What do you really know about Christmas?
We’re influenced by our culture more than we realize. While the Christmas story is one we’ve heard for years, there’s a good chance that our knowledge of those events that happened 2,000 years ago are more influenced by our culture than the Bible.
How well do you know the Christmas story? Take this short video quiz and find out.
When Paul and Silas went to the town of Berea to teach, the book of Acts records their response to the teaching : “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. “Acts 17:11 (ESV)
We live in an exciting time where access to God’s word is advancing faster than ever yet Biblical illiteracy in America is actually on the rise. We should look at the Bereans response and make it our own, being eager to receive God’s word and diligent to study it. The mission statement of Olive Tree is to “inspire people to connect with God and the Bible” and the Bible Study App is a result of that mission. So how can The Bible Study App help you as you study God’s word and grow in your faith?
There are many unique tools in The Bible Study App that help me study God’s word but if I had to pick one that has the most potential it would be the Resource Guide. The Resource Guide is found in the split pane of the Bible Study App. The Resource Guide allows you to easily access commentaries, maps, topics, cross reference verses, and a whole lot more. There are also many great resources available on the Olive Tree bookstore that can be easily added to enhance your study. Whether you’re preparing a sermon, bible study, or just for your own personal growth, you can literally have a library’s worth of content at your fingertips to aid your study and understanding of God’s word.
With all of these resources available, the Bible Study App then allows you to highlight and take note of those things that God is teaching you through his Word. By clicking on a verse or highlighting it with your cursor you can take notes and organize them into custom categories or color highlight for future reference. Because of the ability to sync devices you can not only sync notes between platforms but also have the confidence they won’t ever be lost.
As I continue to use the Bible Study App I’m finding that the tools it provides me with allow me to really dig deep into God’s word in a different way than I ever have – as scripture, note taking, and resources are all combined into one experience. Being a 21st century Berean is great!
Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (MED) is a word study dictionary covering the entire Bible.
Here are three tips for Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary in The Bible Study App to enrich your personal Bible Study. (screenshots are from an iPad 2, click for a larger view):
ONE: RESOURCE GUIDE
Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window. (I’ve got the NIV open in this example.) Then tap the split window handle and drag it to a width or height you like. As you scroll through the Bible text, the resource guide keeps up with you and searches through all the books in your library for content related to the Scripture passage in the Main Window. If you scroll down the resource guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”
Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose the topic “Fellowship” in this example. The Bible Study App then brings you results from Mounce’s Expository Dictionary.
You’ll see that Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has the words “Article to Fellowship” underneath the book cover. Tap/Click on the book cover and The Bible Study App will take you directly to the article. You can scroll down and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text. If there are scripture references in the article, just tap the verse and it will appear in a pop-up window. You can also tap the top right hand corner of the pop-up window to bring up the option to open these hyperlinked references in the main window or the split window.
TWO: LOOKUP FEATURES
For iPhone/iPad open the Resource Guide in the split window of The Bible Study App, tap the double arrows, then tap the “lookup” option in iOS, type in “Fellowship” and then tap “search”. This will bring up Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary article on Fellowship as we’ve seen before.
If you like reading your Bible “full screen”, try the integrated look-up feature. Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up. From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, Note, Bookmark, Share, Define, Lookup, and More..
If you tap the “Lookup” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific word. Like before, just tap the book cover and you can read the article in the pop-up window, or choose to open in the Main or Split window.
THREE: INTEGRATES WITH STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLES
If you have a Bible Tagged with Strong’s, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary is a great addition to your Bible Study library. This is also a great Bible study method to see how other versions of the Bible translate different scriptures. Since I have the English Standard Version (ESV) with Strong’s, I pulled it up in my main window and tapped “fellowship”. This brings up the Strong’s article and definition for κοινωνία (koinōnia).
From there I tapped “look up κοινωνία (koinōnia). This brought up Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary that I can tap then read the article on κοινωνία (koinōnia) in the pop-up window, or open the Main Window or Split Window.
This is how Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has been enhanced for The Bible Study App to enrich your personal Bible Study. How do you use the Mounce Expository Dictionary in your personal Bible Study? What are some insights you have learned by using Mounce’s Expository Dictionary?
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) is the best known and most widely used collection of 500,000 Scripture references and parallel passages. By using The TSK in The Bible Study App you’ll save tons of time and effort. No longer will you have to leave your original text to search for a reference.
Here’s how: (screenshots are from the Windows Desktop App. Click for a larger view):
Bring up your preferred Bible translation in the main window. (I have the English Standard Version open to Titus 1:5 in this example.) Click the split window button at the top right of the screen.
Click and hold to adjust the split window to your desired size. Next, click “Tools & Notes” to see the drop-down menu and choose “resource guide.” Please note that the split window opens to the last place that you had viewed, so if you were last in the library, the screen will default back to the library.
If you scroll a little further down the split window, you’ll find the “Related Verses” section. Since I have the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) downloaded to my PC, The Bible Study App has found cross references relevant to the Titus passage we are studying.
In our example, you’ll see that there are 44 related verses in the TSK from the Titus 1:5-16 passage we’re studying. By clicking on the TSK book cover, you can then view each set of cross references that correspond to each individual verse from our passage in Titus.
You can click the reference in the TSK and view it as a popup, or even split it out into a new window without leaving your original text. This feature alone will save you hours. Clicking the cross references for “Crete” in this example, I can see where the book of Acts references Crete.
As you can see, having the the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) cross references in The Bible Study App will help you broaden your biblical understanding quickly and easily.
What are some ways that you’ve utilized the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) to deepen your Bible Study?
We are blessed to live in a time where sharing information is easier than ever and through technology we can access amazing resources that can help guide us in our understanding of God’s word. Here are three types of resources that can help to guide, unpack, and illuminate your personal Bible Study.
Have you’ve ever read a difficult passage and wished you knew a little bit more about the context or the culture? Study Bible’s offer ‘bite sized’ commentary on specific verses in the Bible and often include insight into custom, culture, history, geography, original language and more. A study Bible can be written by one individual or a group of scholars. When selecting a Study Bible it’s important to note that while some content is neutral (such as history or geography) there is also a theological interpretation being employed by the author or authors. Overall study Bible’s make an easy to use quick reference tool for understanding tough passages and in the Bible Study App they can be used with any version of the Bible.
Similar to study Bibles, commentaries offer great background and understanding on the Biblical text but often go much deeper than a study Bible. Bible commentaries range greatly in their content and approach. Some commentaries may be one volume on the entire Bible and others may be an expansive set that have a volume for each book of the Bible. When selecting a commentary it’s important to understand the approach that the writer of the commentary has employed. Some commentaries jump deeply into critical language investigation or historical context while others may focus more on how to understand and apply the Biblical text to everyday life. In The Bible Study App commentaries follow along with the Bible passage you’re reading and are easily accessed in the Resource Guide.
What does that word mean in the Greek? Where else is it used in the Bible? Bible dictionaries allow you to answer these questions and more. With a good Bible dictionary you can see what the original Greek and Hebrew words are behind the English (or other language) translation and how else that word is translated in other places in the Bible. For deeper word study and explanation a Bible dictionary is a must have study resource to help you go deeper in your understanding. Bible dictionaries can be used as a standalone resource or simply tap a word and use the ‘lookup’ feature in The Bible Study App.
What are your favorite Bible Study tools? Share in the comments.
Olive Tree has some top Bible study tools on special this week. Go here to see more!
By Olive Tree Employee: Joe Carter
This one resource in print actually takes 4 volumes:
- The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament
- The Complete Word Study Old Testament
- The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament
- The Complete Word Study New Testament
This is a massive original language study in one resource!
I love that you can search by the English, Greek, Hebrew, or by Strong’s Numbers! Even though I personally have limited knowledge about the underlying original languages, the CWSB allows me to read through the text in English, and quickly get in-depth info on any word there just by tapping on it!
The CWSB will give you information on the parts of speech for a word (and give you links that explain what those parts of speech mean if you don’t know – with examples no less!) – the Strong’s Number for that word, a VERY robust dictionary / exegetical discussion about the word in question as well as a link to a concordance at the end of nearly every entry showing you every verse in the Bible where a word is used.
Compare this resource to a standard “Strong’s” Bible and the amount of information available with the CWSB is staggering.
For example – the entry on αγαπαω:
In a Strong’s Bible you get this:
g0025. αγαπαω agapao;
perhaps from αγαν agan (much) (or compare h5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):— (be-) love (- ed). Compare 5368.
AV (142)- love 135, beloved 7;
of persons to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly of things to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing
By comparison, in the CWSB, the entry on αγαπαω goes on for over 2 pages when pasted into my word processor – with various usages of the word compared and contrasted between different passages of scripture.
Here’s a very small taste of the article on αγαπαω from the CWSB (comparing the different words for love used in Peter’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus in John 21 – FYI: Greek words in the text are transliterated into English for ease of use):
The third question of Jesus to Peter was different, “Do you love me [phileo, Are you my friend]?” (a. t.). Are your interests, now that you have seen Me risen from the dead, different than before the resurrection? Peter became sorrowful because he understood the deeper meaning of Jesus ‘question (John 21:17). His answer utilized two similar, but distinct verbs, oida, to know intuitively, and ginosko (G1097), to know experientially:”Lord, thou knowest, [oidas, intuitively] all things. Thou knowest [ginoskeis, know experientially] that I love thee [philo, that I am now your friend].”
With this one resource you can get a backpack full of resources that you can carry around in your pocket – and instead of having to reference a number in one volume – then open another one and find that number, I can just tap on a word – then tap the links. Seamlessly moving between different ‘books’ in the collection.
As you can see, the Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) is a great resource that helps you find original word meanings quickly and easily.