Category: Educational

The Powerful Resource Guide

Posted by on 03/03/2014 in: ,

What is the Resource Guide?
As you read along in your Bible in the main window of The Bible Study App, the Resource Guide in the split window follows along, looking in your library for any Bible study information that is relevant to your reading. As you scroll or change scripture references the Resource Guide will stay in sync looking to all of your study resources making for a powerful and easy to use study tool.

Your Very Own Research Assistant
Think of the Resource Guide as your own personal research assistant. If you were reading about Paul’s first missionary journey in Acts 13, your research assistant has a map of Paul’s journey, cross references to passages in Paul’s letters written to the churches he founded, charts that give an overview of Paul’s life, and all sorts of other resources. You didn’t have to do anything, in fact, you didn’t even have to ask. All of the work was already done by your personal research assistant, the Resource Guide.

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Completely Customizable
The configuration of the Resource Guide is also customizable. To access the options for customizing the Resource Guide tap on the double arrow button (double gear for Android) in the upper right corner. You will then see the various options for customizing the different sections in the Resource Guide.

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Here’s a short video on the basics of the Resource Guide:

What types of resources work with the Resource Guide?
The Resource Guide is ‘verse driven’ which means that the Bible passage that is open in the main window directs what references appear in the Resource Guide. Not every resource is verse driven but some examples of verse driven resources are:

  • Articles on people, places, and other topics
  • Study Bible notes
  • Commentaries
  • Outlines
  • Dictionaries
  • Introductions to books of the Bible
  • Cross references
  • Maps
Browse Titles Enhanced for the Resource Guide

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The King James Version

Posted by on 02/25/2014 in:

King James

One of the many free Bibles we’re able to offer as part of the Bible Study App is the historic, trusted, and reliable King James Version of the Bible.
Here’s a brief glimpse into the history of the KJV:

It is said that when William Tyndale (1494 to 1536) was burned at the stake for translating the New Testament into the English vernacular in 1526, his last words were, “Lord, open the eyes of the king!”

Shortly thereafter, the Bible was made available in English by royal decree; in 1604, 85 years after Tyndale’s work, King James I authorized a new translation of the whole Bible for use by the Church of England. The result was the King James Version, or KJV, of 1611: a work of profound gravity, careful scholarship, and surpassing literary quality that has influenced English language and literature for hundreds of years, has been preached from thousands of pulpits, has been quoted by countless writers, and has led millions to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Though modern scholarship has led to revisions that strive for greater accuracy and readability (based both on a broader array of Greek texts and on gradual changes in English usage), the King James Version is still the source from which most literal English translations derive their inspiration.

For more information about the King James Version of the Bible checkout: A Visual History of the King James Bible

KJV related resources are on special this week. See them HERE!

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Sneak Peek into iOS 5.9 Greek-English Interlinear New Testament

Posted by on 02/21/2014 in: , ,

The Olive Tree Bible Study App developers are hard at work on our upcoming iOS release 5.9 (aka “Flying Eagle” as it has come to be called around here). You may have noticed a little teaser in our latest iPhone & iPad release that said “This update paves the way for a future App update…”

In my last post I briefly showed how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text.  With this new technology, we can now offer Interlinear Bibles.  What’s an interlinear Bible you ask?  An interlinear Bible typically the Hebrew or Greek text of the Old or New Testament with a literal English translation between the lines of the original-language text.  This is an extremely helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.

Here’s an example of what the KJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament will look like:

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Not only can The Bible Study App display the text in an Interlinear format, we’ve tagged the Greek word with the Greek Parsing and Strong’s Definition:

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We’ve also tagged the English Word:

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And the Strong’s Number:

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We’re really excited about this upcoming release for iPhone and iPad. This is just one of the many advantages to this app update.  We’ll be highlighting more sneak peaks into the upcoming iOS App release in the next few weeks.

We don’t have an official release date yet, so stay tuned by subscribing to our blog or sign up for our newsletter.

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What language was the Bible written in?

Posted by on 02/19/2014 in: ,

The Bible – from Old to New Testament – was written over a span of 1500 years by forty different human authors in three different languages; Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

Old Testament
With the exception of a few verses written in Aramaic the entire Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Isaiah 19:18 calls it the language of Canaan while other verses call it ‘Judean’ or the ‘language of the Jews. Ancient Hebrew dates back to before 1500 B.C.

New Testament
Many people assume that the New Testament is also written in Hebrew but by the time Jesus was born many Jews actually didn’t speak it anymore. When Rome had conquered Greece the influence of Greek culture had spread throughout the empire and so the popular language during the time the New Testament is koine (common Greek).

New Greek Bundles!
Olive Tree has new bundles available that take your Greek New Testament Bible Study to a whole new level! Our Greek bundles include powerful resources that will help you dig deeper into the original language of the New Testament. The powerful and easy to use tools of The Bible Study App allow you to quickly read, study, and grow as you dig deeper into God’s word! Click on the image below to see them and other original language resources on special this week .

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6 Reasons to use Commentaries in The Bible Study App

Posted by on 02/04/2014 in: , ,

Bible Commentaries are extremely valuable study tools. Many commentaries include historical and culture context, theological interpretation, and other resources like timelines and charts. Here are Six Reasons to use Commentaries in The Bible Study App.  (Screenshots are from an iPad 2.  Click on Images for a larger view)

1. Resource Guide

Open your preferred Bible Translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window.  You’ll see relevant commentary “hits” in the split window.

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The Bible Study App also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.  This means that as you move along in the Bible text, the commentary syncs to exactly where you are in your study.  No more flipping pages back and forth.  No more holding the commentary text open on your desk in one spot, reading through your Bible text, and having to go back and find your place in the commentary. You’ll save an enormous amount of time with this feature alone.

2. Search & Look Up Feature

Search the commentary for words or passages.  Take “Vine” as an example.  You can search the entire commentary  series for where “Vine” is mentioned in the commentary series.  You can also limit your search to the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical genre, or a specific book.

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When your search hits are displayed, you can tap on the result to go directly to that passage. You can also copy the text to add to an existing note or add a note right from the search results.

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3. Linked Reference Pop ups

verse popup

One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the other biblical references within the commentary.  For example, when I’m reading in John 15 where Jesus is talking about the Vine and the Branches. In the Preaching the Word Commentary there’s a reference to Isaiah 5:7. With a hard copy, I have to open a different Bible and find each and every reference to read how the verse relates to what I am currently studying.  This is time consuming, slows down my study momentum, and requires me to keep all of my study materials out and open, spread out over a large desk space. With The Bible Study App, the scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text.  All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.

footnote popup

Related to this is footnotes/endnotes.  Commentaries normally have a lot of references to other materials.  In the past I would have to stop where I was in the reading, look at the footnote, then go back to where I was in the book.  This also was a huge time waster, and I would often lose my train of thought.  With The Bible Study App footnotes are linked.  Just tap on the footnote, read it, and go back to where you were without losing your place.

4. Copy/Paste into Notes

Commentaries are full of great content.  I often find myself reading a passage, going deeper with the commentary and finding that “perfect quote” that sums up what I was thinking but didn’t know how to express it in written form.  However, in the world of hard copy commentaries, I have to re-type it into my personal study notes.  With The Bible Study App, all I have to do is highlight the text that i want, copy it and paste it into my notes.  This feature saves me a ton of time, not to mention the wear and tear on my typing fingers!

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5. Integrated Dictionary (iOS Extra)

In iPhone/iPad app, you also have an additional option.  Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options to Copy, Highlight, Note, Bookmark, Share, Define, Lookup and More.

define popup

If you tap “Define” you will get the integrated iOS dictionary pop-up.  This is extremely helpful when you run across a word in the commentaries or even the Bible text that you do not know.

6. Resource Guide on One Verse (iOS Extra)

An additional iOS option is looking up additional information on just one verse.  Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options to Tap and hold on a verse number and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, add a Note, Bookmark, Share, Guide, and More..

lookup feature

If you tap the “Guide” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific verse. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.  You can even choose to open the commentary in the main or split window.

lookup split window

This is helpful if you want to read through your Bible “full screen” and refer to the commentary when you want to see what it says about a particular verse.

As you can see, the commentaries within The Bible Study App give you the best content, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

Click here to see all commentaries available for The Bible Study App.

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A Basic and Solid Bible Study Library

Posted by on 01/30/2014 in: ,

basiclibraryIf you’re like me, your introduction to Bible study tools was a bit rocky.  I first began teaching and preaching in my local church at age 14.  Before my first sermon, my Dad handed me my first Strong’s Concordance and a brand new Bible. Not really knowing where else to start, I would read through a passage of Scripture and look up every word in the Strong’s Concordance that I didn’t understand or that caught my attention.

I quickly learned that I needed a more formalized approach to studying God’s Word. Since that time I’ve learned that I needed some basic tools to keep my Bible study on track.

A Basic and Solid Library

To help you get started, Olive Tree has bundled resources together to help you dig deeper into God’s word.  These bundles give you the basic tools to help you build a solid starter library. All of these wonderful resources are designed to be integrated into the Resource Guide within The Bible Study App for a seamless and easy-to-use Bible study experience.

What’s in The Study Bible Bundles?

Bible Study Essentials 

  • Choose from the following Bible Translations: NIV, HCSB, NKJV or NRSV
  • A Study Bible that corresponds to your Preferred Bible Translation
  • Bible Dictionary
  • Cross-References
  • Maps

Bible Study Standard 

  • Everything in the Essentials bundle
  • Strong’s Tagged Bible
  • Essential Bible Companion
  • Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
  • Expanded Maps

Bible Study Expanded 

  • Everything in the Standard bundle
  • Key Word Commentary
  • Expository Dictionary
  • Bible Concordance
  • and even more Maps

Bible Study Premier

  • Everything in the Expanded bundle
  • More Commentaries
  • Bible Encyclopedia
  • More Cross-references
  • A Bible Atlas

Bible Study Bundles are available in the following Bible translations: NIV, HCSB, NKJV, or NRSV.

Using these and tools will deepen your Bible study and further prepare you to present God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).

What are your favorite Bible Study resources?

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How to Create a Parallel Bible in The Bible Study App

Posted by on 01/27/2014 in: ,

The Bible Study App has over 50 Bibles available in multiple languages and as result is used by millions of people all around the world. Once a Bible is downloaded to your device you don’t need an internet connection to read or study.

In the videos below you can see how to setup your own parallel Bible in the Bible Study App for easy translation comparison.

For Mobile Devices:

For Desktop:

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My Favorite Features of The Bible Study App

Posted by on 01/17/2014 in: ,

People often ask me “what sets Olive Tree’s Bible Study App apart?” Although it’s hard for me to narrow down, here are my favorite features of The Bible Study App (Screenshots are taken from an iPad 2.  Click for a larger view)

1. Split Window

The split window has many functions. While reading in the main window, I can open the Resource Guide (see below), another translation, a study Bible, or even take notes as I read the text. I love being able to take sermon notes while in church on Sunday. I can have my main window open to the passage and take notes in the split window. Before, I had to do a balancing act with my Bible in one hand and my notepad in another, trying to keep everything in place while flipping back and forth in the Bible along with the sermon. Now my Bible and notes are all easily managed in one hand.  As a bonus, any Scripture References become hyperlinks that I can tap to pop up that passage.

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2. The Resource Guide

By far my favorite and most updated feature in the Bible Study App is the Resource Guide. While I’m reading the Bible, I can open the Resource Guide in the split window to see cross references, study Bible notes, maps, topics and more that are all related to my current reading. As I continue to read, the Resource Guide tracks with me and updates the material to match the Scripture I’m reading.

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3. Search Feature

I’m not very good at remembering verse references and often find myself asking things like, “Where is that verse about the mustard seed?” Instead of flipping through the Bible or searching through an index, I can tap the search icon and type in “mustard seed” and find the verse I’m looking for. As an added bonus, I can view the verse in each of the gospel accounts and see other search results related to “mustard seed.”

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4. Lookup 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.

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5. Automatic Background Sync

I do my daily Bible Reading in the App and Olive Tree’s Automatic Background Sync takes care of it.  This allows me to go into my other devices to access and keep up with my Reading Plan.  The Bible is able to sink into my daily life and I can refer back to that morning’s reading from wherever I am – on the go with my phone, on laptop at work, at coffee shops on my iPad, or at home on my desktop.  Because of the Bible Study App Sync function, all of my custom highlights, tags, and bookmarks are always readily available.  With Olive Tree’s Automatic Background Sync, I don’t have worry about whether or not my notes, highlights, bookmarks, and book ribbons are up to date.

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6. Cross Platform Access

Did you know that you can Download The Bible Study App all your devices?  I personally have an iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, Windows Laptop, and Windows desktop.  The advantage to having the App on your devices is that with an Olive Tree Account (have you created one yet?) you can access your entire library on up to 5 different devices from wherever you study the Bible.

That’s my favorite features, but The Bible Study App can do so much more!  What’s yours?

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Read. Study. Grow.

Posted by on 01/06/2014 in:

It’s hard to believe we’re almost one full week into 2014! Many people have set new goals and are attempting to form new habits in the upcoming year. Maybe one of these goals for you is going deeper into your study of God’s word?

God’s word is truly alive and there is no doubt that as we saturate our lives with his truth, transformation happens! Here are two resources for The Bible Study App that will help you stay in his word and grow in your understanding.

M’Cheyne’s Daily Reading is a great FREE resource to add to your Bible Study App. Use this reading schedule to map your reading and study of God’s Word.  This unique reading schedule created by Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a 19th century Scottish minister, guides readers through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. Find it under in the Reading Plans under ‘My Stuff or click here for download instructions for the App.


Another invaluable tool to aid you in your study is the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is the best known and most widely used collection of Bible cross-references. Compiled by several authors, the work includes 500,000 Scripture references and parallel passages. It has been incorporated with most electronic Bible collections as a highly useful means of Bible interpretation. Click here to purchase this affordable resource to add to your Bible Study App.

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