Author Archives for Cierra Klatt

Getting Started: Bible Handbooks

April 24, 2018 7:00 am Published by 2 Comments

A Bible handbook gives a clearly written overview of the Bible. So, it is a perfect companion to Bible reading. It’s arranged in the order of the books of the Bible. Also, it provides background before you read through a Bible book, commentary and illustrations as you read, and topical and historical notes to expand your understanding. The first Bible handbook ever published was Halley’s Bible Handbook. It was a revolutionary concept that came out of Dr. Halley’s desire to get people to read the Bible with more understanding. Notably, it remains a perennial bestseller to this day. We recently released Halley’s Bible Handbook Deluxe Edition! It is the 25th edition of this classic and trustworthy study tool. HOW TO CHOOSE A Bible handbook is arranged in the order of the books of the Bible, and typically contains maps, charts, indexes, essays on special topics, outlines of Bible books, brief commentary on the Bible text, and cross-references to other parts of the Handbook. ASK YOURSELF Is it more devotional or informational? Which am I looking for? How much more content does it have than my study Bible? Is it too basicfor my needs? Do I plan to use it permanently... View Article

Does the Old Testament Law Still Apply?

April 16, 2018 7:00 am Published by 99 Comments

It’s a question we all ask ourselves at some point: does the Old Testament law still apply? Read the passage below along with the notes taken from the Chronological Life Application Study Bible to help you explore this question. “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” — MATTHEW 5:17-20 DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW STILL APPLY? If Jesus did not come to abolish the law, does that mean all the Old Testament laws still apply to us today? In the Old Testament,... View Article

Mix & Match Study Bibles

April 11, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you buy a paper study Bible, you have the Bible text and study notes. Because there is just one Bible text, that means you are limited to that translation if you want to refer to those study notes. Here are some problems that may arise: You want to use a different translation.  Paper solution? Open another Bible. Now you have two books open: twice the flipping, twice the confusion, and twice the time. You want to look at two sets of study Bible notes. Paper solution? Same as above. Now you have THREE books open! And that’s just the beginning. There is another way. With digital study Bibles at Olive Tree, we give you two resources: the Bible text and the study notes. This way you can mix and match translations and study notes as often as you’d like. The options are ENDLESS.

How to Build Your Ultimate Study Bible

April 9, 2018 7:00 am Published by 8 Comments

Paper copies don’t allow you to build your own study Bible—at least, not without a lot of glue, precision, and paper cuts. With digital resources, you can have the exact study Bible you want in just four, easy steps. Here’s how to build your ultimate study Bible with Olive Tree. 1) PICK A TRANSLATION In fact, pick two or three. Using multiple translations in your Bible study is much more helpful than you may realize. Why? Translations can be categorized across a spectrum. On one side, there are word-for-word translations. These sometimes sound awkward and can be a bit confusing, but are meant to be a more literal interpretation or the original language. The further you get to this end of the spectrum, the better than translation is for word studies and academic research. On the other side of the spectrum, there are thought-for-thought translations. When we hire translators to interpret a presentation or book, they often use this method. Language does not always translate well word-for-word. It would lose it’s meaning! So, thought-for-thought translations aim to express the main concept and emotion of the text in a way modern speakers can understand. Like I said, these range on a... View Article

Interlinear Bibles in the App

April 7, 2018 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Learning Greek can be a difficult task. It takes years of study and countless hours of practice before you reach the point of reading the Greek New Testament without the help of additional resources. Unless your aim is to be a New Testament scholar, most will not achieve that level of comfort with the Greek text. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from using the Greek New Testament in your studies. Whether you’re someone who can read Greek proficiently or have only ever used a Strong’s Bible, Olive Tree’s Interlinear Bibles are here to meet your needs.Here’s a look at some of the top features of interlinear Bibles in the Olive Tree Bible App. Not only can our app display the text in an Interlinear format, we’ve tagged the Greek word with the Greek Parsing and Strong’s Definition: Simply tap a word to get more details on that Greek word. We’ve also tagged the English Word: And the Strong’s Number: Searching for this Greek word in the text? No problem. Tap “search” and the app will bring you a list of results for that Greek Word: You can also tap “lookup” to find dictionaries already downloaded to your device. This... View Article

Even Better Than Forgiveness

April 7, 2018 7:00 am Published by 3 Comments

Here’s an excerpt on Romans and justification straight from the brand-new NKJV Vines Expository Bible! Dr. Jerry Vines is the former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president and pastor of 28,000-member First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. JUSTIFICATION: TO DECLARE RIGHTEOUS Romans 3:24 says, “being justified freely by His grace.” The word justified means “to declare righteous.” In other words, here is a person who is guilty and yet declared not guilty. The word is taken right out of the legal world. We stand before God absolutely guilty and helpless to do anything about our guilt. Yet in one great legal act, God acquits us of our sin and makes us acceptable in God’s presence. Justification is better than forgiveness. Forgiveness is wonderful, but justification goes even deeper. You may have done something you shouldn’t have done, and you can be forgiven for it. But justification removes the guilt. You are acquitted of your guilt as a sinner and made acceptable to God through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s justification. FREE JUSTIFICATION Also, we are justified “freely.” The word freely here means “without cause.” When Jesus was betrayed, Jesus said, “They hated Me without a cause” (John 15:25)—same word. Jesus had nothing in... View Article

Reflecting on Philemon

April 6, 2018 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

It can be helpful to read a summary of a verse, passage, or book of the Bible that you already know well. Why? It can give you a fresh take on something you think you have completely exhausted! This excerpt from the Know the Word Study Bible Notes helps you to begin reflecting on Philemon, and re-applying it to your own life. HOW PAUL MET ONESIMUS & PHILEMON “One of the most remarkable experiences we can have is the realization of how small the world really is. Maybe you’ve been on vacation five hundred miles from home and recognized a friend from high school. Or you met someone on the other side of the world who, through conversation, you realized used to lead your sister’s Bible study. It’s exciting to make a connection where you don’t expect one. Something similar happened with Paul and a man named Onesimus. Bible students aren’t certain where Paul was, but he was a prisoner somewhere in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) or perhaps in Rome. Paul led Onesimus to saving faith in Jesus Christ. At some point, they realized they both knew the same person: Philemon. Paul had also led Philemon to accept Christ as Savior... View Article

Bonhoeffer: Discipleship and the Cross

March 30, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

BONHOEFFER Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) was a German theologian and pastor who spoke out against the Nazi regime during World War II. His resistance against Hitler’s regime culminated with him being hung in a concentration camp at Flossenbürg. Today, Bonhoeffer’s works are loved by many. His writing, despite time, is still youthful, enlightening, and inspirational. Additionally, Bonhoeffer is most known for his rich writing on discipleship. In celebration of the Easter season, we thought it would be timely to share his comments on discipleship and the cross. [Plus, we asked if you all wanted to read something from Bonhoeffer on our Instagram account. The answer was a resounding: YES!] So, check out Mark 8:31–38 because it’s the passage Bonhoeffer discusses in the following excerpt. Then… read and be encouraged! DISCIPLESHIP AND THE CROSS The call to discipleship is connected here with the proclamation of Jesus’ suffering. Jesus Christ has to suffer and be rejected. God’s promise requires this, so that scripture may be fulfilled. Suffering and being rejected are not the same. Even in his suffering Jesus could have been the celebrated Christ. Indeed, the entire compassion and admiration of the world could focus on the suffering. Looked upon as something tragic, the suffering could... View Article

Weeping on Palm Sunday

March 25, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Palm Sunday can sound like a joyous celebration if we tell the story a certain way. There’s a big crowd waving palm branches, shouting “hosanna.” Jesus rides in on a donkey—his triumphal entry. Then, we get our kids to relay the scene on stage at church. It’s cute and fun and we all leave feeling like we just participated in something historical. But we missed one major part of the story… Jesus weeping. That’s right. After this huge, spontaneous celebration erupts in his honor, Jesus sobs. There must have been something going on behind the scenes that we didn’t catch. It most likely has to do with Jesus seeing straight through to people’s hearts and motives—because he is always doing that. So, let’s retell the story and see where we went wrong. THE CROWD The route Jesus took, the donkey he rode, the season of Passover… all of these details pointed to one thing: Jesus is the Messiah. The Mount of Olives is the predicted location for the Messiah’s appearance (Zech. 14:4-5). Oftentimes, kings would procure donkeys to ride into a city—a sign of humble authority. Passover celebrates the Israelites freedom from slavery in Egypt… and the Jews deeply desired... View Article

The Faith of a Dying Thief

March 24, 2018 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

In Christ’s Words from the Cross Charles Spurgeon talks in great lengths about Jesus’ crucifixion, including those who were crucified with him The dying thief did the impossible that day. In front of multitudes of scoffers, he used the only part of his body not nailed to the cross (his tongue) to proclaim Jesus’ identity: the Messiah. The following is an excerpt from Spurgeon’s message. WANT TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK? CLICK HERE! THE FAITH OF A DYING THIEF The story of the salvation of the dying thief is a standing instance of the power of Christ to save, and of His abundant willingness to receive all that come to Him, in whatever plight they might be. I cannot regard this act of grace as a solitary instance, any more than the salvation of Zacchaeus, the restoration of Peter, or the call of Saul, the persecutor. Every conversion is, in a sense, singular: no two are exactly alike, and yet any one conversion is a type of others. The case of the dying thief is much more similar to our conversion than it is dissimilar; in point of fact, his case may be regarded as typical, rather than as an... View Article