Author Archives for LaRosa Johnson

Four Steps to Build Your Ultimate Study Bible

April 4, 2016 8:00 am Published by 31 Comments

As a Bible teacher and technologist, people often ask me what they should buy to start building their Bible study library. I love answering this question and many are shocked by my response. The conversation begins by describing the massive library I’ve built over the years in several Bible software platforms. Then I tell them they don’t need all that & start listing the handful of resources that I find essential to Bible study. The end result is a concise but robust set of tools that anyone can use to study the Bible and grow in the things of God. Today, I will show you how you can build your ultimate Bible study library. Step 0: Use the Bible Study App If you’re at all technologically inclined, and I assume you are if you’re reading this, the initial step is downloading Bible software. For as much as I love print, it is easier and faster to study the Bible digitally. You can search resources in a matter of seconds, quickly look up cross references, and study anywhere. You don’t have to worry about flipping pages or having a large desk so that you can open all your books at once. Instead, carry your entire library on your phone, tablet, or... View Article


Update to the Preaching the Word Commentary Series

March 30, 2016 3:00 am Published by 1 Comment

We’ve just added 11 new volumes to the The Preaching the Word Commentary Series! This update includes 11 newly released volumes: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges & Ruth, 2 Samuel, Job, Psalms 1-41, Song Of Solomon, Matthew, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and 1-3 John. The Preaching the Word Commentary Series offers unique insights into Biblical texts from the heart of a pastor. It is noted for its unqualified commitment to biblical authority and clear exposition of Scripture. Its emphasis on application and shepherding makes it a valuable asset for sermon and class preparation, as well as personal study. Here are Six Reasons to use The Preaching the Word Commentary Series in Bible+.  (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4.  Click on Images for a larger view) 1. Resource Guide Open your preferred Bible Translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window.  You’ll see relevant “hits” from Preaching the Word in the split window. Bible+ also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.  This means that as you move along in the Bible text, the commentary syncs to exactly where you are in your study.  No more flipping pages back and forth.  No more holding... View Article


Improve Your Highlights, Improve Your Bible Study

February 26, 2016 10:00 am Published by 19 Comments

Highlighters, crayons, markers, and pens are staples for personal Bible study. When you find a passage you want to memorize or remember for later, you mark it up in some kind way that makes it stand out from the rest of the text. When it comes to digital Bibles we often neglect using highlights as a part of our study methods. Sure, we may highlight a favorite verse or passage, but most don’t go any further than that. Today, I want to open up a world of highlighting possibilities for you in Bible+ that will hopefully improve your Bible study. How to Highlight Before we dive into the ways you can use highlights in Bible+, first let me give you a refresher on the two ways to make a highlight in Bible+. Verse Highlights The most popular way to make a highlight in Bible+ is to highlight an entire verse, or a group of verses. To do this, you tap the verse number and select “Highlight.” If you want to highlight a range of verses you can increase the range to your desired selection, then choose your color. This method is useful if you want to have your highlights appear across various... View Article


Look Inside: Feasting on the Word Commentary

February 15, 2016 9:28 am Published by 1 Comment

Let’s face it, pastors have a hard job. They’re on call 24/7, counsel and minister to the needs of their congregation & the community, and often oversee the day-to-day operations of the church. On top of that, pastors are expected to spend hours mining through the truths of God’s Word and preach a weekly sermon. With only 168 hours in a week, that is a difficult task for even the most organized person. Something that can make this task more difficult is when you don’t have a plan for what you’re going to teach every week. This is one of the many reasons why expositional preaching through books of the Bible is so popular. But that’s not the only way to preach with a plan; another method is to preach using a lectionary. When most people hear the term lectionary their mind often goes to the Roman Catholic church. But, they are not the only church that uses a lectionary. It is also popular among Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and some Presbyterians. What exactly is a lectionary? A lectionary is nothing more than a collection of Scriptures readings that are appointed for a given day or occasion of worship. One of the more common lectionaries today is... View Article


Look Inside: Love Languages Devotional Bible

February 8, 2016 11:50 am Published by Leave your thoughts

With Valentine’s Day a few days away, love seems to be on everyone’s mind. While dates, fancy dinners, flowers, candy, and romance are nice, there is also the need to connect on a spiritual level. Christian couples ought to be investing in each other’s spiritual well-being just as much as they focus on the other areas of a relationship. Reading the Bible together is one way to cultivate this kind of intimacy & a resource like the Love Languages Devotional Bible is a great tool for making it happen. Today we want to show you how this devotional Bible can help you connect with and grow spiritually alongside your spouse. Bible and Devotional in One One of the great things about the Love Languages Devotional Bible is that it truly is an all-in-one resource. Unlike some of our resources where we split the Bible text and notes into separate resources in your library, this time we kept everything together to create a seamless experience. This Bible is to be used daily with your spouse as you walk through the pages of Scripture together. As you read from Genesis to Revelation you will encounter 312 devotions and studies that help you engage the... View Article


Look Inside: The Preacher’s Commentary Series

January 28, 2016 1:00 pm Published by 2 Comments

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord with the intent of impacting their lives and souls. To accomplish this goal the preacher must do two things: 1) explain the text, and 2) relate the text. Many of the Puritans believed a preacher had to saturate himself with Scripture and apply it to himself before he could preach it with power to others. With such sound advice, what can a preacher do to aide in the application of Scripture both to himself and others? This is where a resource like the Preacher’s Commentary Series is handy; it helps preachers and teachers understand their passage while providing applicable truths & illustrations. Let’s look inside The Preacher’s Commentary Series and see how it works in the Bible Study App. Resource Guide Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible Study App, the Preacher’s Commentary Series is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you read the Bible the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in the commentary section... View Article


Bible Study Tip: Night Theme

January 21, 2016 10:24 am Published by 11 Comments

While there is a lot that has remained the same with the recent updates to our apps, there is a lot that has changed & new features that have come your way. One feature users have been wanting for some time is the ability to easily use our app at night or in a dark location. A theming engine was one of the new features that was added to the app. This theming engine includes a dark theme that is perfect for night reading. We haven’t said a lot about this feature, but now that it is making its debut on Android, we want to show you how to enable and use the dark/night theme on each platform. iPhone & iPad Enabling the dark theme on iOS devices is extremely easy and only takes two taps. First, tap the menu icon (the icon at the top left of the screen). Second, tap the dark circle under “Select Theme” at the top of the menu. That’s it, you’re done! You’ve enabled the dark theme, which you can use for reading at night or other low light situations. To go back to the normal theme follow the same steps & select the other... View Article


Look Inside: Boice Expositional Commentary Series

January 18, 2016 10:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord with the intent of impacting their lives and souls. To accomplish this goal the preacher must do two things: 1) explain the text, and 2) relate the text. What can a preacher do to aide in the application of Scripture both to himself and others? The same question can also be asked of those engaged in personal Bible study. This is where a resource like the Boice Expositional Commentary Series is handy; it helps preachers, teachers & students of the Bible understand their passage while providing applicable truths & illustrations. Let’s look inside the Boice Expositional Commentary Series and see how it works in Bible+. Resource Guide Like any enhanced resource you purchase for Bible+, the Boice Expositional Commentary Series is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you read the Bible the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in the commentary section for Boice’s Commentary. Since I’m currently studying Jesus’ prayer in John 17,... View Article


What’s in the 500 Million Synced Items?

January 13, 2016 9:31 am Published by 6 Comments

If you haven’t already heard, our sync server recently reached the milestone of syncing 500 million items. Today, we wanted to give you an idea of what this data looks like in terms of numbers and types of items that are synced. With over 6 million users of our software, over one million have created an account so they can sync their annotations. Of those million users, here’s some interesting data based on what they’ve synced. Highlights Whether you have a physical or digital Bible, one of the things that people like to do in their Bibles is highlight their favorite passages. This is no different in Bible+ and our users love to highlight. Our users have created and synced over 87 million highlights to our servers! Of those highlights that have been made, here are their favorite colors: 1) yellow, 2) green, and 3) pink. But, did you know you can also create your own highlighter colors & styles? The highlighting possibilities are endless & you can truly make your Bible+ experience unique. Although you can highlight more than Bible text in Bible+, the Bible verse that has been highlighted the most is Romans 12:2, which is certainly a verse we should all... View Article


Over 500 Million Items Synced!

January 11, 2016 11:48 am Published by 2 Comments

We recently crossed an exciting milestone… One of the benefits of Bible+ is that you can install it on different devices and those devices have the ability to sync with each other. With the sync feature you can take a note or make a highlight and it will then be available on any device that has Bible+ installed. Not only do all of your notes, highlights, saved passages, and tags sync across devices – but so do reading plans. Start a reading plan on your phone and continue reading on your tablet or computer. So about that milestone. Our sync server recently crossed the 500 Million mark! That number represents thousands of people from all over the world who are actively reading and studying God’s word. For all of us at Olive Tree Bible Software this is a great reminder about why we love what we do. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the free sync service in Bible+ signup for a free account HERE to get started. To celebrate this milestone we’ve discounted the top Bible study titles from 2015. Go HERE To see them!