Of the many Bible study tools that Olive Tree offers, sermon collections are another great resource that are specifically enhanced to work in the Resource Guide of the Olive Tree Bible App.
Sermons work much the same as a commentary in the resource guide. In the screenshot below (from an Android tablet) the resource guide recognizes that I’m in Romans chapter ten and so when I look at the sermon section of the resource guide I see that in my installed sermon collections Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody and John Piper have preached on this particular section of scripture.
A simple tap/click then takes me to the text of their sermon for easy reading and also to help me in my understanding of the passage.
We’ve just released a 63 Volume updated version of C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons. Spurgeon wrote his sermons out fully before he preached, but what he carried up to the pulpit was a note card with an outline sketch. Stenographers would take down the sermon as it was delivered and Spurgeon would then have opportunity to make revisions to the transcripts the following day for immediate publication. His weekly sermons, which sold for a penny each, were widely circulated and still remain one of the all-time best selling series of writings published in history.
You can read more about one of the most prolific sermon writers HERE.
One of the most popular resources to use in the Olive Tree Bible App is a Strong’s tagged Bible. This Bible study tool gives you access to the Hebrew and Greek that the Bible was originally written in. See how it works in the video below.
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 Olive Tree Bible App you’ll save tons of time and effort. No longer do you have to leave your original text to search for a reference.
I’ll demonstrate how to use it with the Bible App running on an iPad.
First, select your preferred Bible translation in the main window. Then tap and drag the split window to access the Resource Guide in the App. The Resource Guide takes your downloaded material and connects it with the text you have open in the main window.
Under the ‘Related Verses’ section you’ll see resources listed along with a number badge. The number indicates how many entries there are in that resource for the text that is open in the main window. Since I have the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK)installed, the Bible App has found cross references relevant to the Titus passage I’m reading. I can then tap on the TSK to see all 19 entries that are indicated.
The TSK organizes these cross references by topic and by verse making it easy to do further study on the particular themes found in Titus.
I can then tap the reference in the TSK and view it as a popup, or even split it out into a new window without leaving my original text. This feature alone saves me valuable time that I’d otherwise spend flipping back and forth between references.
As you can see, having the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK)cross references in the Bible App will help you broaden your biblical understanding of specific themes and enable you to quickly study large portions of scripture.
What are some ways that you’ve utilized the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) to deepen your Bible Study?
A good Bible dictionary is an invaluable resource for your personal Bible study and can go a long way in illuminating God’s word. Here are three ways you can easily use a dictionary in Bible+.
The first way is through the Split Window and Resource Guide.
Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window and the Resource Guide in the Split Window. As you read through your Bible text, the Resource Guide searches through all the downloaded resources in your library to find related Bible study content.
You’ll notice that the Resource Guide pulls related content from all of your downloaded resources. If you scroll down the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.” These headings give you the results of articles based on your downloaded resources.
Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose “Canaan” in this example. Bible+ then brings you results from within the resources you have on your device. This is where you will find the Baker Compact Dictionary within the Resource Guide.
You’ll notice that the resource has the words “Article on Canaan” underneath the book cover. Tap/Click on the book cover and Bible+ will take you directly to the article within the Baker Compact Dictionary. As you are reading the article, any Scripture references become hyperlinks that you can tap/click to view as a pop-out window.
The second way you can utilize a Bible dictionary is as a traditional dictionary in Bible+.
Select the dictionary from your library and simply Tap/Click the book title and look through the resource as you would a hard-copy dictionary.
The third way is to use the Bible+’s Lookup Feature.
Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up. If you tap the “Lookup” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific word. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.
With a Strong’s tagged Bible you can also easily access your favorite Bible dictionary by searching on the Hebrew or Greek word that you’ve just tapped. In the screen shot below I’ve just tapped the word Lebanon and with one more tap can look up the Hebrew word in my other dictionaries for deeper study.
For this example I’ll choose the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. I can read the article in the popup window or tap the arrow in the upper left to send it to the split screen or main window to read further.
While price may often be the biggest influence on whether you’d like to add them to your study library, the most important question is, ‘What’s the difference between them?’
Here are few things that may help you in your decision.
All three commentary sets have a strong evangelical influence while at the same time drawing from a broad diversity of churches, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Reformed.
The original Expositor’s Bible Commentary was compiled between the years of 1976-1992 with 50 different authors contributing.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Seriesis a 2012 update to the original that includes the work of 56 different authors – 30 of whom are new.
The Expositor’s commentary: Abridged was published in 1994 and draws all of it’s content from 52 different authors.
Both the original and the revised editions include the following content:
Short and precise bibliographies
Insightful expositions of passages and verses
Overviews of sections of Scripture to illuminate the big picture
Occasional reflections to give more detail on important issues
Notes on textual questions and special problems, placed close to the texts in question
Transliterations and translations of Hebrew and Greek words, enabling readers to understand even the more technical notes
The abridged edition – as expected – is more concise and leaves out much of the technical information of the larger sets but still includes the following:
Verse-by-verse exposition of the entire Bible
250 charts, maps, tables, and pictures
All three sets use the New International Version for its English text, but also refer freely to other translations and to the original languages. Each book of the Bible has, in addition to its exposition, an introduction, outline, and bibliography. They also include a balanced and respectful approach toward marked differences of opinion.
Bible Study App
In Bible+ all of this content is easily accessed in the Resource Guide found in the split window. No matter which commentary you are using they follow along with the scripture in your main window to give you easy access to expositional commentary, charts, outlines and more.
Each number indicates relevant entries for the passage
Notes are just a tap away
Charts and outlines are easy to use
All three of these great commentary series on sale right now. Click the links below to see them.
“Steve, I’m not sure if I’d really use an iPad if we got it.”
“Well, Lana, if you don’t use it, it will become mine. I’m sure I’ll use it!”
That was the conversation several years ago. Hard to believe I thought I wouldn’t use the iPad that much. Guess what? Steve never got the iPad we bought because I absolutely love being able to use Olive Tree on it for my Bible devotions!
Previously I was a firm believer in doing devotions with a “real” Bible. There’s just something about having the actual book in your hands….but then I saw all that Steve could do with the Olive Tree app….and how I had a stack of books – the BIG Strong’s Concordance, Nave’s Topical Bible, my notebook & pen. Hmmm….maybe it would be nice to have it all together as one. It would make it so easy for traveling too!
So, I got the iPad, installed Olive Tree, and haven’t regretted one bit switching to having my devotions on the iPad! Oh, I do love using my “real” Bible for church, but I can dig into His Word so much more and so much more easily by using Olive Tree resources for my devotions.
So, what about Olive Tree do I love so much? Glad you asked!
As I previously mentioned, it’s so nice having everything together – no need to have a pile of books beside me, and when we’re traveling, I still easily have everything I need – concordance, commentaries, cross references, my notes, etc., even when there is no internet connection.
Here are some of the features I love:
Strong’s Concordance – I can simply tap on a word and have the Strong’s info pop right up (including the definitions and other verses it is used in). I love this feature because it is so much quicker than using
the HUGE concordance with tiny print, and it aids so much to understanding the verses.
Notes – I can then type or copy & paste the Strong’s definitions right in my notes which can be attached to a specific verse or just in a file.
Split Screen – It’s so nice to have the Scriptures on one side of my screen and my notes, commentary, cross references, maps, etc. on the other half!
Highlighting – If I want to highlight or underline words in different colors in the Scriptures, I can do that too.
Prayer List – I also keep my prayer lists in the notes files. I enjoy praying Scripture verses for my husband and children, and I love being able to put a Bible reference in my prayer list, tap on the reference, and voila – I have the Bible verse right in front of me!
Commentaries – I can access various commentaries right at my fingertips, and I can have it side by side with the Scripture passage I am reading.
Cross Referencing – Do you have a Bible that cross references to other verses? Well, I enjoy using the cross referencing part of Olive Tree too.
I believe the easy access to all these features and tools has greatly helped me learn so much more from God’s Word, and it has gotten me excited to keep learning more!
When I first heard about the Archaeological Study Bible, I wasn’t sure what to think. My initial thought was how could there be an entire Bible devoted to archaeological study? And honestly, how could a study Bible devoted to archaeological study not be a snoozer? So, I got a copy of the Archaeological Study Bible and began looking through it. Wow, was I impressed (and wrong)!
The Archaeological Study Bible is a great resource. There are 520 articles covering five main categories: Archaeological Sites, Cultural and Historical Notes, Ancient Peoples and Lands, the Reliability of the Bible, and Ancient Texts and Artifacts. The Bible Study App enriches the Archaeological Study Bible. As you read through your Bible, the split screen and resource guide keep you synced with your reading.
Here’s an example of an article on the Zealots and Essenes (screenshots from an iPad Mini 4, click images to enlarge):
Also included are almost 500 full-color photographs throughout the text. Here’s two examples:
Throughout the text there are detailed charts like this one:
At the end of the Archaeological Study Bible there are several maps that help you get an idea of the placement of biblical events:
The authors of the Archaeological Study Bible also included detailed book introductions for every book of the Bible. Other study tools include a glossary, extensive concordance and several indexes to help you find articles relevant to your study.
The Bible Study App enhances this resource when articles reference other articles within the Archaeological Study Bible. By tapping or clicking on the hyperlink, you can go directly to the related article, view in the Split Window, or view it in a Popup screen.
As you can see, you can spend hours learning the historical background of the Bible and the settings in which biblical events took place. The articles and pictures will give you insights into the Bible and make you feel like you could have been there.
In yesterday’s post I showed you why the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible is the perfect resource for family and personal devotions. Much of what we looked at centered around reading and understanding the Bible, using M’Cheyne’s reading plan in conjunction with the study notes & thoughts for family worship. Today, I want to build on that and share a few more reasons why this is such a great resource for personal and family study.
While reading the Bible is vital for spiritual growth, I’m also learning that it’s worthwhile to teach my children a bit of church history and show them that our faith has a long & rich heritage. One of the great things about this study Bible is that it contains summaries of each century of Church history, from the 1st Century all the way to today. Not only will these articles familiarize you with the major events and issues that the Church faced throughout the years, but you’ll also become acquainted with many of the more important historical Church figures. This may seem like a minor addition, but it’s helpful because I’ve already seen a lot that I didn’t know.
Creeds and Confessions
When looking at Church history, some of the more valuable relics would be the creeds and confessions that have been established through the Church’s wrestling with to establish orthodoxy and reject heresy. Several of these are included in the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible including: the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Westminster Confession of Faith. You’re given a bit of information as to its importance to Christendom and then given the text of the document. The beauty of having these available in one place is that you can see how the Church battled to stand for the truth of the Bible.
Furthermore, when it comes to learning and teaching systematic categories of doctrine, particularly from a Reformed tradition, you can make use of the catechisms that are also provided (Heidelberg and both the shorter & larger Westminster catechisms). Personally, I have found the catechisms to be a great tool for teaching my children about the Bible’s great truths because they are easy to memorize and provide several related passages. It’s simple enough to take a question or two a week and incorporate it as a part of your time of family or personal devotion. Not only will you get to know more about the Bible, but you’ll be better equipped to defend what you believe and to do so from the Bible.
Whether you’re a new believer or a seasoned veteran, you’ll find the “How to Live as a Christian” collection of articles to be extremely helpful. Each of these roughly page-long articles cover various topics that relate to Christian living, such as: living by the Ten Commandments, fellowship with other Christians, why & how to pray, handling criticism, enduring affliction, and being a godly spouse, to name a few. These articles are wonderful for showing how the Bible practically applies to everyday life and teaching children how they ought to live.
Standing Tall on Their Shoulders
It may be easy for us to gravitate to modern writings and resources, but we should not neglect or forget those who have walked this path before us. Those who walked before us have a wealth of wisdom that we’d be foolish to not glean from. That is why I find the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible to be immensely beneficial to the Church today. The rich history of our faith has been brought forward in such a way that Christians can learn from these great theologians without having to step into a time machine or head to a seminary library. I plan on making this study Bible a part of my daily studies for years to come. Just as it’s a resource in line with the heritage of the Reformation, I hope that this Bible becomes a heritage in my family.
Note: To access these features of the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes within the Bible Study App, set your table of contents view to “List View”
Can I be honest? When I first heard about the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible I had mixed emotions. The entire concept of this particular Study Bible was intriguing, but not enough for me to spend money on yet another print Bible to have among a plethora of other specialty Bibles. Those mixed emotions quickly turned to ecstatic joy when I found out that Olive Tree was going to make this title available in the Bible Study app because it’s a perfect accompaniment to my digital library. So, I added the title to my list of projects and worked to get it done so that I could start using it ASAP (and of course make it available for everyone else). Now, I may be on the edge of my seat about this resource, but why should you? Let me tell you why by explaining its benefit for use in personal and family devotions.
Aside from working at a Bible software company and being an all around theology geek, my greatest responsibilities in life are spiritually leading my household and parenting my three children. For the longest time I wasn’t the best at leading my family in devotions, and I struggled to get material together to make it easy and manageable. With time, I’m gradually getting better; but, a resource like the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible goes a long way in making family devotions simple and doable for all. It provides all the tools I need to ground my family in the Word of God on a daily basis.
The reading plan is the ground floor and what makes family worship/devotion happen with this study Bible. Instead of trying to figure out which passage your family is going to read each day, you can use Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s wonderful reading plan, which has been thoughtfully separated into both family worship & private readings. For example, the original M’Cheyne plan will have you read the first chapter of Genesis, Ezra, Matthew, and Acts on January 1; but, as laid out in this study Bible, you’d read Genesis & Matthew during your family devotion, while reading Ezra & Acts in your private devotion time. Over the course of the year, you will have taken your family through roughly half of the Old Testament (Genesis thru 2 Chronicles, along with Psalms) and the entire New Testament. The added benefit of using this in the Bible Study app is that you can use the built in M’Cheyne reading plan to keep track of your devotions so that you can start no matter the time of year without figuring out how it matches with the calendar they provide. Personally, it’s nice having a ready made plan that I know will take my family through the Scriptures in a systematic way. It’s much easier to prepare when you already have a plan in place!
Now, as you’re reading through these passages with your family and in your own time, you’re no doubt going to run across difficult passages. The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible excels in this area. It is truly a study Bible. Each book of the Bible includes an introduction that discusses its background and purpose, even including discussions on the difficult questions that may be faced in that book. There are also thousands of study notes that explain the meaning of individual words and phrases in their context so that you can make sense of the passage. Cross references to relevant passages are also integrated into the study notes allowing you to investigate more deeply and compare Scripture with Scripture. And even though this study Bible is based on the KJV translation, the Bible Study app allows you to use it alongside your preferred translation (such as the ESV or NIV).
One of the most important things about spending time in the Bible, whether it be in a family or private setting, is to make application of the text that you’re reading. In my opinion, this is where this study Bible is worth its weight in gold. At the end of every chapter of study notes is a section called “Thoughts for Personal/Family Worship” that assists you in preparing thoughts for your time of worship and how to use the text to grow in godliness. So, even if you’re not someone who has been to seminary or Bible college, you’ll be more than equipped to lead your family in a time of devotion. To give you an idea of what this section looks like, here are the thoughts from Genesis 1:
Consider the power of God in creation. If a computer were observing 10 million stars per second, it would still take 63 million years to count all the stars! Such is the power of the Almighty. Remarkably, the stars are the work of His fingers (Ps. 8:3) but salvation is the work of His right hand (Ps. 98:1). In a wonderful way God’s work in making believers new creations in Christ Jesus demonstrates a power greater than commanding the world into existence. Let us be amazed at the wonder of creation; let us be overwhelmed with the wonder of grace. How does saving grace display even greater glory than creation?
Stand in awe of the power of God’s word. God’s word is the agency of creation. God said, “Let there be . . .” Christ demonstrated this power in the miracles both with people such as raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11) and with the inanimate creation such as calming the storm (Mark 4:35-40). God’s word still is powerful today through the Scriptures. It is by the word of His power as well that He bears His created world along according to His purpose of providence (Heb. 1:3). The fact that God created gives Him the right to govern and to use His creation as He sees fit (Ps. 24:1-2; 95:5). Since creation, including man, belongs to God, all of creation, including man, is dependent on Him and accountable to Him. The theological implications of creation are far-reaching.
As you can see, these items alone provide more than enough information for someone to lead a time of devotion, whether it be in a family, small group, or personal setting. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this study Bible has to offer. Tomorrow I’ll share some of the other things that make this study Bible unique and worth adding to your library. I hope that my excitement for the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible resonates and makes you want to own & use it just as much as I do.
The Voice Bible is a faithful dynamic equivalent translation that reads like a story with all the truth and wisdom of God’s Word. Through a collaboration of more than 120 biblical scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and artists, The Voice recaptures the passion, grit, humor, and beauty that is often lost in the translation process. The result is a retelling of the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works, yet remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts.
Information added to help contemporary readers understand what the original readers would have known intuitively
Commentary notes include cultural, historical, theological, or devotional thoughts
Screenplay format, ideal for public readings and group studies
Here’s a video from publisher Thomas Nelson to give an example of The Voice in Luke 11:
Now through June 30th you can get The Voice Bible for 30% off the regular price.