Bible Study Articles

Learn more about how to use Olive Tree’s Bible Study App and other products for Bible study.

Digging into Church History

0

reformation heritage kjv study bible blog promo image

In yesterday’s post I showed you why the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible is the perfect resource for family and personal devotions. Much of what we looked at centered around reading and understanding the Bible, using M’Cheyne’s reading plan in conjunction with the study notes & thoughts for family worship. Today, I want to build on that and share a few more reasons why this is such a great resource for personal and family study.

Church History

While reading the Bible is vital for spiritual growth, I’m also learning that it’s worthwhile to teach my children a bit of church history and show them that our faith has a long & rich heritage. One of the great things about this study Bible is that it contains summaries of each century of Church history, from the 1st Century all the way to today. Not only will these articles familiarize you with the major events and issues that the Church faced throughout the years, but you’ll also become acquainted with many of the more important historical Church figures. This may seem like a minor addition, but it’s helpful because I’ve already seen a lot that I didn’t know.

Creeds and Confessions

When looking at Church history, some of the more valuable relics would be the creeds and confessions that have been established through the Church’s wrestling with to establish orthodoxy and reject heresy. Several of these are included in the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible including: the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Westminster Confession of Faith. You’re given a bit of information as to its importance to Christendom and then given the text of the document. The beauty of having these available in one place is that you can see how the Church battled to stand for the truth of the Bible.

Furthermore, when it comes to learning and teaching systematic categories of doctrine, particularly from a Reformed tradition, you can make use of the catechisms that are also provided (Heidelberg and both the shorter & larger Westminster catechisms). Personally, I have found the catechisms to be a great tool for teaching my children about the Bible’s great truths because they are easy to memorize and provide several related passages. It’s simple enough to take a question or two a week and incorporate it as a part of your time of family or personal devotion. Not only will you get to know more about the Bible, but you’ll be better equipped to defend what you believe and to do so from the Bible.

Christian Living

Whether you’re a new believer or a seasoned veteran, you’ll find the “How to Live as a Christian” collection of articles to be extremely helpful. Each of these roughly page-long articles cover various topics that relate to Christian living, such as: living by the Ten Commandments, fellowship with other Christians, why & how to pray, handling criticism, enduring affliction, and being a godly spouse, to name a few. These articles are wonderful for showing how the Bible practically applies to everyday life and teaching children how they ought to live.

Standing Tall on Their Shoulders

It may be easy for us to gravitate to modern writings and resources, but we should not neglect or forget those who have walked this path before us. Those who walked before us have a wealth of wisdom that we’d be foolish to not glean from. That is why I find the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible to be immensely beneficial to the Church today. The rich history of our faith has been brought forward in such a way that Christians can learn from these great theologians without having to step into a time machine or head to a seminary library. I plan on making this study Bible a part of my daily studies for years to come. Just as it’s a resource in line with the heritage of the Reformation, I hope that this Bible becomes a heritage in my family.

Note: To access these features of the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes within the Bible Study App, set your table of contents view to “List View”

Family Devotions Made Easy

2

reformation heritage kjv study bible blog promo image

Can I be honest? When I first heard about the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible I had mixed emotions. The entire concept of this particular Study Bible was intriguing, but not enough for me to spend money on yet another print Bible to have among a plethora of other specialty Bibles. Those mixed emotions quickly turned to ecstatic joy when I found out that Olive Tree was going to make this title available in the Bible Study app because it’s a perfect accompaniment to my digital library. So, I added the title to my list of projects and worked to get it done so that I could start using it ASAP (and of course make it available for everyone else). Now, I may be on the edge of my seat about this resource, but why should you? Let me tell you why by explaining its benefit for use in personal and family devotions.

Aside from working at a Bible software company and being an all around theology geek, my greatest responsibilities in life are spiritually leading my household and parenting my three children. For the longest time I wasn’t the best at leading my family in devotions, and I struggled to get material together to make it easy and manageable. With time, I’m gradually getting better; but, a resource like the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible goes a long way in making family devotions simple and doable for all. It provides all the tools I need to ground my family in the Word of God on a daily basis.

The reading plan is the ground floor and what makes family worship/devotion happen with this study Bible. Instead of trying to figure out which passage your family is going to read each day, you can use Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s wonderful reading plan, which has been thoughtfully separated into both family worship & private readings. For example, the original M’Cheyne plan will have you read the first chapter of Genesis, Ezra, Matthew, and Acts on January 1; but, as laid out in this study Bible, you’d read Genesis & Matthew during your family devotion, while reading Ezra & Acts in your private devotion time. Over the course of the year, you will have taken your family through roughly half of the Old Testament (Genesis thru 2 Chronicles, along with Psalms) and the entire New Testament. The added benefit of using this in the Bible Study app is that you can use the built in M’Cheyne reading plan to keep track of your devotions so that you can start no matter the time of year without figuring out how it matches with the calendar they provide. Personally, it’s nice having a ready made plan that I know will take my family through the Scriptures in a systematic way. It’s much easier to prepare when you already have a plan in place!

Now, as you’re reading through these passages with your family and in your own time, you’re no doubt going to run across difficult passages. The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible excels in this area. It is truly a study Bible. Each book of the Bible includes an introduction that discusses its background and purpose, even including discussions on the difficult questions that may be faced in that book. There are also thousands of study notes that explain the meaning of individual words and phrases in their context so that you can make sense of the passage. Cross references to relevant passages are also integrated into the study notes allowing you to investigate more deeply and compare Scripture with Scripture. And even though this study Bible is based on the KJV translation, the Bible Study app allows you to use it alongside your preferred translation (such as the ESV or NIV).

One of the most important things about spending time in the Bible, whether it be in a family or private setting, is to make application of the text that you’re reading. In my opinion, this is where this study Bible is worth its weight in gold. At the end of every chapter of study notes is a section called “Thoughts for Personal/Family Worship” that assists you in preparing thoughts for your time of worship and how to use the text to grow in godliness. So, even if you’re not someone who has been to seminary or Bible college, you’ll be more than equipped to lead your family in a time of devotion. To give you an idea of what this section looks like, here are the thoughts from Genesis 1:

  1. Consider the power of God in creation. If a computer were observing 10 million stars per second, it would still take 63 million years to count all the stars! Such is the power of the Almighty. Remarkably, the stars are the work of His fingers (Ps. 8:3) but salvation is the work of His right hand (Ps. 98:1). In a wonderful way God’s work in making believers new creations in Christ Jesus demonstrates a power greater than commanding the world into existence. Let us be amazed at the wonder of creation; let us be overwhelmed with the wonder of grace. How does saving grace display even greater glory than creation?
  2. Stand in awe of the power of God’s word. God’s word is the agency of creation. God said, “Let there be . . .” Christ demonstrated this power in the miracles both with people such as raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11) and with the inanimate creation such as calming the storm (Mark 4:35-40). God’s word still is powerful today through the Scriptures. It is by the word of His power as well that He bears His created world along according to His purpose of providence (Heb. 1:3). The fact that God created gives Him the right to govern and to use His creation as He sees fit (Ps. 24:1-2; 95:5). Since creation, including man, belongs to God, all of creation, including man, is dependent on Him and accountable to Him. The theological implications of creation are far-reaching.

As you can see, these items alone provide more than enough information for someone to lead a time of devotion, whether it be in a family, small group, or personal setting. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this study Bible has to offer. Tomorrow I’ll share some of the other things that make this study Bible unique and worth adding to your library. I hope that my excitement for the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible resonates and makes you want to own & use it just as much as I do.

How are Commentaries Enhanced for the Resource Guide?

2

Bible Commentaries can be an extremely valuable study tools. 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.

Watch the video below to see how commentaries work within The Bible Study App’s Resource Guide.

Browse this week’s sale including enhanced commentaries and more!

Look Inside: A Visual Guide to Bible Events

5

This week, Olive Tree has an awesome sale on A Visual Guide to Bible Events.  The book’s introduction states that its purpose is to be “a door through which to enter the world of the Bible and encounter the power and love of our Lord Jesus and the unity of Scripture.”

This resource does just that.  This book is not written in your typical research academic resource. Rather, it has a conversational tone to which any person can relate.  A Visual Guide to Bible Events is packed with over 500 photographs and maps brings a heightened awareness to the biblical text like no other.

For example, take the seven churches of Revelation.

sevenchurchesmap

With the addition of the map, you can visualize how John’s letter carrier would have made a circular trip and how closely the seven churches were geographically.  You can also see the length of the Israelites’ detour around Edom in Numbers 20:14–21 and Deuteronomy 2:1–8.

wildernessmap

Looking through the beautiful full-color photographs gives a sense of being “in the action” and gives a sense of realism and depth like no written resource could.

Another example is a section of the Jerusalem wall during Nehemiah’s time.

nehemiahwall

Or, seeing a scale model of the temple and envisioning what it would have been like to be with the early church in Solomon’s Colonnade.

templemodel

Perhaps even seeing a picture of an altar to an unknown God and how that would have affected the Apostle Paul.

unknowngod

Bible history told and shown in this context is insightful for all those wanting to deepen their Bible knowledge.  The Bible Study App enhances this resource to strengthen your Bible study.  As you’re reading through A Visual Guide to Bible Events, tap or click on a scripture reference to instantly see the Bible text.  You can also use the split screen feature to view the articles and pictures while reading your Bible to augment your daily reading.

If you like the The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook you may also be interested in the Baker Illustrated Collection 6 Volume Set that includes the The Baker Illustrated Bible CommentaryThe Baker Illustrated Bible DictionaryThe Baker Illustrated Bible HandbookVisual Guide to Bible EventsThe Baker Illustrated Guide to Everyday Life in Bible Times, and Visual Guide to Gospel Events.

Check out this week’s sale on A Visual Guide to Bible Events and more full-color illustrated titles for The Bible Study App.

Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook: A Companion for Bible Reading

0

Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook

An excellent companion to your daily Bible reading, The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook is split into three sections:

  1. The first section explores the Bible’s organization, explains the basics of each book of the Bible, and gives a cultural and historical framework for the Old and New Testaments.
  2. The second section deals with the inspiration of Scripture and the steps taken to bring Scripture into the form we know it today. Topics explored in this section include the New Testament canon, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Bible translation, and more.
  3. The third section of The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook addresses how we use and understand the Bible, including information about literary features in the Bible, archeology in the Bible, and issues of authorship.

There is something new for every student of Scripture. This invaluable resource will give you a broader and deeper understanding of the historical and cultural roots of God’s Word. Here is a sample from the Book of Acts:

bakerhandbook2

If you like the The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook you may also be interested in the Baker Illustrated Collection 6 Volume Set that includes the The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook, Visual Guide to Bible Events, The Baker Illustrated Guide to Everyday Life in Bible Times, and Visual Guide to Gospel Events.

Check out this week’s sale on the The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook and more full-color illustrated titles for The Bible Study App.

Enhanced Sermons for The Bible Study App

2

Of the many Bible study tools that Olive Tree offers, sermon collections are another great resource that are specifically enhanced to work in the Resource Guide of The Bible Study App.

Sermons work much the same as a commentary in the resource guide. In the screenshot below the resource guide recognizes that I’m in Romans chapter ten and so when I look at the sermon section of the resource guide I see that in my installed sermon collections Charles SpurgeonD.L. Moody and John Piper have preached on this particular section of scripture.

Sermon Hits in the Resource Guide

A simple tap/click then takes me to the text of their sermon for easy reading and also to help me in my understanding of the passage.

Sermons in the Resource Guide

Celebrate Charles Spurgeon & John Wesley’s Birthdays with these titles!

Go to Top