Archive for year 2010

Another New Face In The Book Formatting Department

Hello World!

My name is Ian, and I am one of the many new faces here at Olive Tree. Here are few things you might notice about me if you were to spend a day with me:

  • I love humor, and like to display this appreciation by laughing at myself and others.
  • I will immediately tune in to any conversation that mentions politics, history, philosophy, or religion.
  • I am usually fiddling with some sort of electronic device. Whether it be a computer at work or my bass at home. I love technology and the way it enables us to explore life.
  • I consume copious amounts of caffeine and sugar in relation to other food groups.
  • And finally, I really enjoy my work and think myself very lucky to be at a place like Olive Tree.

If you ever stop by the office, you can find me in the Book Formatting department working on new resources for BibleReader. Feel free to say hi and pull up a chair. We can have a quick chat and a hearty laugh while enjoying some morning coffee.

– Ian –

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.ESV Study Bible Outline

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.NIV Study Bible Intro

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.Harper Collins Study Bible Intro

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!Reformation Study Bible Split Window

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!

Split Window SettingsSplit Window Settings

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

Olive Tree Welcomes Dr. Bill Mounce

Olive Tree Bible Software is happy to announce that renowned Greek scholar, Dr. Bill Mounce, will be joining our ranks as the Vice President of Content and Learning.

Bill obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies (with a minor in Greek) at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He went on to earn an MA in Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a PhD in New Testament from Aberdeen University in Scotland.

Bill has previously served as a professor of New Testament and Greek at Azusa Pacific University, and as a professor of New Testament and the director of the Greek language program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Bill has also served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version translation committee, and is currently serving on the NIV translation committee for the 2011 revision.

Most recently, Bill was the VP of Educational Development at BibleGateway, the world’s largest online Christian website. His primary responsibilities were content acquisition and developing a strategy for online education.

Bill is very excited to be a part of Olive Tree. With his vision for using technology for ministry and education, it became apparent to Drew and others here at Olive Tree that he would fit in wonderfully with the goals and direction of our company.

So again, Bill, WELCOME!

BibleReader Makes a Church Camp Appearance

Rick Mansfield ( recently sent us a note telling us how he used BibleReader on his iPad to lead the Sunday morning Bible study of his church camping trip. We thought this was a great example of how BibleReader can not only aid in personal Bible study, but also teaching, so we wanted to share his thoughts.

We had 22 adults, 14 children and one dog in attendance. I was wrapping up a study we had been doing in 2 Corinthians. Due to the context [camping], I didn’t want to bother with bringing a Bible and keeping up with notes all weekend, so I prepared everything in advanced using BibleReader. I’ve been using BibleReader quite a lot lately on the iPad, but this was my first experience using it exclusively in a teaching setting. As I prepared the lesson, I was able to add my notes, highlight the verses I wanted to focus on, and add discussion questions. EVERYTHING was accessible in one application. Very awesome! I am very impressed with what I was able to do with BibleReader!

We too think that BibleReader on the iPad is an excellent tool for leading discussion groups, Bible studies, or even for preaching! We hope that you, like Rick Mansfield, will discover the flexibility, power and ease of using Olive Tree BibleReader.

Speaking of Rick, we also want to take the opportunity to tell everyone that Olive Tree CEO, Drew Haninger, will be participating in a discussion panel, “The Impact and Future of Mobile Bible Software,” of which Rick Mansfield is the chair, at the Accordance Users Conference, September 24-25 in Mesquite, Texas. You can click here to find out more information about this conference. And if you are going to be attending, stop by and say “hi” to Drew!

Software Development at Olive Tree – An Inside View

Personal blogs are a place to share your own unique musings and insights. David T, an Olive Tree developer, occasionally posts his thoughts about developing for Olive Tree’s BibleReader on his blog Digital Pericope.

What’s Going On At Olive Tree?

. . . I believe we are still at the defining moments of [Bible technology for mobile devices] and Olive Tree plans to lead the way on what that technology will look like.  Read the full post.

To keep up on David T’s thoughts on BibleReader, iPhone development, and more, check out his blog Digital Pericope. You can also find David on Twitter.

(More) New Faces in the Book Formatting Department

Hello! My name is Danielle, and I started working for Olive Tree in April as a book formatter. I have enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the magical process that is making a book appear on a cell phone (or iPad) screen. I love the project-oriented nature of this position and how I get to work on many different projects in any given week – or day, as the case may be.

Like most of the Olive Tree team, I am not originally from this area. I was born and raised in Arizona; specifically, I grew up in Sedona, AZ. If you ever find yourself doubting the existence of God, all you need to do is experience a Sedona sunset. Perhaps that is why thousands of people travel from all over the world to witness the uniquely shaped red rock mountains and the orange, pink and purple painted sky that accompanies the sun as it goes down, providing a truly grand finale to each day.

When choosing which college to attend, I was instantly attracted to Gonzaga University’s educational philosophy, which is “based on the centuries-old Ignatian model of educating the whole person – mind, body and spirit.” It was those exact words that gave me an unwavering desire to trust Gonzaga with some of the most important years of my life, knowing that I was also selecting the community that would help shape me into who I am today. It was not without very significant sacrifices that I was able to call Gonzaga home, but it was undoubtedly where I belonged; my experience proved to be everything I ever thought or hoped it would be. I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

I am very proud and thankful to be working for Olive Tree, a company that truly values people at the root of it all; which is shown through its genuine care and concern in providing a quality product to its customers and fostering the success of its employees. It’s exciting working in a field of constant change and growth, as technology continues to evolve and become more and more integral to everyday life.

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