3 Ways Bible Dictionaries Improve Your Bible Study

Posted by on 07/24/2017 in: ,

You know what a Bible is. You also know what a dictionary is. But do you know what a Bible dictionary is, or why you should use one? Here’s three reasons to use a Bible dictionary, based on my own recent study of God’s Word.

LEARN A LITTLE CHRISTIAN TRIVIA

I was reading Psalm 111 the other day and decided to pull open the Resource Guide. As I was scrolling, I noticed that “Hallelujah” was listed under Topics. Now, I know that “Hallelujah” means “Praise the Lord” (and the app told me this, too), but I was curious if there was any other information on the phrase that I hadn’t heard before.

When I tapped on “Hallelujah” and opened my Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, I learned something hilarious. You see, when I was in high school, I sang in the choir, and we always sang songs that incorporated “Alleluia.” Turns out that, according to Vine’s, it’s a misspelling of “Hallelujah”! All this time I’ve been wondering what the difference was…

 


LEARN ABOUT GOD’S PROMISES IN HISTORY

Exodus 4 is another passage I was looking at recently. It’s here that Moses is instructed to inform Pharaoh that Israel is Yahweh’s “firstborn.” If Pharaoh does not relinquish the Israelites, God promises to kill the Egyptian ruler’s his firstborn son.

“Firstborn” is most definitely a key word in this passage–but what is its significance? There is a deep, rich history of God expressing the closeness of His relationship to the Israelites through this term, that is discoverable through using a Bible dictionary. Vine’s provides references to many other passages that teach about the cultural view of firstborn children in the Israelite community, revealing that it was a coveted position that held many benefits. A firstborn son was considered to be the most loved and to receive the greatest inheritance.

So, when the Israelites hear that God has called them His “firstborn,” a lot of emotions are stirred! According to Vine’s, being God’s “firstborn” meant enjoying a privileged position and blessings, in comparison all other nations. In Exodus 4, God is making it known that Israel is His prized child, and that no one—not even Pharaoh—can mess with them.


LEARN ABOUT GOD’S PROMISES FOR TODAY

But it doesn’t stop there. Vine’s is searchable, like a normal dictionary, and you can find a word’s definition for either the Old or New Testament. By looking up “firstborn” in the New Testament, I found passage after passage where Jesus is referred to as the “firstborn” (protokos) of creation. The most interesting reference I found was when John the Baptist proclaims that “He (Jesus) was first (protos) of me.” He’s saying much more than “Jesus was born before I was.” Instead, he is putting Jesus in the ultimate privileged position with God, receiving the highest blessing, because he is not just a son, but the Son.

Now, the important question: how does this apply to our lives? Time and time again we see God be faithful to His people, the Israelites. Better yet, we see the Father praise, glorify, and bless His Son. This seems like a pretty exclusive group.

But, we’re invited! When we believe in Christ’s atoning work, we are welcomed into this family. We enter this promise, into this privileged position with God. If you study the word “firstborn” across the Old and New Testaments, you can learn more about the history of God blessing those He calls His own. For thousands and thousands of years, God has been drawing people to Himself—and you are one of them.


ONE LAST THOUGHT

Overall, the main reason to use a Bible dictionary is this: The Bible is not our own. The Bible is a compilation of God speaking to His people through His people, in a time and culture we weren’t around for.  So, although we have been welcomed into this family, we must recognize that this family has existed for thousands of years! That takes a bit of help and research to understand—but it’s worth the investment.

This week, we are discounting Bible dictionaries in hopes of encouraging deeper study of God’s Word. Check out the Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words or the Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 vols.) while they’re on sale.

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Look Inside: Everyman’s Bible Commentary

Posted by on 07/21/2017 in:

When it comes to commentaries, figuring out which one is right for you can prove a difficult task. Commentaries like Anchor Yale and Hermeneia are clearly aimed at an academic crowd; whereas, commentaries like the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible and NIV Application Commentary are a great aid to pastors and teachers. But how does the Christian sitting in the pew know which commentary is right for them? A single volume commentary is a perfect start, but where do you turn for deeper studies? What if I told you there’s a commentary designed for every Christian? It does exist & it’s aptly called the Everyman’s Bible Commentary. Let’s take a look inside this commentary to see how it can help you in your studies.

Old and New Testament Surveys

When studying a book of the Bible, the first place to start when using the EvBC is with the Old and New Testament Surveys. The surveys provide broad overviews of every book of the Bible. Here you will find information about the book’s author, dating, purpose, theme, and so much more. You will also find a basic outline, allowing you to see the overall structure of the book you’re studying. The survey also provides a very nice summary of each book of the Bible. The summaries briefly describe each major section in any book you’re studying. When you’re done making your way through the survey you will have a broa overview and understanding of the book of the Bible you’re about to study.

Outlines

While the Old and New Testament Surveys provide basic outlines for the Bible’s books, you can dig deeper when you start looking at the the individual commentaries that comprise the EvBC. Within each commentary volume you will find a detailed outline giving you a more in-depth look at any given book’s layout and structure.

Not only are the outlines helpful for understanding the structure, but they can also help you navigate the commentary. The detailed outlines are linked to the commentary text. Tap on the outline item and you will immediately be taken to the commentary for that passage of Scripture. Or, you can tap on the verse reference to read the Bible text in a pop-up.

Commentary Text

The most important part of any commentary is, well, the commentary. It’s here that the EvBC lives up to its name as a commentary for every man. The EvBC‘s treatment of the Scriptures is straightforward and devotional. The commentary doesn’t try to talk above or beneath you. The tone is light and conversational, almost like you’re having a conversation with the commentary’s author. The commentary’s aim is to help you accurately interpret the Word of God so you can apply it to your life, and it does this well.

Resource Guide

Of course, a commentary in Olive Tree is not complete without mentioning its functionality with the Resource Guide. As you’re reading through your Bible, the Everyman’s Bible Commentary series is always at your fingertips ready to help. Are you reading through Romans 6? The EvBC is right there with you, making its many features a few taps away. Want to read the commentary text? Head to the commentary section. A little fuzzy on the structure of Romans? Access the EvBC’s outline in the Outlines section of the Resource Guide.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a scholar, pastor, teacher, or sitting in the pew, the Everyman’s Bible Commentary is for you. No matter how you choose to access its contents, the EvBC is always ready to help you understand the Word of God. In celebration of its release, we’ve discounted this commentary set by 50%!

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Insight on Ecclesiastes:
When Life Seems Meaningless

Posted by on 07/21/2017 in:

Sometimes, life seems meaningless. And sometimes, God seems distant. If you’re feeling this way, you aren’t alone! The author of Ecclesiastes struggled with the same issue, but he continued to call God good and just all the same.

“The book of Ecclesiastes, or Kohelet as it’s called in Hebrew, is not meant to comfort the reader. The author was frustrated by the contradictions, tensions and incomprehensibility of life. He asked again and again if life is meaningless.

The book’s portrait of God is unlike that found in the rest of the Hebrew Bible. Nowhere does the author address God as YHWH, the more personal and intimate name for God in Hebrew and the sacred name not to be misused in the Ten Commandments. YHWH walked closely with Adam and Eve in the garden and spoke to Moses from within the burning bush.

The author instead opted for addressing God as Elohim, actually a title and a more generic and less personal Hebrew name for God. The opening lines of Genesis begin with the actions of Elohim bringing forth the heavens and the earth. Kohelet prefers this choice of addressing God, Elohim, a slightly more distant or transcendent God. “God is in heaven and you are on earth” (Ecc 5:2). The book argues for caution and reverence for the divine (see Ecc 5). It also insists that God is both just and sovereign (see Ecc 3:17; 9:1); however, the justice of God is slow and at times seems absent: “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve” (Ecc 8:14).

The fact that Ecclesiastes is in the canon of Hebrew Scripture speaks to the depth, richness and nuance of Jewish theological and philosophical thought in the ancient world. The Christian canon also includes this theologically complex book. Human wisdom is often frustrated when contemplating life and the divine. But frustration, wondering and questioning all have a place in the religious life, which Ecclesiastes makes clear.

Ecclesiastes urges the reader to enjoy life, though much of life is cruel and meaningless. One should fear God, tread lightly and be grateful for simple pleasures.

The end of Kohelet also raises some interesting questions about the author’s view of God: “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecc 12:13–14).

This passage is an epilogue, a common literary device in wisdom literature. But it also seems a bit out of place. Some scholars have suggested it was added by a later editor who was uncomfortable with the book as it was originally written.

Whether added later or written by the author, it is meant to balance out the tone of book. It is clear from the book that the author believed in God’s justice, though he did not always see it. The final line acts as a kind of last word. Whether one sees it or not, God’s justice will prevail.”

Does this encourage you? How does it give you a different perspective when you’re going through difficult times?

This blog was adapted from First-Century Study Bible Notes, on sale now.

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Generation of Hope

Posted by on 07/20/2017 in:

This blog is written by guest author Casey Fleet. He is a youth pastor at Higher Ground Church in North Carolina and is passionate about teenagers knowing Christ.

For the past six years I have engaged myself in ministry deeper than I could have ever imagined. I was ordained two years ago, and have served in many different capacities already. I am so thankful to have a loving wife and two beautiful young girls who support me. I am currently serving as a youth and a children’s pastor at my church. Working in ministry has been phenomenal for my life, changing me in many ways. Not only that, but I’ve also been able to see God touch the lives of many children and teenagers. My desire, passion, and hope for this next generation is that they will be blessed and prosperous.

I titled this blog post “Generation of Hope” because I truly want people to know that there is hope for this next generation of kids. So often we hear negative comments about the youth: “There’s no hope for them!” We even hear these comments in our churches, and it cuts me deeply. In retaliation, I hear some respond by asking, “If this generation is so bad, what does it say about the one before it?” In other words, if the younger generation is so bad, it must be because the previous generation has been doing something wrong. However, I do not believe that is the case. I believe God is preparing us for something great, working through all His children—the whole Church. I believe we are a chosen generation, and in the end, God is going to bless all of us in phenomenal ways if we pursue Him.

With all of this being said, I believe in the youth of this world. They are loving, smart, caring, helpful . . . and smart. Did I say that already? They are so smart! Instead of tearing down the children of the world today and blaming them, we should be lifting them up. We should encourage them. Do you know what that will do? Do you recognize how powerful our words are? It will create a generation of hope!

Serving teens and children has blessed me tremendously. I have been able to see them through many obstacles. In return, their love and compassion has helped me and my family as well. It is such a blessing to come alongside the youth and teach them about God’s Word. The greatest tool I have ever discovered for my study is Olive Tree Bible App. It has been my companion lately and helped me tremendously. As a matter of fact it is now my favorite app! Last week, I typed out my sermon notes in a Google doc, pasted it into the notes section in Olive Tree, and guess what—it automatically hyperlinked my scripture references. Technology is such a gift, and I am happy to use it to present hope for the next generation.

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LOOK INSIDE:
Open Your Bible Commentary

Posted by on 07/20/2017 in: ,

The difficulties of maintaining a daily Bible study routine are many. Where do you start? How do you make adequate time for more than a cursory reading of the Text? How do you find the right balance of study and devotion? And the list goes on. The truth is there are no easy answers to any of these questions. But we shouldn’t throw in the towel and give up. Every Christian struggles with their Bible reading at some point in their life. Today I want to share a new Olive Tree resource whose aim is to help your daily Bible study. Let me introduce you to the Open Your Bible Commentary.

BACKGROUND
The Open Your Bible Commentary was written to encourage daily Bible study. The content of this two volume commentary began as a series of Bible Study books originally published by Scripture Union. The series’ intent was to create a resource that encouraged a greater depth of Bible study in a way that wasn’t possible with study notes alone. This format allowed the authors to give fuller discussions on introductory, textual, and background material that might otherwise be overlooked in something like a study Bible. The principal aim of the studies was to stimulate daily Bible reading as a means of personal devotion and life application.

These sensitively edited studies have been reworked into what we now have as the Open Your Bible Commentary. With this commentary you get short readings rich in content. Each passage is carefully explained, devotionally warm, and practically relevant. In its introduction, the commentary boasts four great strengths that set it apart from others:

  1. Accessible: The studies address the average, thoughtful Christian without assuming they have a prior background with the text.
  2. Digestible: No section is overly long. It is designed so that you can read one or two sections each day without feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Dependable: The commentary is authored by renowned theologians, scholars, and experienced pastors including: F.F. Bruce, Leon Morris, William L. Lane, and others
  4. Practical: The studies offer a diversity of everyday application. Sometimes you are given clear application, while other times you are left to ponder the truths for yourself.

All in all, the Open Your Bible Commentary is built for Christians who desire to engage with the Bible daily. After each section you are sure to walk away with a greater understanding of the Bible and application to apply.

OPEN YOUR BIBLE — IN THE APP
There are a few ways you can use the Open Your Bible Commentary in our app, but let me show you my favorite way to use it.

Since the commentary is conveniently broken into manageable sections for study, I prefer to use it as my daily reading plan. In the morning I read a section from the New Testament volume along with its accompanying Bible passage. For my evening reading I do the same, but with the Old Testament volume.

Unlike most times when I read the Bible, this time I have the commentary open in the main window. I then use the Book Ribbon to mark my current location so I can easily pick up where I left off next time.

Next, I tap the verse reference and open it in the split window. Now I can read the passage and the commentary text. I can also tap on any of the cross references and read them in a pop-up.

Even with the Bible open in the split window I can still take notes on what I’m studying. And, if by chance I want to do further study, I can quickly switch to the Resource Guide to explore my other resources.

What I love about this setup is it allows me to have a different kind of reading plan that still lets me easily study the Bible. I recommend giving it a try!

I’m confident the Open Your Bible Commentary will prove a great aide to your daily Bible reading. Right now, this title is 50% off!

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What’s the Difference? Study Bible vs. Bible Commentary

Posted by on 07/17/2017 in:

Have you ever nodded along to someone talking, even though you had no idea what they were saying? I often feel like I’m doing a mental head-nod when I’m scrolling through all the products Olive Tree offers. As an employee, you’d think I would understand all the different Bible study tools—but to be honest, there’s always something new that I’m learning. So, I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to the difference between a study Bible and a Bible commentary!

STUDY BIBLE

A study Bible is Scripture paired with additional notes and resources that are meant to help you understand what you’re reading. A non-digital study Bible is often formatted with the study Bible notes below the Bible text, allowing for quick reference without having to leave the passage you’re reading. Depending on the study Bible, you may see historical and contextual background information, cross references to other verses, maps, charts, and more.

Study Bibles in the Olive Tree Bible App work much the same way. While you’re reading the Bible text, the resource guide will pull in the content from any study Bible you have in your library to give you quick access to helpful information. We have a video about how this works on our YouTube Channel.

BIBLE COMMENTARY

The first major difference between a Bible commentary and a study Bible is that a Bible commentary is its own book. In fact, it’s probably more than one book. Bible commentaries usually come in massive volumes—one for each book of the Bible! The print version of the 61 Vols. Word Biblical Commentary series would take up 7 feet on your bookshelf. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I’m in love with electronic Bible resources.

There are also single-volume commentaries, but don’t let that fool you. They still contain much more information than a typical study Bible.

Commentaries also come in three different types: devotional, homiletical, and exegetical.

Devotional commentaries focus on applying the Bible to daily life. These publications are much more relaxed, written by one person, and don’t cover the entire Bible verse-by-verse.

Homiletical (homilies = sermons) commentaries focus on interpreting the Bible and then applying it. These commentary sets are written by preachers for preachers. They are also great for preparing to teach the Bible in any capacity, not just from the pulpit.

Exegetical commentaries focus on the more academic processes of uncovering the author’s original meaning. Oftentimes, these publications will explain passages from the original Hebrew and Greek, go in-depth on cultural and historical references, and address scholarly disputes.

WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU?

First, it’s important to remember that study Bible notes and Bible commentaries are both interpretations of Scripture! Just as you would prayerfully evaluate a sermon, evaluate the contents of any resource you read. No human-made book is perfect in the way that God’s Word is!

If you are looking for quick, easy insights on Scripture, a study Bible or a one-volume commentary is a fantastic place to start. Right now, we have the First Century Study Bible and the Zondervan Bible Commentary (1 Vol.) on sale.

If you’re wanting to go deeper, you may want to pick a commentary set like the Everyman’s Bible Commentary or something similar. I’m really excited about this particular set because, up until now, it’s never been sold as a set digitally—anywhere!

I hope this post was helpful to you! As always, if you ever have a question, feel free to reach out to us in a comment, email, or on our social channels.

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From Nothing to Everything

Posted by on 07/12/2017 in: ,

I look absolutely nothing like the rest of my family, sporting stick-straight blonde hair and blue eyes. My mother is a quarter Native American, my dad is an Irishman, and my sister is half African American. We always look like an odd bunch of people when we go out for dinner. I’ve even been asked by a waiter how we all know each other. I looked around the table at all our contrasting faces; “They’re my family,” I said.

Throughout my life I’ve been asked many questions about this characteristic, such as:

Do you wonder about your biological family?

If you could live with them, would you?

Do you really consider your mom to be your mom?

When you say dad… you mean your adopted dad, right?

Is it weird?

I honestly don’t mind the questions, but that’s probably because I don’t mind being adopted. Instead, it’s this one characteristic that brought about a deep understanding of God’s love for me—and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

You see, in Romans 8, the apostle Paul talks about adoption. He says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:14-15, NIV).

From my personal experience and observation, I took a few key points away from this passage. When I watched my parents adopt my little sister, I saw them dedicate time, money, and energy so that they could leave the courtroom saying, “This is my daughter. I love her. She’s mine.” And it doesn’t stop there. They then embarked on a life-long journey of caring for my sister, teaching her and shaping her. God does this for us, too. We leave the courtroom with him, calling him Father.

My personal understanding of adoption speaks volumes into my understanding of God. But it is also so important to investigate the cultural understanding of adoption during the time of the apostle Paul. The Archaeological Study Bible explains that, in the ancient Greco-Roman world, “only free men (not women or slaves) could adopt, and the adoptee was often an adult rather than a child.” Additionally, an adoptee “took the adopter’s name and rank and became his legal heir.”

When Paul embraced the metaphor of adoption, he meant so much more than receiving a new guardian. Where an adopted child may learn the new family’s customs, share in the labor, and easily fit into the new societal ranking, a grown adult may not. An adopted adult would cling to their old ways. An adopted adult would struggle to transition into their new identity. But, despite these challenges, the adoptee is welcomed in, being brought from poverty to riches, from shame to honor, from slave to free, from nothing to everything.

We, too, can welcome this change in our identity. We can rejoice in the eternal relationship we have with our God. We can call him Abba, Father, and he calls us his children.

Interested in learning more about the archaeological, historical, and cultural information tucked inside your Bible? The Archaeological Study Bible contains over 500 articles and 500 full-color photos. Best part? It’s on sale right now.

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14 Facts about Biblical Life

Posted by on 07/07/2017 in:

When you understand ancient biblical life and the culture in which Scripture was written you can more easily see how it applied to life then and how it applies to life today.

Ancient Health Practices:
1. Although there was no theory of communicable diseases, the isolation of the leper looks very much like quarantine (Lev. 13:45). The modern disease called leprosy is a particular infection called Hansen’s disease. Its symptoms are different from the leprosy mentioned in the Bible.

2. Balm is a kind of resin taken from trees by cutting the bark. It was used as a perfume and was considered effective as a medicine (Jer. 51:8). Although Gilead is mentioned together with balm (Jer. 8:22; 46:11), the substance was not produced in Gilead. It may have been transported through Gilead or sold there. Ancient pharmaceuticals consisted mainly of plant products recommended by tradition.

Ancient Food Practices:
3. The salt used in ancient times was not refined, and there was always some proportion of chemicals present in addition to sodium chloride. If the fraction useful for flavoring food was leached away by dampness, what remained was without value. It was sometimes strewn on paths like gravel, since it was “then good for nothing” (Matt. 5:13).

4. The custom of eating while reclining seems to have come from Palestine from the East. People ate from common dishes on a low table as they reclined on large couches. The banquets of the rich included musicians, fine foods, and perfumes for the guests. Ivory inlays decorated the wooden parts of luxurious furniture (Amos 6:4). Examples of such inlay survive, showing how it was carved by artisans.

5. Fasting appears in the Bible as a natural expression of feeling distress, sorrow, and guilt (Deut. 9:18). It does not play a large part in the Law of Moses, where only one mandatory fast is found – on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29-31). The apostle Paul called this day “the Fast” (Acts 27:9).

Ancient Marriage & Family:
6. Jewish people regarded marriage as the natural duty of men and women. In line with Jewish tradition, Paul suggested that a person should marry in order to avoid sexual immorality (1 Cor. 7:9). The apostle also understood marriage and celibacy to be gifts of God (7:7). When he advocated remaining single (7:8), he was conscious of people’s usual expectation that adult men, and especially religious leaders, would marry.

7. A marriage was a union of two families, not just of two people. The formalities and celebrations could continue for several days, or even into the night. Jesus told a parable of a midnight procession that took place during wedding festivities (Matt. 25:1-6). One could never know exactly when someone would return from a wedding feast (Luke 12:36).

8. The status of women in the ancient world was not the same in every culture. For example, Roman women were more independent than Greek women. The Book of Proverbs describes the “virtuous wife” (Prov. 31:10) as a woman who has authority over her household economy and is free to do many different things. She is industrious (31:13-15) and resourceful (31:16-19).

Ancient Fashion & Clothing:
9. Sandals were such personal items that they symbolically represented their owner in some legal transactions. In one type of business transaction, removal of the sandal confirmed an exchange of buying and selling. Such an exchange could even include the acquisition of a wife (Ruth 4:7-10).

10. Ancient societies did not change their fashion of clothing every year. Certain garments and styles could persist for generations. At the same time, there was room for people to exercise vanity and to advertise their rank in society (James 2:2). Rings and other items of jewelry clearly had such functions.

11. A wedding party was a substantial, almost public affair. Guests wore their best clothes as participants in an important ritual of the social order. A person who attended without being properly dressed proclaimed indifference, not so much to the one holding the party, but to the people of the village and their common interests. Jesus’ hearers would sense the dishonor of a guest lacking the appropriate wedding garment (Matt. 22:11).

Ancient Music & Literature:
12. Traditionally riddles were important tests of someone’s wisdom, insight, and skill. In some cases a riddle was offered as a test whose outcome was of far-reaching importance, if not life and death. Although Samson was marrying a Philistine woman, relations between Israelites and Philistines were strained. The Philistines were serious about finding the answer to Samson’s riddle (Judg. 14:14).

13. The ancient world had wind, percussion, and stringed instruments. The main instruments of the Israelites seem to have been small harps and percussion instruments, not including drums (1 Chr. 13:8). The percussion instruments include the metal rattle called a sistrum that was a favorite in Egypt. The titles of the psalms probably include some names of musical tunes.

14. Ministers today often use sermon illustrations to help their hearers understand a sermon’s point. In the same way, ancient Jewish teachers often told stories to illustrate whatever moral principle they were trying to communicate. Sometimes these parables had one central point. In other cases, such as Jesus’ parable of the sower and the four soils (Mark 4:2-8), parables included several points of comparisons. Because Jewish parables were usually stories, we understand Jesus’ parables best when we consider them as stories.

You can learn more about the historical context of Scripture by using a resource like the NKJV Chronological Study Bible!

Blog adapted from Bibleconnectionnews.com

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Link Biblical Themes—Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible

Posted by on 07/05/2017 in: ,

Commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding what the Bible has to say to us today. However, sometimes we forget that scripture itself can help us understand other parts of scripture. God’s inspired Word is a complex tapestry of themes all woven together, and the development of those themes can provide us with insight into the relevant message of the Bible.

Finding the pattern in this tapestry isn’t an easy task, though. I like to use the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible, which links various themes together as they are touched upon and developed throughout Scripture. It quickly reveals thousands of thematic chains within my Olive Tree Bible App at the touch of my finger. Not only that, but this resource also contains a great study Bible, offering cross references, book outlines, book introductions, maps, and more.

Instead of simply telling you, I’ll show you how easy this tool is to use in five easy steps on my iPad.

1. PICK A PASSAGE

Pull up 1 Samuel chapter 17 up in your Bible, or any other passage you want to study. Your screen may look a bit different than ours depending on what device you’re using and the number of resources you have.

2. OPEN THE RESOURCE

Tap “Thompson Chain Reference” from the resource guide. Your split-window view will change to a list of verses directly related to your location in the Bible.

3. CHOOSE A VERSE

Select the verse you want by tapping on it in the split window. In this example we’ll choose 17:4.

4. PICK A THEME

You can now choose the theme you want to explore in the list under the verse. For example, choosing “1409 Giants” results in the following:

5. READ!

Now it’s as easy as tapping on each verse reference to get a pop-up window. There you can read verses that touch on the same topic. Now you’ve just learned more about giants in the Bible!

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