Archive for year 2007

A quick update from ETS

I’m in San Diego right now standing at the Olive Tree booth at the annual conference for ETS. We were excited to see user responses to the new Unicode HMT. We talked to and helped a lot of happy Olive Tree users – this was my favorite part of this year’s ETS. Now it’s off to downtown San Diego to get set up for SBL. More later…

- Stephen

Early Release of Unicode HMT Available at ETS/SBL

This week we are headed to beautiful San Diego, CA for the Evangelical Theological Society’s (ETS) national conference and for the Society of Biblical Literature’s (SBL) national conference. We would love for you to come by our booth at ETS and/or at SBL. We will be at booth 517 at ETS and booth 419 at SBL. We will have an early release version’s of the new Unicode HMT available for sale at both of these conferences. For those who have already purchased the HMT you can drop by our booth and we will upgrade your files for free :)


New Products in the Last Month

Olive Tree has been releasing new products at a record rate! We have never before delivered such a great selection of Bibles, eBooks, dictionaries, Bible study aids and devotionals at such a pace as we have in the last month. We have posted over 30 new products since the beginning of October, including some very valuable and useful tools and some insightful and inspiring devotionals and eBooks. Although I could talk about all our new products at length, I want to take some time to highlight some of my recent favorites. As always, you can find all our recently released products for the last two months in our New Releases section.

Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names: This concise but exhaustive dictionary gives the Greek and/or Hebrew translations of all the names in the Bible. Names have meaning in the Bible, and here is a resource that every Bible student should have. I only regret that the authors did not include verse references for the names; however, since they use the KJV and NIV versions, a simple search in one of those Bibles on  your mobile device would quickly return all the results you need!

Josephus and Philo: As a history major, I cannot help but enjoy studying the context of the Bible, and these two ancient authors, although not Christians, tell us what the world was like when Jesus physically walked the earth. If you haven’t got these yet, you should because they cost you nothing. Like many resources from Olive Tree, these are free.

A Compassionate Roar: John Anderson’s call to Christians to awake to their moral and spiritual duties in the face of an immoral and godless world is a great reminder of our responsibility before God to stand up for Him in a sober, compassionate and firm way.

Norwegian Bible; Basque New Testament; Polish New Testament; Swedish 1917 Bible; Reina Valera 1858 New Testament: One of my favorite aspects about working for Olive Tree is how many free Bibles we offer in many languages of the world for missionaries and Christians all across the globe. These Bible translations, like so many other free Bibles from Olive Tree, are offered to you at no charge.

Complete Bible Discussion Guide: If you have a Bible study or are looking for a systematic way to study a passage in the Bible, this is it! Author Mack Thomas has study questions for every chapter of the Bible that lets you mine the riches of God’s Word.

Teach Me to Pray; Strengthen My Spirit; Grant Me Wisdom; Renew My Heart: These four daily devotionals, containing extracts from Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry and John Wesley respectively, are treasure chests of inspiration, filled with these classic writer’s faith-infusing, challenging and refreshing words. Each are less than four dollars, and provide a year’s worth of blessings.

These titles above are just a sampling of what Olive Tree has released recently, including devotionals from Frances Roberts, The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort, and more. Like I said before, check out our New Releases section for all the latest products!


Update to Windows Mobile Soft Keys

We have made an update to how the Windows Mobile soft keys work if you enable the soft keys (you can enable this option in Menu->Options->Toolbar Options). When you enable the soft keys, the main toolbar is replaced by a left and right soft key. You can customize what commands appear under the left soft key menu by changing the commands for the primary toolbar in the “Toolbar Options”.

This feature is nice for one-handed navigation because now you can access all of the commands on the toolbar through the soft key menu system.

You can download a beta version of the BibleReader with this updated feature from

PPC Soft Keys

- Stephen

An Author Everyone Should Know

Few Christian writers, from the present or the past, have affected my life and the lives of other Christians I know as much as Andrew Murray (1828-1917). His books are the kind you come back to again and again, savoring every line, reading slowly and prayerfully, drawing near to the Christ he knew and loved and expressed so well. It’s hard to read very far without stopping to pray, for the Spirit of prayer seems to be the very atmosphere of Andrew Murray’s books; moreover, the author speaks so directly to you, the reader, that it’s sometimes hard to believe you don’t know him; of course, in the Spirit, as a fellow member of Christ’s body, you do.

Andrew Murray grew up in South Africa nearly two centuries ago, both his father and grandfather being Scottish missionaries to that vast, untamed land. After attending school in Aberdeen, Scotland, and receiving theological training in the Netherlands, Andrew returned to South Africa as an ordained minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. This author almost never refers to himself in his books, so it’s surprising to read a biography of Murray and to find out about the trials he endured and the burdens he bore. Once, as a young pastor, serving remote farmers in the wide-open landscape, he was surrounded by wolves. After his horse threw him and ran away, Murray walked by faith the rest of the way to his parishioners’ farmhouse, many miles it was, wolves snapping at him all the while but never touching him. Though a man of much practical experience, it seems that Murray focuses every book on one thing only: the indwelling Christ.

Olive Tree Bible Software is privileged to be able to publish in electronic format several of this beloved writer’s books (which number some 240), a few of which I’ll describe briefly. In The New Life: Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ Murray addresses new believers concerning the wonderful life they have received, his clear intention being to establish firmly their faith in Christ and to encourage them on the path of life and fruitfulness in Him. In With Christ in the School of Prayer, the author presents thirty-one lessons on prayer, one for every day of the month, echoing the disciples’ plea, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Reading this book, one is infused with faith that God wants to answer our prayers even more than we want them answered; in fact, He put the desire within us to begin with. In The Deeper Christian Life, Murray relates that the first and chief need of our Christian life is fellowship with God. Indeed, this theme, and the blessedness of abiding moment by moment in Christ, in absolute surrender, trusting Him to accomplish all that He has promised to do in us and through us, is the essential message of Andrew Murray’s fervent ministry to the body of Christ.

“I have learnt,” he says, “to place myself before God every day, as a vessel to be filled with His Holy Sprit. He has filled me with the blessed assurance that He, as the everlasting God, has guaranteed His work in me. If there is one lesson that I am learning day by day, it is this; that it is God who worketh all in all. Oh, that I could help any brother or sister to realize this!”

New Features for One Handed Navigation

Many of you may remember my post about one handed navigation on Palm from the start of the summer. I am pleased to say that we have added more one handed navigation features to both Palm and Pocket PC :) I have three main ways that I use the BibleReader. I use the BibleReader for reading, following along in church/Bible studies, and studying the Bible. When I am reading or following along in church I typically don’t have my stylus out. Having to pull it out is distracting and too cumbersome for performing a simple task. This is where one handed navigation is a life saver. You can now use most features of the BibleReader without using a stylus :)

The new one handed navigation features are in version 3.69.228 and above of the BibleReader. You can download this version from the beta web site

The big new feature that we added for one handed navigation is “5-way navigation of hyperlinks”. This feature lets you select hyperlinks (including publisher notes) using the 5-way arrow pad. There are two options that you can enable with this feature. You can have the left/right arrows navigate hyperlinks and/or you can have the up/down arrows navigate the hyperlinks. Palm users can find these options the Menu->Options->Preferences and then select “Scrolling” from the drop down in the upper right corner. Windows Mobile (Pocket PC) users can find these preference in the “Scrolling Preferences”.

If you choose to have the up/down arrows navigate the hyperlinks then when you click on the down arrow it will put a dotted box around the next hyperlink on the screen. If there are no more hyperlinks on the screen then it will do the scrolling behavior for the down arrow. You can click on the center button to follow a hyperlink. For books like CWSB and Gramcord that have lots of hyperlinks it can be helpful to enable both the up/down and left/right arrows to navigate hyperlinks. When you have both options selected clicking on the down arrow will go to the hyperlink below the hyperlink with the box around it.

When you are just reading having the arrow keys constantly highlighting hyperlinks can be annoying. You don’t want to have to go to the options every time to turn this feature on/off since that would defeat the purpose of being able to quickly select a hyperlink without pulling out your stylus. We added a shortcut called “Toggle 5Way Hyperlink”. You can assign this shortcut to a hardware key on your device. You can use this shortcut to turn the 5-way navigation of hyperlinks on and off.

Soft Key Toolbar

On Windows Mobile 5 Phone Edition and Windows Mobile 6 Professional (Windows Mobile devices with soft keys) we have added another toolbar that makes one-handed navigation much easier. In the toolbar options you can enable the option to “Use Windows Mobile 5 & 6 Soft Keys”. This will make the main toolbar be two buttons that work with the left and right soft keys. With this toolbar you can easily access all of the BibleReader features without having to use the stylus to access the toolbar.

As if that wasn’t enough we have also fixed up the 5-way navigation on many of the Windows Mobile BibleReader dialog boxes. Now you can use your 5-way keys to navigate dialog boxes like the search screen.

There are other one handed navigation features in the Palm and Windows Mobile BibleReader. You can read about some of them in the blog one handed navigation on Palm. Many of the features talked about in that blog article also apply to the Windows Mobile BibleReader.

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