Author Archives for Olive Tree Staff

Look Inside: Expositors Bible Commentary

February 23, 2015 10:00 am Published by 2 Comments

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is a 12 volume commentary set with scholarship from 78 different contributors. Here’s a brief look at how it works in The Bible Study App.The Expositors Bible Commentary is on sale this week. See it here!


Why Lenten Discipline is a Good Thing

February 17, 2015 9:00 am Published by Comments Off on Why Lenten Discipline is a Good Thing

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter in which many Christians observe a form of self-denial as a way to identify with Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the wilderness. It’s easy to relegate Lent to a time of “giving something up,” maybe chocolate or Facebook or fast food. While our waistlines might affirm these Lenten fasts, our spiritual nature begs for something more. Throughout Church history, Christians have turned to classic spiritual disciplines during Lent. But human nature can’t seem to make up its mind about the virtues of discipline. Sure discipline is a good thing. I brush my teeth every morning and evening. I drive safely. I read my Bible every day. But let’s face it: Discipline is hard. Why do we need to practice discipline in a season like Lent anyway? In essence, discipline helps us to be more like Christ. As Jesus himself taught, denying oneself is integral to the Christian life and necessarily tough. Even Jesus’ discipline of obedience to the Father led to Calvary. As Christianity Today’s editorial from March 1960 puts it, Lent is a time in which we “follow the battered path to Calvary” and recognize... View Article


A season of Lent

February 16, 2015 11:00 am Published by 1 Comment

By Olive Tree Staff: Molly Van Ryn I still remember the first Lent that I was really considered old enough to give something up on my own.  It was jr high, and like just about everything at that age it quickly turned into a contest.  For weeks lunchtime conversations revolved around Lent: who was giving up the hardest thing, who had been successful the longest, who had fallen off the wagon and whether they were going to try again.  Most people gave up some sort of food, like candy or soda.  Some brave souls even went so far as to give up television, to exclamations of “No way!  That’s so hard!  You’ll never make it!” I don’t remember what I gave up that year, or whether I carried it through until Easter.  But I vividly recall the jockeying for position.  The people who were giving up something that was perceived as more difficult exuded a sense of smug superiority, only to be replaced by people who had picked something easier and stuck with it.  I learned a lot of lessons from that about setting realistic goals, but hardly any about being in relationship with God, or what the season of... View Article


Free Resource Friday

February 13, 2015 3:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Free This Weekend Only: Divine Design: God’s Complimentary Roles for Men and Women For decades our culture has tried to blur the lines between men and women, to make gender irrelevant, all in the name of equality. It’s a message that has slowly infiltrated our marriages, our homes, and even our churches. Yet instead of creating harmony, this message has only caused confusion, ultimately leading to a tragic breakdown of relationships and families. Divine Design calls us back to God’s original intent for men and women. Clearing away the cultural noise and misconceptions, author <b>John MacArthur</b> tackles big issues such as authority in marriage, mothers in the home, and God’s view of equality, all while exploring the innate differences between men and women. Throughout, he provides an indispensable guide for understanding your mate and shares how embracing your unique design can foster security, balance, and love in a marriage and family. Find  this great resource in the Bible Study in-app store or go HERE for install instructions. Free Giveaway ends February 15, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST. Please note than a Free Olive Tree account is required to access this Free Download.


Stuck in Your Reading Plan? Be Encouraged!

February 11, 2015 10:54 am Published by 2 Comments

By Olive Tree Employee: David Mikucki If you look at the calendar, you’ll see that it is now February and it has been February for a number of days. But for many of us, if we look at our Bible reading plan, we’re stuck somewhere in January. A lot of us start out with noble intentions, perhaps wanting to read the whole Bible in a year. The wheels typically start to fall off around the time we get to the book of Leviticus and forward progress comes to a complete halt by Numbers. Reading Scripture can be hard, especially when we don’t feel like we understand what we’re reading. But God does offer us encouragement, and a lot of it. First of all, for those of us who struggle to read the Bible regularly, there is grace and peace in Jesus Christ. God is not up in heaven with a strict reading plan, ready to slap you down because you haven’t kept it. Jesus was struck down for our sins and our failings (Isaiah 53:5). If you’ve put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are still loved and forgiven even if you’ve failed to love God’s Word. Besides the good... View Article


Free Resource Friday

February 6, 2015 3:00 am Published by 3 Comments

One of the most powerful tools in The Bible Study App is the resource guide found in the right reading pane. A great free addition to your resource guide and your study is Easton’s Bible Dictionary. Easton’s Bible Dictionary contains almost 4,000 Bible words with a complete explanation of its Biblical meaning. It is the work of M.G. Easton, and was published in 1897. Its definitions have stood the test of time for their solid Biblical basis, clarity and conciseness. This dictionary is an invaluable addition to your Olive Tree library. Find  this great resource in the Bible Study in-app store or go HERE for install instructions. Please note than a Free Olive Tree account is required to access this Free Download.


Free Resource Friday

January 30, 2015 3:00 am Published by 4 Comments

This week we highlight Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary as a free download for The Bible Study App.  Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible is developed from the author’s rare ability to express profound spiritual insights with simplicity and eloquence. His writings have been read and enjoyed for both their scholarship and devotion. For over 250 years this commentary has been one of the most widely used of all Bible commentaries. Find it in the in-app store or go here for download instructions. Please note than a Free Olive Tree account is required to access this Free Download.Looking for more commentaries? Go here!


Titles to Help you Study the Bible

January 13, 2015 2:13 pm Published by 4 Comments

Reading and studying the Bible are important disciplines for all Christians, but the concept of Bible study can be more elusive. In Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods, Warren starts out by saying, “I have discovered that most Christians sincerely want to study their Bibles on their own, but they just don’t know how.” If you’re unsure of where to get started, we have several titles that will help. Take a look at How to Read the Bible Book by Book and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart as good introductory Bible study resources. Learn To Study The Bible by Andy Deane, and Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul are also helpful for picking up good Bible study tools and habits. Study Bibles, like the NIV Study Bible Notes can provide notes, cross references and other insights into the text to help you in your Bible study. However, don’t get too bogged down with study books and miss out on the truths you can glean from digging into the text on your own. Here are some things to keep in mind when studying the Bible. Context, Context, Context Start by looking for the historical context: the author, style of writing, time period, audience and the historical background that... View Article


Syncable Bible Reading Plans

January 8, 2015 3:00 am Published by 16 Comments

Bible reading plans in The Bible Study App are easy to use and they sync between any device that has the App. Watch this video to see how! Sync is only possible with a free Olive Tree account. If you don’t have one sign up for one here!


Enhanced for the Resource Guide: Commentaries

January 2, 2015 8:16 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Bible Commentaries can be an extremely valuable study tool. Many commentaries include historical and culture context, theological interpretation, and other resources like timelines and charts. The resource guide of The Bible Study App makes using commentaries a seamless part of your study.In the below screenshot (click to enlarge) I have my Bible opened to Daniel chapter 1. The commentary section of the resource guide then shows me which of my commentaries have related entries to this text. The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary indicates seven entries so I’ll click on that commentary to see a preview of the those entries. Since this chapter talks about Daniel and his friends being placed in a Babylonian learning environment, I’m interested in learning more about what that may have looked like. I then click on the third entry that talks about the language and literature of the Babylonians. I can then read a fascinating article about historical Babylonian education that Daniel and his friends would have been exposed to. Thanks to enhanced commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary I can easily gain some amazing insight that helps me view the Biblical text in new ways. Go here to see available commentaries!