Category: App Tips

Look Inside: Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible

Posted by on 07/21/2016 in: ,

By Olive Tree Employee: Genny Gager

Bible commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding what the Bible has to say to us today. Often overlooked, however, is the value that using scripture to understand scripture can bring. God’s inspired word is a complex tapestry of themes all woven together, and the development of those themes can provide us with insight into the relevant message of the Bible for today’s readers.

Finding our way around these themes can be a daunting task, especially given the variety of subjects covered in the Bible. A word search can be helpful, but it can give an incomplete picture due to the complexity of language and the context in which words are used. The great news is that Olive Tree offers the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible, which links various themes together as they are touched upon and developed throughout Scripture. The very heart of this product is the thematic chains that number in the thousands, and people at all stages of learning about the Bible have used it in the 100 years since its initial release. The Thompson Chain resource is also a great study Bible, offering cross references, book outlines, book introductions, maps, and harmonies to aid us in our study.

We’ve put quite a bit of attention into converting the rich topical content so it can be used in the Bible Study app. Our goal was to make navigating the famous topical chains easy and intuitive and to allow quick access to the additional materials as well.

We’re going to walk through a quick example of how the Bible Study App can make navigating the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible enjoyable and easy. The example uses and refers to the iPad version of our software. We’ve designed this resource to work seamlessly with the built-in resource guide.  Although we’ll be relying on the iPad version in our example, other versions of our app will have similar functionality.

If you want to follow along with the example, bring 1 Samuel chapter 17 up in your Bible. With everything set up, the screen will look similar to this (your screen may look a little different depending on what resources you have and how you have your resource guide set up):

To activate the chains, tap the name of the Thompson Chain under the commentaries section of your resource guide. Your split-window view will change to a listing of verses directly related to your location:

Choose the verse you want by tapping on it in the split window. In this example we’ll choose 17:4:

You can now choose the theme you want to explore in the list under that verse, for instance choosing 1409, Giants, results in the following:

Now it’s as easy as tapping on each verse reference to get a popup where you can read the appropriate Bible text.

When you are done with this chain, you can tap the back arrow at the upper left corner of the split screen to return to the verse menu.

The wealth of other information in the Thompson Chain resource is easily available as well. Return to the base screen of the resource guide by tapping the back arrow until your screen looks similar to this:

Notice the entries for the Thompson Chain located in the Introductions and Outlines sections. Just tap on an entry to quickly access the information.
Finally, some other gems are available but a little less obvious. For this example, tap the David entry under the People section. After you’ve tapped on it, the screen will look like this:

The Resource Guide automatically shows you that there is an article on David available in the Thompson Chain resource. Tap on the article to read it.

There is also an image on the Journeys and Life of David under the Images section that you can open.

Tap the “double arrows” to make the image full screen, and pinch and zoom to make the image larger:

We hope that this quick example will help you explore and learn about the Bible with the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible, a trusted resource that has been used by generations of Bible enthusiasts. When used in combination with the Bible Study App, you are just a few taps away from unlocking the themes of the Bible as they weave in and out of the entire text.

Right now you can get the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible for 40% off the regular price.

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Share Some Encouragement

Posted by on 07/06/2016 in: ,

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If you’ve ever been through a tough season in your life than you know how important it is to get support and encouragement from those close to you. A kind word can be a much needed ray of hope and really give you the perspective you need.

From your smartphone you can easily text a quick word or prayer to a friend right when you’re thinking of them. With the Olive Tree Bible App you can actually share a scripture verse or even an entire devotional reading right from the app, via text, to your friend or loved one who needs to be encouraged. Here’s how to easily share right from the app!

For Android

  1. Tap and hold to select the text you want to share.
  2. Select ‘Share’ in the menu bar. For some phones you’ll need to scroll the menu bar to the side to see the share button.
  3. Select your messaging app and then enter the recipient just as you would for any text message.

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For iOS

  1. Tap and hold to select the text you want to share.
  2. Select ‘Share’ in the menu bar. For some phones you’ll need to scroll the menu bar to the side to see the share button.
  3. Select your messaging app and then enter the recipient just as you would for any text messaging.

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This sharing feature works with any type of word based resource like a Bible, Devotional, eBook and more. Try it out today and share some encouragement with someone you know!

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Empower Your Study With Mounce’s Expository Dictionary

Posted by on 07/05/2016 in: ,

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Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of  Old and New Testament Words is an invaluable resource for your personal Bible study and can go a long way in illuminating God’s word. Here are three ways you can use it in the app to aid you in your study.

The first way you can utilize Mounce’s Dictionary  is just as you would a traditional dictionary.

Select the dictionary from your library and  use the verse chooser to  look through the resource as you would a hard-copy dictionary. Mounce’s dictionary allows you to look up words in English, Greek or Hebrew.

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The second way is to use the Lookup Feature.

Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  If you tap the Lookup button you’ll get hits from your resources on just that specific word. If there is an entry for that word in the English Dictionary you’ll be able to select Mounce’s Dictionary and read more about that word and the Greek or Hebrew that it was translated from.

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But what if there’s no entry on the English word? This is where a strong’s tagged Bible and Mounce’s Dictionary work so well together.

The third way is with a Strong’s tagged Bible or similar resource like the NIV Word Study Bible.

With a Strong’s tagged Bible you can easily access Mounce’s Dictionary by searching on the Hebrew or Greek word that you’ve just tapped. In the screen shot below I’ve just tapped the word Scriptures and with one more tap I can tap lookup to read about the Greek word in Mounce’s Dictionary

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Add Mounce’s Expository Dictionary to your library today!

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7 Reasons to Use Olive Tree’s Mac App

Posted by on 06/30/2016 in:

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Who doesn’t love a good Top Items list? I know I do! Here are seven (7) reasons why you should use the newly updated Olive Tree Bible app for Mac alongside your mobile. Ready. Set. Go!

1. Multiple Windows

One limitation of working with the Bible app on mobile is you can only have two resources open at a single time, three if you count pop-ups. This limitation exists for various reasons, ranging from screen size to processing power. This isn’t a problem on your Mac. Open multiple windows to your heart’s content and resize them however you’d like. The possibilities are endless. This is a perfect way to maximize your study time.

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2. Universal Search

Have you ever wanted to search your entire library for a topic or word? The Resource Guide helps with this to an extent, but it only works with enhanced resources. With the Bible app for Mac you can type anything you want in the search field and get hits from your entire library. This alone is a time saver or reason to get lost in rabbit trails, you decide.

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3. Multitasking

Do you like using Pages or Google Docs to write your sermons or notes? That’s easy with the Bible app for Mac. If you have multiple monitors, have the app open on one screen and Pages open in the other. Don’t have two monitors? Resize your windows and you can still do the same. Try doing that on your phone!

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4. More Text on the Screen

Given the fact my phone is 5.5″ (iPhone 6s Plus) versus the 13″ screen of my Macbook Pro, I can fit a lot more text on my Macbook’s screen than I can on my iPhone. This means I can study a lot easier than I can on my iPhone. I can read more with less scrolling, which saves time and effort.

Look how much more text you can fit on a desktop (iMac) versus a tablet (iPad Mini 4).

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5. Merge Floating Windows

The next two reasons are exclusive to the Mac version of the Bible app. First is the ability to merge multiple floating windows into a single window. This is a convenient way to organize your work space & to move windows around, especially if you have multiple monitors. You can achieve this one of two ways: 1) Go to Window, and select “Group Floating Windows into 1 Window,” or 2) the keyboard shortcut ⌘(Cmd)+Y. Presto! You’ve grouped your many pop-ups into a single window!

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6. Quick Details

There are lots of things you can get to with a tap or mouse click in the Olive Tree Bible app. A few of these include: original language parsing data, Strong’s definitions, verse links, and footnotes. In the Mac version of the Bible app you can get to this information even faster. At the bottom left of the main window is a Quick Details pane. As your pointer hovers over text, such as a Greek word in the screenshot below, the Quick Details window is populated with information about that word. Now you can quickly get information without the need to tap/click on the word to open its pop-up.

Want to see the full entry? Hold the “Control” key (to freeze the Quick Details pane) & move your pointer to that area. Now you can scroll and read all the data, such as the dictionary definition that is not currently visible in the shot below. This pane can also be resized by clicking & dragging on the “Quick Details” title bar.

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7. Distraction Free Studying

The refreshed user interface of the Olive Tree Bible app for Mac was designed to get out of the way so you could focus on studying. How often have you tried reading the Bible on your phone only to get distracted by a call, text message, or notification? Happens to me all the time, and sometimes I don’t have the luxury of turning on Airplane mode to keep it from happening. The simple gesture of sitting at a computer often implies that it’s time for serious work, which can make it easier to focus and get studying done distraction free. Plus, it’s far easier to “unplug” your computer from the Internet without feeling like you’re cut off from the world.

What Are Yours?

What are some of your favorite features and tips when using Olive Tree’s Mac app? Leave a comment and share them with us and other Olive Tree users.

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Mac Update!

Posted by on 06/20/2016 in: ,

It’s here, download Today!

The long awaited update to our Mac App is now available!

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect with this update.

Look and Feel

One of the first things you’ll notice when you open the new app is that it looks different. The look has been updated with a color scheme that better reflects our company’s branding, while flattening the icons for a sleeker look. Even though the app looks different, the way you interact with the app has not changed. This design refresh is meant to get the app out of the way so you can focus more on the content you’re studying.

This design refresh also means many of our resources will look better on your Mac. No longer do you have to manually look up passages because they were in a table that was converted to a graphic. Things like tables now display in the app like they should, enabling us to hyperlink passages within them. Images will flow better with the text, along with many other visual improvements.

Along with the interface refresh we have significantly improved the app’s performance. Scroll through text faster. Navigate menus more efficiently. Watch the Resource Guide populate quicker. All around we’ve made the app better to help you study with fewer distractions.

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New Titles

One of the biggest advantages of the Bible App Update for Mac is all the new titles you can add to your library. Our old app had significant limitations in its ability to display text, which kept us from creating resources with complex layouts. We now have the ability to display interlinear Bibles, text-wrapped images, and properly-formatted tables. The update also gives us the ability to make our resources more closely resemble what you would find in print.

With this update, you can now enjoy all the same resources that our iOS and Android users have been enjoying, including interlinear Bibles, Gospel harmonies, the BHS with Critical Apparatus, the Reformation Study Bible, and Tyndale Commentaries to name a few.

You will also be able to purchase hundreds of new eBooks that were not available on our old platform. So not only do our books look nicer, but you can build a more robust Bible study library too.

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 Find this update in your Mac App store or go HERE!

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Resource Updates

Posted by on 06/16/2016 in: ,

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The benefit of eBooks and other digital resources is that when a particular resource needs to be updated it can happen quickly and easily. You’ve probably noticed in the past that there are periodic updates available for books in your Olive Tree library. The most common reasons have to do with fixing minor errors in the text, formatting changes, or revisions from the author or publisher.

Just as we are always working to improve the Olive Tree Bible App, we are also working to keep your resources up to date, looking beautiful, and working smoothly. It’s with this in mind that we wanted to let you know of a massive update we just pushed out to a majority of titles for the Bible App. This update is part of our ongoing innovation and commitment to providing you with the best reading and Bible study experience. We understand that it can be an inconvenience to update your resources and so we appreciate your patience and understanding as we strive to provide you with the most up to date resources available.

We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your trust in us to provide you with best Bible study tools possible! Thank you, and may God continue to inspire you through his word!

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The top question about study Bibles

Posted by on 06/02/2016 in: ,

One of the most common question people often ask about a particular study Bible is,”What translation is it in“?

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The beauty of using a digital study Bible in the Olive Tree Bible App is that you can actually use them with any translation that you prefer and they will give you the same great insight. Our store offers study Bibles as either notes only or as two files that contain the notes and the Biblical text. Regardless of which study Bible you use in our app, they all function the same way.

The most common way that study Bibles are used is by accessing them in the Resource Guide where you’ll find the study notes appear under the commentaries section. Like anything in the Resource Guide, they are connected to the text you have open in the main window and as such will work with any translation you are reading from.

For Example: In the screenshot below, taken from the Olive Tree Bible App on a PC, I have an NIV Bible open in the main window and the notes from The Message Study Bible open in the Resource Guide. Even though the translation is different these notes stay in sync with the Bible text no matter what translation I’m using.

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Watch this video for more on how study Bibles work in the app:

Checkout all of our available Study Bibles HERE!

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Two Ways To Give

Posted by on 06/01/2016 in:

Do you want to give someone the gift of Olive Tree resources but aren’t sure how?

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Here are two ways you can give.

#1 Digital Gift Card

With an Olive Tree gift card you can give any amount starting at $10. Fill out the form and choose to have it sent directly to the recipient or send it to yourself for later delivery.

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Once the form is filled out you’ll see the following screen. You can then add more gift cards or continue to checkout by clicking on the ‘Purchase Cards’ button.

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After you’ve completed the checkout the gift card redemption code will be sent to your recipient or yourself depending on what you chose.

#2 Gift a Resource

Another way to give is by gifting a specific title.

Go to the specific product page of the title you want to give. Under the ‘Add to Cart’ button you’ll see the option to ‘Give As Gift’.

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Once you click/tap fill out the next screen. Similar to Gift Cards you have the option to have the redemption code sent directly to the recipient or sent to your email so you can deliver it later.

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Quick Tip: Search

Posted by on 05/19/2016 in:

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Want to quickly find a word or passage?

Tap the Search button and find exactly what you’re looking for.

For iOS search looks like this: searchIcon


For Android search looks like this:  search

Search works on any type of book that you have open in the main window whether it’s a Bible or eBook.

Looking for more app tips? 

  • Check out our help section for tips on all the devices our app runs on.
  • For top iOS features checkout this blog.
  • For top Android features checkout this blog.

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