Bible verses our proclivity for out of context bites of wisdom predates Twitter.

Here are four of the most common quotes attributed to scripture that aren’t actually in the Bible. There’s a good chance you’ll recognize one or all of them. 

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
If your Mom ever used this to convince 8 year old you that God wanted you to take to take a bath, it probably worked. This idiom had been circulating since the 1500’s but reportedly made it’s way into Christendom in the 1700’s via a sermon by the founder of Methodism, John Wesley.

“God helps those who help themselves.”
This quote may pluck at the part of us that values hard work but it is nowhere to be found in scripture. While similar ideas have circulated for centuries the earliest attribution of this quote is to Algernon Sidney in his Discources Concerning Government (link). It seemed to gain greater traction when Benjamin Franklin included it in Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1736.

“Spare the rod spoil the child.”
If only eight year old you knew this wasn’t in the Bible! While Proverbs 13:24 seems to have a similar principle, this is an English Proverb, not a Biblical one.

“This too shall pass.”
This phrase has been used to help change perspective in times of difficulty. While it is not in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:17 captures a similar but far richer truth.

Have any others to add? Leave them in the comments below.

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