What's New?

Read company news as well information about new products and new Bible Study App releases.

Sneak Peek into iOS 5.9 Release

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The Olive Tree Bible Study App developers are hard at work on our upcoming iOS release 5.9 (aka “Flying Eagle” as it has come to be called around here). You may have noticed a little teaser in our latest iPhone & iPad release that said “This update paves the way for a future App update…”

One of the great things about this upcoming release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before.  We wanted to show you a few examples of this using the NLT (New Living Translation) Study Bible. (Screenshots taken from an iPad 2.  Click for a larger view.)

Compare Romans 1:1

Current iOS App 5.5.4                                               Future iOS App 5.9

IMG_1019     IMG_1015

You’ll notice that as you scroll through that section (and most other sections of the NLT Study Bible), you will find articles and sidebars, some of which are floating or using some nice formatting to make them stand out.

Compare Genesis 1:1

Current iOS App 5.5.4                                               Future iOS App 5.9

IMG_1020     IMG_1017

The tables and articles are much laid out in a much more flowing format with the content.  This is just one of the many advantages to this app update.  We’ll be highlighting more sneak peaks into the upcoming iOS App release in the next few weeks.

We don’t have an official release date yet, so stay tuned by subscribing to our blog or sign up for our newsletter.

The NLT Study Bible is discounted this weekend. Go here to get it!

 

 

The Truest Thing About You

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Guest Blogger: David LomasTruest Thing About You

There are many true things about you. You may be a student. You may be a mom. You may love someone of the opposite sex or the same sex. You may make music or lattes. Life may be incredibly difficult, or you may feel like you’re living the dream.

These things may be true—but are they the truest?

Fried chicken is food, true, and so is a kale salad. But Jesus declared that He is the truest food. See, other things may have the appearance of being able to satisfy the deep needs of our bodies and even our souls, but Jesus declares that He is even truer food and truer drink.

So even among truths, there are true things and there are truer things.

Jesus wants to get to the truer things, the things so deeply true about you that they have the power to change everything else, including the merely true things.

What if the truest thing about you can cause you to reimagine your entire life? What if the truest thing about you can drown out all the noise and speak the words that you’ve waited for your whole life?

What the Gospel demands we ask is this: what does God say is the truest thing about us?

We aren’t always comfortable asking that question, and sometimes we only pretend to ask it. We give an answer we think we ought to give, an answer that identifies us as one of the good kids or a good Christian or a good citizen. Those answers are too easy. They’re cheap. All our lives we’ve been trained to answer that question in particular ways for particular people.

We define ourselves differently to different people. I’m a good worker, a good parent, I’m a failure, I’m beautiful, I’m hideous, I’m loved, I’m not.

And maybe you answer it differently when you’re by yourself, when you ask it of yourself. Dancing alone, driving alone, sit- ting at a cafe alone, tapping snooze on your alarm for the seventh time, the tenth time, because there isn’t one single reason you can come up with for getting out of bed on a sunny Saturday.

You answer it differently every time because you feel different every time you’re asked. A different person with every shifting truth.

Here’s the problem: you’re clinging to true things about your- self that simply aren’t that true. You’re elevating things that are merely true—or half-true, or true some days but not others—to the level of “truest.” I know you’re doing this—because I do it too. We all do. It’s the human condition.

Be clear: many destructive things we believe are very much true! We do fail, we did lose the money, we aren’t as beautiful, we were abused.

The problem is that we have pushed many of these merely true things down to the most fundamental layer of who we are and in so doing have built our whole lives and identities on them.

These things can be true, but we need to discover that they are not, and never will be, the truest thing.

 

David Lomas is the Lead Pastor at Reality/SF and the author of the book The Truest Thing About You (David C. Cook) which launches today! You can follow him on Twitter @davidlomas

New Release for Windows 8.1

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By Olive Tree Developer: Adam H.

screenshot_11112013_163007I’m glad to finally share that we have updated the Bible+ Windows Store app for Windows 8.1. A lot has improved in this version taking it much more powerful for studying the Bible.
(click images to see full size)

More Resources

The Store app now supports the full range of Olive Tree resources that were not previously available for the Windows App. This includes Strong’s Bibles with popups, parsed Greek & Hebrew texts, and other original language resources.

Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is my favorite feature in Olive Tree’s apps. It even had me, an avid fan of Microsoft, once considering an iPad. I had a lot of fun building out this feature into the Store app, and pray that it only increases your enjoyment of God’s word.

What about Windows 8?

This latest app update will only run on the newly released Windows 8.1. While we typically don’t drop such recent versions of operating systems from our development support, there are a number of things that Microsoft enabled in Windows 8.1 that made it almost necessary to offer a great experience with this update. On top of that, Windows 8.1 is a free update. The most important additions that Windows 8.1 include are:

1. Multiple window sizes. You might have noticed some apps in Windows 8.1 appear narrow, no matter the size you’ve given them. Only by targeting 8.1 can we actually use all of that space, greatly increasing the usefulness of Resource Guide.

2. ListView improvements. For a complete Resource Guide experience, we had written a lot of custom list code that never seemed to work quite right. Microsoft enhanced the lists to meet our needs and we are now able to use the (much faster) built in versions.

You may be thinking…screenshot_11112013_163110

It has been a while since our last update, and I’m sure you may have questions about what’s next. I encourage you to ask! Developing this app has progressed very differently than our other platforms like iOS and Android, and there are some good, technical answers as to why.

 

Introducing the Life Application Study Bible

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By Olive Tree Staff: LaRosa JohnsonLASB

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.

 

Go here to browse available Life Application Study Bible’s for use in The Bible Study App.

My Daily Pursuit – Final Excerpt

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Tozer Daily PursuitNow Available for The Bible Study App! - My Daily Pursuit – A Daily Devotion based on the writings of A.W. Tozer.

Thanks to the careful curation of James L. Snyder, a pastor in Tozer’s church denomination who has exclusive access to a treasure trove of unpublished Tozer content, we have Tozer’s teachings on a vast number of topics. And now, for the first time, there is a new daily devotional featuring never-before-published content. The famed evangelist Leonard Ravenhill, who knew Tozer personally, said, “To enter into Dr. Tozer’s presence was an awe-inspiring event.” Now, with My Daily Pursuit, readers will be able to do even more as they enter into the presence of Jesus every day through this awe-inspiring book.

To celebrate this upcoming release we’ve highlighted a few sneak peeks into this new work. You can read the first excerpt herethe second herethe third here, the fourth here, and the fifth here.

Here is the sixth and final excerpt:

February 23

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knowest right well. Psalm 139:14

Certain passages in Milton and Shakespeare are so great that the average rank and file cannot rise to take it in. It is too big and wonderful. When we admire enough, it becomes a delightful pain. It becomes an enjoyable agony within the bosom. Why agony? Because we are not big enough inside.

God’s desire is to make us bigger. He is going to make us all call upon Him to enlarge our hearts in order to take Him in, in all His fullness.

He wants to make us big enough to admire Him with wonder and delight. This wonder and delight is followed by sheer fascination. This is to be filled with the moral excitement that only God can bring.

I often wonder why many people who sing hymns are not affected by them; why they hear the Scriptures and are unaffected by them. When they pray, it is in a monstrous drone. Nothing seems to affect them. Nothing seems to excite them. Nothing seems to rise up within them with admiring excitement and wonder.

To be dead on the inside is the curse of sin.  But for the man or woman who has been made alive on the inside, hymns, Scripture and prayer take them to heights of delightful admiration of the Godhead.

So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
When the soul waketh and life’s shadows flee;
Oh, in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought, I am with Thee.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896)

O God of glory, my heart is thrilled to sing of Thee. My heart rises to heights of delightful praise and worship as I meditate upon Thee. Amen.

My Daily Pursuit – Fifth Excerpt

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Coming soon to The Bible Study App - My Daily Pursuit – A Daily Devotion based on the writings of A.W. Tozer.

Thanks to the careful curation of James L. Snyder, a pastor in Tozer’s church denomination who has exclusive access to a treasure trove of unpublished Tozer content, we have Tozer’s teachings on a vast number of topics. And now, for the first time, there is a new daily devotional featuring never-before-published content. The famed evangelist Leonard Ravenhill, who knew Tozer personally, said, “To enter into Dr. Tozer’s presence was an awe-inspiring event.” Now, with My Daily Pursuit, readers will be able to do even more as they enter into the presence of Jesus every day through this awe-inspiring book.

To celebrate this upcoming release we will be highlighting a few sneak peeks into this new work. You can read the first excerpt herethe second herethe third here, and the fourth here.

Here is the fifth excerpt:

January 31

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Heretics do not necessarily want to teach that there is no Trinity, or that God did not create the universe, and that there is no judgment. The very word “heretic” means one who picks and chooses.

The Samaritans were heretical in that they chose certain parts of the Bible. They had a Pentateuch and accepted it, but they rejected David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, 1 and 2 Kings and the Song of Solomon. They rejected all of Scripture except the Pentateuch.

The Samaritans went one step further: they translated the Pentateuch.

You can translate anything to prove what you are out to prove. All you have to do is say you know Greek or Hebrew, and after that, you are on your own. The Samaritans translated the old Pentateuch in a manner that proved Samaria was a place of worship. Because of that, they were very hostile to the Jews who claimed that Jerusalem was the place to worship.

The Samaritans accepted the Bible, but they just accepted as much of it is they wanted. When you pick and choose, you can believe just about anything.

Remember, it takes all of the Bible to make it the Word of God.

Oh, send Thy Spirit, Lord,
Now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes,
And make me see;
Show me the truth concealed
Within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed,
I see Thee, Lord.
—Alexander Groves (1842–1909)

O Holy Spirit, open my eyes today that I may see that which You have for me. Blind me to those ways that lead me away from Thee. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The anticipated release date for this new work has been set for November 4th.  Stay tuned to our blog or subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date.

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