App Tips

Here’s how to get the most out of The Bible Study App by learning about its powerful features and how they can work for you.

How to Use a Study Bible in Bible+

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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.

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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 Resource Guide.

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Articles

One valuable feature of many modern Study Bibles is their library of theological articles. Scholars and leaders address theological topics aimed at helping you understand some of the bigger topics contained in the Bible. Some Study Bibles, like the Reformation Heritage Study Bible also include historic creeds and catechisms.

The simplest way to find the articles is by changing the Verse Chooser to list view and navigating the table of contents. This will display the articles for quick access. Depending on the passage you’re in, these articles may also appear in the Resource Guide under their respective topics.

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Photos, Maps, & Charts

Study Bibles also include photos, maps, and charts to help you understand the biblical narrative. You’ll find incredible photos of biblical artifacts and locations placed within the study notes. Maps near their relevant Scripture passages help you know where key Bible events happened. Charts summarize information and concepts encountered throughout the Bible. Many of these images will also appear in the Resource Guide under their respective sections.

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Add Them to Your Library Today

Check out our great Study Bibles and add them to your library today!

Read Bibles Side-by-Side in Bible+

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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.

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If you have a large library, you may want to filter this view to only show your Bibles. Do this by selecting “Browse by Category” and tapping “Bibles.” Then choose the translation you want to read in parallel. In this screenshot we have chosen to open the New King James Version.

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With both Bibles now open, you can read the Bible in your main window while your secondary Bible follows along.

Method #2: Resource Guide

If you’re someone who frequently uses Resource Guide, this second method will work better for you. With Resource Guide open, scroll to your Bibles section. Here you are presented with a list of all the Bibles in your library that contain the passage you currently have open in the main window. Select the Bible you want to read and it opens to the same location as the main window. Like in the first method, this Bible will stay in sync as you scroll through the Bible in the main window.

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Bonus Method: Multiple Bibles on Desktop

Do you use our Windows desktop or Mac app? If so, we have a bonus method that allows you to open multiple parallel Bibles simultaneously. First, access your first parallel Bible by using one of the methods outlined above. Once you have your Bible open in the split window, you can then click the Popout Window button. This will open a copy of the Bible (or any resource) in a popout window that you can resize and move anywhere on the screen.

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Now go back to the split window and choose a different Bible. At this point you will have three different Bibles open to the same location that sync with the main window. Repeat these steps to open up as many translations as you would like. Below is a screenshot with four different translations open.

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Why Multiple Translations?

Now that you know how to create a parallel Bible in Bible+, why would you want to use one? Here are some ideas:

  • Read a more literal translation (KJV, ESV, NASB) alongside a more dynamic one (NLT, Message, TLB) to get a better idea of what the text says
  • Have an English translation open alongside the original language text
  • Compare commentaries or dictionaries by having those resources open instead of a Bible

A parallel Bible can also be used to check out newer Bible translations to see how they compare to your translation of choice. An example of this would be reading the newly released Modern English Version as a part of your daily reading or Bible study. This allows you to experience the Bible in a new way without giving up your preferred translation.

Our Bibles are currently on sale, so add a few to your library today and use them as a parallel Bible!

Let Bible+ Help You with Advent

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During Thanksgiving week we gather with friends & family to eat a festive meal and express gratitude for the many blessings we have been given. After those festivities our thoughts quickly turn to Christmas and celebrating Christ’s incarnation. It’s very easy to get distracted this time of year with all the cards to mail, decorations to put up, and gifts to buy. It can get to the point that we forget the true meaning of the season. For this reason many churches don’t just celebrate Christmas, but they have their congregations focus on Christ throughout the entire Advent season. Today I want to show you how Bible+ can aide your devotions and study time during this special time of year.

What is Advent?

While advent may be a familiar term within Christendom, there are many who do not know what it means. I won’t bore you with a long explanation, but will quickly summarize what advent is. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming” or “arrival.” For Christians it is the time of year when we specifically look to the comings of Jesus Christ, first in his coming to bring our salvation and his subsequent return to reign in glory. The advent season begins four Sundays before December 25, so the start date varies from year to year. This year Advent begins November 29. For four weeks the idea is to meditate on Christ’s coming, much like God’s people waited the thousands of years for him to arrive.

Advent Devotional

Whether you’re new to Advent or have been doing it for years, Bible+ has the tools you need to make it happen.

Of particular interest this year is a new Advent devotional from BroadStreet Publishing called Come and Behold Him. Unlike many Advent resources that have a reading for every day of the week, this devotional is organized into four weeks with readings for Monday through Friday. Each week centers on a different Advent theme, those being: hope, peace, joy, and love. The week’s reading begins with a reading from the Psalms, as well as a portion of the Christmas narrative from either Matthew or Luke. All the readings coincide with the Advent readings from the liturgical calendar. The devotional’s format gives you the option of reading the full selection of passages at the beginning of the week, or reading only the relevant passage for that day along with the short devotional based on that day’s reading. There is also one final reading for Christmas Eve/Day, depending on how your family celebrates the day.

Come and Behold Him is a great Advent devotional and can be used for either personal or family devotions. The combination of readings and short devotionals will be sure to prepare your heart for Christ’s coming.

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Advent Reading Plan

If all you want for Advent is a list of passages to read each day, we also have that for you. In Bible+ you can search for our 2015 Advent reading plan. Here’s how to find and install it:

  1. Open your reading plans (iOS: Menu -> Reading Plans, Android: My Stuff Icon (briefcase) -> Reading Plans)
  2. Tap “Get More Reading Plans”
  3. Search for “advent”
  4. Tap the 2015 Advent Reading Plan
  5. Select “Install Free Reading Plan”
  6. Go back to your list of installed reading plans (step 1), then select your 2015 Advent Reading Plan

Once you have it setup, you’re ready to go!

Remember Christ

We at Olive Tree hope these tools help you make the most of this holiday season as you anticipate & celebrate the coming of our Lord. Jesus is the reason why we celebrate, so let’s all make sure we take ample time to meditate on him during this time.

Improve Your Word Studies with Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures

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When I first learned how to do word studies I found them to be quite daunting. There was always a wealth of information and I never knew where to start. Of all the challenges I faced, the problem I had most often was picking the “right” word(s) to study from the passage I was reading. Not to mention, would the lexicons I had help me or even mention my verse? If that’s you or you’ve been there before, I want to show you how Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures can make your word studies even easier than they already are in Bible+.

Before We Get Started

Before we get started, I want to address the big question that most have about this resource: If I already have Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary do I still need Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures? The honest answer is maybe, but I strongly believe both are worth owning. While there is a lot of overlap between the two resources, the way you use each is completely different, and they are built to complement one another. The best way to think about them is like this: Vine’s Dictionary is a dictionary, whereas Vine’s Word Pictures is a commentary. So, let’s dive in and see how the two work in harmony. (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4).

Using Vine’s Word Pictures

To illustrate how Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures works we’re going to use the ESV Bible and 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 as our passage. As you can see, there’s a lot going on in this passage about comfort, suffering, and affliction. Where do we even begin?! This was one of the problems I had when learning to do word studies. This time, instead of getting overwhelmed, we’ll let Vine’s help us out. With the split window open, you can open Vine’s Word Pictures in the second pane. Since this resource functions as a commentary it will follow wherever your Bible goes.

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One thing you’ll quickly notice about this resource is that it’s not like a normal commentary. There are no textual notes explaining the meaning of the passage. That’s what your other commentaries & study Bibles are for. Instead, what you get are the key words contained in each passage with definitions, theological significance, and clear cross references. You no longer have to guess which words to study because they are put in front of you. In this screenshot you can see a few key words include: mercies, comfort, and tribulation/trouble. Given the emphasis of this passage, these are words I’ll certainly want to study further.

I love cross references and Vine’s Word Pictures is not shy about providing them. Bible+ makes it easy to tap on the reference so you can read it without losing your place. Another bonus is that cross references within the same book of the Bible are boldfaced so you can take particular note of them.

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Where this resource really shines is its Strong’s linking. Most words that are discussed also contain a transliteration of the corresponding Greek word and its relevant Strong’s number. These are tagged in Bible+ so you can tap on them and get more information about the word you’re studying. Within the pop-up you get the definition from the Strong’s dictionary, which is where Vine’s Dictionary comes into play.

Switching to Vine’s Dictionary

Let’s say the word “comfort” has caught our attention in this passage. We’ve read the entry in Vine’s Word Pictures, looked at the cross references, and perused the Strong’s pop-up. What next? Simple, let’s go to Vine’s Dictionary. The quickest way to get there is to tap the Strong’s number and then select the “Lookup” button at the bottom of the pop-up. From there, we can find the dictionary.

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Unlike most lexicons and dictionaries, the nice thing about Vine’s is that it groups the original language words together based on their English translation. For us, this means that in our study on “comfort” we can go to the dictionary and not only find out information about our word’s usage as a noun, but we can easily get more information. Here we see additional material such as Greek synonyms we may want to include in our word study, as well as the verb form of the word. Not to mention, if there are other ways it is translated into English, we can get to those as well.

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This is all information we would not have found if we had used Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures alone. And, if we had only used the dictionary we may not have even known this was a word worth looking at. But together we can get the big picture and walk away with a full understanding of the Greek word behind “comfort.”

Get Them Today

Add both Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures and Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary today and improve your word studies. Not only will you save yourself time, but you can rest assured that you’ll never miss an important word again. Get these titles and others in our current sale.

Word Studies in Bible+

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While many have lamented the thought of having to learn the original languages in Bible college or seminary, I relished the idea. I saw it as an opportunity to unlock a new world of Bible study that would give me greater insight for Bible interpretation. After several years of study I learned something very important: my English Bible was often enough. Yes, there were times when knowing Greek and Hebrew proved useful; but, for the most part, I found Bible translators had done a great job in conveying the thoughts of the Bible’s authors. If true, that begs the question. How do I use the original languages in my Bible study? Usually I’m doing word studies, which I want to show you how to do in Bible+.

Find a Word to Study

A few years ago I taught through 1 Thessalonians at my church. In 1 Thessalonians 2:4 I came across a phrase that made me want to dig deeper. In the Complete Word Study Bible the phrase reads as “we were allowed of God.” The word “allowed” felt a bit awkward to me, so I decided to investigate.

With the CWSB open, I tapped on “allowed” in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, which gave me some quick information from the CWSB Dictionary. I see that I’m dealing with the Greek word δοκιμάζω (dokimazō), which is Strong’s number G1381. Here I get the parsing, and as I scroll down the pop-up I get a definition. This information is useful, but that doesn’t satisfy my curiosity.

Finding All Occurrences

The next step in the process is to check all the occurrences of this word in the New Testament. This provides a wider grasp for how dokimazō is translated and its meaning(s). Bible+ makes this step really easy. All I have to do is tap the “Search for g1381″ button and it’ll search the CWSB for every occurrence of dokimazō based on its Strong’s number.

What I found is that dokimazō has a lot to do with the idea of examining or testing something. The majority of the usage comes from Paul and refers to examining one’s self. That’s an interesting observation. And, in the case of 1 Thessalonians 2:4 it’s interesting to see how God is the one approving or examining Paul and his co-laborers for the work of ministry.

It’s also worth noting that dokimazō occurs twice in this verse, which I wouldn’t have noticed from the English alone, since the second instance is translated as “trieth.” This data further improves my understanding of the original phrase in question.

Digging Deeper with Lexicons and Dictionaries

At this point, I have a good grasp on the lexical range of dokimazō, at least how it’s used in the New Testament. But, I don’t want to leave my study at that because I may be missing something. What can I do to go further? Simple, I’ll go back and tap the “Lookup δοκιμάζω” button from my Strong’s popup & search my dictionaries. Of the ones where I have hits, of particular interest to me is Vine’s Dictionary. There are two things I like about this dictionary: 1) the entry is based on the English word, so I can get a quick glance at any related original language words, and 2) it links to other ways the word is translated into English and provides some theological discussion on the word’s use.

 

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After some reading, I find my understanding of dokimazō to be on par with what the dictionaries say. As it relates to our verse, not only does God test, like on the day of judgment (1 Cor. 3:13), but he is currently testing our hearts, specifically as it relates to our usefulness in ministry.

Get the Resources You Need

While it takes some time to read through all the material, a word study is really that easy with Bible+. Everything you need to do a word study is at your fingertips! Many of the resources you need to perform a word study, such as the two used above, are currently discounted in our current sale! Pick them up today while they’re at these low prices!

What’s in the Archaeological Study Bible?

When I first heard about the Archaeological Study Bible, I wasn’t sure what to think.  My initial thought was how could there be an entire Bible devoted to archaeological study?  And honestly, how could a study Bible devoted to archaeological study not be a snoozer?  So, I got a copy of the Archaeological Study Bible and began looking through it.  Wow, was I impressed (and wrong)!

The Archaeological Study Bible is a great resource.  There are 520 articles covering five main categories: Archaeological Sites, Cultural and Historical Notes, Ancient Peoples and Lands, the Reliability of the Bible, and Ancient Texts and Artifacts.  The Bible Study App enriches the Archaeological Study Bible. As you read through your Bible, the split screen and resource guide keep you synced with your reading.

Here’s an example of an article on the Zealots and Essenes (screenshots from an iPad Mini 4, click images to enlarge):

Also included are almost 500 full-color photographs throughout the text.  Here’s two examples:

Throughout the text there are detailed charts like this one:

At the end of the Archaeological Study Bible there are several maps that help you get an idea of the placement of biblical events:

The authors of the Archaeological Study Bible also included detailed book introductions for every book of the Bible. Other study tools include a glossary, extensive concordance and several indexes to help you find articles relevant to your study.

The Bible Study App enhances this resource when articles reference other articles within the Archaeological Study Bible.  By tapping or clicking on the hyperlink, you can go directly to the related article, view in the Split Window, or view it in a Popup screen.

As you can see, you can spend hours learning the historical background of the Bible and the settings in which biblical events took place.  The articles and pictures will give you insights into the Bible and make you feel like you could have been there.

You can get the Archaeological Study Bible for 50% off this week.

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