We’ve Reached Another Milestone!

Posted by on 01/19/2018 in:

This week is all about looking back on 2017 and celebrating what we’ve accomplished. Not just us at Olive Tree—although we have done a lot of work on improving the app!—but also what you, our users, have done.

With that being said… we’ve reached another jaw-dropping milestone!

1 BILLION SYNCABLES

It’s hard to be as excited as us if you aren’t sure what “syncables” are.

Syncables are items like:

  • notes
  • highlights
  • tags

Anything that syncs across your devices when you tap “sync” in the app—that’s a syncable item.

WHY IS THIS EXCITING?

It can be hard to measure how engaged everyone is inside our app. Lots of people download Bible apps and then barely use them. We don’t want our app to be just another icon on your home screen. Instead, we want our users to use our app to spend time connecting with God and His Word.

The more syncable items you all create, the more you are interacting with the Bible. This is why we are incredibly excited about reaching the 1 billion mark.

CELEBRATE WITH US

How can you celebrate with us?

Open the app, read the Bible, take some notes, make some highlights, and pray. Reflect on God’s love.

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Is a Study Bible Right for You?

Posted by on 01/17/2018 in:

1) ARE YOU A VISUAL LEARNER?

Sometimes the best way to make sense of a lot of text is to represent it visually.

This is why many study Bibles almost come with photos, charts, timelines and more. That way, if you’re reading a description of a place you’ve never visited in the Middle East, you can see a picture of it. Or, if you’re reading about a long list of historical events, look at an organized charts of all the important dates.

Whether you consider yourself a visual learner or not, these resources will immerse you in your Bible study.

TAP TO ENLARGE!

2) HAVE YOU WONDERED WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN BIBLE TIMES?

If you’ve ever read Leviticus, you definitely know that the Bible talks about confusing rituals and practices. Since we’re living in the 21st century, and most of us aren’t professional historians, these passages can be daunting. You’re not alone in wishing that you could step inside the Bible times, even for just a second.

Surely it would give some insight into what the Bible is trying to communicate.

Thankfully, there are Christians who enjoy studying history professionally! With plenty of research and fact-checking, these scholars have published their notes in study Bibles for us to read. Not only that, but they have made them understandable.

READ NOTES WITH JUST A TAP

3) ARE YOU UNSURE HOW TO APPLY SCRIPTURE?

So, you may know a thing or two about the Bible’s history… but you aren’t sure how it affects your daily life. This is a really common problem! Without guidance, it can be difficult (and almost dangerous) to make those kinds of analogies.

This is another great reason to have a study Bible. Although it depends on the author and which study Bible you choose, most have sections meant solely to help you apply the Bible to your life. You’ll find explanations, scenarios, insightful questions, and more.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE

4) DO YOU HAVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS?

Here’s some truth: everyone has unanswered questions. We can’t know everything—and we especially can’t know everything about God.

But when we doubt, wonder, or question what we read in the Bible, the best places to look are 1) in the Bible itself and 2) in books that teach us what Christians have been preaching for the past 2,000 years.

This is the last and most important reason to own a study Bible: to have input into your unanswered questions. Before jumping to conclusions or making decisions based on a misunderstanding, see if any Biblical scholars have something to say about the passage you’re reading. It could affect the way you live your life.

WHY GET A DIGITAL STUDY BIBLE?

Here’s a few reasons why using this resource in the app is way more helpful to your study time:

  1. You can tap on images and enlarge them
  2. Tap on verse references to open them (in context!) in a pop-up window
  3. Reading multiple translations? The resource guide will always let you know if your study Bible has any information on what you’re reading
  4. You can make unlimited notes and highlights that sync between your devices

SEE HOW IT LOOKS IN ACTION!

I’M INTERESTED!

If you’ve decided that a study Bible is right for you, head on over to our study Bibles section. We’ve got what you’re looking for!

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Best Titles of 2017

Posted by on 01/17/2018 in:

2017 was another great year at Olive Tree Bible Software. Along with all of new app updates and functionality we added to our Olive Tree Bible App this past year, we also added almost 1,000 titles to our store—bringing our current catalog up to over 11,800 titles.

It’s been our privilege to help choose what new titles to release, and what titles to highlight over this past year. We are always trying to provide resources that you will find interesting and helpful. That’s why we took a look back at what YOU thought the best titles and new releases were for the year. Here they are!

BEST-SELLING BIBLES

At the top of charts in Bibles is the Amplified Bible (2015 Edition). This update to the 1987 Bible translation has continued to rise in the rank of favorite translations for our users. It includes more amplification in the Old Testament and refined amplification in the New Testament.

For new Bibles in 2017, we added the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) as well as the Passion Translation: New Testament. Both have become popular choices among our users.

If you haven’t read these Bible translations, all make excellent choices to setup as a parallel Bible in the Olive Tree Bible App.

BEST-SELLING STUDY BIBLES

Not content with only being our top Bible, our best-selling study Bible in 2017 was the Amplified Study Bible. This unique study Bible features verse-by-verse study notes and the text of the newly revised Amplified translation. Features include more than 5,000 concise study notes, 330 practical theological notes, full-color maps and more!

2017 also saw the release of the Complete Jewish Study BibleNKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible Notes, and the Spurgeon Study Bible Note—which round out our top five best-sellers for the year!

BEST-SELLING BIBLE STUDY TOOLS

A perennial favorite, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary lead the way in top choices for study tools yet again!

NIV Word Study Bible, Mounce’s Complete Expository DictionaryThompson Chain Reference Study Bible and Olive Tree Bible Maps complete the top five choices for the year.

Best-selling new releases included the MacArthur Topical Bible, The Complete Topical Guide to the Bible, and the New Revised Standard Version with Strong’s Numbers. All of these have been enhanced for use within our Olive Tree Bible App and will save you valuable study time.

BEST-SELLING ORIGINAL
LANGUAGE TOOLS

Can anyone read the list of the best-selling original language tools? Because it’s all Greek to me! Funny, right?

Our top three best-sellers for original language tools include the Analytical Greek New Testament (AGNT) with Morphology, Lexicon, and Apparatus, the NA28 with Apparatus, Mounce Parsings, and Dictionary, and the NASB Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. If you’re looking to take your Greek word studies to the next level, these are excellent choices.

BEST-SELLING COMMENTARIES

Last, but certainly not least, is our best-selling commentaries for 2017.

Our most popular choice for year was the newly released Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible (POSB) Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44 Vols.). This is an outstanding resource resource for expository or topical teaching.

However, the classic Bible Knowledge Commentary (2 Vols.) BE Series Commentary by Wiersbe (50 Vols.) and Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) held top spots for the year.

Top new releases included Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (4 Vols.), and Walvoord Prophecy Commentary Set (4 Vols.).

2017’S TOP TITLES ARE ON SALE

To celebrate our Best of 2017, we’ve discounted all of our best-sellers in our 2017 Rewind Sale. Take a look through the list and you’re sure to find a title that will help you make your Bible study time the very best this year.

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2017 Year in Review

Posted by on 01/15/2018 in:

2017 was a fantastic year at Olive Tree. You guys read the Bible (a lot!). We were able to make some big changes that improved the way you study the Bible. It was a win-win. So, let’s reminisce over the last twelve months and what we accomplished together!

YOU GOT IN THE APP AND READ THE WORD

You all opened the app 262 MILLION times in 2017. That’s 262 million instances of someone reading God’s Word. Since our mission is to encourage people to connect with God and the Bible through technology, this statistic makes us SO happy.

YOU GOT IN THE APP AND STAYED IN THE APP

We like looking at this statistic because it lets us know if users are having quality study time inside the app. Based on the numbers, that seems to be the case! Keep it up, you guys.

WE MADE NOTES MORE FUN

This was a little addition we thought would be fun for our notes feature. Now when you want to represent the 🥖🥖🥖🥖🥖 and 🐟🐟 from John 6, nothing is holding you back.

TOP 5 PURCHASED RESOURCES

We’ll have another blog up soon that goes even more in-depth on the top titles from last year, but here’s a sneak peek at the top 5. You guys are really trying to place yourself in Biblical times—learning about the culture, the geography, and the original languages.

Top 5 Reading Plans of 2017

This year, 348,000 reading plans were started! We’re so proud of our users who stuck with their reading plans till they were completed. It isn’t always easy to do! It’s never too late to start a new reading plan, or jump back into one you forgot about.

VERSE OF THE DAY 2.0

We added a visual aspect to our Verse of the Day feature! You can determine when you get the notification, share the image on social channels, and quickly tap “read” to see the verse in context (because context is crucial!). Currently, this is only available for iOS devices—but watch out Android users! You’ll see this feature hit your devices in 2018.

A HUGE MAKEOVER

We switched up the look for our iOS and Android apps, and we heard a great response from our users! The highlight of this change (besides the cosmetic upgrade) was the addition of the Study Center. Instead of only having the Resource Guide in the Split Window, we made it possible to quickly switch between a few tabs: Resource Guide, Parallel, Notes, and Lookup.

Also, we’ve been tossing lots of new videos up (like the one found above) on our YouTube channel. If you haven’t seen it recently, you should check it out.

LOTS OF CELEBRATING

In 2017, we hit the 9 year mark for our time in the App Store. We’re so excited to hit our 10-year mark this July! We also loved celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation with blog series, new and free resources, and a huge sale of reformed titles.

AND we also celebrated yet another year of doing what we love: equipping God’s people to study His word: any place, any time. All glory be to Christ!

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Tips for Bible Reading in 2018

Posted by on 01/12/2018 in:

A new year can encourage you to try new things or start old things up again. Here are some Bible reading tips we put together for the start of 2018.

1) PRAY PRAY PRAY

It can be easy to pick up the Bible, skim it, and never actually participate in a conversation with God. So, before opening your Bible, form the habit of starting in prayer. Take a deep breath and remember that you have been invited to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Pray Before Reading

What should you pray about? Here are a few ideas in case you’re stumped:

  • Confess any anger or bitterness
  • Share your doubt or frustration
  • Ask for help (for you or others)
  • Acknowledge God’s power, love, and faithfulness
  • Ask God to help you experience His power, love, and faithfulness
  • Give thanks

Look for Answers

This part can be crucial for our walk with the Lord. So often, we ask God to move in our lives… Then, when He does, we forget what we asked for and figure it all worked out because of circumstance or coincidence.

Keep a list of the things you are praying about. It could be as simple as a sheet of paper or you could keep track with your notes inside our app. Praise God and be encouraged by His presence when you see an answer.

2) LOOK TO JESUS

Maybe it sounds surprising, but there can be many reasons to study the Bible: seminary assignments, sermon prep, a love for history, because you feel like you have to…

But honestly, the best reason to read the Bible is to get to know Jesus. The other two members of the Trinity are also important, but Jesus came so that we could know God. He said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Jesus is the lover of our souls, our best friend, our redeemer, and our savior. If you’ve been feeling dry about reading the Bible, or about Christianity in general, slowly read through the gospels. Take notes on Jesus characteristics, the things he does, and the people he talks with. Get to know Jesus again.

3) ASK FOR INPUT

The Bible doesn’t speak directly to you and your circumstances alone. It is a historic book that is for God’s people! It can be dangerous to rely solely on how you interpret it. Instead, here are some ideas of who to ask for input:

-Your spouse or housemates
-Children (a unique perspective!)
-A pastor or mentor
-Bible study group
-Study Bibles
-Commentaries
-Other passages of Scripture (really important)

4) HAVE DISCERNMENT

It’s a balance to allow input into your life while also having discernment on what to believe and accept. Ask questions and hear answers from the above list, but also make sure to think critically about their response. And, to bring this blog post full circle… PRAY about what you learn. Ask God to reveal truth to you. If it is good, pure, lovely, gracious, self-sacrificial, and resembles Christ, you’re probably on the right track.

SHARE!

What are your Bible study tips for 2018? What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give someone just getting started? Let us know in the comments below.

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New! NIV Chronological Study Bible

Posted by on 01/10/2018 in:

We have a new title in our store this week! The NIV Chronological Study Bible is a great tool for gaining a historic understanding of God’s Word.

WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE?

If you have used an Olive Tree study Bible before, you know that study Bibles come with two texts: the notes and the Bible text. But a chronological study Bible is the exception to this rule. Why? Because the main reason to own a chronological Bible is so that you can read through the Bible in chronological order!

So, when you open this resource in the app, you’ll see the Bible text and still be able to use the verse chooser. The only difference is that, this time, you’ll navigate through different “epochs” or eras of time to read sections of corresponding Scripture.

WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE?

Study Bibles contain tidbits of great information sprinkled throughout the Bible text. They give you insights you might not have known otherwise. The NIV Chronological Study Bible uses its notes to teach you about the history and culture of the Bible.

Inside you’ll find:

  • The entire NIV text with the translator’s notes, arranged in chronological order
  • Full-color illustrations of places and artifacts that place you inside the era you’re reading about
  • Fascinating articles that connect the Bible to world history and culture
  • Daily Life Notes that explain how people lived in Bible times
  • Time Panels and Charts show the flow of Bible history
  • In-text maps of the Biblical world

WHY GET A DIGITAL COPY?

Here’s a few reasons why using this resource in the app is way more helpful to your study time:

  1. You can tap on images and enlarge them
  2. Tap on verses referenced notes to open them (in context!) in a pop-up window
  3. Reading a different Bible? The resource guide will let you know if the NIV Chronological Study Bible has any information on what you’re reading
  4. You can make unlimited notes and highlights that sync between your devices

LEARN MORE

Visit our website to learn more about the NIV Chronological Study Bible.

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You Can Still Make a New Year’s Resolution

Posted by on 01/08/2018 in:

Do you ever wake up at 8:02 but lay in bed until 8:05 or 8:10? Or maybe, while eating a tub of ice cream, you decide that tomorrow will be the day you start eating healthier? It can be difficult to start something new or hard, so we often wait for milestone moments to make a change. Then, when we miss the milestone moment, we put off whatever we were set out to do. But don’t let that stop you!

Week one of 2018 is completed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a New Year’s resolution.

Here are some of our resolution ideas that will encourage spiritual growth in 2018:

1) BECOME A PRAYER WARRIOR

START FRESH

Prayer journaling is really easy in the app when you use our notes feature. You can start by making a category simply dedicated to your prayers if you want to stay more organized. Check out this example!

PLAN IT OUT

Then, create a few different folders for types of prayers. This way, it will be easy for you to not only return to old prayers, but also to make sure your prayers have variety. It’s good to ask God for things, but we also need to give Him our praise!

PRAISE GOD FOR ANSWERS

It can often feel like God isn’t answering our prayers, but that might be from our own lack of looking for His hand in our life. Keep coming back to your current prayers, petitioning God again, and reflecting on His word and response. When you see an answer, move the note to the answered folder. Then, when you experience doubt or fear, remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE

2) TAKE TIME TO REFLECT

VOTD (Verse of the Day) can be something you glance at for 5 seconds or something you use as a catalyst to spend time with the Lord.

Set a goal to always open your VOTD notification. It’s customizable, so you can set it to appear during a time you know you will usually be free. Take time to slowly read the verse, reflect on each word, and talk to Jesus about what it means for you.

PRO TIP: Tap “Read” at the bottom of VOTD to read the verse in context. It’s so important to make sure that we read the Bible as a cohesive book and don’t interpret it incorrectly.

3) READ PARTS OF THE BIBLE YOU DON’T HEAR MUCH ABOUT

Reading plans are great tools to prevent you from reading the same, familiar Bible passages over and over again. Instead, every time you open the plan you’ll be shown a different passage and guided through reading the entire Bible. This way, you don’t have to wonder where you should start.

If you’ve never looked at our reading plans, now is the time to do so. Specifically, you could start a one-year reading plan that would get you through the entire Bible by next January. Simply select a plan, set up your reminders in the settings, and start reading!

4) GAIN WISDOM AND INSIGHT FROM OTHER CHRISTIANS

Following Christ isn’t something that we do alone. Instead, we should always be listening (with discernment!) to our brothers and sisters in Christ, trying to learn from them.

Enhanced devotionals are perfect for this type of learning. Similar to a reading plan, the devotional will be broken up into sections for you to complete. You can also schedule notifications to remind you to read.

Since these aren’t paper devotionals, you will be able to quickly access a Bible or any other study tool in the split window. Use this feature to learn more about what you’re reading or to check what the author is saying.

SEE OUR ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS BY CLICKING HERE.

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12 Days of Christmas is Ending

Posted by on 01/05/2018 in:

It’s finally here—the 12th day of Christmas! It’s been a blast switching up the sales every day. Now you can enjoy all the discounts from all 12 days, but only for a limited time. 

Since there are SO many titles on sale, we’ll give you a couple lists of links to help get you started.

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Here are our top resources from the 12 Days of Christmas sale!

The CSB Bible

Amplified Study Bible

MacArthur New Testament Commentary Set (33 Vols.)

NIV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament

The IVP Dictionary Series (8 Vols.)

Pillar New Testament Commentary (15 Vols.)

Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures (2 Vols.)

New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Baker Illustrated Collection (9 Vols.)

Apologetics Study Bible

ESV Systematic Theology

SALES BY CATEGORY

DAY ONE: New & Popular Bible Translations

DAY TWO: Study Bibles

DAY THREE: Top Authors & Devotionals, Greek & Hebrew Tools

DAY FOUR: Word Study Bibles

DAY FIVE: Bible Dictionaries

DAY SIX: Bible Commentaries

DAY SEVEN: Bible Study Tools

DAY EIGHT: Cross References & Concordances

DAY NINE: Maps & Visual Titles

DAY TEN: Quick Reference Titles

DAY ELEVEN: Theology & Reference

DAY TWELVE: All 12 Days!

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A Sneak Peek for the 12th Day of Christmas

Posted by on 01/03/2018 in:

We’re on day 10 of our 12 days of Christmas Sale! Every day, the sale changes and covers a different genre of Bible resources. But on day 12 (coming up on Friday!) we will have all the days on sale AT THE SAME TIME.

It is going to be a little crazy. And we feel like we are going a little crazy from all the planning and scheduling. But here’s a list of the discounts we’ve had so far:

DAY ONE

New & Popular Bible Translations

DAY TWO

Study Bibles

DAY THREE

Top Authors & Devotionals

Greek & Hebrew Tools

DAY FOUR

Word Study Bibles

DAY FIVE

Bible Dictionaries

DAY SIX

Bible Commentaries

DAY SEVEN

Bible Study Tools

DAY EIGHT

Cross References & Concordances

DAY NINE

Maps & Visual Titles

DAY TEN

Quick Reference Titles (TODAY’S SALE!)

GET READY FOR DAY 12

On Friday, you will not only be able to access the sales from days 1-10, but also day 11! Jump onto olivetree.com to see the best sales of the entire year.

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Look Inside: Maps & Atlases

Posted by on 01/01/2018 in: ,

3 WAYS TO USE MAPS & ATLASES

Maps and atlases are great tools in the Olive Tree Bible App. You’ll be able to quickly see the region you’re reading about and gain more insight about the Bible. Here’s a look inside on the ESV Bible Atlas.

FULL SCREEN MAPS

Enlarge a map to fill the whole screen. Zoom in and learn more!

OPEN IN THE STUDY CENTER

The Resource Guide will let you know when you have a map that corresponds to the text you’re reading in the main window. Just tap and enter into the Bible lands.

OPEN THE ATLAS

By opening the atlas in the main window, you’ll find lots of articles and content surround each map to give you more insight.

IT’S THE BEST TIME TO GET AN ATLAS

Our 12 Days of Christmas Sale is nearing the end—and you don’t want to miss out! This is our biggest sale of the year. So, head on over to our website to see the drastic discounts on atlases and much, much more.

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