Bible Study Tips: Using Study Bibles
You may have noticed a focus here at Olive Tree on Bible Study and how it can be done with our software. Olive Tree has focused on giving powerful Bible Study tools in a clean, beautiful application. I wrote previously on using Strong’s-tagged Bibles. I will now continue my series by discussing the benefit and ease of using Study Bible Notes in Olive Tree’s BibleReader.
For those who are unfamiliar with these resources, Study Bible Notes go through the Bible, book-by-book, providing background information, historical details, word studies, and brief commentary. They also usually provide an introduction to each book that includes information on the author, date, audience, timeline, outline, and more. Study Bible Notes are a veritable one-stop-shop for understanding the basics about a passage. If you are fairly new to Bible Study tools, Study Bible Notes are probably the first place I would point you.
I have been preparing to teach a Sunday school class on the book of Jude, and have found Study Bible Notes to be an excellent source of background information and quick reference tools. In particular I have been using the ESV Study Bible, the Reformation Study Bible Notes, the Harper Collins Study Bible Notes, and the NIV Study Bible Notes. The screen shots taken throughout this post come from one of those four resources.
One of the first questions I wanted answered when preparing for my class was who the author Jude was. By looking at the introduction to Jude in several Study Bible Notes, I was able to quickly learn all about him. I learned that a better translation of his name is actually Judas (not Iscariot, the betrayer), that there are a few different Judases in the Bible that could be the author, and that the most likely person is the brother of Jesus.
Another question that I sought answers for in the introductory section of the Study Bible Notes on Jude was why the letter was written, or what the intent of the letter is. I can get a quick summary of what was going on in the churches Jude was addressing and see what the discordant views he was combating were. In the case of Jude, he is writing to warn congregations against false teaching rising within the church claiming that because they had forgiveness of sins, they could go on sinning as much as they wanted to. This antinomian mindset is not only combated in Jude, but in 2 Peter and other books as well, a fact that I again am able to learn about in the Study Bible Notes.
Olive Tree’s BibleReader makes using Study Bible Notes easy and very helpful. You can open them in the main window, as my previous screen shots have shown, or you can keep your Bible open in the top window and open up the Study Bible Notes in the bottom window (this is for those platforms that allow split windows). The great thing about using them in split windows is that it not only allows you to see the Biblical text and the notes side by side for easy reference, but the notes will stay in sync as you navigate through the Bible, and vice-versa!
Sometimes you will come to a point when using split windows where you might not want the two windows to sync up. The screen shot above shows an example that I came across where I wanted to tap on the “Angels” link but I didn’t want my Bible text to leave Jude to go to Zechariah. BibleReader does let you “uncouple” the two windows from each other. In you bring up your Settings menu, and tap on “Split Window Settings,” you will see a list of settings related to split windows (see below). By tapping on “Sync Split Windows,” you are presented with the option to completely turn off syncing between windows, or to change which window “leads” the syncing (see below). If I were to select “Main window lead split window,” I would then be able to tap on the “Angels” link without changing the Bible location in the top window!
Hopefully this background of using Study Bible Notes has been helpful and informative. If you would like to see the complete selection of Study Bible Notes available at Olive Tree, click here.
-Steven C; Resource Conversion and Formatting