Using the NA28 Apparatus as a Part of Bible Study


By Olive Tree Staff: Matthew Jonas

I teach a weekly Bible study, and recently we were reading through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  This has always been one of my favorite passages in the Scriptures and I was especially excited to get to the section on prayer and specifically to discuss the Lord’s Prayer.  I began by reading over the text of the passage itself.  I generally prepare my notes working from the Greek and Hebrew, but I then read from a number of different English translations in the study itself.  For this particular passage, I was reading from the ESV.  As soon as I had finished reading, someone pointed out that there was a line “missing” from the ESV at the end of the Lord’s Prayer.  She was using the NKJV, which adds the line “for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen” at the end of verse 13.  This question led to a discussion about why that line is in some translations but not others.

Since I started working for Olive Tree, I’ve transitioned to using almost entirely electronic texts of the Bible.  I had my notes and my Bibles there on my tablet, so I was able to quickly look up this addition in the NA28 critical apparatus.

The first thing that I noticed was a T-shaped symbol at the end of verse 13 in the main text.  If you consult section three in the introduction (“THE CRITICAL APPARATUS”), it is explained that this symbol means that one or more words is inserted by the manuscripts listed.  If you are unfamiliar with the apparatus, I would recommend that you simply memorize the list of symbols used.  I believe that there are only eight of them, and they indicate what is going on.  For example, a T-shaped symbol is used to indicate an addition, an O-shaped symbol is used to indicate an omission, an S-shaped symbol with a dot in it is used to indicate a transposition, and so on.  It should be kept in mind as well that “additions” and “omissions” are relative to the main text of the NA28.  An addition is material that the editors of the NA28 chose not to include in the main text, but that some manuscripts contain.  An omission is material that the editors of the NA28 included, but that some manuscripts do not contain.

Clicking on the symbol in the text will open a popup.  If you wish to open this in the split window, tap on the “tear out” icon in the top corner.  The first addition listed is simply the word αμην, which is found only in a few manuscripts.  As far as the abbreviations for manuscripts go, a Fraktur letter P followed by a superscript number is used to indicate papyri, uppercase Latin and Greek letters (and the Hebrew Alef) are used to indicate the different uncial manuscripts, and numbers are used for the miniscules.  There are also additional special abbreviations for medieval cursive manuscripts, lectionaries, the different versions (e.g. the Vulgate, the Peshitta, etc.), and citations in the Church Fathers.  These abbreviations are explained in the introduction, and more complete information about each of the manuscripts is given in Appendix I in the end matter.  The star next to 288 indicates an original reading that was subsequently corrected.   “Vg” stands for Vulgate and the abbreviation “cl” indicates that this reading is found specific in the Clementine Vulgate.  The take away here is that there is not much manuscript evidence for adding just the word αμην to the end verse 13. (more…)

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We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Windows 8 The Bible Study App Update

Olive Tree recently released an update to The Bible Study App on Windows 8.  I sat down with Adam, our lead Windows 8 developer, to talk about the update.

Monty: How is the Windows 8 app different from the Windows 7 desktop version?

Adam: The Windows Store app targets a fast and fluid experience across a wide range of devices, where the Desktop app has an eye for much more advanced Bible Study that can require more processing.

Thus far the Windows Store app has worked well as a basic Bible reader, but that is only the beginning. We recently updated the app to add popups for footnotes and Bible references, and will be continuing to build it into an incredible experience for even more advanced users.

Monty: Why use the Windows 8 app?

Adam: My favorite reason is the speed, even on my tablet. I’m not an advanced user, so having a Bible app that I can easily snap to the side of the screen during church while I take notes in OneNote makes for a great experience for me.

Monty: What are the top features of the Windows 8 app?

Adam: Right now, I get really excited when using the Search screens, both for the view of results in all my books, but also to easily navigate the results within a specific book. We have also leveraged common Windows 8 features like Semantic Zoom and the app bar to filter and navigate through the results quickly.would say the top features are the search and reading experience.

With reading, I’ve already mentioned the performance. The responsiveness when scrolling is, I believe, unparalleled by any of our other apps. It makes it a real joy to use, especially because the text just plain looks great!

Monty: What’s new in the Windows 8 app?

Adam: We recently updated the app to include popups on footnotes and verse references. This is particularly important to me because it’s the first step beyond a “simple” Bible reader. This past Sunday in church I was able to jump ahead of the pastor as he called out a cross reference because I saw the footnote and could open the location in the popup.

Monty: Anything else you would like to add?

Adam: We are working hard to enable the rest of our available titles in the Windows Store app. I’m excited to see the continued interest in what we’re doing on Windows, and for the opportunity to keep working at making it better!

Thanks Adam!  Go here to find our newest Windows 8 release for the Bible Study App, or search “Bible+” in the Windows Store.

The Powerful Resource Guide – for iPad

New Windows Update

The Bible Study App for Windows has a new update (5.3.1) available for download now! If you’re not sure how to update The Bible Study App follow the two step process in this graphic. You’ll then be prompted to restart the App. Also, check out some video tutorials on the Windows platform HERE.

What’s new in the 5.3.1 release?

Cross Reference copying
When viewing cross references you can right click on the heading to copy all of the cross references in the group or you can right click on an individual reference to copy it.
Cross references can be accessed by clicking on item, such as “What does the Bible say about: Paul“.










Annotations can be moved into a category with drag and drop
Annotations can now be dragged into categories. This is possible from any of the annotation list within My Stuff. Simply drag an annotation in the list over a category.








Un-linking the split window
It is now possible to unlink the split window from the main window.







Personal Touches to My Daily Reading Plan

By Olive Tree Staff: Harold Coleman

On the fourth day of my new reading plan, I decided to make 2013 the year to add personal touches, such as adding highlights and notes to verses that stand out to me as I read. The verse that got me started was Luke 4:1: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit…was led by the Spirit…being tempted by the devil.” Here, the Creator (Jesus) was filled and led by the Holy Spirit just as the scriptures say I am to be. However, unlike me at times, Jesus resisted temptation and the devil.  I need to remember this verse as both an encouragement and a contrast to my life.

Highlighting the verse is as simple as touching the verse number and selecting highlight from the pop-up list. On my Android tablet, I selected Luke 4:1-2 by touching the right arrow, then the button “Select 2 Verses.”  I like underlining rather than highlighting, so I touched the yellow color and saw my choices for highlighting. By touching and holding the yellow highlighter, I got the option to edit the highlighter. I have the option to change the name “Yellow” to something meaningful. I can also change from highlight to pen or thin underline. (You’ll need to increase the intensity to see the thin underline.) Tapping the color allows me to even change the color. 


I decided to think through my strategy of naming the colors. I searched the Internet for Bible highlighting and found that people use different colors for different topics. Using some of the ideas I found, I created a list of significant highlighter titles. Highlighting by verse numbers allows me to switch between two Bible versions and still see the highlights.


I went back to Luke 4:1-2 and highlighted it with the color that stands for God’s Character and Nature. Before saving the highlight, I decided to add a tag by selecting “Edit Tags.” When I touched the pencil in the top corner of the pop-up and I was given the option to name a new tag.  I named it “Spirit Filled.” If I touched “Spirit Filled” in the list of tag names, a check mark was added to the right. I added “Spirit Led,” “Temptation,” and “Temptation, Resist,” then selected them all and touched the back arrow. Now I see all that each of the tags I chose is related to this highlight. In just a couple of weeks my list of tag names has grown to 45, including Anger, Forgiveness, Humility, Leadership, Promise, and Wisdom.
A quick review of the early stories of Genesis allowed me to catch up on highlighting. I’ve included the temptations common to us all, such as Adam and Eve’s lack of trust in God’s word.  Cain rejected the loving correction of God by letting hurt feelings lead to anger. Noah took a seemingly well-deserved break after being in the ark and got drunk. Ham disrespected his father’s privacy and then gossiped about his (Noah’s?) failures. I have tagged these stories with “Temptation, Falling to.” On the other hand, Shem and Japheth’s response is tagged with “Temptation, Resist,” as they refuse to enter into judgment or gossip in order to show their father respect. With just a few highlights and tags, I have the beginning of a lesson or sermon on temptation and Jesus’ example of resisting temptation.


As the year progresses, adding more highlights and tags will allow me to review scriptures related to any of my topics by selecting the topic in My Stuff – Tags. If a scripture is particularly meaningful, I add a note to the highlighted verse by touching the verse number and selecting Note.  I can then add thoughts and related scripture references. I can also add a personal prayer and steps I can take to put the insight into action. I can add tags to these notes, such as “A Personal Prayer” and “A Next Step.” Since tags are listed in alphabetical order in My Stuff, I can easily find my prayers and action steps at the top of the list.

What are some of your favorite highlights and tags?  Share a story of how using these tools has helped you in your studies and benefitted your life.





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