The term Bible Dictionary probably makes you think of a fairly boring and dry reference book. However, a Bible Dictionary is truly invaluable in helping you unpack God’s word. Unlike a normal word dictionary a good Bible dictionary will not only give you the definition of a word, person or a place but you can often read a short article, access verse cross references, or see things like images and maps. The insight it gives can help you explore the world of the Bible like never before!
If you don’t yet have a Bible Dictionary the Essential Bible Dictionary would be a great place to start. In addition to defining words, places, people, and the many themes of the Bible, the Essential Bible Dictionary has full color images, maps and illustrations and is ideal for us in personal devotion and Bible study. It’s truly a storehouse of information that provides essential information regarding the original times of the Bible.
The great thing about using a study Bible in the Olive Tree Bible App is that they can be used with any Bible translation!
Because of the way our Resource Guide connects Bible study resources with the text you’re reading in the main window, study notes can be used with any Bible translation. In the screenshot below (taken from an iPad) I have the King James Version of the Bible opened in the main window and under the Commentaries section of the resource guide I see a number next to my study Bible notes. This number indicates available entries based on John 3:1-7. You’ll also notice that the study notes I have installed are not based on the King James Version of the Bible yet they still work the same.
Again, any Bible opened in the main screen will work with any study Bible notes that you have installed. In the screenshot below I have the English Standard Version opened in the main window and I’ve got the NIV Study Bible Notes opened in the split window. The notes will stay in sync with what I’m reading regardless of the translation difference.
We have over 90 different study Bibles to choose from, all with a variety of insight and tools. See them all here!
Watch the video below for more on how study Bibles work in the app.
A detailed, critical commentary providing an exegetical “close-reading” of the biblical text
Reflections that present a detailed exposition of issues raised in the biblical text
Introductions to each book that cover essential historical, sociocultural, literary, and theological issues
Comprehensive, concise articles
Numerous visual aids (illustrations, maps, charts, timelines)
Here’s a brief look at the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary and how it looks in the Olive Tree Bible App on an iPad.
You can access all of the study helps from the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary from the Resource Guide in the split window. As with all of our commentaries they are uniquely enhanced to track with what you’re reading in the main window so overviews, commentary notes, charts, more all easily accessible.
Verses in the commentary notes are hyperlinked so you can quickly view cross references.
The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary is available now at a discounted price. See it here!
Learning Greek can be a difficult task. It takes years of study and countless hours of practice before you reach the point of reading the Greek New Testament without the help of additional resources. Unless your aim is to be a New Testament scholar, most will not achieve that level of comfort with the Greek text. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from using the Greek New Testament in your studies. Whether you’re someone who can read Greek proficiently or have only ever used a Strong’s Bible, Olive Tree’s Interlinear Bibles are here to meet your needs.
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 the Olive Tree Bible App.
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. The Bible App 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 the Bible App 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 the Olive Tree Bible App.
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 App’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!