Author Archives for Cierra Loux

3 Common Difficulties in Doing Word Studies

January 29, 2018 7:00 am Published by 9 Comments

This week we are highlighting different methods of studying the Bible. Today’s topic is word studies, and we’re using Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods to provide you with this helpful information. At the bottom, we’ve also included a video about our Strong’s Tagged Bibles because they are a fantastic tool in completing word studies. 1) SEVERAL GREEK WORDS ARE TRANSLATED BY ONE ENGLISH WORD As an example, the English word servant has seven Greek equivalents, each with a different shade of meaning. Be sure to check your concordance carefully to see if this might be true of the word you are studying. Find out what each different original word meant. 2) ONE GREEK OR HEBREW WORD IS TRANSLATED SEVERAL WAYS IN ENGLISH To overcome this difficulty you will have to do a careful study on all the different renderings of that original word. You can do this quite easily through the use of your exhaustive concordance. For example, the Greek word koinonia is translated five different ways in the King James Version: (1) “communication” — once; (2) “communion” — 4 times; (3) “contribution” — once; (4) “distribution” — once; and (5) “fellowship” — 12 times. Follow this procedure in solving this... View Article

6 Steps for Effectively Using Cross References

January 26, 2018 7:00 am Published by 11 Comments

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the Bible provides the best interpretation of itself. So, when you have a question, doubt, or an inkling of curiosity, the best action you can take is to cross-reference the passage you’re reading. But how? In this blog post, we’ll not only describe how to do cross-referencing well, but we will also show you a fun, easy way to keep track of your findings. Lastly, we’ll talk about applying the Bible to your daily life. In our examples, we will be using the Olive Tree Cross References Expanded Set. STEP ONE: OPEN A NOTE With the new update in our app for iOS, you can use the Study Center to keep your cross-references and notes easily accessible. Here’s how: STEP TWO: CHOOSE A PARAGRAPH OR CHAPTER Read the section entirely. Then, make headings for each verse you are going to study. STEP THREE: FIND A CROSS REFERENCE Next, write down as many cross references as you would like under each verse heading. Only list the reference, not the verse itself. The main purpose of cross references is to help build context to the passage you are reading. However, we must remember... View Article

The Structure of Thanksgiving

January 24, 2018 7:00 am Published by 4 Comments

The NIV Application Commentary is a great tool for in-depth study of the Bible while ALSO helping you apply the Bible to your life. Below is an excerpt taken from the commentary on Colossians, by David E. Garland. THE IMPORTANCE OF PAUL’S PRAYER FOR THE COLOSSIANS Paul adopted the custom in ancient letter writing of offering a prayer of thanks to the gods and transformed this convention by expanding it and filling it with Christian meaning. His thanksgiving is not some perfunctory nod to various divinities for blessings received and misfortunes averted. It is a prayer to be read aloud in Christian worship and thereby becomes a witness of Christian faith and a means of Christian instruction. Paul never trots out some stock, all-purpose prayer but carefully tailors it to the situation of the church he is addressing. He sensitively weaves together the church’s progress in the faith, their needs, and his hopes for them into a beautiful tapestry of praise and thanks to God. One should not ignore the thanksgiving proems in Paul’s letters as unimportant devotional meditations unrelated to the key themes of the letter. They lay the groundwork for what follows in the letter, previewing its major... View Article

A Method to Help You Stop Skimming the Bible

January 22, 2018 7:00 am Published by 31 Comments

One of the most popular ways of reading the Bible is to open up a familiar passage, read over it quickly, and then move onto something else. When we don’t take time to ponder Scripture and ask questions, we miss out on discovering truth.  By slowing down, we can be convicted, encouraged, and strengthened in new ways. The Exhaustive Questions Bible study method is a great option for solving this problem. Here’s some instructions we found inside Andy Deane’s Learn to Study the Bible. We’ve also included helpful tips on how to use this method without leaving the Olive Tree Bible App (available on iOS and Android devices). 1) CHOOSE A CHAPTER & READ IT 3x This isn’t a race to see how fast you can read the passage! Slow down. Take in each word. Think critically about what you are reading. 2) WRITE DOWN 3+ QUESTIONS FOR EACH VERSE This sounds like a lot… because it is. But it’s worth it! Ask questions about everything and anything. You won’t need to answer all of them, so don’t worry about that. Write down as many as you can think of so that you get in a rhythm. It will help you to... View Article

We’ve Reached Another Milestone!

January 19, 2018 7:00 am Published by 6 Comments

This week is all about looking back on 2017 and celebrating what we’ve accomplished. Not just us at Olive Tree—although we have done a lot of work on improving the app!—but also what you, our users, have done. With that being said… we’ve reached another jaw-dropping milestone! 1 BILLION SYNCABLES It’s hard to be as excited as us if you aren’t sure what “syncables” are. Syncables are items like: notes highlights tags Anything that syncs across your devices when you tap “sync” in the app—that’s a syncable item. WHY IS THIS EXCITING? It can be hard to measure how engaged everyone is inside our app. Lots of people download Bible apps and then barely use them. We don’t want our app to be just another icon on your home screen. Instead, we want our users to use our app to spend time connecting with God and His Word. The more syncable items you all create, the more you are interacting with the Bible. This is why we are incredibly excited about reaching the 1 billion mark. CELEBRATE WITH US How can you celebrate with us? Open the app, read the Bible, take some notes, make some highlights, and pray. Reflect... View Article

Is a Study Bible Right for You?

January 17, 2018 8:58 am Published by 2 Comments

With so many different kinds of resources out there to help you study the Bible, it can be challenging to know what is a good fit for you. A good place to start is with a study Bible. So, answer these four questions to find out if a study Bible is right for you. 1) ARE YOU A VISUAL LEARNER? Sometimes the best way to make sense of a lot of text is to represent it visually. This is why many study Bibles almost come with photos, charts, timelines and more. That way, if you’re reading a description of a place you’ve never visited in the Middle East, you can see a picture of it. Or, if you’re reading about a long list of historical events, look at an organized charts of all the important dates. Whether you consider yourself a visual learner or not, these resources will immerse you in your Bible study. TAP TO ENLARGE! 2) HAVE YOU WONDERED WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN BIBLE TIMES? If you’ve ever read Leviticus, you definitely know that the Bible talks about confusing rituals and practices. Since we’re living in the 21st century, and most of us aren’t professional historians, these... View Article

2017 Year in Review

January 15, 2018 7:00 am Published by 8 Comments

2017 was a fantastic year at Olive Tree. You guys read the Bible (a lot!). We were able to make some big changes that improved the way you study the Bible. It was a win-win. So, let’s reminisce over the last twelve months and what we accomplished together! YOU GOT IN THE APP AND READ THE WORD You all opened the app 262 MILLION times in 2017. That’s 262 million instances of someone reading God’s Word. Since our mission is to encourage people to connect with God and the Bible through technology, this statistic makes us SO happy. YOU GOT IN THE APP AND STAYED IN THE APP We like looking at this statistic because it lets us know if users are having quality study time inside the app. Based on the numbers, that seems to be the case! Keep it up, you guys. WE MADE NOTES MORE FUN This was a little addition we thought would be fun for our notes feature. Now when you want to represent the 🥖🥖🥖🥖🥖 and 🐟🐟 from John 6, nothing is holding you back. TOP 5 PURCHASED RESOURCES We’ll have another blog up soon that goes even more in-depth on the top titles from last year, but... View Article

Tips for Bible Reading in 2018

January 12, 2018 7:00 am Published by 17 Comments

A new year can encourage you to try new things or start old things up again. Here are some Bible reading tips we put together for the start of 2018. 1) PRAY PRAY PRAY It can be easy to pick up the Bible, skim it, and never actually participate in a conversation with God. So, before opening your Bible, form the habit of starting in prayer. Take a deep breath and remember that you have been invited to commune with the Creator of the universe. Pray Before Reading What should you pray about? Here are a few ideas in case you’re stumped: Confess any anger or bitterness Share your doubt or frustration Ask for help (for you or others) Acknowledge God’s power, love, and faithfulness Ask God to help you experience His power, love, and faithfulness Give thanks Look for Answers This part can be crucial for our walk with the Lord. So often, we ask God to move in our lives… Then, when He does, we forget what we asked for and figure it all worked out because of circumstance or coincidence. Keep a list of the things you are praying about. It could be as simple as a... View Article

New! NIV Chronological Study Bible

January 10, 2018 7:00 am Published by 13 Comments

We have a new title in our store this week! The NIV Chronological Study Bible is a great tool for gaining a historic understanding of God’s Word. WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE? If you have used an Olive Tree study Bible before, you know that study Bibles come with two texts: the notes and the Bible text. But a chronological study Bible is the exception to this rule. Why? Because the main reason to own a chronological Bible is so that you can read through the Bible in chronological order! So, when you open this resource in the app, you’ll see the Bible text and still be able to use the verse chooser. The only difference is that, this time, you’ll navigate through different “epochs” or eras of time to read sections of corresponding Scripture. WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE? Study Bibles contain tidbits of great information sprinkled throughout the Bible text. They give you insights you might not have known otherwise. The NIV Chronological Study Bible uses its notes to teach you about the history and culture of the Bible. Inside you’ll find: The entire NIV text with the translator’s notes, arranged in chronological order Full-color illustrations... View Article

You Can Still Make a New Year’s Resolution

January 8, 2018 7:00 am Published by 16 Comments

Do you ever wake up at 8:02 but lay in bed until 8:05 or 8:10? Or maybe, while eating a tub of ice cream, you decide that tomorrow will be the day you start eating healthier? It can be difficult to start something new or hard, so we often wait for milestone moments to make a change. Then, when we miss the milestone moment, we put off whatever we were set out to do. But don’t let that stop you! Week one of 2018 is completed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a New Year’s resolution. Here are some of our resolution ideas that will encourage spiritual growth in 2018: 1) BECOME A PRAYER WARRIOR START FRESH Prayer journaling is really easy in the app when you use our notes feature. You can start by making a category simply dedicated to your prayers if you want to stay more organized. Check out this example! PLAN IT OUT Then, create a few different folders for types of prayers. This way, it will be easy for you to not only return to old prayers, but also to make sure your prayers have variety. It’s good to ask God for things, but we... View Article