Category: Look Inside

Look Inside: Courson’s
Application Commentary

Posted by on 09/05/2017 in:

Commentaries may seem as if they are only for pastors, theologians, and seminary students. That’s not true! Any Christian who is looking for reliable information on the Bible can pick up a commentary and start reading.

Those who write commentaries know that not all Christians are the same. So, they make different types of commentaries! For example, the Courson’s Application Commentary is all about life application. You can learn more about the history and context of the Bible in a way that will directly influence your life.

So, if you’re wanting to go more in-depth, but are much more interested in devotional-style reading (instead of heavy, academic literature), then this might be the resource for you. Let’s look inside.

RESOURCE GUIDE

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for our app, Courson’s Application Commentary is built to work with the Resource Guide. As you’re reading the Bible, the Resource Guide follows along! It 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 our commentary section for Courson’s commentary. After reading other commentaries or Study Bibles that explain the text, I can then turn to this commentary to help with applying God’s Word to my life.

THE COMMENTARY

One characteristic of this commentary that I enjoy is its ability to speak on my level. Courson doesn’t use heave Greek or Hebrew lingo or bore you with information on how papyrus of the original manuscripts were created. Instead, he takes a devotional approach to explaining the text. It comes alive and is easily applicable to life—here and now. He gets right to the point. This means you don’t have to waste time skimming through pages of endless commentary trying to find one or two sentences of practical application. You come to this commentary looking for application, and it is given to you.

TOPICAL ARTICLES (or little sermons)

Scattered throughout the commentary are what Courson likes to call “Topical Articles.” Think of them as sermonettes, or little,-itty-bitty sermons. Here, Courson takes a passage and deals with it topically, incorporating other passages as needed, to completely bring the big idea of a passage to life. A perfect example is the article titled, “He Didn’t Say That!” which is a study on Genesis 3:3. In this article, Courson does a wonderful job explaining Adam’s sin and how easy it would have been for us to commit the exact same sin.

The easiest way to access these articles is through the table of contents. If you open the Verse Chooser (and look at the list view!),  then you’ll see a section called “Topical Table of Contents” for each of the three volumes. Here, you will find a list of all the topical articles in that volume organized by topic. Use this to easily find what the Bible says on anxiety, how you can improve your Christian walk, or any other topic.

LEARN MORE

Courson’s Application Commentary is a perfect companion to your daily Bible reading. Additionally, it’s useful to the Bible teacher or pastor who needs inspiration in apply the Bible to their hearers lives.

This week, Courson’s is discounted 58% — from $119.99 to $49.99. Learn more by checking out our website!

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Life Lessons: Hebrews 8

Posted by on 09/01/2017 in: ,

SITUATION

Hebrews 8: Jewish Christians struggled to understand the relationship between God’s free salvation and the Mosaic Law. The author explained that Jesus Christ was superior to the Law of Moses.

OBSERVATIONS of HEBREWS 8

God does not keep a record of our sins in order to use them against us. Rather, He forgives and loves us even as we suffer through the consequences of our sins.

INSPIRATION

I was thanking the Father today for His mercy. I began listing the sins He’d forgiven. One by one I thanked God for forgiving my stumbles and tumbles. My motives were pure and my heart was thankful, but my understanding of God was wrong. It was when I used the word “remember” that it hit me. . .

God doesn’t just forgive, He forgets. He erases the board. He destroys the evidence. He burns the microfilm. He clears the computer. . .

No, He doesn’t remember. But I do, you do. You still remember. You’re like me. You still remember what you did before you changed. In the cellar of your heart lurk the ghosts of yesterday’s sins. Sins you’ve confessed; errors of which you’ve repented; damage you’ve done your best to repair.

And though you’re a different person, the ghosts still linger. Though you’ve locked the basement door, they still haunt you. They float to meet you, spooking your soul and robbing your joy. With wordless whispers they remind you of moments when you forgot whose child you were. .

Poltergeists from yesterday’s pitfalls. Spiteful specters that slyly suggest, “Are you really forgiven? Sure God forgets most of our mistakes, but do you think he could actually forget the time you . . . ”

. . . Was [God] exaggerating when He said He would cast our sins as far as the east is from the west? Do you actually believe He would make a statement like “I will not hold their iniquities against them” and then rub our noses in them whenever we ask for help? . . .

You see, God is either the God of perfect grace . . . or He is not God. Grace forgets. Period. He who is perfect love cannot hold grudges. If He does, then He isn’t perfect love. And if He isn’t perfect love, you might as well put this book down and go fishing, because both of us are chasing fairy tales.

But I believe in his loving forgetfulness. And I believe He has a graciously terrible memory. (From God Came Near by Max Lucado)

APPLICATION

Because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, God forgets our sins. Jesus paid the penalty for sins. We must no longer feel guilty for sins that God forgave.

EXPLORATION

Promised Pardon of God—Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; 55:7; Micah 7:18; 1 John 1:9.

LEARN MORE

This blog post was taken directly from Max Lucado’s Life Lessons Study Bible Notes. For Labor Day weekend, this title has been discounted from $49.99 to $9.99. Check it out here! [Deal ends September 5!]

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Boice: By a Pastor, For a Pastor

Posted by on 08/31/2017 in:

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord. They do this with the hope of impacting lives and saving 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 the Olive Tree Bible App.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible App, 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 shows you resources with relevant content. 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 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: Reading the New Testament Commentary Series

Posted by on 08/21/2017 in:

KEEPING THE BIG PICTURE

Anyone who teaches the Bible for any length of time knows how easy it is to lose the forest for the trees. It doesn’t take long before you’re caught up in the details of a verse that you’ve forgotten the bigger picture. But, not all commentaries address this problem.

Most commentaries deal with the biblical text on a verse-by-verse or phrase-by-phrase level, making it easy to get lost in the details. While this information is essential for a proper understanding of a passage, it doesn’t keep the big picture in mind. So, along comes the Reading the New Testament CommentarySeries, a commentary that addresses this problem head-on.

Here’s a brief look at the Reading the New Testament Commentary Series and how it works in the Olive Tree Bible App.

WHAT SETS IT APART?

I appreciate when a commentary is upfront about its intended audience because it lets me know what to expect. Christians with some level of formal training will find Reading the New Testament Commentary to be right in their wheelhouse. This means it’s the perfect commentary for both pastors and seminary students.

A focus on larger passages of Scripture sets this commentary apart from others, helping the reader understand the text as a whole. Additionally, it captures the big picture without getting caught in the details. Pastors preaching through the New Testament will find this resource incredibly helpful.

Alongside insightful commentary, Reading the New Testament Commentary also includes extensive introductions to each New Testament book. Here you will find everything you need to know about the book’s author and purpose for writing.

READY FOR THE BIG PICTURE?

Add Reading the New Testament Commentary Series to your Olive Tree library today!

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Look Inside: Mounce’s Expository Dictionary

Posted by on 08/14/2017 in: ,

It’s time for another Look Inside blog! Today we are looking at Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (MED), which is a word study dictionary covering the entire Bible.

Here are three tips for using MED in our app to enrich your personal Bible study!

ONE: RESOURCE GUIDE

We talk about the Resource Guide all the time because it is incredibly helpful when studying the Bible in our app. Have you ever been reading a passage of scripture and had a question about a person, place, or topic? Now you can get answers without even leaving the passage.

Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window. I’ve picked out the ESV! Then, tap the split window handle and drag it to a width or height that you prefer.  As you scroll through the Bible text, the Resource Guide keeps up with you and searches through all the books in your library for related content.  If you scroll down through the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”

Tap on the person, place, or topic that you want to learn more about.  I chose the topic “Fellowship” because my church is currently working through Acts. Scripture tells us that the early church what devoted to fellowship… but what does that mean?

You’ll see that Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has the words “Article to Fellowship” underneath the book cover.  Tap on the book cover and the app will take you directly to the article. You can scroll and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text! I was able to follow along as we read this passage in church, while also gaining deeper insights. It’s honestly so convenient.

If there are scripture references in the article that you would like to read, 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 change which window you read the scripture in—main or split! It looks like this:

TWO: LOOKUP FEATURES

Maybe you aren’t sure where to find a certain topic in God’s Word, but you want to know more! You can search any topic in our Lookup Feature and resources like MED will show up, ready to give you the information you’re looking for. Here’s how:

For iPhone or iPad users, open the Resource Guide in the split window. Then tap the gear icon, followed by the “lookup” option in iOS. You can type “Fellowship” and 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 an array of option—one of them being Lookup!

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 it in the Main or Split window.

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THREE: INTEGRATES WITH STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLES

If you have a Bible Tagged with Strong’sMounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary is a great addition to your library.  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 and read the article on κοινωνία (koinōnia) in a window of my choosing.

  

This is how Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has been enhanced for our app! You can get it this week for 50% off. Visit our website to learn more.

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?

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Look Inside: Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

Posted by on 08/08/2017 in: ,

Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics (over 2000!), the Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary goes above and beyond to enhance your learning experience. It will walk you through the entire Bible verse-by-verse, providing you with archaeological findings, historical explanations, geographic insights, and more.

Per usual, we have incorporated this resource into our resource guide! This way, you can read the commentary alongside a Bible of your choice. Check out the screenshots below to see just how easy it is to do in-depth Bible study without flipping a page!

LOOK INSIDE

1) In the screenshot below (taken from an iPad) I have my Bible opened to Daniel chapter 1. The commentary section of the resource guide then shows me which of my commentaries have related entries to this text.

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2) The Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary appeared, indicating that there are five entries related to this small bit of scripture! So, I’ll tap on it to bring up the information.

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3) This chapter talks about Daniel and his friends being relocated to a Babylonian learning environment. This was a major transition for David, but I’m not quite sure what the implications would have been. So, I can click on the third entry that explains more in-depth about the Babylonian culture–its language and literature.

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The Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary is a phenomenal tool for any teacher or preacher, providing rich insights into every passage of scripture. For a limited time, we are able to offer this Old and New Testament commentary for only $99.99 (originally $359.98!). Learn more about this title on our website.

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Look Inside: Tyndale Commentaries

Posted by on 08/04/2017 in:

The Tyndale Commentary Series is a 49 volume commentary set spanning the entirety of both the Old and New Testaments. Long known for being a trusted resource for Bible study, this commentary is written by some of the most distinguished evangelical scholars from across the globe.

Here’s a brief look at the Tyndale Commentaries and how they look in the Olive Tree Bible App on an iPad.

You can access all of the Tyndale Commentaries‘ study helps from within the Resource Guide in the split window. As with all our commentaries, they are uniquely enhanced to follow along with what you’re reading in the main window. Introductions, outlines, and commentary notes are all easily accessible, no matter where you are in the Bible. Not only does this save you time, but you get the information you need with minimal effort!

The introduction to each volume in the series is a concise yet thorough description of the authorship, date, and historical background of the book under consideration. The commentary itself examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.

Verses in the commentary notes are hyperlinked so you can quickly view cross references.

Add the Tyndale Commentaries to your Olive Tree library today!

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The Voice Bible

Posted by on 07/31/2017 in: ,

Do you ever wish you could better visualize the conversations and stories that take place in the Bible? The Voice is a faithful translation that reads like a story with all the truth and wisdom of God’s Word.

The Voice sought to recapture the passion, grit, humor, and beauty that is often lost in the translation process. A project like this requires collaboration! So, a group of more than 120 biblical scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and artists came together to make this Bible possible. The result is a retelling of the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works that remains painstakingly true to the original manuscripts.

Features

Information that helps contemporary readers understand what the original readers would have known intuitively

Commentary notes including cultural, historical, theological, and devotional thoughts

Screenplay format, ideal for public readings and group studies

Book introductions

This Bible offers a new and unique way to interact with God’s Word. You can read more about The Voice Bible on our website, where it is currently 75% off!

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Look Inside: Everyman’s Bible Commentary

Posted by on 07/21/2017 in:

When it comes to commentaries, figuring out which one is right for you can prove a difficult task. Commentaries like Anchor Yale and Hermeneia are clearly aimed at an academic crowd; whereas, commentaries like the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible and NIV Application Commentary are a great aid to pastors and teachers. But how does the Christian sitting in the pew know which commentary is right for them? A single volume commentary is a perfect start, but where do you turn for deeper studies? What if I told you there’s a commentary designed for every Christian? It does exist & it’s aptly called the Everyman’s Bible Commentary. Let’s take a look inside this commentary to see how it can help you in your studies.

Old and New Testament Surveys

When studying a book of the Bible, the first place to start when using the EvBC is with the Old and New Testament Surveys. The surveys provide broad overviews of every book of the Bible. Here you will find information about the book’s author, dating, purpose, theme, and so much more. You will also find a basic outline, allowing you to see the overall structure of the book you’re studying. The survey also provides a very nice summary of each book of the Bible. The summaries briefly describe each major section in any book you’re studying. When you’re done making your way through the survey you will have a broa overview and understanding of the book of the Bible you’re about to study.

Outlines

While the Old and New Testament Surveys provide basic outlines for the Bible’s books, you can dig deeper when you start looking at the the individual commentaries that comprise the EvBC. Within each commentary volume you will find a detailed outline giving you a more in-depth look at any given book’s layout and structure.

Not only are the outlines helpful for understanding the structure, but they can also help you navigate the commentary. The detailed outlines are linked to the commentary text. Tap on the outline item and you will immediately be taken to the commentary for that passage of Scripture. Or, you can tap on the verse reference to read the Bible text in a pop-up.

Commentary Text

The most important part of any commentary is, well, the commentary. It’s here that the EvBC lives up to its name as a commentary for every man. The EvBC‘s treatment of the Scriptures is straightforward and devotional. The commentary doesn’t try to talk above or beneath you. The tone is light and conversational, almost like you’re having a conversation with the commentary’s author. The commentary’s aim is to help you accurately interpret the Word of God so you can apply it to your life, and it does this well.

Resource Guide

Of course, a commentary in Olive Tree is not complete without mentioning its functionality with the Resource Guide. As you’re reading through your Bible, the Everyman’s Bible Commentary series is always at your fingertips ready to help. Are you reading through Romans 6? The EvBC is right there with you, making its many features a few taps away. Want to read the commentary text? Head to the commentary section. A little fuzzy on the structure of Romans? Access the EvBC’s outline in the Outlines section of the Resource Guide.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a scholar, pastor, teacher, or sitting in the pew, the Everyman’s Bible Commentary is for you. No matter how you choose to access its contents, the EvBC is always ready to help you understand the Word of God. In celebration of its release, we’ve discounted this commentary set by 50%!

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LOOK INSIDE:
Open Your Bible Commentary

Posted by on 07/20/2017 in: ,

The difficulties of maintaining a daily Bible study routine are many. Where do you start? How do you make adequate time for more than a cursory reading of the Text? How do you find the right balance of study and devotion? And the list goes on. The truth is there are no easy answers to any of these questions. But we shouldn’t throw in the towel and give up. Every Christian struggles with their Bible reading at some point in their life. Today I want to share a new Olive Tree resource whose aim is to help your daily Bible study. Let me introduce you to the Open Your Bible Commentary.

BACKGROUND
The Open Your Bible Commentary was written to encourage daily Bible study. The content of this two volume commentary began as a series of Bible Study books originally published by Scripture Union. The series’ intent was to create a resource that encouraged a greater depth of Bible study in a way that wasn’t possible with study notes alone. This format allowed the authors to give fuller discussions on introductory, textual, and background material that might otherwise be overlooked in something like a study Bible. The principal aim of the studies was to stimulate daily Bible reading as a means of personal devotion and life application.

These sensitively edited studies have been reworked into what we now have as the Open Your Bible Commentary. With this commentary you get short readings rich in content. Each passage is carefully explained, devotionally warm, and practically relevant. In its introduction, the commentary boasts four great strengths that set it apart from others:

  1. Accessible: The studies address the average, thoughtful Christian without assuming they have a prior background with the text.
  2. Digestible: No section is overly long. It is designed so that you can read one or two sections each day without feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Dependable: The commentary is authored by renowned theologians, scholars, and experienced pastors including: F.F. Bruce, Leon Morris, William L. Lane, and others
  4. Practical: The studies offer a diversity of everyday application. Sometimes you are given clear application, while other times you are left to ponder the truths for yourself.

All in all, the Open Your Bible Commentary is built for Christians who desire to engage with the Bible daily. After each section you are sure to walk away with a greater understanding of the Bible and application to apply.

OPEN YOUR BIBLE — IN THE APP
There are a few ways you can use the Open Your Bible Commentary in our app, but let me show you my favorite way to use it.

Since the commentary is conveniently broken into manageable sections for study, I prefer to use it as my daily reading plan. In the morning I read a section from the New Testament volume along with its accompanying Bible passage. For my evening reading I do the same, but with the Old Testament volume.

Unlike most times when I read the Bible, this time I have the commentary open in the main window. I then use the Book Ribbon to mark my current location so I can easily pick up where I left off next time.

Next, I tap the verse reference and open it in the split window. Now I can read the passage and the commentary text. I can also tap on any of the cross references and read them in a pop-up.

Even with the Bible open in the split window I can still take notes on what I’m studying. And, if by chance I want to do further study, I can quickly switch to the Resource Guide to explore my other resources.

What I love about this setup is it allows me to have a different kind of reading plan that still lets me easily study the Bible. I recommend giving it a try!

I’m confident the Open Your Bible Commentary will prove a great aide to your daily Bible reading. Right now, this title is 50% off!

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