What’s a SOAP study? SOAP is an acronym, meaning: Scripture, observation, application, and prayer. This is one, very helpful way to get more out of your Bible study time. Join us in this short study of Matthew 12:1-14! SCRIPTURE Matthew 12:1-14, NIV At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Going on from that place, he... View Article
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Why This Post? Today is the first day of October! At the end of the month, many will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Although Olive Tree provides resources to a wide-variety of denominations, we thought this would be a great opportunity to talk a bit about history on our blog. Throughout the month, we will be sharing posts about the reformers and the solas, along with any other information we find helpful! This first post is rather long, but covers the history of how the Reformation began and why. If you’ve never learned about this part of Christian history, it’s definitely an important transition worth knowing about. This content is taken from a blog post by our friends at Zondervan! See the original post here. How the Protestant Reformation Began You probably know at least one thing about Martin Luther: that he nailed the 95 theses to a church door and defied the Roman Catholic Church. This was Luther’s declaration of independence from Rome. The truth is, this is historically inaccurate. Yes, October 31, 1517, would turn out to be the first hint that the Western world was about to be turned upside down. But Luther’s act... View Article
Hermeneia is a Greek word, referring to a detailed, systematic exposition of scriptural work—a word entirely fitting for the title of a commentary series. But what makes the Hermeneia Commentary Series different than any other commentary series? It might be difficult to discern. A quick search for the resource on the internet reveals a publisher-created description that might leave you with more questions than answers. So, what’s the first step in deciding whether a commentary may be right for you? Check out the authors. WHO WROTE HERMENEIA This series has two main editors, one over-seeing the Old Testament contributions and the other over-seeing the New Testament. Peter Machinist – Head of the Old Testament Editorial Board Peter completed his undergraduate program at Harvard and then went to Yale, where he finished an MPhil and PhD. He then taught at several universities—Arizona, Michigan, and Munich to name a few. Then, in 1991, he returned to Harvard to teach in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Committee on the Study of Religions, and the Harvard Divinity School. He recently retired at the beginning of 2017, and is now the Hancock Research Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages. However, he... View Article
Every time I read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, I’m deeply encouraged. Here, Paul gives his final instructions to the Church at Thessaloniki, calling them to love, act justly, and do the will of God. Not only that, but he tells them how they can accomplish all this. He says, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thess. 5:23-24). How will we become the kind of people that Paul depicts in this passage? God will work it out. He is faithful in sanctifying us completely. THE WILL OF GOD As I was looking to learn more about this passage, I was drawn to delve deeper into verses 16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Ever wondered what God’s will is!? It’s this! That we rejoice, that we pray, and that we give thanks—and that we do all of these things all the time. Even though I was just reminded that God will... View Article
As time advances, so does technology. We’d love to be able to support everyone’s device, giving access to God’s Word on every phone, tablet, and computer out there. But the truth is, managing that type of wide-spread usage would hinder us from enhancing our app in deeper ways. So, in order to keep growing, we are dropping support for the following devices: Kindle Fire, 2011 (1st Gen) Kindle Fire, 2012 (2nd Gen) Kindle Fire HD, 2012 (2nd Gen) Kindle Fire HD 8.9, 2012 (2.5th Gen) Android devices using Ice Cream Sandwich or older (Android OS 4.0.4 or earlier) If you are using one of the previously listed devices, we apologize. Starting on October 15, 2017, we will be phasing out these devices, and thus, the following functionalities: Sync Downloading titles Logging-in to your Olive Tree Account Viewing the In-App Store Once again, we want to thank all of our users for your support and dedication to our app! If you have any questions about this information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to continue to provide you with the best resources at the best price, inspiring you in your pursuit of knowing God more.
The day has finally arrived—YOU CAN INSERT EMOJIS INTO YOUR NOTES! Some of you may have tried this before and it worked. But as soon as you went to look at the note on another device… emojis were gone! It wasn’t until now that we have been able to provided emoji that will sync across devices. So, go on! Get carried away! Insert emojis wherever you please! Here’s how I used this new feature last week. Tap to enlarge the images!
This content is from the Believer’s Bible Commentary, currently on sale. WHAT IS PARALLELISM? Bible poetry’s greatest technique is not to rhyme sounds, as in much English poetry, but to “rhyme” ideas—that is, to put two or more lines together that somehow match each other. We should be grateful to God that this is the mainstay of biblical poetry because it translates nicely into nearly all languages and not too much beauty is lost in the translation process. Our Lord Himself also frequently spoke in parallelism. (Carefully reread, e.g., Matthew 5–7 and John 13–17 after studying the following notes.) We would like to present some examples of the main types of Hebrew parallelism so that you can look for similar structures, not only while studying the OT with the help of the Believer’s Bible Commentary, but also while having daily devotions and listening to sermons. 1. SYNONYMOUS PARALLELISM As the name implies, this type has the second or parallel line saying about the same thing as the first—for emphasis. Proverbs is especially full of these: In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death (Prov. 12:28). I am the rose of Sharon, And the... View Article
Psalm 51 has long been one of my favorite passages of Scripture, and I came to love it because of Jon Foreman’s song White as Snow. Funny thing is, this psalm is entirely about sin. It’s pretty humbling to read (and even more humbling to sing and confess to God yourself!). This week, we have the MacArthur Study Bible with ESV on sale, so I was looking through it. I came across MacArthur’s notes on this passage, and they were so helpful in reminding me of the power of this psalm. BACKGROUND If you didn’t know already, here’s the background of Psalm 51: “This is the classic passage in the OT on man’s repentance and God’s forgiveness of sin. Along with Ps. 32, it was written by David after his affair with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah, her husband (2 Sam. 11–12). It is one of seven poems called penitential psalms (Ps. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143). To David’s credit, he recognized fully how horrendous his sin was against God, blamed no one but himself, and begged for divine forgiveness. OUTLINE: Plea for Forgiveness (51:1–2); Proffer of Confession (51:3–6); Prayer for Moral Cleanness (51:7–12); Promise of Renewed... View Article
JAMES 2:1-4 “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?” GOD DOES NOT SHOW PARTIALITY When we think of the attributes of God, His divine nature and characteristics, we usually think of such things as His holiness and righteousness and His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. We think of His immutability (changelessness), His eternality, His sovereignty, His justice, and His perfect grace, love, mercy, faithfulness, and goodness. But another attribute of God that is not thought or spoken of so often is His impartiality. Yet that is a serious and recurring theme throughout Scripture. God is absolutely impartial in His dealings with people. And in that way, as with... View Article
MATTHEW 22:36-40 KJV Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. WHAT IS LOVE? We are called to love God and love others, but how do we understand what love really is? Studies of 5 Hebrew and Greek words for love help us understand what loving someone really means. 1. AHAB Hebrew word for love. Describes a variety of intensely close emotional bonds. So Abraham loved his son Isaac (Gen. 22:2), Isaac loved his son Esau (Gen. 25:28), and “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children” (Gen. 37:3). In a more romantic manner, Isaac loved his wife Rebekah (Gen. 24:67), and Jacob loved Rachel (Gen. 29:18), but Delilah manipulated Samson by challenging his love for her (Judg. 14:16). We are all called to love the Lord, by expressing obedience to His commandments (Deut. 6:5), and to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Lev. 19:18). Moreover, “he that getteth wisdom... View Article