Author Archives for Cierra Loux

Look Inside: Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity

October 15, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

LOOK INSIDE: DICTIONARY OF DAILY LIFE Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity has quite a long, exact, title—just like its dictionary entries. We were seriously impressed with the depth of information provided in this resource. So much so, we want to give you a look inside. Keep reading to find out the inspiration behind this dictionary, its contents, and how it conveniently works in the app. AUTHOR: DICTIONARY OF DAILY LIFE In the introduction of the Dictionary of Daily Life, Edwin Yamauchi gives an insightful explanation of why he put together this resource. Instead of summarizing it, we put it here for you to read: Edwin M. Yamauchi “While there are many excellent Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, and popular books on biblical backgrounds available, I had noticed a serious deficiency. I noted that while every one of these had an entry on “Abomination,” none (with the exception of the six-volume Anchor Bible Dictionary) had an entry on “Abortion.” Why was this the case? It was because these references were keyed to the words which occurred in the Bible. From my 40 years of teaching the history of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, early Judaism, and early Christianity,... View Article


The Growth of the Disciples

October 8, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In Mark 8, we see huge growth for the disciples. They go from worrying about where they will get their next meal to proclaiming that Jesus is God. If you read quickly through the chapter, you may not think critically about all the changes that take place. But, with a Bible like the ESV Story of Redemption Bible, you’ll get easy-to-read commentary that shows you the ebb and flow of the story. Be guided through the story and transformation that happens in Mark 8 with the ESV Story of Redemption Bible below. JESUS FEEDS THE FOUR THOUSAND Just as he fed a multitude in Jewish lands, Jesus now does exactly the same thing here in Gentile lands. The symbolism again is rich: the resources and bounty of the kingdom are limitless and are not only for Jews but also—just as God had promised Abraham—for all the families of the nations. MARK 8:1-10 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will... View Article


Meditating on His Word

October 3, 2018 7:00 am Published by 10 Comments

Many have written about the hyperactivity of today’s contemporary society and our cultural attention deficit disorder that makes slow reflection and meditation a lost art. Nonetheless, if prayer is to be a true conversation with God, it must be regularly preceded by listening to God’s voice through meditation on the Scripture. Learn about meditating on Scripture with this excerpt from The NKJV Ancient-Modern Bible and Timothy Keller. THE FIRST PSALM Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. — Psalm... View Article


Stay in the Word: The Last 90 Days of 2018

October 1, 2018 7:00 am Published by 10 Comments

On October 2nd, the countdown for the last 90 days of 2018 begins. In those last 90 days, we enter the busy holiday season, full of food, family, and let’s be real, laziness. (I often call it hibernation in order to feel better about it). During this time, we typically start letting go of our routine and goals. We promise ourselves that we will return to them after the start of the new year… even though we have an entire quarter of the year to go. So, we’ve put together three suggestions on how you can stay on top of your spiritual growth these next 90 days. Read them, make a plan, get some accountability, and stay in the Word during the holidays. NEW! VERSE OF THE DAY WIDGET Our latest update brought a big change to the app: audio Bibles and books. However, that wasn’t the only change! On iOS devices, you can now add the Verse of the Day as a widget. You can quickly see the verse and the image, without even opening the app. Hopefully, this will keep your mind more focused during these last 90 days. Use this as a daily reminder to get into the... View Article


8 Tips for Audio in the Olive Tree Bible App

September 28, 2018 7:00 am Published by 4 Comments

When we released the audio update, it was important that we taught you the basics first. But now, a bit of time has passed, and we have a few tips on how to make the most of the new features. Here are 8 tips and tricks for audio in the Olive Tree Bible App. EXPERIENCE THE NEW LIBRARY VIEW The audio update wasn’t just an audio update. We changed up a few things in the library! The largest improvement is the book covers. By turning on Grid View from the menu in the top-right, you can see all your resources in a more visually-appealing way, as seen below. We love this layout because it communicates the value behind the products you have in your library. They may not go on a bookshelf, but you’ve still built a collection worth admiring! DISCOVER A VARIETY OF AUDIO BOOKS We were able to add over 1,300 new audio products in preparation of this release. It’s very exciting, but also very challenging to decide how to organize that many titles. Here’s a tip on how to find audio books that are up your alley. Instead of click on the audio tab, still go to... View Article


Audio: More Genres Than You’d Think

September 24, 2018 7:00 am Published by 3 Comments

With the release of our new audio feature, we also released a good amount of audio Bibles and audio books—over 1,300 new products. That can be overwhelming to look through! So, here is a breakdown of different types of audio Bibles and audio books we’ve released, with links to some of our favorites. Enjoy! AUDIO BOOKS Audio books are just what you would expect audio books to be… with a few extra-special features. First, you can either download or stream these from your device. You can add bookmarks to your favorite spots you want to return to. And lastly, you can do other things in the app while you listen or even leave the app entirely — the audio will keep playing. POPULAR BOOKS Soul Keeping by John Ortberg “Two things are for sure. One is: you have a soul. The other is: if you don’t look after this one you won’t be issued a replacement. Bestselling author John Ortberg writes another classic that will help readers discover their soul and take their relationship with God to the next level.” Grace Revealed by Jerry Sittser “Twenty years ago, Jerry Sittser lost his daughter, wife, and mother in a car accident. He... View Article


How Audio Bibles Change The Way You Engage

September 21, 2018 7:00 am Published by 5 Comments

By listening to the Bible, you may think you’ve joined the new phenomenon of audio book, podcasts, etc. However, you’re actually participating in an ancient tradition of listening to God’s Word read aloud. Here are four ways that audio Bibles can change the way you engage Scripture and the world around you. ENGAGE HOLISTICALLY WITH AUDIO BIBLES Ancient Near-Eastern societies were hearing dominant. They didn’t have much that compares to books and authors like we do today. Instead, all information was shared orally. Traditions and stories were passed on, generation by generation, through word of mouth. This may seem incredibly impressive—but, think about how many songs you know the words to, without ever seeing them written down. If you hear something enough times, you’re sure to remember it. In our days of writing and reading, authority is often found in books and authors. But, in hearing-dominant societies, authority remains in tradition and community. We can see this play out even after Jesus leaves. The Gospels weren’t written immediately after the ascension. Instead, for years the disciples shared the good news by word-of-mouth. The stories of Jesus’ life belonged to the Christian community and were preserved by their constant re-hashing of events.... View Article


10 Things to Know About Olive Tree Audio

September 17, 2018 10:00 am Published by 36 Comments

During a meeting a few months ago, the head of our development team showed us a chart. But this was not a normal chart. A gamut of colors, lines, and words, mostly indiscernible to non-developers, filled the screen like a jumbled mess of colorful spaghetti. This, we were told, is our new goal. After many pots of coffee, inspirational meetings, and finally putting a legend on the chart, a brand-new feature emerged from this tangled web: Olive Tree audio Bibles and books. After months of hard work, we have finally released this new feature in our app.  You can get this new feature as soon as the update hits your device. For iOS devices, you’ll need to have iOS 10 or higher. For Android, you’ll need to be running 5.0 or higher. But, like most things we do, we want to go above and beyond expectations. We don’t want people to use our app to only read the Bible. We want people to study the Bible. So, why would our audio experience only consist of listening to the Bible? That would be too easy. Here are 10 ways the Olive Tree audio feature will raise the bar. Rather watch a... View Article


Healing Two Women: Commentary on Mark 5:21-43

September 3, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Jesus did many remarkable miracles during his ministry. One of the most captivating is his healing of two women on the same day in Mark 5. When reading this passage with commentary, you gain so many insights that you wouldn’t know otherwise. So, we’ve included excerpts from the IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, 2nd Edition. Enjoy reading this familiar passage with commentary on Mark 5. FROM THE IVP BIBLE BACKGROUND COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT, 2nd EDITION This passage includes two cases of reversing uncleanness: a woman with a continual flow of blood and a corpse (see Lev 15:19-33; Num 19:11-22). Even after the flow stopped, the first woman would be counted unclean for seven days (Lev 15:28); the dead girl was even more unclean, so that one who touched her contracted impurity for a week (Num 19:11). MEETING JAIRUS — MARK 5:21-24  21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come... View Article