It’s been a long time since we updated the Bible Study App for Kindle Fire. Many thought we’d forgotten about this platform. Well, we haven’t forgotten about our Kindle users. No, we have been working hard and literally rewrote our app from the ground up to bring you a better Bible study experience for your Kindle Fire device.
As you’ll see below, 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.
Do you remember the Gingerbread update (Android 2.3) that Google released in February 2010? For its time, the update looked alright, but it’s five years later and design has moved on considerably. In 2010, grays and gradients were in, but app design has moved on to a flatter and more sleek design scheme. 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 Kindle Fire.
We didn’t just change everything under the hood; the app itself got a much-needed visual refresh. We brought over the beautiful look and feel that we created for Android and are making it available on Kindle Fire. 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.
One of the biggest advantages of the Bible+ 6.0 Update is all the new titles you can now 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, Android, and Windows Desktop 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.
Highlighting has always been a pain point for our Kindle Fire 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, that is no longer 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.
With 62 volumes and 26,000+ pages of content, the Word Biblical Commentary is a hefty commentary series. With this much content, how do you navigate it all?
With the Bible Study App, you can easily read and study the WBC anywhere. Here are 5 benefits of using the WBC in the Bible Study App (Screenshots are from the Windows Desktop version of The Bible Study App. Click on Images for a larger view)
1. Resource Guide & Split Window
Open your preferred Bible translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window. You’ll see relevant Word Biblical Commentary “hits” in the split window.
If you prefer to just read one resource at a time, you can open the WBC in the split window. The Bible Study App also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.
This means that as you move along in the Bible text, the WBC syncs to exactly where you are in your study. No more flipping pages back and forth. No more holding the commentary text open on your desk in one spot, reading through your Bible text, and having to go back and find your place in the commentary. You’ll save an enormous amount of time with these first two features alone.
2. Easily Navigate to Commentary Sections
Each section of commentary in WBC (covering a range of verses) is further divided into a number of sub-sections which each approach the entire set of verses from different perspectives like “Bibliography”, “Translation” and more. Each of the sub-sections has been individually tagged based on content, meaning that if you have a particular Bible passage open in the main window, the Resource Guide will display the commentary notes for that passage in the WBC for each of the subsections.
Using it with the Resource Guide like this makes it easy to drill down to one sub-section, then jump back up quickly and then back down to another
3. Search & Look Up Features
Search the Word Biblical Commentary for words or passages. Take “elder” as an example. You can search the entire series for where “love” is mentioned in the commentary series. You can also limit your search to the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical genre, or a specific book.
When your search hits are displayed, you can tap on the result to go directly to that section in the WBC. You can also choose to open the search in a pop out window making this search accessible for further study.
4. Linked Reference Pop ups
One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the other biblical references within the commentary. For example, when I’m reading in Genesis 12 about Abram, there are multiple Scripture references in the WBC that help me with this passage. With a hard copy, I have to open a different Bible and find each and every reference to read how the verse relates to what I am currently studying. This is time consuming, slows down my study momentum, and requires me to keep all of my study materials out and open, spread out over a large desk space. With The Bible Study App, the scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text. All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.
5. Highlight, Add a Note, Bookmark or Copy & Paste
Make the Word Biblical Commentary your own with the Bible Study App. Without having to leave your current study, you can:
Add a Note, Copy & Paste
Or Bookmark and save under your own custom category
Bonus: Cross Platform
The Bible Study App is available for your iPhone, iPad, Android Phone or Tablet, PC or Mac. With our our background sync technology, you can access all of your notes, highlights, and bookmarks on all of your devices with a free Olive Tree Account.
The Word Biblical Commentary set serves as an exceptional resource for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.
WBC On Sale
The WBC is currently on sale. All volumes are currently priced at $9.99. The full set is also discounted, along with new OT & NT sets. Be sure to buy these before the price permanently goes up after this month.
Zondervan has just released the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D.A. Carson as the general editor. Built from the ground up to reflect the most current 21st century scholarship, Dr. Carson and a team of over 60 contributors have crafted all-new study notes, book and section introductions, theological articles, and other study tools that specifically focus on biblical theology, which is the progressive unfolding of theological concepts through the Bible.
As you read and study with the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, you’ll learn more about the biblical writers, the times in which they wrote, and the larger purpose of their writings in God’s story.
Let’s walk through the features of this terrific new study Bible so you can see just how comprehensive it is.
Book and Section Introductions
The NIV Zondervan Study Bible offers section introductions to the Bible’s literary genres, such as the Pentateuch and the Historical Books. In the book introductions, you will find everything from the author’s purpose in writing, the book’s theme, a full outline, and relevant photos. This study Bible leaves no stone unturned. These introductions cover everything you need to know before studying any book of the Bible.
After reading through the book and section introductions, you’re ready to dive into the study notes. The notes will help you zero in on the unique and essential voice of each biblical book and writer and the contribution each one makes to the overall plot of the Bible. The NIV Zondervan Study Bible has nearly 20,000 verse-by-verse notes offering insight on every passage of Scripture.
You can access the study notes in conjunction with your Bible by opening them in a split window or through the Commentaries section of the Resource Guide.
One particularly valuable feature of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible is its library of concise theological articles that unpack God’s story by tracking the development of biblical themes as they are progressively unfolded throughout the Scripture. Notable scholars and leaders such as Timothy Keller, Kevin DeYoung, and Douglas Moo address theological topics such as “sin,” “creation,” “shalom,” and many more. These short articles provide the perspective that the book-by-book notes cannot: an overarching view of the Bible’s message and teaching and how the gospel of Jesus Christ relates to each topic.
The simplest way to find the articles is by changing the Verse Chooser to list view and navigating to “Articles Table of Contents”. This will display a list of all the articles for quick access. Depending on the passage you’re in, these articles may also appear in the Resource Guide under their respective topics.
Photos, Maps, & Charts
The NIV Zondervan Study Bible includes hundreds of full-color photos, maps, and charts to help you understand the biblical narrative. You’ll find incredible photos of biblical artifacts and locations placed within the study notes. The study Bible includes over 90 maps with explanatory notes located near their relevant Scripture passages so you know where key Bible events happened. There are also over 60 charts that summarize information and concepts encountered throughout the Bible. Many of these images will also appear in the Resource Guide under their respective sections.
Most Bibles include a concordance of some kind. The purpose of a concordance is to help you find passages that refer to a name, place, or word. You can already do this with the Search feature in the Bible Study App, but we took things further and included the NIV Zondervan Study Bible‘s concordance. Not only did we include it, but we tagged it in such a way that it works with the Lookup feature and also appears in the People, Places, and Topics sections of the Resource Guide.
Buy in Print, Get Digital for Free
We have partnered with Zondervan to do something special with the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. All print copies of the study Bible contain a redemption code that can be used to download a free copy of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible for the Bible Study App from Olive Tree. You can’t beat that 2-for-1 deal!
If you’re not interested in owning it in print, you can buy the NIV Zondervan Study Bible directly from us for use in the Bible Study App. Be sure to check out the other titles we have on sale this week.
The difficulties of maintaining a daily Bible study routine are many. Where do you start? How do you make adequate time for more than a cursory reading of the Text? How do you find the right balance of study and devotion? And the list goes on. The truth is there are no easy answers to any of these questions. But we shouldn’t throw in the towel and give up. Every Christian struggles with their Bible reading at some point in their life. Today I want to share a new Olive Tree resource whose aim is to help your daily Bible study. Let me introduce you to the Open Your Bible Commentary.
The Open Your Bible Commentary was written to encourage daily Bible study. The content of this two volume commentary began as a series of Bible Study books originally published by Scripture Union. The series’ intent was to create a resource that encouraged a greater depth of Bible study in a way that wasn’t possible with study notes alone. This format allowed the authors to give fuller discussions on introductory, textual, and background material that might otherwise be overlooked in something like a study Bible. The principal aim of the studies was to stimulate daily Bible reading as a means of personal devotion and life application.
These sensitively edited studies have been reworked into what we now have as the Open Your Bible Commentary. With this commentary you get short readings rich in content. Each passage is carefully explained, devotionally warm, and practically relevant. In its introduction, the commentary boasts four great strengths that set it apart from others:
- Accessible: The studies address the average, thoughtful Christian without assuming they have a prior background with the text.
- Digestible: No section is overly long. It is designed so that you can read one or two sections each day without feeling overwhelmed.
- Dependable: The commentary is authored by renowned theologians, scholars, and experienced pastors including: F.F. Bruce, Leon Morris, William L. Lane, and others
- Practical: The studies offer a diversity of everyday application. Sometimes you are given clear application, while other times you are left to ponder the truths for yourself.
All in all, the Open Your Bible Commentary is built for Christians who desire to engage with the Bible daily. After each section you are sure to walk away with a greater understanding of the Bible and application to apply.
Open Your Bible in the Bible Study App
There are a few ways you can use the Open Your Bible Commentary in the Bible Study App, but let me show you my favorite way to use it.
Since the commentary is conveniently broken into manageable sections for study, I prefer to use it as my daily reading plan. In the morning I read a section from the New Testament volume along with its accompanying Bible passage. For my evening reading I do the same, but with the Old Testament volume.
Unlike most times when I read the Bible, this time I have the commentary open in the main window. I then use the Book Ribbon to mark my current location so I can easily pick up where I left off next time.
Next, I tap the verse reference and open it in the split window. Now I can read the passage and the commentary text. I can also tap on any of the cross references and read them in a pop-up.
Even with the Bible open in the split window I can still take notes on what I’m studying. And, if by chance I want to do further study, I can quickly switch to the Resource Guide to explore my other resources.
What I love about this setup is it allows me to have a different kind of reading plan that still lets me easily study the Bible. I recommend giving it a try!
We at Olive Tree are excited to share a new study Bible with you!
Next week Zondervan will release the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D.A. Carson as general editor. Built from the ground up to reflect the most current 21st century scholarship Dr. Carson, along with a team of over 60 contributors, crafted all-new study notes, book and section introductions, a library of articles, and other study tools that specifically focus on biblical theology, or the progressive unfolding of theological concepts through the Bible.
As you read and study with the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the biblical writers, the times in which they wrote, and the larger purpose of their writing in God’s story.
What Makes It Different?
When a new study Bible hits the market, everyone immediately wants to know how it’s different from the study Bibles that are currently available. Here’s a quick list of some of the features that set the NIV Zondervan Study Bible apart from the rest.
- Nearly 20,000 Verse-by-Verse Notes by today’s leading biblical scholars offer insight on every passage of scripture.
- Section Introductions to the Bible’s literary genres such as the Pentateuch and the Historical Books and Comprehensive Book Introductions including purpose, theme, outlines, and photos.
- 28 Articles by biblical experts on theological topics such as, “The Covenant,” “The Glory of God,” and “Love and Grace.”
- Hundreds of Color Photos such as biblical artifacts are placed within the study notes.
- Over 90 Color Maps with explanatory notes are placed near relevant passages.
- Over 60 Color Charts help summarize information and concepts.
- Thousands of Cross-References and an NIV Concordance with over 35,000 Scripture references help you see the connectedness of Scripture.
- Content from respected names like: D.A. Carson, Douglas Moo, Richard Hess, Kevin DeYoung, Tremper Longman III, Bruce Waltke, and Tim Keller, to name only a few.
Olive Tree has also optimized the NIV Zondervan Study Bible for use in the Bible Study App, which makes this great resource even better! Use the study Bible in conjunction with the Resource Guide and look up cross references that are only a tap away.
Preview the Olive Tree Version
Here are a few screenshots of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible running on our new Windows Desktop app.
Buy in Print, Get Digital for Free
Yes, you read that right. We have partnered with Zondervan to do something special with the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. All print copies of the study Bible contain a redemption code that can be used to download a free copy of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible for the Bible Study App from Olive Tree. You can’t really beat that 2-for-1 deal!
If you’re not the kind of person who buys print, that’s fine too. We’ll have the NIV Zondervan Study Bible on sale next week at special introductory pricing.
When I was in elementary school I remember on several occasions having to construct a family tree. It usually didn’t go much further than my great grandparents because keeping track of all my aunts, uncles, and cousins was enough work for a young mind. I have fond memories of those exercises because they created opportunities to learn about my extended family that I probably would not have sought out on my own. Now that I’m a parent this has been important information to have so that I can pass it on to my children, so that our family’s history and story can be carried on to the next generation.
I think about the Church in the same light. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:19 that when we place our faith in Christ we become members of the “household of God.” In a very real sense we are adopted into God’s family and all Christians are siblings, hence why we call each other brother and sister. And just like blood relatives have a family history and story to tell, so does the Church. Our family story begins with the opening pages of the Bible with God’s creation of the world and the first humans (Adam and Eve). The story continues throughout the entirety of the Bible, even culminating with our family’s glorious end dwelling with God forever in the new heaven and earth. While the Bible gives us a lot of details about the history of Israel and the early church, the story stops before we get to 100 AD. Since that time our family story has continued for over 1900 years, and there are lots of important people and events that are worth remembering from that time. With such a broad history the question becomes: where do I start? Thankfully we have Church family members who have dedicated themselves to studying our history and putting it in a form that the rest of us can easily pick up and read.
It doesn’t matter if you’re heading into Bible college or seminary or just looking to brush up on your church history, Olive Tree has some great resources that’ll meet your needs.
Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes
A Study Bible probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about church history, and rightfully so. The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible is different from other study Bibles. Yes, it gives you all the notes, introductions, maps, and outlines you get with a traditional study Bible, but it also offers quite a bit more. If you’re looking for a high level overview of Church history this is the resource for you. In the Study Bible’s back matter is a section called “Twenty Centuries of Church History;” this section offers one page summaries of each century, from the first to the twentieth. If you’re new to the subject this is a great way to get your feet wet and get the bare bones of where the Church has been over the last 2000 years. There is also the full text of several creeds and confessions that have shaped the Church and its beliefs over the centuries.
Church History, Volumes One and Two
If you’re looking for more than one page century summaries, you’ll want to turn to a duo of books published by Zondervan aptly titled Church History. The first volume is over 500 pages in print and covers our history from the time of Christ to the time just before the Reformation in the 1500′s. Filled with maps, charts, and illustrations, it offers overviews of the Roman, Greek, and Jewish worlds; insights into the church’s relationship to the Roman Empire, with glimpses into pagan attitudes toward Christians; the place of art and architecture, literature and philosophy, both sacred and secular; and much more, spanning the time from the first through the thirteenth centuries.
At over 800 pages, Volume Two is an account of the ups and downs, the triumphs and struggles, of the Christian movement. It offers a unique contextual view of how the Christian church spread and developed from the just prior to the Reformation and through the next five-hundred-plus years into the present-day. This book looks closely at the integral link between the history of the world and that of the church, detailing the times, cultures, and events that both influenced and were influenced by the church. Also filled with maps, charts, and illustrations, this volume helps to shape your understanding of how Christianity has grown and spread throughout the globe.
Learning about our history doesn’t end with learning about the people involved. As you read through some of the texts that discuss our history you will inevitably learn a lot of our history centers around how we understand and interpret Scripture. If theology and its history are of interest to you Historical Theology is the title for you. Most historical theology texts follow Christian beliefs chronologically, discussing notable doctrinal developments for all areas of theology according to their historical appearance. And while this may be good history, it can make for confusing theology. In Historical Theology you are given the opportunity to study the historical development of theology according to a topical-chronological arrangement, setting out the history of Christian doctrine one theological element at a time. Such an approach allows readers to concentrate on one tenet of Christianity and its formulation in the early church, through the Middle Ages, Reformation, and post-Reformation era, and into the modern period.
Lastly, if you’re a student studying Church history, we have a resource specifically for you titled Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods. This work lays out the guidelines, methods, and basic reference tools needed for the successful researching and writing of papers in the discipline of church history and theology. Organized with the needs of research students in mind, this book helps students find a topic, locate the relevant source materials, and write quality papers.
Church history is our history, let’s not neglect it. In the same way that it’s important to know who your relatives are and what makes your family special, we need to know the history of the Church. Add one or all of these resources to your Olive Tree library today and start learning about some of the family you’ll meet and worship alongside in heaven. Be sure to check out all the other titles available in our Back to School sale.