After you’ve studied the Bible for yourself, it’s often helpful to read trusted Bible scholars to see how they explain the text you’re reading. Commentaries are a great way to do just that and The Bible Study App makes them even more powerful!

Here are a few quick tips on how to get the best experience with commentaries in The Bible Study App (screenshots are taken from an iPad 2).

Resource Guide

Open your preferred Bible translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the split window.  You’ll see relevant commentary “hits” in the split window.

(click on the images for a larger view)

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The Bible Study App also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.  This means that as you move along in the Bible text, your commentaries sync to exactly where you are in your study.  No more flipping pages back and forth.  No more holding the commentary text open on your desk in one spot, reading through your Bible text, and having to go back and find your place in the commentary. You’ll save an enormous amount of time with this feature alone.

Comparing Commentaries within the Resource Guide

Not only does the Resource Guide keep up with you in one commentary, it keeps track in ALL of your commentaries.  This makes comparing multiple commentaries easy.  In this example, I’ve got the Boice Expositional Commentary Series, Thru the Bible Commentary series, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, The Preacher’s Commentary Series, and the Zondervan Bible Commentary all showing “hits” from the Matthew 12:1-8 passage I’m studying.

With hard copies, I would have to go and find this passage in each commentary and then compare.  With the Bible Study App, the Resource Guide keeps track of where I am.  All I have to do is tap the book cover and it lists out the relevant sections of the commentary for me.  I then tap the section that interests me and The Bible Study App takes me exactly to that place in the commentary.

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To see what each commentary says about the passage in my main window, I just tap the “back” button and The Bible Study App will take me back to the “hits” list.  I then follow the same process as I did before to read my secondary commentary resource.  This is especially helpful if I’m comparing more technical, research-driven commentaries versus more devotional/pastoral commentaries.

Comparing Commentaries in the Main and Split Windows

Another handy way to compare commentaries on a specific passage is to place one of my commentaries in the main window.  I then open the resource guide in the split window.  Since commentaries are based on the biblical text, the resource guide searches my library for relevant content.  This means that I can check other commentaries for comparison and see what other scholars have said about the passage I’m studying.

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Search

Putting your commentary in the main window will also allow you to search your commentaries for words or passages.  Take “Sabbath” as our example.  You can search the entire commentary series for where “Sabbath” is mentioned.  You can also limit your search to the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical genre, or a specific book.

When your search hits are displayed, you can tap on the result to go directly to that passage. You can also copy the text to add to an existing note or add a note right from the search results.

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As above, I can open the resource guide and see results from all my commentaries and other resources on my device.

Linked Reference Pop ups

One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the other biblical references within the commentary. For example, when I’m reading in Matthew about Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath, there are references to the Old Testament that I want to understand. With a hard copy, I have to open a different Bible and find each and every reference to read how the verse relates to what I am currently studying.  This is time consuming, slows down my study momentum, and requires me to keep all of my study materials out and open, spread out over a large desk space. With The Bible Study App, the scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text.  All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.

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As you can see, using commentaries within The Bible Study App gives you the best in scholarly work while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.