Olive Tree Staff
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As you read along in your Bible, the Resource Guide within the Bible Study app follows you, looking in your library for any information that is relevant to your reading. Here’s how to get started using the Resource Guide.
To open the resource guide:
Tap on the gray double bar that appears at the far right or bottom of the screen. When it turns blue you can drag the split window open.
Once you’ve pulled the split window open, tap on your phone’s settings button to bring up the menu
From the drop down, tap on ‘Resource Guide’
When you select Resource Guide for the first time, it will ask you to download the database, tap on the message to start downloading the Resource Guide.
After the download completes, the Resource Guide will open. The Resource Guide displays information from your library related to the current passage you are reading. You can see commentaries, maps, charts and more. To change the setting for the Resource Guide to open in the split window, open the ‘Advanced Settings’ and check the box for displaying the Resource Guide in the split window.
The Olive Tree Concordance is a great resource to use within The Bible Study App to enhance your study and we have several good ones available with the ESV, NKJV and KJV translations. Why should you use a concordance in The Bible Study App? Read below to see what a concordance can do for you.
Screenshots are taken from The Bible Study App running on Windows.
Dictionary Look up
As you read along in your Bible or other resource, you can highlight a word and select “Look Up” from the menu of options. Immediately The Bible Study App searches your library for resources related to your selected word.
Click on the Olive Tree Concordance from the list of articles to see the entry for the selected word. Similar to a traditional concordance, the Olive Tree concordance gives you a listing of all the other places in the Bible where that word is used. The Bible Study App goes beyond the traditional concordance by creating hyperlinks for all the verse references, so as you click on one, a pop up window will take you to the Bible text, making a word study quick and easy.
You may have noticed that there is a number listed next to each verse reference in the concordance. This is the Strong’s number for your selected word. Strong’s numbers represent the word in the original language that was translated into your English word.
For example, when you look up “mercy,” you will get a different Strong’s number for the Hebrew words raḥam and ḥânan which are both translated as mercy in English, but have different meanings in Hebrew. When you tap or click on the Strong’s number h7356, the search will bring up all of the verse references in the Bible that contain the Hebrew word raḥam.
In addition to the Strong’s Numbers, you will also receive access to the Strong’s Dictionary when you purchase the Olive Tree concordances. Next to each Strong’s Number in the concordance is a hyperlink to the “Dictionary.” When you tap or click on “Dictionary” a pop up will provide the original language definition. For example, when selecting “Dictionary” for h7356 (raḥam) the entry is:
h7356. רַחַם raḥam; from 7355; compassion (in the plural); by extension, the womb (as cherishing the fetus); by implication, a maiden: — bowels, compassion, damsel, tender love, (great, tender) mercy, pity, womb.
AV (44)- mercy 30, compassion 4, womb 4, bowels 2, pity 2, damsel 1, tender love 1; n m
The dictionary information tells me that raḥam comes from the Hebrew root word with the Strong’s number h7355. I can find the dictionary information for the root word if I click or tap on h7355. The dictionary entry also gives a definition for raḥam and lists the occurrences of the word and how it is translated. There are 44 instances of the Hebrew word in the Bible, 30 of which are translated as “mercy,” four are translated “compassion,” and so on.
As you can see, the Olive Tree Concordances are much more than a list of cross references for each word in the Bible. With dictionary information tied to the original language, these resources are valuable tools for Bible study. Each concordance comes with a copy of the Bible in the selected translation.
Head to our online store to check out these new offerings from Olive Tree!
Jude 5 in the NA28
By Olive Tree Staff: Matt Jonas
Olive Tree recently released the NA28 for the Bible Study App and some of you may be wondering “why all the fuss”? I wrote a blog post covering some of the major differences between the NA28 and the previous edition. However, there was one very specific change that I didn’t mention in that article that is of great significance to me and all other Bible-believing Christians. It is a change in Jude 5 that has great implications for the current discussion regarding the “historical Jesus” and the early church’s views on the divinity of Christ.
The Greek text of Jude 5 in the NA27 reads as follows:
“ Ὑπομνῆσαι δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι, εἰδότας [ὑμᾶς] πάντα ὅτι [ὁ] κύριος ἅπαξ λαὸν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου σώσας τὸ δεύτερον τοὺς μὴ πιστεύσαντας ἀπώλεσεν,”
Here’s how the NRSV translates this verse into English:
“Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, that the Lord, who once for all saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”
The NA28, however, has Ἰησοῦς (Jesus) in place of κύριος (Lord). Here’s the same passage from the NA28:
“ Ὑπομνῆσαι δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι, εἰδότας [ὑμᾶς] ἅπαξ πάντα ὅτι Ἰησοῦς λαὸν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου σώσας τὸ δεύτερον τοὺς μὴ πιστεύσαντας ἀπώλεσεν,”
Interestingly, the ESV already translated the passage this way on the basis of the better manuscript evidence for the reading used by the NA28. I believe this is the only place where the ESV translators departed from the main text of the NA27 and used a “variant” reading instead. It is a little ironic, in my opinion, that the “variant” reading they chose is now in the main text of the NA28.
Here’s how the ESV translates Jude 5:
“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”
In the book of Exodus, it was the Lord (YHWH) who led the Israelites out of Egypt. If Jude is claiming that it was Jesus who led the Israelites out of captivity, then he is apparently identifying Jesus with the Lord.
It is interesting to note that this change was made because it is the” best attested reading” for this passage. Bruce Metzger even said as much in his Textual Commentary, but regardless, the editors of the NA27 still chose the reading “Lord” rather than “Jesus”.
Here are Metzger’s own words:
“Critical principles seem to require the adoption of Ἰησοῦς, which admittedly is the best attested reading among Greek and versional witnesses…” (Metzger, 657).
At the beginning of the same note, Metzger explained the reading used in the main text of the NA27 in this way:
“Despite the weighty attestation supporting Ἰησοῦς … a majority of the Committee was of the opinion that this reading was difficult to the point of impossibility, and explained its origin in terms of transcriptional oversight…”(Metzger, 657).
The NA28 has reversed this decision, going with the “best attested reading” even though it might be theologically objectionable to those who wish to claim that Christ’s divinity was not a belief held by the early church and was instead a later invention.
This view even became a part of our popular culture recently due to Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code.” Among other things, the novel claims that Emperor Constantine I suppressed Gnosticism and promoted the deity of Christ for political reasons. Brown’s view is presented as fiction (which it clearly is due to the numerous historical inaccuracies), but there have been other more scholarly attempts to support similar claims.
Thomas Jefferson famously cut-and-pasted pieces from his collection of Bibles to create “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth,” better known as the Jefferson Bible. In this harmony of the gospels, he complete eliminated all references to Christ’s divinity and his miracles (including, of course, his resurrection).
More recently, the Jesus Seminar did something similar, voting on whether they believed that the words attributed to Jesus by the Gospels were authentic. Not surprisingly, passages in which Jesus claims divinity (such as John 14), didn’t make the cut.
In his recent book Misquoting Jesus, Bart Ehrman even claims that early Christian scribes altered the text of the New Testament to support their views, such as the deity of Christ. Ironically, Jude 5 (in the NA27) may be an example of the opposite phenomenon, in which modern “scribes” altered the text in a way that deemphasized this doctrine. It’s refreshing to see that the editors of the NA28 have corrected this bias and have ruled simply in favor of the textual evidence, even though the resulting reading may be troubling to some.
Hopefully, the choice to include this reading marks the beginning of a trend against the bias that I mentioned above. In his talk on the NA28 at the 2012 SBL national conference in Chicago, Klaus Wachtel noted that the NA27 showed bias against the Byzantine tradition. He also claimed that NA28 by contrast recognizes the reliability of the mainstream tradition. This respect for the mainstream tradition is evident in how the editors of the NA28 chose to handle Jude 5. The textual evidence has always been on the side of the reading that was chosen, and yet previous editions used a less well attested variant instead because of the theological implications. How the NA28 handles Jude 5 may not “disprove” the claims of Dan Brown, or Thomas Jefferson, the Jesus Seminar, or Bart Ehrman, but it is still a step in the right direction.
By Olive Tree Staff: Matthew Jonas
Some of you may have noticed that the parsed version of the NA28 text that Olive Tree is now offering uses a different parsing database than the parsed NA27 text that we offer. The parsing database that Olive Tree offers with the NA27 is the Mounce-Koivisto parsing database. It is based on the work of both Dr. William Mounce and Dr. Rex Koivisto. The new parsing system is based entirely on the work of Dr. Mounce.
Both systems provide the sort of basic parsing information that students and pastors would typically expect: tense, voice, mood, person, and number for verbs; case, number, and gender for nouns, and so forth. The Mounce-Koivisto also includes some additional data at times that the new system does not contain, such as types for pronouns (demonstrative, personal, etc.) and syntactical information about the uses of conjunctions (coordinating vs. subordinating, temporal, causal, etc.) However, since the new Mounce system is simpler, it is also more straightforward and easier to understand in some cases.
If the basic parsing data is very similar between the two systems, you may wonder what the advantage of the new one is. The answer has to do not so much with the parsings themselves as it does with the accompanying set of glosses. The parsings that Olive Tree has made available with the NA28 contain much fuller glosses than the parsings that are offered with the NA27. The glosses are an important distinctive feature of the Mounce-Koivisto parsings as compared to AGNT, which uses an excellent parsing system, but has no glosses. The addition of fuller and more accurate glosses in the new Mounce parsings make this even more of an advantage.
For example, the difference between the older glosses and the newer glosses is very apparent when looking at a preposition such as ἐν. The Mounce-Koivisto (NA27) gloss is “(+dat) in, with, by, to.” The Mounce (NA28) gloss is “Spatially: in, inside, at, among, with; logically: by means of, with, because of; of time: during, while.” Not every gloss is as long as this, but fuller and more accurate glosses are given for certain words such as in this example.
My experience has been that once a student has learned the basic forms of nouns and verbs that the main barrier to reading the New Testament is unfamiliar vocabulary rather than unfamiliar forms. The fuller set of glosses that are part of the new Mounce parsing system will hopefully make it easier to bridge the gap between the shorter glosses that students learn when starting out and the fuller definitions found in lexicons. These coupled with Dr. Mounce’s straightforward parsing system and the text of the NA28 make this a valuable resource for anyone interested in the Greek New Testament.