Category: What’s New?

Improved Highlighting Now on Android

Posted by on 06/08/2015 in: ,

When it comes to feature parity in the Bible Study App, it’s no secret that Android has lagged behind in some key functionality when compared to its iOS counterpart. One area that stood out more than others was highlighting. In the iOS app highlights look like you took a highlighter to the text, plus you could highlight just about anything in any resource. Android, on the other hand, only allowed you to highlight whole Bible verses, and the highlights appeared as a boring block of color behind the text. There was no way to highlight an individual word in a verse, nor could you highlight anything other than a Bible. This was a frustration for many of our Android users, myself included. That all changes with our Bible+ 6.0 update for Android!

Along with a new look, our highlighting functionality is vastly improved in the our Android app. Highlighting has improved in a few key ways: 1) its look & feel, 2) word based annotations, and 3) easier organization.

Look & Feel

Take a look at the image below. On the left is what our Android app used to look like before the update. Pretty boring and drab, right? The image on the right is what highlighting looks like in the new app. Highlights are softer and textured so that they look like you took a highlighter to the words on your screen. This may be a minor change to some, but it’s one we feel dramatically improves how text appears on the screen, which makes for a better reading experience.

NTE Android: Highlighter Comparison

Word Based Annotations

Not being able to select individual words to highlight was the biggest complaint we received from Android users. Due to technical limitations, that was impossible in our old app. That is no longer the case. Just like on iOS, you can now select individual words in your Bible and resources to highlight. What does that mean? It means the possibilities are now endless! Want to highlight all the pronouns that mention the Trinity in your Bible? Now you can. Want to highlight text in a commentary or dictionary? You can do that too! As you can see in the screenshot below, highlighting in a textbook is now a reality on Android.

NTE Android: Word Based Annotation

Easier Organization

Giving you the ability to highlight all the things is nice, but we realize that organizing them can quickly become a nightmare. If you’re like me, anything you highlight in the Bible has meaning, and you want to be able to quickly reference it in the future. In the old app this was a pain point because it meant remembering to manually move your highlights to its appropriate category after you were done reading. If you make a lot of highlights, this makes for a lot of extra work afterward. With our Bible+ 6.0 update you can now choose your tags & categories as you create your highlight. Simply select your text, tap “Highlight,” choose your tags & categories, then pick your highlighter color. That’s it! Now your highlights will be where you expect them.

NTE Android - Highlight Categories

We hope you enjoy all these new highlighting features in the Bible+ 6.0 update for Android and use them to take your Bible study even deeper!

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5 Ways Bible+ 6.0 Android Titles are Different

Posted by on 06/05/2015 in: , , ,

We are so excited about the newest Bible+ 6.0 Android update. We have completely rewritten our core software that displays the text you see on screen. This means you will need to re-download all your titles. Why? Besides having a cleaner text layout we want to bring you brand new tools for studying the Bible. Many of these were not possible with our older technology, but are now a reality!  Because of the new text display layout, we’ve re-designed the text layout of several favorite Bible study resources and added several NEW Bible study resources.

How are books different in the Bible+ 6.0 Android update? Here’s just 5 ways that we’ve improved and enhanced resources in the Bible+ 6.0 Android release.

1. Beautiful New Layouts

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.

All charts are now actual text, and as with other verse references in the App, verse references now become hyperlinks that you can tap and see the verse without having to leave your place in the Bible text.  Here’s an example of this from the NIV Study Bible Notes:

Text wraps around images, charts, and tables eliminating all the blank space around them.  Another example from the NIV Study Bible Notes:

You’ll notice that as you scroll through many sections Study Bibles and Illustrated titles you will find articles and sidebars, some of which are floating or using some nice formatting to make them stand out. These new layouts are FREE when you download your new titles with the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android. There’s no additional cost or purchase necessary for you to get these new text layouts.

2. NEW! Interlinear Bibles

With this new technology, we can now offer Interlinear Bibles.  What’s an interlinear Bible you ask?  An interlinear Bible typically the Hebrew or Greek text of the Old or New Testament with a literal English translation between the lines of the original-language text.  This is an extremely helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.

Here’s what the ESV Greek-English Interlinear looks like:

Our Greek-English Interlinears are available in ESV, NKJV and KJV translations.

3. NEW! Harmony of the Gospels

A Gospel Harmony seeks to take the Four Gospels and put them in a Chronological order so that you can compare how the Gospel writers address events in Jesus’ life.  Without our new technology update, the layout needed to make this title was virtually impossible.

Here’s what our Harmony of the Gospel in the KJV translation looks like:

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Our Harmony of the Gospel titles are available in KJV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, NASB, and Byzantine Greek translations.

4. NEW! Newly Released Bible Study Titles

Under the hood of the Bible+ 6.0 for Android and Bible+ 5.9 for iOS, we began the switch from Palm Database Files (PDBs) to utilize modern Electronic Publication File technology. Not only does this change in file format makes it possible to display text in unique and exciting ways, it also allows us to convert new Bible Study Titles very quickly. What would have taken us months now only takes us weeks. Here’s just a few of the new & best Bible Study Titles we’ve released in the past year:

And several more. Many of these are 50% off this week to celebrate the launch of Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android.

5. Over 1,200 New eBooks

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Not only did the transition from PDB to EPUB take the conversion time down for your favorite Bible Study titles, it drastically reduced the conversion time for literally thousands of your favorite Christian eBooks. What would have taken us weeks can now be converted in a matter of minutes. In fact, since March of this year we’ve released hundreds of eBooks. Over 1,200 titles are now available and our catalog will only continue to grow in the coming months.

What about Windows Desktop & Mac?

Our developers are hard at work to bring the same update to our other platforms that we have done with our iOS, Android and Windows Store Apps. We hope to see this technology on Windows Desktop PC, and Mac very soon!

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Look Inside: NIV Word Study Bible

Posted by on 06/04/2015 in: , ,

We’re thrilled to release the brand new NIV Word Study Bible with Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers. This resource includes everything you need to start doing basic word studies in the NIV.

The NIV Word Study Bible provides a complete index of every appearance of every word in the NIV Bible; it’s a must-own for every reader of the NIV Bible. More accurate and comprehensive than online searches and offering complete access to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek from which the NIV was translated, this resource promises to make your Bible study the very best.

Olive Tree’s Bible Study App makes Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers easy and powerful. Tap on a word in the text and open the related dictionary information in a new screen, split screen, or pop-up window, depending on your device and settings.

Here’s quick look inside on how the NIV Word Study Bible can help you in your word studies. (Screenshots are taken from an iPad, but the NIV Word Study Bible is available for all customer running Bible+ 5.9 apps and above, including Android 6.0.)

G/K & Strong’s Number Pop-Ups

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Open the NIV Word Study Bible you’ll see that some words are a slightly different color. Tapping or clicking on those words will pop-up the information for that word. These pop-ups contain a wealth of information, including:

  1. The Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers for that word.
  2. A short definition for that word.
  3. An outlined list of the different meanings for that word in the original language.
  4. Often you will also find that another number is included as a link. These can be similar words that you can compare or other words from which your current word selection derives its meaning.

Look-Up Options

At the bottom of the pop-up, there are two buttons that perform “look-ups” or searches based on the Strong’s number or the word in its original language.

Look-up by Keyed Number

The first button contains the keyed number for your word. Clicking or tapping on this button will perform a search in your library for articles containing this number.

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Look-up by Original Language

The second button contains the word in its original language. Clicking or tapping on this word will perform a search in your library for articles about the word in its original language.  For example, I see that Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has an article on this word.

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I also love using the NIV Word Study Bible on my iPhone.  It’s a fantastic resource when I’m at church, small group, or on the go.

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The NIV Word Study Bible with Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers is an excellent resource for diving deeper into the biblical text. It offers insight into the original languages of Scripture without requiring you to have any formal training in Greek or Hebrew.  Be sure to check out the NIV Word Study Bible & More Great New Titles that are 50% Off this week!

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ESV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament on Bible+ 6.0 for Android

Posted by on 06/03/2015 in: , ,

With our newest App update to iOS 5.9 and Bible+ 6.0 for Android we can now offer Interlinear Bibles!  What’s an interlinear Bible you ask?  An interlinear Bible typically is the Hebrew or Greek text of the Old or New Testament with a literal English translation between the lines of the original-language text.  This is an extremely helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.

Here’s a brief look inside the ESV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. (Screenshots are taken from an Nexus 7, click for a larger view)

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Not only can The Bible Study App display the text in an Interlinear format, we’ve tagged the Greek word with the Greek Parsing and Strong’s Definition: Simply tap a word to get more details on that Greek word.

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We’ve also tagged the English Word:

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And the Strong’s Number:

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Searching for this Greek word in the text? No problem. Tap search and The Bible Study App will bring you a list of results for that Greek Word:

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You can also tap “lookup” and The Bible Study App will find dictionaries already downloaded to your device that contain more information on this Greek word:

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You can also search the Greek word in the same form as the word you’ve tapped,

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Or, you can search for all Greek words in the same form as the word you’ve tapped:

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We’re really excited about the release of the Greek-Interlinears!  To celebrate their release, we’re offering great discounts on the ESV, NKJV, and KJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament Bibles!

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NIV Study Bible Notes on Bible+ 6.0 for Android

Posted by on 06/02/2015 in: , ,

One of the great things about our new Bible+ 6.0 for Android release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before. Here are some examples from the NIV Study Bible Notes. (Screenshots taken from an Nexus 7 2nd Edition.  Click images for a larger view.)

With Bible+ 6.0 for Android all charts are now actual text, and as with other verse references in the App, verse references now become hyperlinks that you can tap and see the verse without having to leave your place in the Bible text and the NIV Study Bible notes.

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Secondly, the NIV Study Bible Notes used to require the entire width to display the images, and that the text cannot flow around the images. In the new Bible+ 6.0 for Android App, note how text flows around the images as intended.

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These are just two examples of how the Bible+ 6.0 for Android update dramatically improves the layout of the NIV Study Bible notes.

Check out the NIV Study Bible notes and other titles that demonstrate the beautiful new layout with the latest update.

Learn more about the Bible+ 6.0 for Android update here.

If you haven’t already done so, you can update to the latest Bible+ 6.0 for Android version by clicking the link Google Play Store graphic below:

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Designing Bible+ 6.0 for Android

Posted by on 06/01/2015 in: ,

The most important thing we do at Olive Tree is give people access to Scripture.

We want to make it easy for you to read, study, understand, and share Scripture. We believe that a great way to do that is through technology. It gives you the ability to always carry things like multiple translations, study notes, maps, commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more (phew)! You’d need a truck to carry around all the books that you can keep in your pocket with Olive Tree.

sak210Computers and apps can be hard to use, though. More features and tools inherently make apps (and other things) more complicated. A butter knife is easy enough to figure out, but a 50+ function multi-tool has a steeper learning curve. What do I do if I just want to open a box?

As we add features and tools to The Bible Study App, we want to make sure that the app is helping you to read and study the Bible, not hindering you. We want to make sure that the features are there when you need them, but also ensure that they don’t get in the way when you don’t need them. This is why design is a very important part of what we do at Olive Tree.

We’re always working to improve the design of our apps to provide an easy-to-use and engaging experience. You can expect to see updates in the future with more design changes to make it easier for you to study the Bible on all our platforms. Let’s take a look at some of the work we’ve done in Bible+ version 6.0 for Android.

A More Engaging Interface

The first thing you’ll notice is that the interface is a bit more colorful. This was done to bring the app up-to-date with Google’s material design initiative, to make the app feel more like a true Olive Tree app, and to provide a more positive and less gray experience.

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Something else you’ll notice is that if you double tap the screen, the toolbar will appear or disappear. We found that users had a hard time with the toolbar appearing and disappearing when they didn’t mean it to, which is why we made this change. Once you toggle the toolbar off, you’ll find that the whole screen is dedicated to showing text; the app gets completely out of your way so that you can read God’s Word without distractions.

One other change we made was to eliminate the use of the hardware-menu button found only on older Android devices. We’ve now moved the menu button into the interface to follow Android standards and to make the app easier to use for users whose phones don’t have a menu button. This change should also make it quicker and easier to make changes to settings when needed.

A Better Reading Experience

Something we’ve started working hard on at Olive Tree is the reading experience. We’ve dedicated some special attention to something called typography, basically the layout of text on the screen. We want you to be able to read Scripture and other books easily, without experiencing eye-strain, fatigue, or “bumps” in the layout that slow you down when reading.Screenshot_2015-05-21-14-45-55

To that end, we’ve replaced the default font with one that will be more readable on devices of all shapes, sizes, and display-types. We’ve also changed how text is laid out on the screen so that there is a more consistent rhythm, which makes for a seamless reading experience.

The fonts we’re using now also allow us to better support bold and italics (especially in Greek), which is important since bold and italics are often used to denote specific things in our resources. For example, the King James Bible uses italics to denote words that weren’t explicitly in the original languages but were added by the translators for clarity.

We’ve also been able to better bring over the formatting elements like tables, headers, and charts from Study Bibles and other resources. This makes the resources look a lot more like their print counterparts and thus provides a richer, more engaging reading experience.

Faster Performance

Often, when an app updates to make big changes like these, the app gets slower. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Bible+. The changes we’ve made have actually increased performance, especially on newer devices. You should find that you can scroll much faster than you ever could, and you’ll notice that the app feels all around snappier.

This is especially useful when doing your devotions in the morning, because it gives you more time reading and less time waiting to get to a passage. It’s also useful when trying to keep up in church while listening to a sermon, or in a small group studying a passage.

Still the Same Olive Tree

We’ve made a lot of changes to make the app better, but if you’ve used the app in the past, you should still feel right at home. We’re trying our best to bring improvements to the app while keeping the familiar functionality and overall experience that you expect from Olive Tree.

A lot of our employees have been using and enjoying these updates for a while, so we’re really excited to release it for everyone to enjoy. You can get the update by going to the updates section of the Google Play Store, or by tapping here on your device.

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Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android

Posted by on 05/26/2015 in:

Android NTE

It’s been a long time since we updated the Bible Study App for Android. Our last update came nearly 14 months ago, on March 5, 2014 to be precise. Have we forgotten about Android? Did we give up on it? No, not at all. Our silence has been for good reason. In that time we’ve literally rewritten the app from the ground up to bring you a better Bible study experience.

As you can see in the image above, the app has a new look. But we didn’t just give the Bible Study App a fresh coat of paint. This update brings with it many improvements that we’re sure you’ll love. The app is faster, offers new features, and enables new titles.

New Look

Do you remember the Gingerbread update (Android 2.3) that Google released in February 2010? For its time, the update looked all right, but it’s five years later and Android design has moved on considerably. In 2010, grays and gradients were in, but Android has moved on to a flatter design scheme (material design). Our app? Not so much. The Bible Study App got caught in a design time capsule. That all changes with our Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android.

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We didn’t just change everything under the hood; the app itself got a much-needed visual refresh. Say goodbye to the gradient toolbars and say hello to the new vibrant green toolbar & flattened icons. Welcome crisper and more readable fonts. Get ready for better looking and more informative Strong’s pop-ups and faster text scrolling. Nearly everything about the Bible Study App has been updated, but still operates just the same. We went to great lengths to make sure you don’t have to learn how to use our app all over again with this update. It’ll just look and feel better.

NTE Android: Highlighter Comparison

New Titles

One of the biggest advantages of the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android is all the new titles you will be able to 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 users have been enjoying for the past year, 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.

Android 6 - New Titles

New Highlighting

Highlighting has always been a pain point for our Android users. Unlike our iOS app, the only thing you could highlight was a Bible verse. Did you want to highlight something in your study Bible or commentary? What about a single word in your Bible? Sorry, you were out of luck. With the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android, that will no longer be a problem. We have enabled word-based highlighting across all resources in the Bible Study App. For example, you can highlight every noun that mentions Jesus in one color and those that refer to God the Father in another (see below). The possibilities are endless!

Along with word-based highlighting, this update brings with it a few other notable items. Highlights are now more visually appealing; instead of a block of colored text, it’s now textured to look like a real highlighter. We’ve also made it easier to organize your highlights by giving you the ability to tag and categorize them as they are created.

Android 6 - Annotations

June 1, 2015 on the Google Play Store

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Introducing the Biblical Imagination Series

Posted by on 03/23/2015 in: , ,

For years Michael Card’s music has imaginatively explored the narrative power of the Word of God. Now in the Biblical Imagination Series, Card invites readers to enter into Scripture as he has learned to do, at the level of the informed imagination.

These volumes will help you discover the biblical text for yourself, ask your own questions and uncover deeper truths. Taking seriously the individual life and voice of each biblical writer, the Biblical Imagination Series will help you reintegrate your mind with your heart to recapture your imagination with the beauty and power of Christ.

Right now the Biblical Imagination Series 4 Volume set is only $24.99 for a limited time!

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Look Inside: Reformation Study Bible Notes (2015)

Posted by on 03/16/2015 in: , , ,

Just released for Olive Tree’s Bible Study App is the new edition of the Reformation Study Bible Notes. We are excited to be able to partner with Ligonier Ministries to be one of the first to offer this outstanding Bible study resource. The Reformation Study Bible Notes (2015) have been thoroughly revised and carefully crafted under the editorial leadership of R.C. Sproul. Over 1.1 million words of new, expanded, or revised commentary from 75 distinguished theologians, pastors, and scholars from around the world contribute to make this an unparalleled discipleship resource. Includes new award-winning maps, topical articles, concordance, and historical creeds, confessions, and catechisms, and more.  It is a fantastic resource and we want to give you a look inside this new edition of the Reformation Study Bible Notes.

In the screenshot below (taken from an iPad 2) I have my Bible text open in the main window to Acts 19. As I scroll through the Resource Guide in the Split Window I can see all of my enhanced resources that have an entry pertaining to the current text that I’m reading. I notice that the Reformation Study Bible Notes has entries for commentaries, maps, outlines, and introductions. The numbers indicate how many entries are available for each enhanced resource.

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The Reformation Study Bible Notes – in the resource guide – shows six entries under the Commentary section for Acts 19:1-10. When I click on the the Reformation Study Bible Notes it then shows me a preview of those six entries.

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I can then click on any of those previews to read the full commentary. As I read on in the text, those entries will stay in sync with my passage no matter what translation I have open in the main window.  Any Scripture reference I see becomes a hyperlink that I can tap and read without having to leave my current Bible passage.

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The Reformation Study Bible Notes includes a concordance that can be found under People, Places, Topics in The Bible Study App’s Resource Guide when relevant content from your Bible text is in the Main Window.  In this case, “Apollos” shows up in the passage I’m reading.  when I tap “Apollos” under the People section, I see the concordance reference for “Apollos” and read that reference.

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Since the concordance from the Reformation Study Bible Notes is linked, I can also use The Bible Study App’s Lookup feature in the Main Window for easy and quick access. Tap and hold a word, then tap “Lookup”. The reference will show up and you can tap then read the article like you would in the Resource Guide option above.

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Maps in the The Reformation Study Bible Notes can be found in two places in the Resource Guide.  First, under “Place” tap a location you are interested in.  I chose Ephesus in this case. After tapping Ephesus, all of the maps in the The Reformation Study Bible Notes tagged with that location will appear. You can then pinch and zoom the map for a larger view.

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The second place is under the “Maps” Section.  Tap the one you want, Tap the “two arrows” button, pinch and zoom for a larger view.

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The Reformation Study Bible Notes also includes many theological articles also linked to the Bible text you are reading.  Under Topics, tap a subject you want to learn more about. I choose “Baptism” in this case.

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The Reformation Study Bible Notes also gives you book outlines, and book introductions. These are easy to access from the Resource Guide which pulls in entries based on where you’re reading in the main window.

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The Reformation Study Bible Notes also includes 10 historical creeds, confessions, and catechisms.  To access them, open The Reformation Study Bible Notes in the Main Window > Tap Go To > Tap the “3 dots/3 lines” icon to Change from Grid View to List View > Tap Back Matter > Tap Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms > Tap the Creed or Confession you want to read.

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You can also access all of enhanced content by navigating to the “end matter” in this way.

As you can see, the Reformation Study Bible Notes contain a ton of content that will help you go deeper in your Bible study.

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