Category: Look Inside

Look Inside: Love Languages Devotional Bible

Posted by on 02/08/2016 in:

With Valentine’s Day a few days away, love seems to be on everyone’s mind. While dates, fancy dinners, flowers, candy, and romance are nice, there is also the need to connect on a spiritual level. Christian couples ought to be investing in each other’s spiritual well-being just as much as they focus on the other areas of a relationship. Reading the Bible together is one way to cultivate this kind of intimacy & a resource like the Love Languages Devotional Bible is a great tool for making it happen. Today we want to show you how this devotional Bible can help you connect with and grow spiritually alongside your spouse.

Bible and Devotional in One

One of the great things about the Love Languages Devotional Bible is that it truly is an all-in-one resource. Unlike some of our resources where we split the Bible text and notes into separate resources in your library, this time we kept everything together to create a seamless experience. This Bible is to be used daily with your spouse as you walk through the pages of Scripture together. As you read from Genesis to Revelation you will encounter 312 devotions and studies that help you engage the Bible and apply it to your lives as a married couple. There is a devotion for each weekday that includes a Bible reference and biblical insights, as well as prayer and reflection prompts. Each weekend contains a short Bible study that can be completed individually or as a couple.

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There are a few ways to access the devotional material in this Bible. The first way is to encounter it as you’re reading through the Bible. Throughout the Bible text are links to the day’s corresponding devotion.

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The second way is to use the menu (switch to List View) and navigate to the list of devotional readings and choose your current day.

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Additional Readings and Articles

Because God made men and women differently, there are no one-size-fits-all answers to questions about topics like communication, sex, friendship, and free time. That is why the Love Languages Devotional Bible also includes articles that help you understand each other a little better while also providing some context to talk about those differences together.

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There are also a couple sets of 30 Bible readings that will help you in your understanding of who God is or grow in your faith. If you’re not quite ready to dive in deep with the devotions and longer Bible reading, these are a good way to get started studying the Scriptures with your spouse.

Topical Index

Finally, the Love Languages Devotional Bible also includes a topical index. This section is designed to help you find information about more than 100 relationship-oriented themes. It’s a great resource that will link you to both Bible verses and articles related to whatever topic you’re exploring. If you want to study what the Bible says on a specific subject, this is the place to start.

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Enhance Your Marriage

There is no one “right way” to use this Bible. You can read it individually or set aside a time to read it together. If you can’t always find the time to read as a couple, that’s okay! The important thing is that the two of you are reading the Bible, talking about your relationship, and learning to love one another more deeply—following the example of Christ.

Whether your relationship is healthy or struggling, spending time with God, reading His Word, and communicating meaningfully will greatly enhance your marriage. Prayerfully, God will use the Love Languages Devotional Bible as a helpful tool to draw you closer to Him and closer to each other.

Add this resource to your library today and check out our other titles that are currently on sale!

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5 Benefits of NICOT/NICNT in The Bible Study App

Posted by on 02/01/2016 in: , , ,

The New International Commentary Series on the Old Testament (NICOT) and New Testament (NICNT) are highly regarded scholarly resources that are always ranked at the top by scholars, pastors, students, and professors.

Here are Five benefits of the NICOT/NICNT in The Bible Study App.  (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4.  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 NICOT/NICNT commentary “hits” in the split window.

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

3. Linked Reference Pop ups

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One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the other biblical references within the commentary. 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 Bible+, the scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text.  All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.

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Related to this is footnotes/endnotes.  Since the NICOT/NICNT is a highly scholarly work, there are 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 writing.  This also was a huge time waster, and I would often lose my train of thought.  With Bible+, all of the footnotes are linked.  Just tap on the footnote, read it, and go back to where you were without losing your place.

4. 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, Save, Share, Define, Lookup and More.

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 NICOT/NICNT or even the Bible text that you do not readily know.

5. Look at 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, Save, Share, Guide, and More..

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 NICOT/NICNT in the main or split window.

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

As you can see, the NICOT/NICNT within Bible+ gives you the best in scholarly work, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

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Look Inside: The Preacher’s Commentary Series

Posted by on 01/28/2016 in:

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord with the intent of impacting their lives and souls. To accomplish this goal the preacher must do two things: 1) explain the text, and 2) relate the text. Many of the Puritans believed a preacher had to saturate himself with Scripture and apply it to himself before he could preach it with power to others. With such sound advice, what can a preacher do to aide in the application of Scripture both to himself and others? This is where a resource like the Preacher’s Commentary Series is handy; it helps preachers and teachers understand their passage while providing applicable truths & illustrations.

Let’s look inside The Preacher’s Commentary Series and see how it works in the Bible Study App.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible Study App, the Preacher’s Commentary Series is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you read the Bible the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in the commentary section for the Preacher’s Commentary Series. Since I’m currently studying the armor of God in Ephesians 6, I can quickly see what this commentary says without having to go find the commentary in my library and manually open it to my desired location. Not only do I save time, but I get the information I need with minimal effort.

The Commentary

One thing I appreciate about the Preacher’s Commentary is it reads like a devotional. Instead of getting caught in the nuances of the text that may not help you teach a passage, the commentary keeps an eye on explaining the things that matter. This means you don’t waste time skimming through pages of endless commentary to find the nuggets you came for. For example, in the commentary on Ephesians 6:10-20 the text is explained while intertwining a great illustration that bring immediate application. You then get descriptions for each piece of armor and their relevance to the Christian life.

Use it Today

The Preacher’s Commentary Series is a perfect companion for the teacher or pastor looking to relate the passage to their students or congregation.

Add the Preacher’s Commentary Series to your Olive Tree library today. Also be sure to check out the other titles we have on sale!

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Look Inside: Boice Expositional Commentary Series

Posted by on 01/18/2016 in:

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord with the intent of impacting their lives and souls. To accomplish this goal the preacher must do two things: 1) explain the text, and 2) relate the text. What can a preacher do to aide in the application of Scripture both to himself and others? The same question can also be asked of those engaged in personal Bible study. This is where a resource like the Boice Expositional Commentary Series is handy; it helps preachers, teachers & students of the Bible understand their passage while providing applicable truths & illustrations.

Let’s look inside the Boice Expositional Commentary Series and see how it works in Bible+.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for Bible+, the Boice Expositional Commentary Series is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you read the Bible the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in the commentary section for Boice’s Commentary. Since I’m currently studying Jesus’ prayer in John 17, I can quickly see what this commentary says without having to go find the commentary in my library and manually open it to my desired location. Not only do I save time, but I get the information I need with minimal effort.

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The Commentary

One thing I appreciate about the Boice Expositional Commentary Series is it reads like a devotional or sermon. Instead of getting caught in the nuances of the text that may not help you teach or better understand a passage, the commentary keeps an eye on explaining the things that matter. The series combines careful scholarship and clear communication in a verse-by-verse and section by section reading of the books of the Bible it covers. Combining thoughtful interpretation with contemporary insight for daily living, Boice explains the meaning of the text and relates the text’s concerns to the church, Christianity, and the world in which we live. Whether used for devotions, preaching, or teaching, this authoritative and thought-provoking series appeals to a wide range of readers, from serious Bible students to the interested everyday Christian.

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Add it Today

The Boice Expositional Commentary Series is a perfect companion for the pastor or Bible student who wants to dig into the Bible and apply it. Add this commentary series to your Olive Tree library today. Also be sure to check out the other titles we have on sale!

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Look Inside: NIV Application Commentaries (NIVAC)

Posted by on 01/07/2016 in:

The NIV Application Commentaries (NIVAC) merge the original, ancient context with right now, showing us both how ancient readers would have read the Bible and how we can connect to this living word of God from a modern context. Most importantly, however, it helps us begin the life-changing process of true application, showing how God’s word can continue to have a powerful voice in our lives today.

The NIV Application Commentaries use a highly accessible, three-tiered method of bringing readers to a fuller understanding of each Biblical book.

Original Meaning will explore a book’s meaning in light of its historical and cultural context.
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Bridging Contexts, as its name implies, will help the reader link the text’s original meaning to its Contemporary Significance

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Contemporary Significance—the final tier that helps you apply the Bible to everyday life.

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The Bible Study App makes the NIV Application Commentaries even more powerful and accessible.  Verse references become hyperlinks, the split window allows you to read the Bible side-by-side with the commentary, and you can easily take notes and highlights within the text. Enhanced for use in the Resource Guide, read YOUR CHOICE of Bible translations while the commentaries keep track of where you are in the scriptures

If you don’t have the NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) Series, we’re offering all NIVAC individual volumes at only $7.99! Save on the Sets too! Hurry, this offer ends January 14, 2016!

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Enhanced Maps: ESV Bible Atlas

Posted by on 01/03/2016 in: , ,

Capitalizing on recent advances in satellite imaging and geographic information systems, the Crossway ESV Bible Atlas offers Bible readers a comprehensive, up-to-date resource that blends technical sophistication with readability, visual appeal, and historical and biblical accuracy.

All the key methods of presenting Bible geography and history are here, including more than 175 full-color maps, 70 photographs, 3-D re-creations of biblical objects and sites, indexes, timelines, and 65,000 words of narrative description.  With The Bible Study App, all Scripture references become hyperlinks that you can tap and read the Bible text without having to leave the ESV Bible Atlas.

Here are a two examples: (screenshots are taken from an iPad Mini 4, click for a larger view)

 

Using The Bible Study App’s powerful resource guide, the ESV Bible Atlas detects where you are in the text that you’re reading and pull up maps pertaining to that particular passage. You can then tap on a map for a bigger view and even zoom in and out on the map for more details.

You can then tap the “Go” button and read the content applicable to the map you are viewing.

Or, you can view the map full screen on your mobile device.

Enhance your Bible study with the ESV Bible Atlas!  See all Maps & Atlases available for The Bible Study App!

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Look Inside: Thompson Chain Reference System

Posted by on 01/01/2016 in: ,

By Olive Tree Employee: Genny Gager

Bible commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding what the Bible has to say to us today. Often overlooked, however, is the value that using scripture to understand scripture can bring. God’s inspired word is a complex tapestry of themes all woven together, and the development of those themes can provide us with insight into the relevant message of the Bible for today’s readers.

Finding our way around these themes can be a daunting task, especially given the variety of subjects covered in the Bible. A word search can be helpful, but it can give an incomplete picture due to the complexity of language and the context in which words are used. The great news is that Olive Tree offers the Thompson Chain Reference System, which links various themes together as they are touched upon and developed throughout Scripture. The very heart of this product is the thematic chains that number in the thousands, and people at all stages of learning about the Bible have used it in the 100 years since its initial release. The Thompson Chain resource is also a great study Bible, offering cross references, book outlines, book introductions, maps, and harmonies to aid us in our study.

We’ve put quite a bit of attention into converting the rich topical content so it can be used in the Bible Study app. Our goal was to make navigating the famous topical chains easy and intuitive and to allow quick access to the additional materials as well.

We’re going to walk through a quick example of how the Bible Study App can make navigating the Thompson Chain Reference System enjoyable and easy. The example uses and refers to the iPad version of our software. We’ve designed this resource to work seamlessly with the built-in resource guide, so if you don’t already know how to open it, read this article to open it in the split window, and have your Bible of choice open in the main window of your app.  Although we’ll be relying on the iPad version in our example, other versions of our app will have similar functionality.

If you want to follow along with the example, bring 1 Samuel chapter 17 up in your Bible. With everything set up, the screen will look similar to this (your screen may look a little different depending on what resources you have and how you have your resource guide set up):

To activate the chains, tap the name of the Thompson Chain under the commentaries section of your resource guide. Your split-window view will change to a listing of verses directly related to your location: (more…)

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Get the Most out of your Strong’s Tagged Bible

Posted by on 12/26/2015 in: ,

By Olive Tree Employee: David Mikucki

The great part about Strong’s Tagged Bibles is that anyone can use them. You don’t need to be seminary trained or have years of experience. You can just tap and read. The tool is powerful and practical enough to be useful even for personal study.

As with many powerful tools, these resources can do more if you know how to use them. They can also be somewhat dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. We don’t just want to provide you with the resource; we want to help you get the most out of it and avoid the dangers of misinterpretation. In this post, we’ll talk about the basic features of Strong’s Tagged Bibles and about how to get the most out of each of them.

Tap to See Greek/Hebrew Word

The first feature is the most obvious. As soon as you tap, you can see what Greek or Hebrew word is behind it. This is the first thing you’ll see when you tap on a word. It’s probably most helpful for people who know Greek or Hebrew.

Now, if you tap on a darker word and it doesn’t open to do anything, that means that the word isn’t explicitly in the Greek or Hebrew text. The word was added by the translators in order to help the sentence make sense. We do this all the time in English, leaving out words because they’re assumed. Of course, the words left out in Greek aren’t necessarily the words we can leave out in English. Different languages have different rules for what’s important and what can be left out.

The takeaway here is that, while a word might not be in the original Greek or Hebrew, that doesn’t mean the word isn’t implied by other words. Sometimes the Bible translators add those words so that we English readers won’t be left scratching our heads.

Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary

The Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary is what appears when you tap a word that does have a Greek or Hebrew word behind it. This is a really handy tool because it will show you all the ways that the word gets translated throughout the Bible and give you an idea of how common each translation is. This can give you a fuller idea of what the word meant in the original language.

The thing to keep in mind here is something that all languages share in common: just because a word can mean something in one place, doesn’t mean it means that thing everywhere else. How and where a word is used in a sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book is a critical part of understanding what the word means.

Many words in English have several diverse meanings. For example, the word “dodge” can mean to get out of the way of something. It can also mean to lighten part of an image or photo (like the “dodge brush” in image editing programs). If you were to simply look up the dictionary definition and pick the first one, you could find yourself very confused. Another example is the English word “love.” When someone says “I love ice cream,” he means something very different from when he says “I love my wife” (or at least he ought to).

The point here is that we want to let the dictionary help us get an idea of what the word can mean, then let the context of the passage determine what the word does mean. If we’re in a class on photography, “dodge” probably doesn’t mean “get out of the way.” It probably means “lighten.” But we wouldn’t want to make that assumption in gym class.

View All Occurrences

This is probably my favorite feature in The Bible Study App for word studies. It’s the button that says “Search for g5457” (or some other number). This feature allows you to search for everywhere in the Bible where that particular Greek or Hebrew word is used. Since a translation might translate one word twelve different ways, it’s hard to know when that word is being used. But this feature can help.

The best way to use this feature is to start with where the word is used closest to the verse you’re studying, then work outward from there. Look in the verse, then the chapter, then the book, then other books the author has written, then in the whole Bible.

In this way you can get a sense for how a certain author used a particular word in its context, in all his writings, and how the word gets used throughout the whole Bible. While this doesn’t necessarily result in the same mastery of the word that a scholar might have, it certainly does help us to better understand the word and the passage we found it in.

Generally speaking, this isn’t going to completely change the way you read a passage of Scripture. The translators know the languages a lot better than most of us, so most often we’ll end up agreeing. But doing a word study can help us discover a richness to the word that we otherwise might not have seen. It can also help us to connect things in Scripture that we otherwise might not have thought to connect.

Look Up Word in Dictionaries

The Look Up feature allows you to look up a word in any Greek/Hebrew dictionaries that you might have. There are a lot of really helpful dictionaries out there by scholars who have already done the work of a detailed word study. They may also include information about where the word came from and how it was used in books outside the Bible. These can be extremely helpful to supplement the word studies that you’re already doing with the ESV with Strong’s. Here are a few you might find helpful:

Conclusion

Tools like Strong’s Tagged Bibles and Bible dictionaries can be really helpful in understanding what God has to say. We should pray that, in our study, we will allow God to correct us with what we learn about the words of Scripture. This is very different from using the tools to bend God’s words to mean what we want them to. Humility and openness to correction are important here.

If we come to the Scriptures with our tools, ready to be taught by the Scriptures, then we will be in the right place to see God’s love for us in Christ and how we are to live in light of that love. We hope these tools prove helpful in your studies.

Psalm 119:130 (ESV)

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it imparts understanding to the simple

David is a front end web developer at Olive Tree. He also writes on his personal blog, And the Rest of It.

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Look Inside: Life Application Bible Commentary

Posted by on 12/14/2015 in:

While there are lots of commentary sets that have been published over the years, there are very few that everyone should own. Tyndale’s Life Application Bible Commentary is one of those few. It presents a unique blend of verse-by-verse commentary alongside riveting sermon & lesson applications and quotes from greats in Church history. It’s one of those rare commentaries that hits the sweet spot of explaining the Scripture without getting too deep, while not forgetting to apply it to the here & now. This great New Testament commentary set is now available in Bible+ from Olive Tree and we want to show you what you get when you add it to your library. (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4)

What You Get

The Life Application Bible Commentary provides verse-by-verse explanation, background, and application for every verse in the New Testament. In addition, it gives personal help, teaching notes, and sermon ideas for applying God’s Word. Each volume contains introduction and commentary.

The beautiful thing about using the Life Application Bible Commentary in Bible+ is using with Resource Guide. Instead of hunting for the right place in the commentary, it’ll always be in the right spot when you need it.

Introductions

The introduction includes an overview of the book, the book’s historical context, a timeline, cultural background information, major themes, an overview map, and an explanation about the author and audience. The information you’ll find in this section make it a one stop resource for getting the background on any New Testament book of the Bible. You’ll only need to turn elsewhere if you want to go significantly deeper in your studies.

With Resource Guide all you just need to go to the “Introductions” section and find the commentary and all the introductory material is right there for you to read.

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Commentary

The commentary section includes running commentary on the Bible text with reference to several modern translations, accompanied by life applications interspersed throughout. Inline with the commentary text, you will find charts, diagrams, maps, and illustrations. The commentary goes verse-by-verse through each book of the Bible, making it easy to follow. It also includes the text of each passage, along with a citation of the translation it comes from.

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There are also insightful quotes from church leaders and theologians such as John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Wesley, A. W. Tozer, and C. S. Lewis. These features combine to help you quickly make sense of the biblical information and communicate it to others.

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Maps & Charts

Interspersed throughout the introduction and commentary are several charts and maps that further help you make sense of the biblical landscape. The maps make it easy to see where different biblical events occurred, whereas the charts help you visualize some of the data presented in the commentary in an easy to understand format.

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The Commentary for Everyone

The Life Application Bible Commentary is truly the Bible commentary for everyone. It’s a great resource for the layman looking to make sense of the Bible and how to apply it to their life. For the pastor it’ll help you gain fresh insight into the passage while giving you ample application for your congregation. It achieves the fine balance of being readable & practical while not compromising on depth of content. Add the Life Application Bible Commentary to your library today at its introductory price, and also check out the other titles we have on sale.

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Introducing Olive Tree Cross References

Posted by on 12/07/2015 in: ,

One of the first things I was taught when learning to study the Bible is that Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture. In my daily study and sermon preparation this is a truth I live by. Before turning to the notes in my study Bible or my vast assortment of commentaries I first turn to my cross reference resources. Even though these resources involve some manual curation of references, they point me back to the Bible and I can decide for myself if the verse is related to the passage I’m reading. With that in mind, I’m excited to introduce two brand new cross reference titles from Olive Tree: Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set and Olive Tree Cross References: Concise Set. Let’s take a look at these resources and see how they work in Bible+.

What Do You Get?

The Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set is a unique cross reference system derived from numerous traditional sources using computer-aided statistical analysis. The resulting cross reference set contains over 100,000 of the most pertinent references.

Using statistical analysis, verses are ranked according to importance and relevance. Highly relevant cross-references are printed in bold. Those of average importance and relevance are printed in normal text. More obscure references are printed in italics.

The Concise Set contains only the bolded references from the Expanded Set, which are the most important and relevant cross references. While abridged, the Concise Set still includes nearly 20,000 cross references.

How Do You Use It?

The Olive Tree Cross References Sets are not complicated resources. Out of all the resources you can have in your digital study library, these are two of the most straightforward titles to use. That being said, let me show you the two ways to use them. Screenshots are from the Expanded Set using an iPad Mini 4 (click images for a larger view).

The simplest and best way to use the Olive Tree Cross References is in a split window. In the main window you can have your favorite Bible translation open and the Olive Tree Cross References open in the split window.

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As you read and navigate through your Bible the cross references follow along, keeping them at your fingertips. After you read your Bible text you can then look over and quickly get to all the related passages, which are a tap away. Tap on the verse to read it without losing your place in your Bible. Unlike a physical Bible, you don’t need a second copy or risk losing your place. This saves you both time and effort in your studies.

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Alternatively, you can use the Olive Tree Cross Reference Sets in the Resource Guide via the Related Verses section. While we often say the Resource Guide is the most helpful way to use resources in the app, I’ll be honest and say that this isn’t the best way to make use of the Expanded Set. This is because you lose the visual distinction that differentiates between the different levels & types of references. On the other hand, the Concise Set is perfect for Resource Guide. The Resource Guide works in much the same way as the resource itself, presenting the verses, but in a different format. Either way, the references are only a tap away.

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Add Them to Your Library

Add the Olive Tree Cross Reference Sets to your digital library today and let them help you understand the Bible. Add both the Expanded and Concise Sets or just one of them. Get them today at their introductory price & check out our other titles currently on sale.

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