How to Use a Bible Dictionary
I didn’t know there was such a thing as a Bible dictionary until I went to seminary. I quickly learned that Bible dictionaries are incredibly helpful, especially when trying to figure out if you were supposed to write a paper on Herod the Great, Herod Antipas or Herod Agrippa I. (Bonus points if you can tell me in the comments which Herod imprisoned John the Baptist, without looking it up, of course.)
In the Bible Study app, there are three easy ways to use a Bible dictionary:
Table of Contents
The simplest way to use a Bible dictionary is with the table of contents. Open your dictionary in the main window and tap on “Go To” to pull up the table of contents. If you know what you are looking for just scan through the alphabet to find it.
While this may be the traditional way to use a dictionary, in the Bible Study app there are two other ways to use a Bible dictionary that are much cooler.
Open the Bible in your main window and the Resource Guide in the split window. The Resource Guide has three sections called People, Places and Topics that generate results based on the Scripture you’re reading. These sections will update with new related items as you read through the Bible. Select one of the People, Places or Topics to do a quick search in your dictionaries for any entries.
Click on the thumbnails to see the full image.
Reading in Acts 10, I can tap on Caesarea from the Places section in the Resource Guide and pull open an article from my Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary on the city in the split window. I don’t have to close my Bible at all, I can read the two side-by-side.
My favorite way to use a Bible dictionary is to the leverage the Look Up function in the Bible Study app. When I come to a word or name that I don’t recognize and want to find a quick definition I simply tap and highlight the word and select “Look Up.”
The Look Up function will search my library for dictionaries that contain that entry. I don’t have to pull open a dictionary or search through an index to find a definition. The Look Up feature will pull up the definition in a pop-up window, so all I have to do is tap off to the side to close the pop-up. In this way, I can quickly get back to my Bible reading with little interruption.
I would highly recommend getting a Bible dictionary if you don’t already have one. In the examples above, I am using the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary which is currently half price. There are many other dictionaries to choose from on our Olive Tree store. Head to OliveTree.com to check them out!