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When Paul and Silas went to the town of Berea to teach, the book of Acts records their response to the teaching : “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. “Acts 17:11 (ESV)
We live in an exciting time where access to God’s word is advancing faster than ever yet Biblical illiteracy in America is actually on the rise. We should look at the Bereans response and make it our own, being eager to receive God’s word and diligent to study it. The mission statement of Olive Tree is to “inspire people to connect with God and the Bible” and the Bible Study App is a result of that mission. So how can The Bible Study App help you as you study God’s word and grow in your faith?
There are many unique tools in The Bible Study App that help me study God’s word but if I had to pick one that has the most potential it would be the Resource Guide. The Resource Guide is found in the split pane of the Bible Study App. The Resource Guide allows you to easily access commentaries, maps, topics, cross reference verses, and a whole lot more. There are also many great resources available on the Olive Tree bookstore that can be easily added to enhance your study. Whether you’re preparing a sermon, bible study, or just for your own personal growth, you can literally have a library’s worth of content at your fingertips to aid your study and understanding of God’s word.
With all of these resources available, the Bible Study App then allows you to highlight and take note of those things that God is teaching you through his Word. By clicking on a verse or highlighting it with your cursor you can take notes and organize them into custom categories or color highlight for future reference. Because of the ability to sync devices you can not only sync notes between platforms but also have the confidence they won’t ever be lost.
As I continue to use the Bible Study App I’m finding that the tools it provides me with allow me to really dig deep into God’s word in a different way than I ever have – as scripture, note taking, and resources are all combined into one experience. Being a 21st century Berean is great!
By Olive Tree Staff: LaRosa Johnson
Christmas is right around the corner, so I decided to have us take a look at Matthew’s gospel to show how we can use the Life Application Study Bible (see previous post for an introduction to the Life Application Study Bible) to help us dive into a familiar passage of Scripture and draw some personal application from it. The passage that we’re taking a look at is Matthew 1:18-25.
In this passage we encounter the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. We all know the story; we hear & read it every year, so let’s not waste time going over the account. With the help of the LASB, let’s take a look at some of the specific details we might have overlooked because of our familiarity with these verses. In verse 19 we find Joseph ready to break off his engagement with Mary, which is a fact that we typically gloss over. This is what the LASB has to say:
Joseph was faced with a difficult choice after discovering that Mary was pregnant. Perhaps Joseph thought he had only two options:divorce Mary quietly or have her stoned. But God gave a third option—marry her (1:20- 23). In view of the circumstances, this had not occurred to Joseph. But God often shows us that there are more options available than we think. Although Joseph seemed to be doing the right thing by breaking the engagement, only God’s guidance helped him make the best decision. But that did not make it an easy decision. Consenting to marry Mary surely cast doubt on his own innocence regarding the pregnancy, as well as leaving them both with a social stigma they would carry for the rest of their lives. Yet Joseph chose to obey the angel’s command (1:24). When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom and then be willing to follow through no matter how difficult it may be.
After receiving the dream, we find that Joseph awoke and did as the angel told him. Again, let’s see what the LASB has to say:
Joseph changed his plans quickly after learning that Mary had not been unfaithful to him (1:19). He obeyed God and proceeded with the marriage plans. Although others may have disapproved of his decision, Joseph went ahead with what he knew was right. Sometimes we avoid doing what is right because of what others might think. Like Joseph, we must choose to obey God rather than seek the approval of others.
In looking at the notes from the LASB we find some important details that we otherwise would have glossed over. First, given that we’re dealing with Jewish culture, Joseph could easily have chosen to have Mary stoned for adultery, but his initial reaction was to take the more righteous approach and simply divorce her. Yet, once the Lord spoke to him in the dream and revealed the truth behind her pregnancy, Joseph chose the third option of marrying her, the one that he had not even considered. As the notes point out, we don’t realize that marrying a pregnant woman came at personal cost & ridicule to Joseph, with people now believing that he had sinned & was the one who had truly gotten Mary pregnant. All of this helps to paint a more vivid picture of the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth, which was not as calm and stress free as we often times make it out to be.
Now that we better understand the passage, we can look to find personal application, and probably more application than we had originally bargained for in a nativity narrative. The two immediate ones that are mentioned from the LASB notes are: 1) When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom and then be willing to follow through no matter how difficult it may be, and 2) Sometimes we avoid doing what is right because of what others might think. Like Joseph, we must choose to obey God rather than seek the approval of others. Those are the two obvious ones and there are plenty more to be had, especially when you look at Joseph’s personality profile and look at the notes and points of application to be had there.
Ultimately, what we see here is the value of the Life Application Study Bible. It doesn’t matter what passage of Scripture you’re studying, this study Bible will help you to understand what you’re reading and then help you to apply the truth of Scripture to your life. What more can you really ask of your study Bible? If you want to be able to make this kind of application while studying the Bible then add the Life Application Study Bible to your Olive Tree digital library today.
The Life Application Study Bible is newly available to the Olive Tree library for The Bible Study App.
Here’s a short video showing how it works.
One of the hardest things about studying the Bible is figuring out how it applies to your life. How do I benefit from reading the genealogies in Chronicles? What do the Levitical laws have to do with me? How do I apply the words of Paul to my life? If you’ve ever asked a question like this, you’re not alone. We all ask these kinds of questions when we study the Bible, but how often do we get an answer to those questions?
There are lots of study Bibles on the market today, but the vast majority only seek to explain the text so that you can understand what you’ve just read. This is great, but it leaves out a critical part of Bible study: application. This is where the Life Application Study Bible is different and truly shines; not only does it help explain the Bible, it also helps you apply it to your life in a practical way. It’s for this reason alone that the LASB has consistently been one of the top selling study Bibles.
While the Life Application Study Bible functions just like any other study Bible, there is plenty that sets it apart and makes it an invaluable resource. Alongside thousands of study notes, the LASB includes over 300 charts and more than 150 personality profiles. The charts visually cement the truths of Scripture by arranging various topics in a form that is easy to understand while pointing you to other applicable places in Scripture. The Personality Profiles are a key piece to the LASB, as this is one of the places where you can clearly see the application side of this resource. At a glance the profiles help you to see who these biblical figures are while giving key lessons to learn from their lives, whether it be good or bad. Also, interspersed through the study notes are points of application to help you apply the truth of Scripture. All of this is only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Life Application Study Bible.
Having consulted the print version of the LASB in times past, I’ve found just how useful it can be. Yet, its usefulness grows exponentially when you use it in The Bible Study App as a part of your Olive Tree digital library. As you read through the LASB, you constantly find yourself page flipping as you look up cross references, consulting charts & profiles, and checking the index for parallel passages. With Olive Tree all that flipping becomes only a tap or two away without ever losing your place. The beauty of the LASB in Olive Tree is that it appears as two separate resources in your library: the Bible text and the study notes. This allows you to use the study notes in conjunction with your preferred Bible, or you can use the accompanied Bible which includes cross references and inline links to all the relevant maps, profiles and charts found in the study notes. The study notes also contain a fully hyperlinked index so that you can browse the LASB by topic or look up specific items. Not to mention, this resource is fully integrated with the Olive Tree Resource Guide, making it that much easier to use.
The Life Application Study Bible is one of the most complete study Bibles on the market and it’s even better now that it’s available through Olive Tree. With this resource as a part of your library you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to both understand the text of the Bible and how you can apply it to your life. In another blog I’ll show you just how easy it is to use the LASB to understand a passage of Scripture and find several points of personal application.
By Olive Tree Employee: Joe Carter
This one resource in print actually takes 4 volumes:
- The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament
- The Complete Word Study Old Testament
- The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament
- The Complete Word Study New Testament
This is a massive original language study in one resource!
I love that you can search by the English, Greek, Hebrew, or by Strong’s Numbers! Even though I personally have limited knowledge about the underlying original languages, the CWSB allows me to read through the text in English, and quickly get in-depth info on any word there just by tapping on it!
The CWSB will give you information on the parts of speech for a word (and give you links that explain what those parts of speech mean if you don’t know – with examples no less!) – the Strong’s Number for that word, a VERY robust dictionary / exegetical discussion about the word in question as well as a link to a concordance at the end of nearly every entry showing you every verse in the Bible where a word is used.
Compare this resource to a standard “Strong’s” Bible and the amount of information available with the CWSB is staggering.
For example – the entry on αγαπαω:
In a Strong’s Bible you get this:
g0025. αγαπαω agapao;
perhaps from αγαν agan (much) (or compare h5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):— (be-) love (- ed). Compare 5368.
AV (142)- love 135, beloved 7;
of persons to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly of things to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing
By comparison, in the CWSB, the entry on αγαπαω goes on for over 2 pages when pasted into my word processor – with various usages of the word compared and contrasted between different passages of scripture.
Here’s a very small taste of the article on αγαπαω from the CWSB (comparing the different words for love used in Peter’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus in John 21 – FYI: Greek words in the text are transliterated into English for ease of use):
The third question of Jesus to Peter was different, “Do you love me [phileo, Are you my friend]?” (a. t.). Are your interests, now that you have seen Me risen from the dead, different than before the resurrection? Peter became sorrowful because he understood the deeper meaning of Jesus ‘question (John 21:17). His answer utilized two similar, but distinct verbs, oida, to know intuitively, and ginosko (G1097), to know experientially:”Lord, thou knowest, [oidas, intuitively] all things. Thou knowest [ginoskeis, know experientially] that I love thee [philo, that I am now your friend].”
With this one resource you can get a backpack full of resources that you can carry around in your pocket – and instead of having to reference a number in one volume – then open another one and find that number, I can just tap on a word – then tap the links. Seamlessly moving between different ‘books’ in the collection.
As you can see, the Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) is a great resource that helps you find original word meanings quickly and easily.