Look Inside: Courson’s Application Commentary

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Courson's Application CommentaryCommentaries are an essential part of any Christian’s library. Yet how do you decide which ones to buy? A lot of people gravitate toward commentaries that focus on explaining the meaning of the text. Personally, those are the kind I prefer and what I lean on most when studying the Bible. But a good part of Bible study also involves applying the text to your life. For many, myself included, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This is where resources like Courson’s Application Commentary are useful. It is a commentary whose primary focus is explaining the text devotionally and how it applies to our lives.

Let’s take a look inside Jon Courson’s commentary and see how it works in the Bible Study App. Screenshots are from a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible Study App, Courson’s Application Commentary is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you’re reading the Bible the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in our commentary section for Courson’s commentary. After reading other commentaries or Study Bibles that explain the text, I can then turn to this commentary to help with applying God’s Word to my life.

Resource Guide - Courson

The Commentary

One thing I like about this commentary is it doesn’t try to do too much. Courson doesn’t attempt to explain the nuances of a Greek or Hebrew word or bore you with information only a scholar would appreciate. Instead, he takes a devotional approach to explaining the text so that it comes alive and is easily applicable to life in the here & now. He gets right to the point. This means you don’t have to waste time skimming through pages of endless commentary trying to find an author’s one or two sentences of practical application. You come to this commentary looking for application & he gives it to you.

Courson - Commentary

Topical Articles

Scattered throughout the commentary are what Courson likes to call “Topical Articles.” The best way to summarize these articles is to call them sermonettes. Here Courson takes a passage and deals with it topically, incorporating other passages as needed, to completely bring the big idea of a passage to life. A perfect example is the article titled “He Didn’t Say That!,” a study on Genesis 3:3. Here Courson does a wonderful job explaining Adam’s sin and how easy it would’ve been for us to commit the same sin by using illustrations that anyone can relate to.

Courson - Topical Article

The easiest way to access these articles is through the table of contents. If you change your Verse Chooser from grid to list view, you’ll see a section called “Topical Table of Contents” for each of the three volumes. Here you will find a list of all the topical articles in that volume organized by topic. Use this to easily find out what the Bible says on anxiety or how you can improve your Christian walk or any other topic.

Courson - Verse Chooser Courson - TOC Courson - Article List

Closing

Courson’s Application Commentary is a perfect companion to your daily Bible reading. It is even useful to the Bible teacher or pastor looking for the perfect way to relate the passage to their students or congregation.

Add Courson’s Application Commentary to your Olive Tree library today. Also be sure to check out the other titles we have on sale!

Encouragement from the Prince of Preachers

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Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is a popular figure in Christianity. Most Christians have encountered his works at some point in their spiritual walk, even if it’s just his Morning and Evening devotional. His works have impacted millions of lives, so it’s no wonder we often commemorate his birthday when it comes around. Today, instead of giving you details about why Spurgeon was such a great preacher and writer, I want to share this morning’s entry from his beloved Morning and Evening devotional. I read it this morning as part of my quiet time and I felt it was an encouraging word to share that speaks perfectly to the heart that Spurgeon had for those he ministered to.


“He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.” Zechariah 6:13

Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright.

As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy- so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here- all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.

Beneath His eye and care,
The edifice shall rise,
Majestic, strong, and fair,
And shine above the skies.


For me, this devotion forced me to remember that my life as a Christian is all about being molded into the image of Christ. This means God brings difficulties and trials our way for our good, which leads to our sanctification. With this as our perspective it should motivate us to praise God because he uses all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

To Celebrate Spurgeon’s birthday we have the 37 Volume Olive Tree Charles Haddon Spurgeon Collection discounted this week. This collection includes his Sermons, Autobiography, and several Devotionals and eBooks written by C.H. Spurgeon. There are also several more titles discounted to celebrate Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley’s birthdays this week. You can find them here.

Lastly, since I didn’t bore you with a biography, let me leave you with this song from Shai Linne that eloquently sums up this great preacher’s life.

6 Reasons to use Preaching the Word in The Bible Study App

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The Preaching the Word Commentary Series offers unique insights 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 Bible Study App.  (Screenshots are from an iPad 2.  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.

resourceguide

The Bible Study App also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.  This means that 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.

search

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.

search_splitscreen

3. Linked Reference Pop ups

verse popup

One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the other 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 Study App, the scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text.  All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.

footnote popup

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 Study 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 Study App, all I have to do is highlight the text that 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!

copy paste

5. Integrated Dictionary (iOS Extra)

In 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.

define popup

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

lookup feature

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.

lookup 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 Bible Study App give you the best content, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

Right now you can get All Preaching the Word Commentaries for only $7.99 each, and save even more when you purchase the 29 Volume Set!

Look Inside: The Moody Bible Commentary

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Moody Bible Commentary

Commentaries are a dime a dozen these days. Bible students have no shortage of commentaries to choose from, especially when it comes to commentary sets. Yet, finding a good single volume Bible commentary can still prove difficult. Outside of the few titles that everyone knows, you have to look hard for one. So when a respected name in scholarship throws their hat in the ring it’s worth taking notice. This is exactly what Moody Publishers and Moody Bible Institute have done in releasing The Moody Bible Commentary. We are excited to partner with Moody to release this great resource for the Bible Study App.

Seven years in the making, the Moody Bible Commentary is a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible written by the faculty of Moody Bible Institute. More than anything, the fact that this commentary is entirely written by MBI staff is its biggest selling point. Similar commentaries are written by multiple authors who span the range of evangelicalism, hoping to provide a balanced view. The advantage here is that you are provided a consistent theological approach to the Bible that is still conservative and evangelical in its perspective. With that, this resource seeks to help both laypeople and pastors grow in their knowledge of the Bible and understand how it applies to life today. Moody accomplishes this goal by offering a simple approach and commenting on the text in a clear and insightful way.

Here’s a brief look inside the Moody Bible Commentary and how it works in the Bible Study App.

In the screenshot below (taken from a Nexus 10) I have my Bible open to Ephesians 1 in the main window. With the Resource Guide open on the right I can scroll through all the enhanced resources in my library that pertain to the Bible text I’m studying. As I scan through the list I can immediately see I have entries for the Moody Bible Commentary in commentaries, outlines, and introductions.

Moody Bible Commentary - Resource Guide

Introductions

The Moody Bible Commentary offers introductions on each book of the Bible, giving you information about the authors, audience, and historical background. This resource keeps in mind the logic behind the biblical books, not neglecting their literary context or structure. The introductions offer strategies for how to read and understand each book based on its genre and inherent structure. In addition, key details regarding theme and purpose are discussed to provide a well rounded overview of each Bible book.

Moody Bible Commentary - Introductions

Outlines

At a glance, the Moody Bible Commentary shows the organization and structure of all the book you’re studying. Use the outline to quickly get an overview of the key themes and subjects before diving into the Bible text and commentary. An added advantage to having this commentary in the Bible Study App is that you can tap on any section of the outline and immediately go to its corresponding commentary.

Moody Bible Commentary - Outlines

Commentary

With the Moody Bible Commentary being written for laypeople and pastors alike, the commentary text is where this resource truly shines.

First, the commentary is understandable. The authors worked meticulously to explain the Scriptures simply and clearly. Theological terms are defined and difficult biblical words are explained to keep the text approachable. Comments on the text are concise but remain insightful.

Unlike some single volume commentaries, the authors and editors did not shy away from dealing with difficult Bible passages. Instead, they offer clear interpretations of these passages, while also making the reader aware of alternative views without over complicating the matter. Moody realizes that those studying the Bible come to commentaries because they want answers, particularly for those harder passages, so their aim is to give those answers. They also provide in-text citations directing readers to resources for deeper study.

The Moody Bible Commentary is based on the original languages of the Bible. The authors relied on the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts for their research and study. For the English translation used in the commentary Moody has chosen the New American Standard Bible (NASB), which they find to be among the more literal and readable translations available. When you see bold text in the commentary you can know that it is a quotation from the NASB. When other translations or wordings are preferable the author will note it in the commentary with an explanation.

Most importantly, you are getting an entire commentary on the Bible with this resource. This can easily be your go to resource to help you understand the Bible.

Moody Bible Commentary - Commentary Text

Maps and Charts

The Moody Bible Commentary includes several maps and charts. The maps can be helpful in orienting you geographically to the biblical landscape. What were the possible routes for the Exodus? Where were the cities Paul traveled to during his missionary journeys? The maps can help you visually answer these questions. Charts do much the same, such as providing a quick glance of all of Israel & Judah’s kings and whether they were good or bad. All of these features provide you with the tools you need to understand what you’re reading in the Bible.

Moody Bible Commentary - Maps

Endorsements

For generations Moody Publishers has been a name you could trust in biblical scholarship. The Moody Bible Commentary proves that this continues to be true. Check out these endorsements from some big names in evangelicalism.

I’m thrilled that The Moody Bible Commentary is available. What a tremendous resource for everyone who loves studying the Bible and values teaching the “whole counsel of God.” This remarkable work provides verse by verse exposition of both the Old and New Testaments by solid, trusted evangelical scholars who believe deeply in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and power of the Word to transform lives. It is quickly becoming an invaluable part of my reference library. I highly recommend that you add it to yours.

Joel C. Rosenberg
New York Times best-selling author and Bible teacher

The Moody Bible Commentary is a very readable resource, helpful to the layman, Bible study teacher, and serious student alike. The introductory material to each book provides excellent information, and the actual commentary offers a verse-by-verse explanation of the text and deals with the important words. The Moody Bible Commentary enables the reader  to come to a clear understanding of Scripture that will be helpful for personal knowledge, spiritual growth, and ministry.

Paul Enns, ThD
Professor and Director, Tampa Extension
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Once again, Moody Publishers, the name you can trust, has provided  Bible students and teachers  alike a comprehensive biblical resource that will help them to understand and communicate biblical truths effectively. It is a must-read tool for every Christian’s library.

Tony Evans
President, The Urban Alternative
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas

Look Inside: Bible+ 6.0 for Android

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Take a look at the latest update for Bible+ 6.0 for Android devices.

Check out many of New Titles that are 50% off this week to celebrate the launch of Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android.

Learn more about the Bible+ 6.0 for Android update here.

If you haven’t already done so, you can update to the latest Bible+ 6.0 for Android version by clicking the link Google Play Store graphic below:

googleplaystore

Improved Highlighting Now on Android

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When it comes to feature parity in the Bible Study App, it’s no secret that Android has lagged behind in some key functionality when compared to its iOS counterpart. One area that stood out more than others was highlighting. In the iOS app highlights look like you took a highlighter to the text, plus you could highlight just about anything in any resource. Android, on the other hand, only allowed you to highlight whole Bible verses, and the highlights appeared as a boring block of color behind the text. There was no way to highlight an individual word in a verse, nor could you highlight anything other than a Bible. This was a frustration for many of our Android users, myself included. That all changes with our Bible+ 6.0 update for Android!

Along with a new look, our highlighting functionality is vastly improved in the our Android app. Highlighting has improved in a few key ways: 1) its look & feel, 2) word based annotations, and 3) easier organization.

Look & Feel

Take a look at the image below. On the left is what our Android app used to look like before the update. Pretty boring and drab, right? The image on the right is what highlighting looks like in the new app. Highlights are softer and textured so that they look like you took a highlighter to the words on your screen. This may be a minor change to some, but it’s one we feel dramatically improves how text appears on the screen, which makes for a better reading experience.

NTE Android: Highlighter Comparison

Word Based Annotations

Not being able to select individual words to highlight was the biggest complaint we received from Android users. Due to technical limitations, that was impossible in our old app. That is no longer the case. Just like on iOS, you can now select individual words in your Bible and resources to highlight. What does that mean? It means the possibilities are now endless! Want to highlight all the pronouns that mention the Trinity in your Bible? Now you can. Want to highlight text in a commentary or dictionary? You can do that too! As you can see in the screenshot below, highlighting in a textbook is now a reality on Android.

NTE Android: Word Based Annotation

Easier Organization

Giving you the ability to highlight all the things is nice, but we realize that organizing them can quickly become a nightmare. If you’re like me, anything you highlight in the Bible has meaning, and you want to be able to quickly reference it in the future. In the old app this was a pain point because it meant remembering to manually move your highlights to its appropriate category after you were done reading. If you make a lot of highlights, this makes for a lot of extra work afterward. With our Bible+ 6.0 update you can now choose your tags & categories as you create your highlight. Simply select your text, tap “Highlight,” choose your tags & categories, then pick your highlighter color. That’s it! Now your highlights will be where you expect them.

NTE Android - Highlight Categories

We hope you enjoy all these new highlighting features in the Bible+ 6.0 update for Android and use them to take your Bible study even deeper!

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