Author Archives for LaRosa Johnson

Look Inside: Reading the New Testament Commentary Series

August 21, 2017 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

KEEPING THE BIG PICTURE Anyone who teaches the Bible for any length of time knows how easy it is to lose the forest for the trees. It doesn’t take long before you’re caught up in the details of a verse that you’ve forgotten the bigger picture. But, not all commentaries address this problem. Most commentaries deal with the biblical text on a verse-by-verse or phrase-by-phrase level, making it easy to get lost in the details. While this information is essential for a proper understanding of a passage, it doesn’t keep the big picture in mind. So, along comes the Reading the New Testament CommentarySeries, a commentary that addresses this problem head-on. Here’s a brief look at the Reading the New Testament Commentary Series and how it works in the Olive Tree Bible App. WHAT SETS IT APART? I appreciate when a commentary is upfront about its intended audience because it lets me know what to expect. Christians with some level of formal training will find Reading the New Testament Commentary to be right in their wheelhouse. This means it’s the perfect commentary for both pastors and seminary students. A focus on larger passages of Scripture sets this commentary apart from... View Article


Church History & Why It Matters

August 17, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

MY OWN STORY A couple months ago I talked about how I learned to love church history. Around that time, I started work on another history project: my family tree. I don’t remember what motivated me, but I spent countless hours stitching together my family’s history on Ancestry.com. While working on this, I learned some interesting things. The most notable tidbit is that my second great-grandfather was a pastor & founded the church that my grandparents still attend. On my grandfather’s 90th birthday two years ago, I got to preach at that church. How awesome is that?! OUR STORY Now, what does my story have to do with church history? Well, Scripture teaches us in Ephesians 2:19 that Christians are members of the “household of God” because we’ve been adopted into his family. This means we’re reading about our own family & heritage when we study church history. Knowing that we’re learning about our own family should motivate us to dive into church history with fervor. These aren’t random people we’re learning about; no, the great theologians of times past are our spiritual family, and we should relish the opportunity to learn about them! 7 TITLES TO GET YOU STARTED... View Article


Look Inside: Tyndale Commentaries

August 4, 2017 1:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Tyndale Commentary Series is a 49 volume commentary set spanning the entirety of both the Old and New Testaments. Long known for being a trusted resource for Bible study, this commentary is written by some of the most distinguished evangelical scholars from across the globe. Here’s a brief look at the Tyndale Commentaries and how they look in the Olive Tree Bible App on an iPad. You can access all of the Tyndale Commentaries‘ study helps from within the Resource Guide in the split window. As with all our commentaries, they are uniquely enhanced to follow along with what you’re reading in the main window. Introductions, outlines, and commentary notes are all easily accessible, no matter where you are in the Bible. Not only does this save you time, but you get the information you need with minimal effort! The introduction to each volume in the series is a concise yet thorough description of the authorship, date, and historical background of the book under consideration. The commentary itself examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning... View Article


Look Inside: Everyman’s Bible Commentary

July 21, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to commentaries, figuring out which one is right for you can prove a difficult task. Commentaries like Anchor Yale and Hermeneia are clearly aimed at an academic crowd; whereas, commentaries like the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible and NIV Application Commentary are a great aid to pastors and teachers. But how does the Christian sitting in the pew know which commentary is right for them? A single volume commentary is a perfect start, but where do you turn for deeper studies? What if I told you there’s a commentary designed for every Christian? It does exist & it’s aptly called the Everyman’s Bible Commentary. Let’s take a look inside this commentary to see how it can help you in your studies. Old and New Testament Surveys When studying a book of the Bible, the first place to start when using the EvBC is with the Old and New Testament Surveys. The surveys provide broad overviews of every book of the Bible. Here you will find information about the book’s author, dating, purpose, theme, and so much more. You will also find a basic outline, allowing you to see the overall structure of the book you’re studying. The... View Article


LOOK INSIDE:
Open Your Bible Commentary

July 20, 2017 1:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The difficulties of maintaining a daily Bible study routine are many. Where do you start? How do you make adequate time for more than a cursory reading of the Text? How do you find the right balance of study and devotion? And the list goes on. The truth is there are no easy answers to any of these questions. But we shouldn’t throw in the towel and give up. Every Christian struggles with their Bible reading at some point in their life. Today I want to share a new Olive Tree resource whose aim is to help your daily Bible study. Let me introduce you to the Open Your Bible Commentary. BACKGROUND The Open Your Bible Commentary was written to encourage daily Bible study. The content of this two volume commentary began as a series of Bible Study books originally published by Scripture Union. The series’ intent was to create a resource that encouraged a greater depth of Bible study in a way that wasn’t possible with study notes alone. This format allowed the authors to give fuller discussions on introductory, textual, and background material that might otherwise be overlooked in something like a study Bible. The principal aim of the studies was to stimulate... View Article


How I Learned to Love Church History

June 20, 2017 10:00 am Published by 4 Comments

If you asked me to list my favorite subjects when I was in school, history would not even make the list. While I believe those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, I still found the subject boring. Memorizing dates and seemingly random events never resonated with me. That said, I enjoy studying the Bible and all things related to it. A part of that involves studying history, the subject I loathe. What was I to do? Let me tell you how I learned to love Church history. When it comes to learning Church history, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Starting with the Apostles, we’re looking at almost 2,000 years of history to explore. I can barely keep up with all the world events that have taken place in my 35 years of life, so how was I going to tackle learning Church history? Easy. I found a resource that gives an overview of the entirety of Church history from early Christianity to the present day, and does it in a way that’s easy to digest. The Atlas of Christian History is that resource! Instead of tackling a thick history book that would give me far... View Article


Last chance: Sale on Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Edition

June 14, 2017 10:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Right now, the 13-volume Expositor’s Bible Commentary—Revised Edition is over $200 off at Olive Tree. This commentary set is a favorite of pastors, teachers, and Bible students for its scholarly but accessible approach to helping you understand the biblical text’s core meaning. It’s full of world-class scholarship from D. A. Carson, George Guthrie, John Walton, Andreas Kostenberger, and many others. “If there is one set of commentaries that all pastors and teachers should have, this is it,” writes Daniel I. Block. Get the complete collection on sale now at Olive Tree. Don’t wait! The deal will disappear soon.


Which Expositor’s Commentary is Right for Me?

June 5, 2017 10:00 am Published by 3 Comments

If you’re looking for a great Bible commentary you may have noticed a couple resources in the Olive Tree store that have similar names: Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 Volumes) Expositors Bible Commentary – Revised Series (13 Volumes) While price may often be the biggest influence on whether you’d like to add them to your study library, the most important question is, ‘What’s the difference between them?’ Here are few things that may help you in your decision. Authorship Both commentary sets have a strong evangelical influence while at the same time drawing from a broad diversity of churches, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Reformed. The original Expositor’s Bible Commentary was compiled between the years of 1976-1992 with 50 different authors contributing. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Series is a 2012 update to the original that includes the work of 56 different authors – 30 of whom are new. Content The original and the revised editions include the following content: Comprehensive introductions Short and precise bibliographies Detailed outlines Insightful expositions of passages and verses Overviews of sections of Scripture to illuminate the big picture Occasional reflections to give more detail on important issues Notes on textual questions and special... View Article


Pentecost: A Fulfillment of the Jewish Feast

May 31, 2017 10:00 am Published by 26 Comments

Originally posted at Bible Connection. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. —John 14:16-17 NKJV The Feast of Weeks The Feast of Weeks was the festival celebrated at the beginning of the grain harvest (Exodus 34:22). This was the feast at which the Hebrews offered their firstfruits of the harvest to the Lord at the tabernacle. It was one of the three major Jewish feasts, along with the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (see Exodus 23:14–17; 4:18–23; Deuteronomy 16:1–17). According to Leviticus 23:15, 16, the Feast was celebrated for seven consecutive weeks beginning “the morning following the Sabbath day” of Passover. Thus comes its title, the “Feast of Weeks.” Later in the Old Testament this feast became known as “Pentecost” (“fiftieth”), since it was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. Pentecost The Jewish Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled as described in Acts 2. On this Day of Pentecost came the outpouring of the Holy Spirit... View Article


Jesus, the Peace–Bringer

May 30, 2017 10:00 am Published by 16 Comments

Originally posted at Bible Connection. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” —John 14:27 Peace, shalom (shah–loam). Shalom comes from the root verb shalam, meaning “to be complete, perfect, and full.” Thus shalom is much more than the absence of war and conflict; it is the wholeness that the entire human race seeks. The word shalom occurs about 250 times in the Old Testament. In Psalm 35:27, God takes delight in the shalom (the wholeness, the total well–being) of His servant. In Isaiah 53:5, the suffering Messiah was beaten to bring us shalom. The angels understood at His birth that Jesus was to be the great peace–bringer, as they called out, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14–17). Just as the saving power of His death and resurrection makes it possible for us to have peace with God (being made right with Him, Romans 5:1), the indwelling of His life and character through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is intended... View Article