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Why I like Olive Tree’s Bible+ Bible Study App


Using technology to study the Bible is not a new idea to me. As a part time techy and full time pastor I’ve been using various Bible resources on my laptop for years now. Just recently though I’ve begun to  use Olive Tree’s Bible+ on my laptop and iPad and while I’m still learning all it has to offer I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve really loved about it.

It’s free and not internet dependent. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal but there are tons of free Bible reading programs and apps out there that almost all depend on an internet connection to work properly. I don’t know about you but sometimes my favorite place to read and study doesn’t have a wifi connection. Because Olive Tree’s Bible Study App actually lives on my device it works everywhere.

Notes and highlights!  I have a distinct memory of looking at my Dad’s Bible as a kid and thinking it looked like a coloring book. There were these crazy colorful highlights and long underlines throughout his Bible. For me one of the major tensions in the transition to all things digital, especially as it relates to the Bible, is the familiarity of the worn book in my hands with my own notes and observations from past years. The BibleReader allows for this and more. I can easily color code verses and record far longer notes and observations than I ever could before. Over time The Bible Study App will contain years of valuable notes and study thoughts.

It’s multi-platform and it syncs with my other devices. I’ve been a PC guy since my family got our first computer over 20 years ago but earlier this year I was given an ipad and I love it. Because of the sync feature I’m able to take notes or highlight things on my iPad and later, if I’m preparing for a sermon or other study on my laptop, I can use the sync option and the notes I took on my iPad will be on my laptop also. So no matter what device I use my highlights, notes, and even the last place I left off reading goes with me and that saves me a lot of time and also gives me the security of knowing they won’t be lost.

Double pane is the way to go. Whether it’s for sermon prep, a small group bible study, or just my own reading I love the double pane. It allows me to compare Bible versions, easily make notes, or pull up helpful commentaries.  The ability to do this easily and again without an internet connection even is a huge reason I think Olive Tree’s Bible Study App is the way to go. The Bible Study App can be as simple or as deep as you want it to be and I’m finding it to be the best resource for studying God’s word yet.

3 Steps To Safeguard Your Bible Study


I would like to say that you will never encounter a problem with your Olive Tree Bible Study app, and for many of you, that would be true. But from time to time our users do experience bugs and issues that we do not expect. For this reason, I highly suggest you follow the next three steps to make sure that if you do encounter a problem you will be protected.

1) Create an Olive Tree account

By creating an Olive Tree account, you can register your in-app purchases and sync your notes, highlights, and bookmarks, etc.  Create one today by visiting:

2) Register your in-App purchases

Did you know that when you purchase a resource within the app, you are not buying it from Olive Tree directly, but are buying it from iTunes?  If for some reason you have to reinstall your Bible Study app, those resources will be difficult to get back.  To prevent this, all you need to do is tap one button.  By doing so, you’ll save all the extra time it takes to email Customer Support, provide proofs of purchase, and wait for your resources to be manually added to your Olive Tree account.

iOS Instructions for Bible+ 5.2 and Later

  • Select the “Library” button
  • Select the “Store” button
  • Tap on the “Purchased” tab
  • If your product isn’t listed, scroll to the bottom and select “Restore In-App Purchases”

Updating your library

Android Instructions

  • Select the open book icon (Library)
  • Select the shopping bag icon (Store)
  • Tap on the “Purchased” tab
  • Select “Back up and synchronize books with your Olive Tree account”
  • Enter your Olive Tree username and password

3) Sync your notes, highlights, and bookmarks, etc.

You’ve invested a lot of time and energy creating your notes, highlights, and bookmarks; please utilize our Study Sync feature to back them up.  It’s always unfortunate when we hear from customers that have lost days, week, and months worth of their notes because they had to reinstall their Bible Study app, but never backed those notes up.  At that point it’s too late and there is nothing we can do.  Don’t let this happen to you, especially since there is an easy way to prevent it.

iOS Instructions for Bible+ 5.2 and Later

  • Select the suitcase icon (My Stuff)
  • Select the “Sync” button at the bottom of the screen
  • Enter your Olive Tree username and Password
  • The sync process will push up the notes from your device to your Study Sync account

Login in to your Olive Tree account (, and select the Olive Tree Study Sync link to make sure that your notes have been successfully uploaded.

Sync your notes and highlights

Android Instructions

  • Select the Menu button and select “My Stuff”
  • Select the “Backup & Sync” button at the bottom of the screen
  • Enter your Olive Tree username and Password
  • The sync process will push up the notes from your device to your Study Sync account

Login in to your Olive Tree account (, and select the Olive Tree Study Sync link to make sure that your notes have been successfully uploaded.

The above instructions are for Apple devices running the Bible Study app version 5.2 or later and Android devices running the Bible Study app version 5.0.

BibleReader: John Piper’s Mobile Bible

Olive Tree’s mission is to inspire people to connect with God and the Bible and we get excited when we hear that people are using BibleReader to do just that.

John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the founder of Desiring God Ministries.  He is also a fan of Olive Tree’s BibleReader. In a recent blog post, Piper wrote, “Olive Tree BibleReader is my default mobile Bible. I use it for devotions every day, usually from my iPad.” He goes on to talk about some of BibleReader’s features, like split-screen reading, daily reading plans and posting verses to Facebook and Twitter and says BibleReader is “easy enough for an old guy like me.”

Read his full blog post here: “Speaking of Apps: The Voice of God in Our Hands”.

We are so glad to hear that people use our software for their daily devotions. We never tire of learning how BibleReader has impacted our users’ study of the Bible. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and let us know how Olive Tree’s BibleReader app has helped you connect with God and the Bible.

Check out Olive Tree’s collection of resources by John Piper at


The New Norwegian Bible

I know what most of you are saying: “Finally!”

Well, if you’re from Norway, this is actually a really big deal. Olive Tree Bible Software is the first to offer the Bibelen 2011 for mobile devices!

Out of necessity, most translations of God’s Word in Norwegian have been idiomatic to a greater or lesser extent.

On the other hand, “Bibel 2011″ is based rather upon a concordant translation principle, where the translators aim to reproduce the Biblical texts as close to the original as possible.

The language used is good and makes biblical text understandable for today’s people. This version comes in two dialects: The Bokmål and the Nynorsk. We also have the Bibelen 1978/85 Bokmål.

Another thing we, at Olive Tree are excited about is that since the translation is based on the oldest manuscripts it’s very reliable.

To view all Norwegian Bibles Click HERE.

Future popup window ideas…what are your thoughts?


We are considering a new popover for our parsed text in the iPhone & Android platforms. This would include resources such as the CWSB and GNT Parsed. These diagrams are “wireframes” and not actual polished screens. I am not sure if the screens for the iPhone are trying to cram too much into a small space or if they are pushing information too “deep”. Please post your comments to our Facebook Page.

Here is how the original language parsed text popover would look on tablets.

Here is how the original language parsed text popover would look on smartphones.

A few issues to consider with this on popovers is that the definition is still a click away (it is a click away with the current popover). Not all of the parsing information will always fit and so it will be linked to with a more button.

Here is how the CWSB would work for a smartphone.

Here is how the CWSB would work on a tablet.

Please post your comments to our Facebook Page.

From Palm to iPad


The years have been good...

I have been using Olive Tree Bible Software since 2004. I began mobile study with an ancient Handspring, moved to a Palm T3 then a Palm T5. I loved the T5 and it served me very well for several years, but eventually I was won over to the iPhone by apps like Olive Tree’s Bible Reader 4.0+. These days I am LOVING study on the iPad using the BR5 and awesome features like the Resource Guide, note-taking capabilities, and resources like the ESV with Strong’s and the lemma feature.

I have been a pastor for over 20 years and remember the days when my study for a sermon took at least 10+ square feet of space, with a Strong’s Concordance opened up, several commentaries scattered about, and other background study volumes in addition to one or two notebooks for recording my findings. I have always had a strong desire for greater compactness and mobility in my study. Wouldn’t it be beyond amazing to be able to do a study from an entire, well-equipped biblical library while at the same time keeping sermon notes and do the entire study regardless of where I am? I can do that now! With the IPad and BR5, whether I am in my office, at the mall, in the van waiting for one of my children to finish choir practice, or doing a mission trip in the Ukraine, I have all I need in one compact device. Text to detailed study to observations to sermon notes seamlessly!

This is also a great way to buy up those 5, 10, or 15 minute time slots during the day. Open up the IPad, choose Olive Tree, and I am suddenly and instantaneously surrounded by all the Bibles, commentaries, and original language resources I could need, and they are even put in systematic order for me in one place with the dream-come-true Resource Guide. My thanks to God for the technologies that have been harnessed for Kingdom work and to Olive Tree for pressing on to develop tools for those of us who use them not only for our devotional life but for vocational work for the Body of Christ.

Mike Williamson
Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church of St Cloud, MN

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