Category: What’s New?

Mac Update!

Posted by on 06/20/2016 in: ,

It’s here, download Today!

The long awaited update to our Mac App is now available!

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect with this update.

Look and Feel

One of the first things you’ll notice when you open the new app is that it looks different. The look has been updated with a color scheme that better reflects our company’s branding, while flattening the icons for a sleeker look. Even though the app looks different, the way you interact with the app has not changed. This design refresh is meant to get the app out of the way so you can focus more on the content you’re studying.

This design refresh also means many of our resources will look better on your Mac. No longer do you have to manually look up passages because they were in a table that was converted to a graphic. Things like tables now display in the app like they should, enabling us to hyperlink passages within them. Images will flow better with the text, along with many other visual improvements.

Along with the interface refresh we have significantly improved the app’s performance. Scroll through text faster. Navigate menus more efficiently. Watch the Resource Guide populate quicker. All around we’ve made the app better to help you study with fewer distractions.

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New Titles

One of the biggest advantages of the Bible App Update for Mac is all the new titles you can add to your library. Our old app had significant limitations in its ability to display text, which kept us from creating resources with complex layouts. We now have the ability to display interlinear Bibles, text-wrapped images, and properly-formatted tables. The update also gives us the ability to make our resources more closely resemble what you would find in print.

With this update, you can now enjoy all the same resources that our iOS and Android users have been enjoying, including interlinear Bibles, Gospel harmonies, the BHS with Critical Apparatus, the Reformation Study Bible, and Tyndale Commentaries to name a few.

You will also be able to purchase hundreds of new eBooks that were not available on our old platform. So not only do our books look nicer, but you can build a more robust Bible study library too.

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 Find this update in your Mac App store or go HERE!

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New Password Requirements

Posted by on 05/06/2016 in:

We take your security and privacy seriously and as such wanted to let you know about some changes we will be rolling out to our user account logins.

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Here’s what you need to know:

  • Starting today if you create a new Olive Tree account you will be required to use a minimum of 8 characters.
  • Starting June 7 if you login to your account through www.OliveTree.com you will be required to update your password as a part of increased security efforts.
  • If you’ve updated your password since the 8 character requirement was put in place on April 28, you will not be prompted to update again. To be proactive, you can also change your password now, rather than waiting until the change is required on June 7.
    Please note: If you choose a new password on OliveTree.com it will need to be updated in your app as well. 

How do I pick a strong password?

  • Make sure your password has a minimum of 8 characters but even longer is better
  • Include numbers, symbols, capital letters, and lowercase
  • Don’t use dictionary words or personal info

While we don’t keep your credit card on file we do value your privacy and security and appreciate you taking these step to ensure that your personal information is secure. If you have further questions feel free to contact our support team.

Update: The original post stated this change would take place May 31st.

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Free NIV and NKJV!

Posted by on 03/21/2016 in:

Thanks to our publishing partners we are now able to offer both the New International Version, (NIV) and the New King James Version (NKJV) as a free download for the Bible+ App!

Free NIV and NKJV!

There are two ways to add these translations to your account:

-> Update to the latest version of Bible+ which is now available for mobile devices. At launch you will be given a brief walk-thru to add them to your account.

-> Or, search for them in-app on Bible+ and add them to your account. (Don’t have an account? Create one easily in-app or by going HERE.)

Click the appropriate link below for additional instructions on how to download your books: 

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Introducing Olive Tree Cross References

Posted by on 12/07/2015 in: ,

One of the first things I was taught when learning to study the Bible is that Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture. In my daily study and sermon preparation this is a truth I live by. Before turning to the notes in my study Bible or my vast assortment of commentaries I first turn to my cross reference resources. Even though these resources involve some manual curation of references, they point me back to the Bible and I can decide for myself if the verse is related to the passage I’m reading. With that in mind, I’m excited to introduce two brand new cross reference titles from Olive Tree: Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set and Olive Tree Cross References: Concise Set. Let’s take a look at these resources and see how they work in Bible+.

What Do You Get?

The Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set is a unique cross reference system derived from numerous traditional sources using computer-aided statistical analysis. The resulting cross reference set contains over 100,000 of the most pertinent references.

Using statistical analysis, verses are ranked according to importance and relevance. Highly relevant cross-references are printed in bold. Those of average importance and relevance are printed in normal text. More obscure references are printed in italics.

The Concise Set contains only the bolded references from the Expanded Set, which are the most important and relevant cross references. While abridged, the Concise Set still includes nearly 20,000 cross references.

How Do You Use It?

The Olive Tree Cross References Sets are not complicated resources. Out of all the resources you can have in your digital study library, these are two of the most straightforward titles to use. That being said, let me show you the two ways to use them. Screenshots are from the Expanded Set using an iPad Mini 4 (click images for a larger view).

The simplest and best way to use the Olive Tree Cross References is in a split window. In the main window you can have your favorite Bible translation open and the Olive Tree Cross References open in the split window.

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As you read and navigate through your Bible the cross references follow along, keeping them at your fingertips. After you read your Bible text you can then look over and quickly get to all the related passages, which are a tap away. Tap on the verse to read it without losing your place in your Bible. Unlike a physical Bible, you don’t need a second copy or risk losing your place. This saves you both time and effort in your studies.

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Alternatively, you can use the Olive Tree Cross Reference Sets in the Resource Guide via the Related Verses section. While we often say the Resource Guide is the most helpful way to use resources in the app, I’ll be honest and say that this isn’t the best way to make use of the Expanded Set. This is because you lose the visual distinction that differentiates between the different levels & types of references. On the other hand, the Concise Set is perfect for Resource Guide. The Resource Guide works in much the same way as the resource itself, presenting the verses, but in a different format. Either way, the references are only a tap away.

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Add Them to Your Library

Add the Olive Tree Cross Reference Sets to your digital library today and let them help you understand the Bible. Add both the Expanded and Concise Sets or just one of them. Get them today at their introductory price & check out our other titles currently on sale.

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Let Bible+ Help You with Advent

Posted by on 11/25/2015 in: ,

During Thanksgiving week we gather with friends & family to eat a festive meal and express gratitude for the many blessings we have been given. After those festivities our thoughts quickly turn to Christmas and celebrating Christ’s incarnation. It’s very easy to get distracted this time of year with all the cards to mail, decorations to put up, and gifts to buy. It can get to the point that we forget the true meaning of the season. For this reason many churches don’t just celebrate Christmas, but they have their congregations focus on Christ throughout the entire Advent season. Today I want to show you how Bible+ can aide your devotions and study time during this special time of year.

What is Advent?

While advent may be a familiar term within Christendom, there are many who do not know what it means. I won’t bore you with a long explanation, but will quickly summarize what advent is. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming” or “arrival.” For Christians it is the time of year when we specifically look to the comings of Jesus Christ, first in his coming to bring our salvation and his subsequent return to reign in glory. The advent season begins four Sundays before December 25, so the start date varies from year to year. This year Advent begins November 29. For four weeks the idea is to meditate on Christ’s coming, much like God’s people waited the thousands of years for him to arrive.

Advent Devotional

Whether you’re new to Advent or have been doing it for years, Bible+ has the tools you need to make it happen.

Of particular interest this year is a new Advent devotional from BroadStreet Publishing called Come and Behold Him. Unlike many Advent resources that have a reading for every day of the week, this devotional is organized into four weeks with readings for Monday through Friday. Each week centers on a different Advent theme, those being: hope, peace, joy, and love. The week’s reading begins with a reading from the Psalms, as well as a portion of the Christmas narrative from either Matthew or Luke. All the readings coincide with the Advent readings from the liturgical calendar. The devotional’s format gives you the option of reading the full selection of passages at the beginning of the week, or reading only the relevant passage for that day along with the short devotional based on that day’s reading. There is also one final reading for Christmas Eve/Day, depending on how your family celebrates the day.

Come and Behold Him is a great Advent devotional and can be used for either personal or family devotions. The combination of readings and short devotionals will be sure to prepare your heart for Christ’s coming.

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Advent Reading Plan

If all you want for Advent is a list of passages to read each day, we also have that for you. In Bible+ you can search for our 2015 Advent reading plan. Here’s how to find and install it:

  1. Open your reading plans (iOS: Menu -> Reading Plans, Android: My Stuff Icon (briefcase) -> Reading Plans)
  2. Tap “Get More Reading Plans”
  3. Search for “advent”
  4. Tap the 2015 Advent Reading Plan
  5. Select “Install Free Reading Plan”
  6. Go back to your list of installed reading plans (step 1), then select your 2015 Advent Reading Plan

Once you have it setup, you’re ready to go!

Remember Christ

We at Olive Tree hope these tools help you make the most of this holiday season as you anticipate & celebrate the coming of our Lord. Jesus is the reason why we celebrate, so let’s all make sure we take ample time to meditate on him during this time.

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Improved Sharing in Bible+ 6 for iOS

Posted by on 11/05/2015 in: ,

One of Bible+’s key features over the years has been its ability to store your notes and sync them across devices. Creating notes in Bible+ is so easy a caveman could do it. Yet, when it comes to getting those notes into another app or sharing them with someone else, that wasn’t nearly as easy. Before, if you wanted to get your notes out of our app you had one of two choices: 1) use our buggy Evernote sync solution or 2) manually select the text, then copy & paste it into another app, such as Pages. Neither of those solutions were very user friendly.

Bible+ 6 for iOS resolves this pain point and makes sharing a lot easier. In place of the previous methods, now Bible+ 6 implements the native iOS share functionality, both for notes and when you select text in a Bible or resource. You can use the share feature to share or export a note to Evernote, your social media accounts, email, or any other app that appears in the share menu.

For those who used the old Evernote sync, the export of notes no longer happens automatically, but we believe this functionality gives you more control and doesn’t limit you to just using Evernote.

Here are the steps to share a note to Evernote or any other app (screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4):

1. Create a note by tapping on a verse number or selecting text

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2. After you’ve added content to the note, tap the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the “Edit Note” box

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3. Tap “Share” from the bottom of the list and choose Evernote (or the app you want to share to)

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Please note that you must have the Evernote app installed on your device for this option to work. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to sync your notes from Evernote back to Bible+. These same steps work for sharing Bible verses and any other text you can select within Bible+.

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What’s New in Bible+ 6.0 for iOS

Posted by on 10/19/2015 in:

Bible+ 6.0 Splash Screen

You might have heard that we’ve been working on a big update for Bible+ on iOS. The rumors are true and it’s our biggest release to date. With this update we’ve completely redesigned the look and feel of the app so you can study the Bible better. We took a lot of your feedback into consideration and are confident this app is much easier to use and better looking than anything we’ve done before. But, with a new look and feel come changes. Today we want to tell you about some of the more important changes and new features in Bible+ 6.0 for iOS.

My Stuff

Remember that icon in Bible+ 5 that looked like a briefcase? Do you know what it was for? If not, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, a lot of our users didn’t know what it was for either. After listening to your feedback, we finally got the message that we needed to rethink that icon’s functionality. In it’s place we implemented a centralized menu where most of the app’s features now reside. Looking for your notes, highlights or book ribbons? Now all you have to do is tap the “hamburger menu” icon at the top left. The same is true with reading plans, or anything else you’re looking for. Everything is organized according to its function in the app, so you can find what you’re looking for at a glance. This change alone makes Bible+ much easier to use.

Bible + 5.0 vs Bible + 6.0 - My Stuff

Bible+ 5 vs Bible+ 6.0 – My Stuff

Verse Navigation

In changing the look and feel of the app, we thought it was time to give the verse chooser a much needed face lift. Gone are the tan and gray boxes. Welcome a more streamlined design that is easy on the eyes. And, if you want a more colorful verse chooser (see below), you can tap the gear icon & turn on the shading effect. Another change is in how you access the verse chooser. Instead of having a separate “Go To” button cluttering the screen, you now tap on the book title or passage to bring up the verse chooser. Alternatively, you can access it from the main menu, but that makes it a two-step process. The new verse navigation helps Bible+ get out of the way so you can study without distraction.

Old vs. New Verse Chooser

Old vs. New Verse Chooser

Night Reading Mode

We know that a lot of you like to study your Bible or read a devotional before the sun comes up or late at night. That proved difficult in the Bible study app because it felt like the bright screen was blinding you when in a dimly lit room. Even lowering the brightness of the device didn’t do much to help with the problem. Well, we’ve finally done something about that. With Bible+ 6.0 we are introducing a dark theme that is conducive to reading in low light situations. Toggling the feature only requires two taps: 1) tap the menu icon, 2) tap on the dark theme & you’re done.

Night Reading Theme in Bible+ 6.0

Night Reading Theme in Bible+ 6.0

Saved Passages

This is a relatively minor change, but it is another that comes as a direct result of your feedback. Book ribbons and bookmarks, what’s the difference between the two? Honestly, most Olive Tree employees couldn’t clearly articulate the difference either. Therefore we thought it was time to change the terminology to better reflect what each does. Book ribbons remain unchanged, and should be used like you use the book ribbon in your Bible. You use it to mark your place in a book or Bible for future reading. Book ribbons are meant to serve as temporary placeholders.

Bookmarks, on the other hand, are now called “Saved Passages.” Saved passages are better used as long term markers for verses you would like to navigate to again in the future. This change in terminology better reflects how the feature is to meant to be used in the app. You’ll see this change in two places. First, when you tap on a verse to save a passage, the popup menu now says “Save” instead of “Bookmark.” And the main menu says “Saved Passages” instead of “Bookmarks.”

Bible+ 6.0 Popup Menu

Bible+ 6.0 Popup Menu

Saved Passages in the Study Helpers Section of the Menu

Saved Passages in the Study Helpers section of the Menu

Changing Font Size

Changing the font size was another feature that got a minor update. Again, thanks to your feedback and expressing the confusion of not knowing whether to tap the briefcase or the “A with the gear,” we made this change with you in mind. Now all you have to do is tap the new menu icon and then increase or decrease the font size. No more having to remember where the setting is. And, if you need to change more settings, those are now found near the bottom of the menu.

Bible+ 5.0 vs. Bible+ 6.0 - Font Size

Bible+ 5 vs. Bible+ 6.0 – Font Size

Leave Your Feedback

If you enjoy what we’ve done with the Bible+ 6.0 update please do a couple things for us: 1) rate and/or review the app in the App Store, and 2) share the app with your friends. Those 4 & 5 star ratings help us have greater visibility in the App Store, and word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Thanks for your years of support, it means a lot! We wouldn’t be here without you & we did this update for you!

Note: Bible+ 6.0 will only work on iOS 8 or later.

Update (10/28/2015)

Click here to get answers to some of the more frequently asked questions concerning the new app.

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Look Inside: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary

Posted by on 10/19/2015 in: ,

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

When it comes to expositing and faithfully teaching the Bible, John MacArthur is a name respected by many. He has been preaching at Grace Community Church and heading Grace to You since 1969. In that time he has written nearly 400 books and study guides that have been published throughout the world. The reach of his ministry has allowed his ever popular MacArthur Study Bible to be translated into at least 8 different languages. It’s an understatement to say that MacArthur is a household name in evangelicalism.

Aside from his study Bible, Dr. MacArthur is best known for his MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary series began 32 years ago (1983) when he published his commentary on Hebrews. Since that time he has meticulously preached through the New Testament at his church and written detailed verse-by-verse commentary on each New Testament book. This year the final two volumes (Mark 1-8 & Mark 9-16) were released, completing the series. Today I want to show you how you can glean from MacArthur’s insight on any New Testament passage while studying in Bible+.

Why This Commentary?

One of the questions that’s often asked when discussing commentaries is, “Why should I buy commentary ABC instead of commentary XYZ?” Here are a couple reasons why the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is a valuable resource to have in your library.

First, when you look at most modern commentary sets, each volume is typically written by a different author. While there may be a singular general editor, there may be differences of theology and understanding among the authors, making for a lack of consistency across volumes. What’s more, sometimes the same author will write a commentary on a book of the Bible for different commentary series. For example, Douglas Moo has written a commentary on Romans for both the New International Commentary and NIV Application Commentary series, and a commentary on James for the Pillar New Testament and Tyndale New Testament Commentary series. The advantage of the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is its singular voice. You’re not going to encounter the issues you may find in other series. Having one author write the entire series provides a level of consistency in thought and teaching that isn’t necessarily possible in the other commentary sets. Whether or not you agree with what is taught, at least you know it will be consistent throughout the entirety of the series.

Second, John MacArthur is not just a Bible scholar, he is also a pastor. This may not seem like something that would be important, but it means this commentary has a different tone and approach than other series. There is a difference between writing a commentary academia and writing for the general Christian population. MacArthur’s commentary certainly falls in the latter. His tone is pastoral and stays away from being unnecessarily complex. Every passage is explained clearly so that you have little to no questions afterward. His exegesis of the text also makes applying the text to your life easy. This makes it an easy commentary to read, whether you’re in the pew or pulpit.

Using the Commentary

Like many resources in Bible+, the best way to get the most out of your library is by using the Resource Guide; the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is no exception. To illustrate, let’s assume we’re starting to read Mark’s gospel and are using MacArthur’s commentary to aide our study.

Introductions

When beginning a study on a new book of the Bible, one of the first things you want to do is get some background information. Resource Guide makes this easy. Simply scroll down to the “Introductions” section, where we find 5 hits for our commentary.

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Here we find information about the gospel, it’s author, date, audience, purpose, and other issues worth keeping in mind.

Outlines

Next, you’ll want to get a feel for how the book is laid out, so let’s find an outline. Again, the Resource Guide shows us that MacArthur has an outline for our book, and we see that it is quite extensive. One thing worth noting is that the book’s outline also serves as the layout for the commentary. This helps in seeing how a handful of verses relate to their larger context. Personally, I refer to the outline often throughout the course of studying a book of the Bible, as it keeps the big picture in view.

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Commentary Text

Finally, when it’s time to dive into the commentary text, the Resource Guide is again our friend. Instead of hunting down the commentary on your passage, let Resource Guide do the heavy lifting. Find the MacArthur New Testament Commentary in the commentaries section, find your passage, and commence reading. This saves you both time and effort while studying, which is useful with our busy lives.

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Alternatively, you can leave the MacArthur New Testament Commentary open in your split window and it’ll always be at the right location when you need it. This will save you even more time if you don’t plan on consulting other resources.

Upgrade Today

No matter who you are, the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is an excellent go to resource for New Testament studies. MacArthur’s knack for explaining the text is second to none and easy to follow. Even if you don’t completely agree with him theologically, you can still appreciate his clear exegesis and application.

Add the MacArthur New Testament Commentary to your Olive Tree library today while it’s on sale. Whether you’re buying the full set, upgrading, or buying an individual volume, we have a deal that will fit any budget.

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