From Guest Blogger: Shawn Woo

As an avid Bible reader, I need a simple and user-friendly interface that facilitates my daily reading and sharing of the Bible, but as a pastor-in-training, I also need powerful features and extensive resources for in-depth exegetical study. Olive Tree serves these dual functions for me as my default Bible Study App.

Every morning, I use the M’Cheyne Bible-Reading Plan, which gets me through the New Testament and the Psalms twice, and the rest of the Old Testament once, in a year. Olive Tree reminds me what to read and shows me the progress I am making so I never have to worry about losing my place.

Of course, I don’t merely read from the plan. Sometimes I need to study a particular passage or research a topic, then I use the search function to find what I need via verse references or key words (Bye bye concordance!).


image2While reading, I highlight verses and passages that speak to me afresh, and share them on Facebook and/or Twitter. You can even highlight multiple verses at a time, which is very convenient! I use the blue highlighter for the OT, red for the NT, and yellow for my memory verses.


In addition to highlighting, I take notes, which I have sorted into six categories, Exegesis, Gospel, Mission, Spiritual Formation, Theology, and Miscellaneous. Within each of these categories I have sub-categories. For example, I have my Theology folder subdivided into major Systematic Theology categories. Each individual note is also tagged with key words and/or phrases so that I can easily find them.



image4These functions greatly facilitate my Bible study, because my notes are collected and organized in accessible fashion, as opposed to being scattered throughout thousands of pages. Furthermore, I never have to worry about losing all my highlights and notes when I get a new Bible. Olive Tree automatically syncs my highlights and notes across the different Bible versions that I have on my device! I can also back-up my notes on Evernote through Olive Tree for added security.

When I need to delve deeper into a passage of Scripture in preparation for preaching, I reference the original Greek or Hebrew, do word studies using theological dictionaries, and peruse my favorite commentaries for further insights.

Having Olive Tree on my phone means that I have the Bible with me everywhere I go. It’s a great way to stay connected to the Word of God as I go about my business in the world!