Category: App Tips

Look Inside: Strong’s Tagged Bibles

Posted by on 12/27/2017 in: ,

GET INSIDE A STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLE

If you’ve ever used a Strong’s concordance before, you know that it requires a LOT of page flipping (and paper cuts if you aren’t careful!).

At Olive Tree, we decided that there had to be a better, faster, and easier way to do quick word studies.

So, we tagged our Bibles with Strong’s. What does that mean? Watch the video to find out. We hope you’ll be impressed.

PICK OUT A STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLE

Head on over to our olivetree.com to see all of our Strong’s Tagged Bibles!

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How To: Reading Plans & Devotionals

Posted by on 12/26/2017 in: ,

1) DEVOTIONALS VS. READING PLANS

When looking at enhanced devotionals on olivetree.com, you will quickly see what sets them apart from simple reading plans that walk through the Bible. These are well-crafted, thought-out devotional books that you might think to buy at a bookstore. They all contain great content meant to encourage and inspire you. Some devotionals pick a certain passage of Scripture to talk about each day. Meanwhile, other devotionals may be topical.

On our website, you will see familiar names like Ann Voskamp, Sarah Young, Franklin Graham, and Brian Simmons. You could start on a year-long devotional plan or work through a 40-day plan with your family.

2) WHAT ARE ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS?

This is where our addition of reading plans really improved the way certain devotionals work inside our app. Any devotional that is enhanced (see a full list here) can be read and tracked as a reading plan. All you have to do is head on over to the reading plan tab and start reading.

Enhanced devotionals will appear under “My Devotionals.”

Look at your assignments in advance.

Receive reminders and customize your plan in the settings. 

Read until you reach the “Completed Reading” button. Tap it to finish!

PICK OUT A DEVOTIONAL

Head on over to our olivetree.com to see all of our devotionals!

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How To: Study Bibles

Posted by on 12/25/2017 in: ,

3 WAYS OLIVE TREE MAKES STUDY BIBLES BETTER

1) USE WITH ANY TRANSLATION

When you purchase a study Bible with Olive Tree, you’re given two resources: study Bibles notes and the corresponding translation. Example: You purchase the ESV Study Bible. You can now read the ESV in the main window and the ESV study Bible notes in the Study Center. Want to read the NIV? You can still access the ESV Study Bibles notes!

2) READ MULTIPLE STUDY NOTES

Want to read more than one paper study Bible? You’ll have to have two huge books laid out in front of you (and do TWICE the page flipping). We’ve simplified the steps it takes to study the Bible well with the Resource Guide. You’ll be notified when you have study notes on a passage. Just tap and navigate quickly between all your resources.

3) USE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME

After you’ve downloaded your new study Bible notes, you’ll never have to use the Internet to access them again. That’s right—no WiFi required. You could read a study Bible on top of a mountain, in line at the bank, and waiting to pick your kids up from school… without carrying a huge book around with you.

PICK OUT A STUDY BIBLE

Head on over to our olivetree.com to see all of our study Bibles!

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Two Ways To Give

Posted by on 12/20/2017 in:

Do you want to give someone the gift of Olive Tree resources?

Not sure how?

In this blog, you can either watch the video where I’ll show you how to give a monetary gift or a resource! If you’d rather read, I provided screen shots and instructions below.

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 so you can wrap it and put it under the tree. We recommend putting the piece of paper inside a box that’s inside another box that’s inside another box.

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.

After you’ve completed the checkout the gift card redemption code will be sent to the email 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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GOT QUESTIONS?

Email support@olivetree.com if you ever have any questions. If you’re ready to give a great gift that encourages spiritual growth this Christmas, head on over to olivetree.com to get started.

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New! Verse of the Day Graphics

Posted by on 12/11/2017 in:


We’ve had the option for our users to receive Verse of the Day notifications for awhile now. We know that it can be a great reminder to get into the Word and to spend time thinking about the Lord.

Now, we’ve been able to add something new to this already well-loved feature on iOS devices.  Let’s check it out.

WHERE TO FIND IT

All you need to do is open the main window and tap “Verse of the Day.” If you have your apps set-up to automatically update on your phone, you’ve probably already seen this! If you haven’t updated yet, you’ll need to do so.

HOW TO USE IT

There’s much more you can do with Verse of the Day than simply read the verse. Tap “Read” to be taken to the passage in context in the main window. Tap “Share” to share the Verse of the Day on social, in a text, or anywhere else. Lastly, tap “settings” to customize this feature the way you want.

VERSE OF THE DAY SETTINGS

Inside the settings, you’re able to select your preferred translation and turn on verse delivery. You can even choose what time you want to receive the notification on your device.

ENJOY!

We hope you love this new feature. Always remember that you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ll be sharing these graphics once in awhile!

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Warm Up with Devotional Reading

Posted by on 12/04/2017 in:

Once upon a time, Olive Tree didn’t have devotional reading plans. This meant that, when you wanted to work your way through a devotional, you had to find it in your library and get yourself to where you last stopped reading. But now, with a few improvements, devotional reading in the app is an amazing experience. After this blog post, you’re going to want to warm up by the fireplace with Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment or C.S. Lewis’ A Year with Aslan.

1) WHAT ARE DEVOTIONALS?

When looking at enhanced devotionals on olivetree.com, you will quickly see what sets them apart from simple reading plans. These are well-crafted, thought-out devotional books that you might think to buy at a bookstore. They all contain great content meant to encourage and inspire you. Some devotionals pick a certain passage of Scripture to talk about each day. Meanwhile, other devotionals may be topical.

On our website, you will see familiar names like Ann Voskamp, Sarah Young, Franklin Graham, and Brian Simmons. You could start on a year-long devotional plan or work through a 40-day plan with your family.

2) WHAT ARE ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS?

This is where our addition of reading plans really improved the way certain devotionals work inside our app. Any devotional that is enhanced (see a full list here) can be read and tracked as a reading plan. All you have to do is head on over to the reading plan tab and start reading.

Enhanced devotionals will appear under “My Devotionals.”

Look at your assignments in advance.

Receive reminders and customize your plan in the settings. 

Read until you reach the “Completed Reading” button. Tap it to finish!

3) START A NEW DEVOTIONAL PLAN!

Look through all of our enhanced devotionals by clicking here! You can start your reading plan today and keeping reading on any device that is logged into the Olive Tree Bible App.

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Using Gospel Harmonies

Posted by on 11/09/2017 in:

Using Gospel Harmonies

A gospel harmony takes the four Gospels and puts them in chronological order. This way, you can compare how the Gospel writers address events in Jesus’ life.  Here’s how you can use this fantastic resource to freshen up your Bible study.

For example. 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 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 to 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.  You can also see you see that only Luke records that Jesus went before Herod, but all four Gospels record further interactions between Jesus and Pilate.

Olive Tree’s Harmony of the Gospels are divided into over 250 events in the life of Christ. The chronology is primarily ordered based on Mark and Luke’s gospels with Matthew and John’s accounts harmonizing with them, creating a seamless reading experience. A full index of the titles and passages is included. To access the full index, Tap Go To > End Matter > Go.

In the index you can view all 250 events and quickly see how many Gospels address that event.  You can even tap on the Event to go straight to the event. The verse references are hyperlinked, so you can see each passage in a popup window.

The Olive Tree Harmony of the Gospels is currently available in the following translations:

See All Available Gospel Harmonies!

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How-To: Get the Most Out of Your Strong’s Tagged Bible

Posted by on 10/13/2017 in:

The great part about Strong’s Tagged Bibles is that anyone can use them. You don’t need to be seminary trained or have years of experience. You can just tap and read. The tool is powerful and practical enough to be useful even for personal study.

As with many powerful tools, these resources can do more if you know how to use them. They can also be somewhat dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. We don’t just want to provide you with the resource; we want to help you get the most out of it and avoid the dangers of misinterpretation. In this post, we’ll talk about the basic features of Strong’s Tagged Bibles and about how to get the most out of each of them.

TAP TO SEE GREEK/HEBREW WORD

The first feature is the most obvious. As soon as you tap, you can see what Greek or Hebrew word is behind it. This is the first thing you’ll see when you tap on a word. It’s probably most helpful for people who know Greek or Hebrew.

Now, if you tap on a darker word and it doesn’t open to do anything, that means that the word isn’t explicitly in the Greek or Hebrew text. The word was added by the translators in order to help the sentence make sense. We do this all the time in English, leaving out words because they’re assumed. Of course, the words left out in Greek aren’t necessarily the words we can leave out in English. Different languages have different rules for what’s important and what can be left out.

The takeaway here is that, while a word might not be in the original Greek or Hebrew, that doesn’t mean the word isn’t implied by other words. Sometimes the Bible translators add those words so that we English readers won’t be left scratching our heads.

ENHANCED STRONG’S DICTIONARY

The Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary is what appears when you tap a word that does have a Greek or Hebrew word behind it. This is a really handy tool because it will show you all the ways that the word gets translated throughout the Bible and give you an idea of how common each translation is. This can give you a fuller idea of what the word meant in the original language.

The thing to keep in mind here is something that all languages share in common: just because a word can mean something in one place, doesn’t mean it means that thing everywhere else. How and where a word is used in a sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book is a critical part of understanding what the word means.

Many words in English have several diverse meanings. For example, the word “dodge” can mean to get out of the way of something. It can also mean to lighten part of an image or photo (like the “dodge brush” in image editing programs). If you were to simply look up the dictionary definition and pick the first one, you could find yourself very confused. Another example is the English word “love.” When someone says “I love ice cream,” he means something very different from when he says “I love my wife” (or at least he ought to).

The point here is that we want to let the dictionary help us get an idea of what the word can mean, then let the context of the passage determine what the word does mean. If we’re in a class on photography, “dodge” probably doesn’t mean “get out of the way.” It probably means “lighten.” But we wouldn’t want to make that assumption in gym class.

VIEW ALL OCCURRENCES

This is probably my favorite feature in The Bible Study App for word studies. It’s the button that says “Search for g5457” (or some other number). This feature allows you to search for everywhere in the Bible where that particular Greek or Hebrew word is used. Since a translation might translate one word twelve different ways, it’s hard to know when that word is being used. But this feature can help.

The best way to use this feature is to start with where the word is used closest to the verse you’re studying, then work outward from there. Look in the verse, then the chapter, then the book, then other books the author has written, then in the whole Bible.

In this way you can get a sense for how a certain author used a particular word in its context, in all his writings, and how the word gets used throughout the whole Bible. While this doesn’t necessarily result in the same mastery of the word that a scholar might have, it certainly does help us to better understand the word and the passage we found it in.

Generally speaking, this isn’t going to completely change the way you read a passage of Scripture. The translators know the languages a lot better than most of us, so most often we’ll end up agreeing. But doing a word study can help us discover a richness to the word that we otherwise might not have seen. It can also help us to connect things in Scripture that we otherwise might not have thought to connect.

LOOK UP WORD IN DICTIONARIES

The Look Up feature allows you to look up a word in any Greek/Hebrew dictionaries that you might have. There are a lot of really helpful dictionaries out there by scholars who have already done the work of a detailed word study. They may also include information about where the word came from and how it was used in books outside the Bible. These can be extremely helpful to supplement the word studies that you’re already doing with the ESV with Strong’s. Here are a few you might find helpful:

CONCLUSION

Tools like Strong’s Tagged Bibles and Bible dictionaries can be really helpful in understanding what God has to say. We should pray that, in our study, we will allow God to correct us with what we learn about the words of Scripture. This is very different from using the tools to bend God’s words to mean what we want them to. Humility and openness to correction are important here.

If we come to the Scriptures with our tools, ready to be taught by the Scriptures, then we will be in the right place to see God’s love for us in Christ and how we are to live in light of that love. We hope these tools prove helpful in your studies.

PSALM 119:130 (ESV)

The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple

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3 Ways to Improve Your Highlights

Posted by on 10/10/2017 in:

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 the Olive Tree Bible App that will hopefully improve your Bible study.

HOW TO HIGHLIGHT

Before we dive into the ways you can use highlights, first let me give you a refresher on the two ways to make a highlight in the app.

VERSE HIGHLIGHTS

The most popular way to make a highlight in our app 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 Bible translations. Since these are tagged on a verse level, they will appear in all your Bibles.

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WORD-BASED HIGHLIGHTS

You also have the option to make word based highlights that are resource specific. To do this, simply select your desired text, and then follow the same steps to highlight as above.

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MAKE YOUR OWN HIGHLIGHTER STYLES

One advantage of using Olive Tree is that you are not limited to default highlighter styles or colors that come with the app. You have the ability to create your own highlighter colors & styles to suit your needs. This is the first step in making highlights more useful in your study.

There are a couple different ways you can get to the new highlighter menu. First, you can go to the Main Menu, select Highlights, tap Edit, then choose “Add Highlighter.”  Alternatively, you can reach this menu by selecting a verse or text to highlight, tap Highlight, select the “More” icon, then choose “Add Highlighter.”

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Once you’ve reached this screen you are presented with a few different options. First, you can give your highlighter a name in the Label field. You can either name it the color you’re going to create, or you can get creative and give the highlight a specific meaning. For example, you can have all references to the Holy Spirit or Jesus use this highlighter, and then name it as such. The choice is yours. From there you can select whether you want it to be a traditional highlight or underline. Then you have the ability to customize how that highlight or underline will appear by selecting intensity, thickness (for underline), and the color.

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Once you’ve made all the highlighters you need, you’re ready to start using them in your study. And, remember, it’s just as easy to make new highlighters as you need them; just follow these steps.

ADD NOTES TO THE MIX

Another way to highlight and emphasize key passages is to use the notes functionality within the app. This works just like highlighting, except you choose “Note” instead of “Highlight” when selecting a verse or text. One of the cool things about notes  is that you can select a cool icon to go represent what the note is about. This is cool for when I’m taking notes on sermons, but it’s also useful for calling out a part of the text. If something is extra important you might want to add a “star” or if it’s puzzling you can select the “question mark” icon. Even if you don’t put anything in the note, these icons will appear in your Bible and can serve to as an additional layer of highlighting and meaning.

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GREAT FOR INDUCTIVE STUDY

While the purpose of this post is to show you the possibilities for highlighting instead of a specific method, there are some Bible study methods that are centered around highlighting. One of the more popular methods is the Precepts Inductive Bible Study method popularized by Kay Arthur. While the Precepts method involves some fairly complicated highlighting models, with the infinite highlighting possibilities that you can create in the app you can certainly adapt it for your needs. Click here to learn more about the Inductive Bible Study method from Precepts Ministries International.

Experiment with highlights & notes icons to create a Bible study method that works for you. Also be sure to check out the Bible study titles we currently have on sale.

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