Author Archives for LaRosa Johnson

Using Gospel Harmonies

December 31, 2015 5:00 pm Published by 4 Comments

A Gospel Harmony seeks to take the Four Gospels and put them in a Chronological order so that you can compare how the Gospel writers address events in Jesus’ life.  We wanted to show you how to use this Bible study tool. (screeshots are taken from an iPad Mini 4. Click the image for a larger view) When Jesus goes to Pilate in Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1; John 18:28 – you can read the interactions between Jesus and Pilate in all four Gospels without having to navigate back and forth.  Because of this unique layout, the screen will default to vertical “flick” scrolling for a better viewing experience. On a larger device like a tablet you can view all (4) columns side-by-side. The side-by-side view scales down two a two or single column view as the horizontal viewable area gets smaller, or when Resource Guide is opened. All of the Scripture references are hyperlinked, so you can tap on the headers to see that one reference in a popup. Here’s where the Harmony of the Gospels is also very helpful. You can see that John goes into much more detail about the conversation between Jesus and Pilate than the other three Gospels.... View Article


How to Use Dictionaries in Bible+

December 30, 2015 5:00 pm Published by 1 Comment

Here are three ways you can use dictionaries & lexicons in Bible+. To illustrate we will use the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. The first way is through the Split Window and Resource Guide.  Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window and the Resource Guide in the Split Window.  As you read through your Bible text, the Resource Guide searches through all the downloaded resources in your library to find related Bible study content. You’ll notice that the Resource Guide pulls related content from all of your downloaded resources.  If you scroll down the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”  These headings give you the results of articles based on your downloaded resources. Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose “Nebo” in this example.  Bible+ then brings you results from within the resources you have on your device.  This is where you will find the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIBD) within the Resource Guide. You’ll notice that the resource has the words “Article to Nebo” underneath the book cover.  Tap/Click on the book cover and Bible+ will take you directly to the article within the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of... View Article


Make the Most of Bible Handbooks

December 29, 2015 5:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Bible Handbooks and Quick References are great resources that help you go deeper in your Bible study. Here’s how we’ve enhanced these resources: Bring up your preferred Bible translation in the main window. Then open the split window. Adjust the split window to your desired size. Next, make sure the Resource Guide is open. Please note that the split window opens to the last place that you had viewed, so if you were last in the library, the screen will default back to the library. The Resource Guide keeps up with me as I scroll through the Bible text and searches through the books in my library for content related to the Scripture passage in the main window. Scroll down to view “Places,” “Maps,” “Outlines,” and “Introductions.” All quick reference content will be displayed in these sections. In our example, after clicking “Rome” under “Places,” the resource guide shows me that I have several images and maps available in my library. I can click these images to see a larger view or even view them within the resource from which the content is found. I can also see that there are Outlines and Introductions available in MacArthur’s Quick Reference Guide to the Bible and... View Article


Kickstart Your Bible Reading in 2016

December 28, 2015 5:00 pm Published by 10 Comments

Every new year thousands of Christians start a new Bible reading plan with the hope of reading through the entire Bible in a year. A few weeks into January or February and most have already abandoned those plans. I readily admit that I used to be one of those people. Let’s be honest, after getting through the familiar & event packed books of Genesis & Exodus things start to slow down and get boring. This is particularly true once you get to Leviticus and all the talk about being clean or unclean. In 2016 I want to encourage you to start a new reading plan and provide some tips that will keep you reading throughout the year. Bible Reading Tips Here are a few tips that I have found helpful over the years, and I hope they encourage you as we enter the new year: Start Small. If you’ve never read through large portions of Scripture before, don’t try to start with a plan that looks insurmountable. That’s like someone new to the gym thinking they can lift the same weights as a power lifter. It’s not a good idea and can be a setup for failure. Instead of a year long... View Article


Using Commentaries in Bible+

December 27, 2015 5:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the key components to any digital Bible study library is a commentary. Study Bibles are great for getting quick information about a passage but when you want to investigate a passage further you’ll turn to a commentary. Today I want to show you how most commentaries work in Bible+. Using a Commentary Like many resources in Bible+, the best way to get the most out of your library is by using the Resource Guide; commentaries are no exception. To illustrate, let’s use the Moody Bible Commentary & assume we’re starting to read Mark’s gospel. Introductions When beginning a study on a new book of the Bible, one of the first things you want to do is get some background information. Resource Guide makes this easy. Simply scroll down to the “Introductions” section, where we find a hit for our commentary. Here we find information about the gospel, it’s author, date, audience, purpose, and other issues worth keeping in mind. Outlines Next, you’ll want to get a feel for how the book is laid out, so let’s find an outline. Again, the Resource Guide shows us that Moody Bible Commentary has an outline for our book, and we see that it is quite extensive. One thing worth... View Article


How to Use a Study Bible in Bible+

December 25, 2015 5:00 pm Published by 3 Comments

Study Bibles are an essential part of any Bible study library. Study Bibles provide quick access to understanding passages and getting a general overview of the Bible. Today we want to highlight Study Bibles by showing you what kind of content you can expect to find and how to use them. Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4 and using the NIV Zondervan Study Bible for illustration. Book and Section Introductions Most Study Bibles offer section introductions to the Bible’s literary genres, such as the Pentateuch and the Historical Books. In the book introductions, you will find everything from the author’s purpose in writing, the book’s theme, a full outline, and relevant photos. They leave no stone unturned. These introductions cover the essentials of what you need to know before studying any book of the Bible. Verse-by-Verse Notes After reading through the book and section introductions, you’re ready to dive into the study notes. The notes will help you understand each passage in its context and show you how it relates to the overall message of the Bible. You can access the study notes in conjunction with your Bible by opening them in a split window or through the Commentaries section of the... View Article


Read Bibles Side-by-Side in Bible+

December 24, 2015 5:00 pm Published by 6 Comments

We all have our favorite Bible translation that we like to use and read from. Right now, for me, it’s the English Standard Version (ESV). When it comes to looking up a passage or doing my daily Bible reading it’s the Bible I go to by default. But when I’m studying or preparing a sermon I reference multiple Bible translations so that I can gain a fuller understanding of the passage. Today I want to show you why owning multiple Bible translations is a good idea and how to use them side by side in Bible+. The screenshots below are from an iPad Mini 4, but the process works identically on Android devices. The methods described below require the split window to be open and assume a Bible is already open in the main window. Method #1: Library View The first way to create a parallel Bible is through the library view. If your split window is currently open to Resource Guide or Notes you can return to the library view by tapping the top left icon in the split window. This will open a list of your resources. If you have a large library, you may want to filter this view... View Article


Look Inside: Life Application Bible Commentary

December 14, 2015 1:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

While there are lots of commentary sets that have been published over the years, there are very few that everyone should own. Tyndale’s Life Application Bible Commentary is one of those few. It presents a unique blend of verse-by-verse commentary alongside riveting sermon & lesson applications and quotes from greats in Church history. It’s one of those rare commentaries that hits the sweet spot of explaining the Scripture without getting too deep, while not forgetting to apply it to the here & now. This great New Testament commentary set is now available in Bible+ from Olive Tree and we want to show you what you get when you add it to your library. (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4) What You Get The Life Application Bible Commentary provides verse-by-verse explanation, background, and application for every verse in the New Testament. In addition, it gives personal help, teaching notes, and sermon ideas for applying God’s Word. Each volume contains introduction and commentary. The beautiful thing about using the Life Application Bible Commentary in Bible+ is using with Resource Guide. Instead of hunting for the right place in the commentary, it’ll always be in the right spot when you need it. Introductions The introduction includes... View Article


Introducing Olive Tree Cross References

December 7, 2015 12:18 pm Published by 6 Comments

One of the first things I was taught when learning to study the Bible is that Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture. In my daily study and sermon preparation this is a truth I live by. Before turning to the notes in my study Bible or my vast assortment of commentaries I first turn to my cross reference resources. Even though these resources involve some manual curation of references, they point me back to the Bible and I can decide for myself if the verse is related to the passage I’m reading. With that in mind, I’m excited to introduce two brand new cross reference titles from Olive Tree: Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set and Olive Tree Cross References: Concise Set. Let’s take a look at these resources and see how they work in Bible+. What Do You Get? The Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set is a unique cross reference system derived from numerous traditional sources using computer-aided statistical analysis. The resulting cross reference set contains over 100,000 of the most pertinent references. Using statistical analysis, verses are ranked according to importance and relevance. Highly relevant cross-references are printed in bold. Those of average importance and relevance are printed in... View Article


Look Inside: Willmington’s Guide to the Bible

December 4, 2015 11:45 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Let’s be honest, building a theological library can get expensive, especially if you’re a pastor or professor. There is no end to the number of resources one can add. But, if you’re just getting started, where should you turn? I usually start people off with a good study Bible and expand from there. After the study Bible, one of the resources I recommend is having another good all-in-one resource that provides an overview of the Bible and its themes, something with a broader view of the text. When I was growing up the first Bible overview book I purchased for myself was Willmington’s Guide to the Bible. It was a fantastic resource that served me well for many years, and now it’s finally available for Bible+! What is Willmington’s Guide to the Bible? It is best described as a treasury of Bible knowledge that is easy to read and understand by all. This resource is essentially eight types of reference works condensed into a single 1200 page handbook. It is: a Bible handbook, commentary, topical resource, theological manual, history textbook, encyclopedia, cross reference guide, and archaeological resource. The book is both exhaustive and concise, which is a hard balance to... View Article