Tips for Bible Reading in 2018

Posted by on 01/12/2018 in:

A new year can encourage you to try new things or start old things up again. Here are some Bible reading tips we put together for the start of 2018.

1) PRAY PRAY PRAY

It can be easy to pick up the Bible, skim it, and never actually participate in a conversation with God. So, before opening your Bible, form the habit of starting in prayer. Take a deep breath and remember that you have been invited to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Pray Before Reading

What should you pray about? Here are a few ideas in case you’re stumped:

  • Confess any anger or bitterness
  • Share your doubt or frustration
  • Ask for help (for you or others)
  • Acknowledge God’s power, love, and faithfulness
  • Ask God to help you experience His power, love, and faithfulness
  • Give thanks

Look for Answers

This part can be crucial for our walk with the Lord. So often, we ask God to move in our lives… Then, when He does, we forget what we asked for and figure it all worked out because of circumstance or coincidence.

Keep a list of the things you are praying about. It could be as simple as a sheet of paper or you could keep track with your notes inside our app. Praise God and be encouraged by His presence when you see an answer.

2) LOOK TO JESUS

Maybe it sounds surprising, but there can be many reasons to study the Bible: seminary assignments, sermon prep, a love for history, because you feel like you have to…

But honestly, the best reason to read the Bible is to get to know Jesus. The other two members of the Trinity are also important, but Jesus came so that we could know God. He said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Jesus is the lover of our souls, our best friend, our redeemer, and our savior. If you’ve been feeling dry about reading the Bible, or about Christianity in general, slowly read through the gospels. Take notes on Jesus characteristics, the things he does, and the people he talks with. Get to know Jesus again.

3) ASK FOR INPUT

The Bible doesn’t speak directly to you and your circumstances alone. It is a historic book that is for God’s people! It can be dangerous to rely solely on how you interpret it. Instead, here are some ideas of who to ask for input:

-Your spouse or housemates
-Children (a unique perspective!)
-A pastor or mentor
-Bible study group
-Study Bibles
-Commentaries
-Other passages of Scripture (really important)

4) HAVE DISCERNMENT

It’s a balance to allow input into your life while also having discernment on what to believe and accept. Ask questions and hear answers from the above list, but also make sure to think critically about their response. And, to bring this blog post full circle… PRAY about what you learn. Ask God to reveal truth to you. If it is good, pure, lovely, gracious, self-sacrificial, and resembles Christ, you’re probably on the right track.

SHARE!

What are your Bible study tips for 2018? What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give someone just getting started? Let us know in the comments below.

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New! NIV Chronological Study Bible

Posted by on 01/10/2018 in:

We have a new title in our store this week! The NIV Chronological Study Bible is a great tool for gaining a historic understanding of God’s Word.

WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE?

If you have used an Olive Tree study Bible before, you know that study Bibles come with two texts: the notes and the Bible text. But a chronological study Bible is the exception to this rule. Why? Because the main reason to own a chronological Bible is so that you can read through the Bible in chronological order!

So, when you open this resource in the app, you’ll see the Bible text and still be able to use the verse chooser. The only difference is that, this time, you’ll navigate through different “epochs” or eras of time to read sections of corresponding Scripture.

WHAT IS A CHRONOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE?

Study Bibles contain tidbits of great information sprinkled throughout the Bible text. They give you insights you might not have known otherwise. The NIV Chronological Study Bible uses its notes to teach you about the history and culture of the Bible.

Inside you’ll find:

  • The entire NIV text with the translator’s notes, arranged in chronological order
  • Full-color illustrations of places and artifacts that place you inside the era you’re reading about
  • Fascinating articles that connect the Bible to world history and culture
  • Daily Life Notes that explain how people lived in Bible times
  • Time Panels and Charts show the flow of Bible history
  • In-text maps of the Biblical world

WHY GET A DIGITAL COPY?

Here’s a few reasons why using this resource in the app is way more helpful to your study time:

  1. You can tap on images and enlarge them
  2. Tap on verses referenced notes to open them (in context!) in a pop-up window
  3. Reading a different Bible? The resource guide will let you know if the NIV Chronological Study Bible has any information on what you’re reading
  4. You can make unlimited notes and highlights that sync between your devices

LEARN MORE

Visit our website to learn more about the NIV Chronological Study Bible.

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You Can Still Make a New Year’s Resolution

Posted by on 01/08/2018 in:

Do you ever wake up at 8:02 but lay in bed until 8:05 or 8:10? Or maybe, while eating a tub of ice cream, you decide that tomorrow will be the day you start eating healthier? It can be difficult to start something new or hard, so we often wait for milestone moments to make a change. Then, when we miss the milestone moment, we put off whatever we were set out to do. But don’t let that stop you!

Week one of 2018 is completed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a New Year’s resolution.

Here are some of our resolution ideas that will encourage spiritual growth in 2018:

1) BECOME A PRAYER WARRIOR

START FRESH

Prayer journaling is really easy in the app when you use our notes feature. You can start by making a category simply dedicated to your prayers if you want to stay more organized. Check out this example!

PLAN IT OUT

Then, create a few different folders for types of prayers. This way, it will be easy for you to not only return to old prayers, but also to make sure your prayers have variety. It’s good to ask God for things, but we also need to give Him our praise!

PRAISE GOD FOR ANSWERS

It can often feel like God isn’t answering our prayers, but that might be from our own lack of looking for His hand in our life. Keep coming back to your current prayers, petitioning God again, and reflecting on His word and response. When you see an answer, move the note to the answered folder. Then, when you experience doubt or fear, remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE

2) TAKE TIME TO REFLECT

VOTD (Verse of the Day) can be something you glance at for 5 seconds or something you use as a catalyst to spend time with the Lord.

Set a goal to always open your VOTD notification. It’s customizable, so you can set it to appear during a time you know you will usually be free. Take time to slowly read the verse, reflect on each word, and talk to Jesus about what it means for you.

PRO TIP: Tap “Read” at the bottom of VOTD to read the verse in context. It’s so important to make sure that we read the Bible as a cohesive book and don’t interpret it incorrectly.

3) READ PARTS OF THE BIBLE YOU DON’T HEAR MUCH ABOUT

Reading plans are great tools to prevent you from reading the same, familiar Bible passages over and over again. Instead, every time you open the plan you’ll be shown a different passage and guided through reading the entire Bible. This way, you don’t have to wonder where you should start.

If you’ve never looked at our reading plans, now is the time to do so. Specifically, you could start a one-year reading plan that would get you through the entire Bible by next January. Simply select a plan, set up your reminders in the settings, and start reading!

4) GAIN WISDOM AND INSIGHT FROM OTHER CHRISTIANS

Following Christ isn’t something that we do alone. Instead, we should always be listening (with discernment!) to our brothers and sisters in Christ, trying to learn from them.

Enhanced devotionals are perfect for this type of learning. Similar to a reading plan, the devotional will be broken up into sections for you to complete. You can also schedule notifications to remind you to read.

Since these aren’t paper devotionals, you will be able to quickly access a Bible or any other study tool in the split window. Use this feature to learn more about what you’re reading or to check what the author is saying.

SEE OUR ENHANCED DEVOTIONALS BY CLICKING HERE.

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12 Days of Christmas is Ending

Posted by on 01/05/2018 in:

It’s finally here—the 12th day of Christmas! It’s been a blast switching up the sales every day. Now you can enjoy all the discounts from all 12 days, but only for a limited time. 

Since there are SO many titles on sale, we’ll give you a couple lists of links to help get you started.

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Here are our top resources from the 12 Days of Christmas sale!

The CSB Bible

Amplified Study Bible

MacArthur New Testament Commentary Set (33 Vols.)

NIV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament

The IVP Dictionary Series (8 Vols.)

Pillar New Testament Commentary (15 Vols.)

Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures (2 Vols.)

New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Baker Illustrated Collection (9 Vols.)

Apologetics Study Bible

ESV Systematic Theology

SALES BY CATEGORY

DAY ONE: New & Popular Bible Translations

DAY TWO: Study Bibles

DAY THREE: Top Authors & Devotionals, Greek & Hebrew Tools

DAY FOUR: Word Study Bibles

DAY FIVE: Bible Dictionaries

DAY SIX: Bible Commentaries

DAY SEVEN: Bible Study Tools

DAY EIGHT: Cross References & Concordances

DAY NINE: Maps & Visual Titles

DAY TEN: Quick Reference Titles

DAY ELEVEN: Theology & Reference

DAY TWELVE: All 12 Days!

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A Sneak Peek for the 12th Day of Christmas

Posted by on 01/03/2018 in:

We’re on day 10 of our 12 days of Christmas Sale! Every day, the sale changes and covers a different genre of Bible resources. But on day 12 (coming up on Friday!) we will have all the days on sale AT THE SAME TIME.

It is going to be a little crazy. And we feel like we are going a little crazy from all the planning and scheduling. But here’s a list of the discounts we’ve had so far:

DAY ONE

New & Popular Bible Translations

DAY TWO

Study Bibles

DAY THREE

Top Authors & Devotionals

Greek & Hebrew Tools

DAY FOUR

Word Study Bibles

DAY FIVE

Bible Dictionaries

DAY SIX

Bible Commentaries

DAY SEVEN

Bible Study Tools

DAY EIGHT

Cross References & Concordances

DAY NINE

Maps & Visual Titles

DAY TEN

Quick Reference Titles (TODAY’S SALE!)

GET READY FOR DAY 12

On Friday, you will not only be able to access the sales from days 1-10, but also day 11! Jump onto olivetree.com to see the best sales of the entire year.

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Look Inside: Maps & Atlases

Posted by on 01/01/2018 in: ,

3 WAYS TO USE MAPS & ATLASES

Maps and atlases are great tools in the Olive Tree Bible App. You’ll be able to quickly see the region you’re reading about and gain more insight about the Bible. Here’s a look inside on the ESV Bible Atlas.

FULL SCREEN MAPS

Enlarge a map to fill the whole screen. Zoom in and learn more!

OPEN IN THE STUDY CENTER

The Resource Guide will let you know when you have a map that corresponds to the text you’re reading in the main window. Just tap and enter into the Bible lands.

OPEN THE ATLAS

By opening the atlas in the main window, you’ll find lots of articles and content surround each map to give you more insight.

IT’S THE BEST TIME TO GET AN ATLAS

Our 12 Days of Christmas Sale is nearing the end—and you don’t want to miss out! This is our biggest sale of the year. So, head on over to our website to see the drastic discounts on atlases and much, much more.

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How To: Cross References

Posted by on 12/31/2017 in: ,

IT’S EASY

The best way to understand a passage of Scripture is to read other passages of Scripture related to it. Learn more about cross references in this short video!

CHEAP CROSS REFERENCE PACKS

It’s our BIGGEST sale of the year. During the 12 Days of Christmas, we heavily discount all the best resources on our store. So, take a look at our cross references now before the 12 days are up! Visit our website here.

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How To: Dictionaries in the App

Posted by on 12/28/2017 in: ,

HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO USE A BIBLE DICTIONARY WITH OLIVE TREE

All of the screenshots are taken from our Mac app. But you can use this resource in all the same ways on your phone or tablet.

1) RESOURCE GUIDE

The first way is through the Split Window and Resource Guide.  Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window and the Resource Guide in the Split Window.  As you read through your Bible text, the Resource Guide searches through all the downloaded resources in your library to find related Bible study content.


You’ll notice that the Resource Guide pulls related content from all of your downloaded resources.  If you scroll down the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”  These headings give you the results of articles based on your downloaded resources.

Click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose “Nebo” in this example.  Our app then brings you results from within the resources you have on your device.  We’ll look at theNew Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIBD) within the Resource Guide as an example.

You’ll notice that the resource has the words “Article to Nebo” underneath the book cover.  Click on the book cover and you’ll go directly to the article within the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIBD). As you are reading the article, any Scripture references become hyperlinks that you can click to view as a pop-out window:

2) A TRADITIONAL DICTIONARY

You can also use these dictionaries in a more traditional sense.  Just pull down the Go To menu and scroll through this awesome resource as you would a hard-copy dictionary.

2) THE LOOKUP FEATURE

The third way is to use the Lookup Feature. Use your mouse to highlight a word and right-click in the Bible text, and an option menu bar will pop up.  If you select “Search full library for ‘Nebo’” button you’ll receive a list from your resources on just that specific word. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.

BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR

Bible dictionaries are extremely helpful resources for studying the Bible in-depth. Whether you are using your smart phone, tablet, or laptop, you can have quick access to historical, biblical insights.

And right now is the time to look at getting one! We are currently having our 12 Days of Christmas Sale… and you DON’T want to miss out on the discount. Visit our website to see what we’re talking about!

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Look Inside: Strong’s Tagged Bibles

Posted by on 12/27/2017 in: ,

GET INSIDE A STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLE

If you’ve ever used a Strong’s concordance before, you know that it requires a LOT of page flipping (and paper cuts if you aren’t careful!).

At Olive Tree, we decided that there had to be a better, faster, and easier way to do quick word studies.

So, we tagged our Bibles with Strong’s. What does that mean? Watch the video to find out. We hope you’ll be impressed.

BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR

Want a Strong’s Tagged Bible? It’s the perfect time to look for one because we are currently having our LARGEST sale of the year: 12 Days of Christmas. Head on over to our website to see the unbelievable deals.

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