5 Benefits of the Word Biblical Commentary

Posted by on 11/15/2017 in: ,

With 61 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 Olive Tree Bible App, you can easily read and study the WBC anywhere.  Here are 5 benefits of using the WBC in the Olive Tree Bible App (Screenshots are from the Mac OS version of the Olive Tree Bible 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 Olive Tree Bible 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. 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. So, 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 quickly.

3. SEARCH & LOOKUP 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 Olive Tree Bible 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. TAKE NOTES & MORE

Make the Word Biblical Commentary your own with the Olive Tree Bible App. Without having to leave your current study, you can:

Highlight

Add a Note, Copy & Paste

LEARN MORE

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.

Add the Word Biblical Commentary to Your Account Today!

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Unpacking a Verse: Matthew 1:1

Posted by on 11/13/2017 in:

“The book of the story of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” — Matthew 1:1

Within the first verse of Matthew, there are 5 hints to Jesus being the Messiah.

Leon Morris wrote the Pillar New Testament Commentary‘s Matthew Volume, and he did a great job unpacking this verse. Here’s what I discovered from his writing!

1. BOOK

Some scholars have wondered if this word refers to the Gospel as a whole or simply to the nativity stories.

In this case, Morris looks Walter Bauer’s, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature for clarification. It appears that in later writings, this word was especially used for a “sacred, venerable book.”

Evidence leans toward the belief that this one-sentence header for the entire book of Matthew.

2. STORY

The translation of Matthew 1:1 found above was written by Morris himself. Why did he use the word “story” when so many other translations use “history” or genealogy”?

The original term is used of birth or origin or existence… but none of these concepts are easy to see in the passage. But, there’s evidence that the word was already used as the title of the first book of the Old Testament in LXX (the Septuagint, or Greek rendering of the Hebrew Old Testament).

Matthew was beginning to tell a new creation story: the new creation in Jesus Christ.

3. JESUS CHRIST

Matthew doesn’t use the full name Jesus Christ very often. In fact, this is the only location of the term in his book that isn’t disputed.

Typically, Matthew uses the personal name Jesus (̓Ιησοῦς, Yahweh is salvation). In fact, he uses this name 150 times!

Why is there such a contrast? The title Jesus Christ was not popular during Jesus’ lifetime, but grew as people came to know him as their Messiah.

4. SON OF DAVID

This tagline quickly reveals Jesus’ royal lineage and prophetic fulfillment. The expression “son of David” is probably a messianic title. Together, we can further confirm that Matthew’s book is about the one who fulfilled all that is meant in being the descendant of Israel’s greatest king.

5. SON OF ABRAHAM

All Israelites took pride in being descendants of the great patriarch, and the Christians were especially fond of him as the classic example of one who believed. In combining David and Abraham, Matthew is drawing attention to two strands in Jesus’ Hebrew ancestry.

That means, with this one, very short sentence, Matthew has bluntly stated Jesus’ qualifications for being the Messiah.

LEARNING MORE ABOUT MATTHEW

While looking through Morris’ commentary, I was really impressed with the information he shared in the introduction. He gives careful consideration to all the arguments, breaks down concepts into easy-to-understand sections, and gives great references.

This is the level of scholarship in the entire Pillar New Testament Commentary Set, edited by D. A. Carson. If you want to learn more about this series, visit our website.

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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Posted by on 11/10/2017 in:

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) is the best known and most widely used collection of 500,000 Scripture references and parallel passages. By using the TSK in Olive Tree Bible App you’ll save tons of time and effort.  No longer do you have to leave your original text to search for a reference.

I’ll demonstrate how to use it with the Bible App running on an Android Tablet.

First, select your preferred Bible translation in the main window. Then open the split window to access the Resource Guide in the app. The Resource Guide takes your downloaded material and connects it with the text you have open in the main window.

Under the ‘Related Verses’ section you’ll see resources listed along with a number badge. The number indicates how many entries there are in that resource for the text that is open in the main window. Since I have the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) installed, the Bible App has found cross references relevant to the Titus passage I’m reading. I can then tap on the TSK to see all of the entries that are indicated.

The TSK organizes these cross references by topic and by verse making it easy to do further study on the particular themes found in Titus.

I can then tap the reference in the TSK and view each related verse as a popup, or even split it out into a new window without leaving my original text.  This feature alone saves me valuable time that I’d otherwise spend flipping back and forth between references.

As you can see, having the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) cross references in the Bible App will help you broaden your biblical understanding of specific themes and enable you to quickly study large portions of scripture.

What are some ways that you’ve utilized the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) to deepen your Bible Study?

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Using Gospel Harmonies

Posted by on 11/09/2017 in:

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.  We wanted to show you how to use this Bible study tool.

When Jesus goes to Pilate in Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1; John 18:28 – you can read the interactions between Jesus and Pilate in all four Gospels without having to navigate back and forth.  Because of this unique layout, the screen will default to vertical scrolling for a better viewing experience. On a larger device like a tablet you can view all (4) columns side-by-side. The side-by-side view scales down to a two or single column view as the horizontal viewable area gets smaller, or when Resource Guide is opened.

All of the Scripture references are hyperlinked, so you can tap on the headers to see that one reference in a popup.

Here’s where the Harmony of the Gospels is also very helpful. You can see that John goes into much more detail about the conversation between Jesus and Pilate than the other three Gospels.  You can also see you see that only Luke records that Jesus went before Herod, but all four Gospels record further interactions between Jesus and Pilate.

Olive Tree’s Harmony of the Gospels are divided into over 250 events in the life of Christ. The chronology is primarily ordered based on Mark and Luke’s gospels with Matthew and John’s accounts harmonizing with them, creating a seamless reading experience. A full index of the titles and passages is included. To access the full index, Tap Go To > End Matter > Go.

In the index you can view all 250 events and quickly see how many Gospels address that event.  You can even tap on the Event to go straight to the event. All of the verse references are hyperlinked so you can see each passage in a popup window.

The Olive Tree Harmony of the Gospels is currently available in the following translations:

See All Available Gospel Harmonies!

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The Famous Preacher: H.A. Ironside

Posted by on 11/08/2017 in: ,

ABOUT H.A. IRONSIDE

Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside was a Canadian-American Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author who pastored Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948. He also belong to the Plymouth Brethren,

But Ironside didn’t wait until he was a pastor to preach. When he was 11 years old, he started his own Sunday school, averaging 60 listeners per week. Then, after finishing the eighth grade, Ironside began preaching with the Salvation Army. He went on to preach all over the world, sharing the gospel with more than 1.25 million people.

Additionally, Ironside preached under Moody Bible Institute, was offered a position at Dallas Theological Seminary, and was awarded two honorary doctorates from Wheaton College and Bob Jones University. For only having completed the eighth grade, Ironside was an accomplished and well-respected man.

Lastly, Ironside’s teaching left a long-lasting mark on evangelicalism. Along with others such as Cyrus Scofield, he was influential in popularizing dispensationalism among Protestants.

HIS WRITINGS

In his lifetime, Ironside wrote fifty-one expositions on books of the Bible. Here at Olive Tree, we offer a bundled set of Ironside’s commentaries, including 11 volumes.

In his commentaries, Ironside provides some historical observations, giving commentary on the text at hand. Then he moves into application. Hear what he has to say on Psalms 9-12:

Listen to David, for David is the author of these Psalms, and he knew what it was to suffer. With Saul on the throne, he knew what it was to be driven out into the wilderness, persecuted, hated, forsaken, and yet to love in return. Instead of grumbling and complaining, his heart goes out in thanksgiving, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart” (9:1) – not with half a heart.

And think of the people of God in that coming day in the midst of the greatest tribulation ever known, taking up these words on their lips, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee” (vv. 1-2). We may not be able to rejoice in circumstances, but we can always rejoice in Him, for God is above all circumstances. It is a bad thing when believers get under them.

A brother said to another whom he knew had not been well, “How are you, brother?”

“I am pretty well under the circumstances,” he answered.

And the other said, “I am sorry to know that you are under the circumstances. I wish you could be above them. The Lord is able to lift you above them.”

“Oh, yes,” said the other, “I was not thinking of that.”

[…]No matter what conditions are like in the world around – the nations may rage, wars and rumors of war may cause the stoutest heart to tremble – faith looks beyond it all and recognizes God as sitting on the throne, and knows that eventually He will bring out everything for His glory.

LEARN MORE

Interested in growing in your understanding of God’s Word and applying it to your life? Read the Bible alongside this famous, influential preacher.

Learn more about Ironside and the volumes included in this bundle by visiting our website.

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Un-Earned Acceptance

Posted by on 11/07/2017 in: ,

This blog post is an excerpt of C.A. Coates Commentary and Articles.

It is the privilege of every believer to be consciously in the favour of God–to be in the unclouded light and joy of Acceptance. But, alas! many who are truly converted are not in the enjoyment of this privilege. It may be helpful to consider briefly why not.

HIDDEN SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

When I speak of self-righteousness in this connection I do not mean the proud self-righteousness of the unconverted man. I refer to the very different form of self-righteousness which leads many to doubt their acceptance with God because of the imperfections which they find in themselves.

You may say, “But ought I not to have misgivings when I find my spirit and the state of my mind so contrary to that which befits a Christian? and when I am conscious of inconsistencies and backslidings?” That you ought to judge yourself, and be humbled before God about these things, is most true; but it is in no wise true that your righteousness and acceptance with God depend upon yourself, or are measured by your condition or conduct. To have such a thought in the mind is really to suppose that you could be in the favour of God by being worthy of that favour in yourself.

It is simply self-righteousness.

TRYING TO EARN ACCEPTANCE

Then souls reason in this way: “Surely if I were converted I should be very different. There must be a great change in one who is born again. And if I had the Spirit of God He would help me to gain the victory over evil habits–over the lusts and tempers of the flesh–and to become pleasing to God. But instead of this more temptations seem to come in my way than ever before, and the evil tendencies of my heart seem to have acquired greater strength. I never felt more utterly unworthy of God’s favour and acceptance”.

It is not always easy to see that self-righteousness is hidden under all this, yet such is the case. There is the thought that, either by our own efforts, or by God’s grace and the help of His Spirit, we should become in ourselves suitable to God’s favour; and we are disappointed and distressed to find that we make so little progress in this direction.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE—ON OUR OWN

It is important to know that the effect of the new birth, and of the grace of God, is not to bring about some change in us on which we could rest, but to convince us of the impossibility of finding righteousness, or suitability to the favour of God, in ourselves.

An unconverted man may think himself worthy of God’s favour, but every converted person is made conscious of utter unfitness in himself for that favour. The awakened soul gives account of itself in such language, as, “I have sinned”; “I am undone”; “I am vile”; “I abhor myself”.

Indeed, it is a common thing for such to suppose that since they turned to God the evil tendencies of their hearts had increased rather than otherwise. The fact is that before conversion we went with the stream, and not a ripple impeded our progress; when, by grace, we made some stand against the current, we began to feel its force, and to be distressed by it, as never before.

AN ILLUSTRATION

[…]Allow me to use a very simple illustration.

I was lately in an old English city, and I observed that the principal streets were marked out in squares, and on every square a name was written in large white letters. I asked the meaning of this, and I was told that a fair was to be held shortly in the streets of the city, and that persons had paid for the right to stand during the fair in the square spaces on which their names were written.

BUT CHRIST

Now it is a blessed thing to know that Christ has secured for us a standing in that circle of light and favour where He is.

To use my illustration, there is a place in that circle of light on which, dear fellow-believer, your name is written. You are entitled to stand there, but it may be that you have never by faith occupied your standing. I feel sure that the men whose names I saw written on the ground were not content to know that they had right and title to a standing in the fair. I think I am safe in saying that everyone would be careful to appropriate and occupy his standing.

It is a wonderful moment for the soul when by faith we appropriate and occupy our standing in the favour of God–when we know that we are received by God in all the acceptance of Christ. We do not then think of ourselves, or of our worthiness, at all.

We think of CHRIST–His perfections, His suitability to divine favour, His infinite acceptance with God–and by faith we have access into the favour of which He is so worthy.

LEARN MORE

This excerpt was taken from C.A. Coates Commentary and Articles, which contains 37 volumes of his writings. Coates’ writing is extremely applicable, speaking directly to the Christian on matters of the heart. Learn more on our website.

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The First Martyr

Posted by on 11/06/2017 in:

Jesus tells us that we will be hated as he was hated—but not all of us will actually experience severe persecution. Instead, many of us are blessed to worship God where, when, and how we want. The first Christians did not have this luxury, and they clung to Jesus’ promises as they stood up for the Gospel. In extreme moments, Christians even gave up their lives to promote the Gospel.

You’ve probably heard about martyrs before, but let’s make sure we don’t become desensitized to these acts of self-sacrifice. Instead, let’s take some time to reflect on one of the first Christian martyrs recorded, Stephen from Acts 7.

Below is an excerpt from Barnes’ New Testament Notes:

WHY WAS STEPHEN BEING TRIED?

This chapter contains the defense of Stephen before the sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews. There has been great diversity of opinion about the object which Stephen had in view in this defense, and about the reason why he introduced at such length the history of the Jewish people. But a few remarks may perhaps show his design, He was accused of blasphemy in speaking against the institutions of Moses and the temple, that is, against everything held sacred among the Jews.

HIS DEFENSE

To meet this charge, he gives a statement, at length, of his belief in the Mosaic religion, in the great points of their history, and in the fact that God had interposed in a remarkable manner in defending them from dangers. By this historical statement he avows his full belief in the Divine origin of the Jewish religion, and thus indirectly repels the charge of blasphemy.

It is further to be remembered, that this was the best way of securing the attention of the council. Had he entered on an abstract defense, he might expect to be stopped by their cavils or their clamor. But the history of their own nation was a favorite topic among the Jews. They were always ready to listen to an account of their ancestors; and to secure their attention, nothing more was necessary than to refer to their illustrious lives and deeds.

THE GOAL OF HIS DEFENSE

In this way Stephen secured their attention, and practically repelled the charge of speaking reproachfully of Moses and the temple. He showed them that he had as firm a belief as they in the great historical facts of their nation. It is to be remembered, also, that this speech was broken off in the midst, (Ac 7:53,54) and it is therefore difficult to tell what the design of Stephen was.

It seems clear, however, that he intended to convict them of guilt, by showing that they sustained the same character as their fathers had manifested, (Ac 7:51,52) and there is some probability that he intended to show that the acceptable worship of God was not to be confined to any place particularly, from the fact that the worship of Abraham, and the patriarchs, and Moses, was acceptable before the temple was reared, (Ac 7:2, etc.,) and from the declaration in Ac 7:48, that God dwells not in temples made with hands.

STEPHEN’S TWO MAIN POINTS

All that can be said here is, that Stephen

1. Showed his full belief in the Divine appointment of Moses, and the historical facts of their religion.

2. That he laid the foundation of an argument to show that those things were not perpetually binding, and that acceptable worship might be offered in other places and in another manner than at the temple.

HOW WAS HIS DEFENSE RECORDED?

It has been asked in what way Luke became acquainted with this speech so as to repeat it. The Scripture has not informed us. But we may remark:

1. That Stephen was the first martyr. His death, and the incidents connected with it, could not but be a matter of interest to the first Christians; and the substance of his defense, at least, would be familiar to them. There is no improbability in supposing that imperfect copies might be preserved by writing, and circulated among them.

2. Luke was the companion of Paul. Paul was present when this defense was delivered, and was a man who would be likely to remember what was said on such an occasion. From him Luke might have derived the account of this defense. In regard to this discourse, it may be further remarked, that it is not necessary to suppose that Stephen was inspired. Even if there should be found inaccuracies, as some critics have pretended, in the address, it would not militate against its genuineness.

It is the defense of a man on trial under a serious charge; not a man of whom there is evidence that he was inspired, but a pious, devoted, heavenly-minded man. All that the sacred narrative is responsible for is the correctness of the report. Luke alleges only that such a speech was in fact delivered, without affirming that every particular in it is correct.

TAKEAWAYS

Here are a few ideas of how you can apply what you’ve learned:

  • Pray and thank God for martyrs, the strength He gave them in times of trouble, and for the way He also gives you strength to stand up for what is right
  • Learn more about other martyrs, continuing to reflect on the importance of the Gospel
  • Pray for missionaries that are currently serving in dangerous countries

LEARN MORE

The content of this blog was taken from Barnes’ New Testament Notes (11 Vols.), a verse-by-verse commentary set composed by American theologian, Albert Barnes.

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8 Questions and Answers: Book of Revelation

Posted by on 11/04/2017 in:

This article contains answers from
Brian Simmons, lead Translator of The Passion Translation

1. Why so many differing viewpoints on the book of Revelation?

Most people will be surprised to learn that there are numerous interpretations on the book of Revelation, but the book is known as apocalyptic literature, which lends itself to more than one interpretation. Throughout church history until today there is not one recognized interpretation of Revelation that is standard or accepted by all. Perhaps God wants us keep reading it and learning from it.

2. Are there some more common ways to interpret it that you can share with us?

There are four common interpretive models by which one can understand or interpret the book. The four models are known as: 1) the futurist, 2) the historicist, 3) the preterist, and 4) the idealist.

3. Can you summarize them for us?

The futurist model basically states that the majority of the book of Revelation will be fulfilled in the future, when the “Antichrist” arises with his false prophet and requires everyone to receive the mark of the beast. This makes Revelation a pre-viewing of what is to come. The futurist model believes in a “rapture” or snatching away of the church and a 1,000-year literal reign of Christ and His followers known as the “Millenium.” There are many variations to this view, especially as it relates to the timing of the rapture, but the above describes the basic viewpoint of the futurist model.

The historicist approach sees John’s Revelation as identifying the major movements of church history, and then reads them back into the symbols and prophecies of the book. Some also consider how current events fulfill New Testament apocalyptic symbolism. A prime example is identifying the Beast with various dictators through history, like Napoleon or Hitler or Saddam Hussein. The seals, trumpets, bowls, and plagues are identified as being a series of successive events, with the hope of Christ’s return being very near.

The preterist interpretation of the book view most of the “end times” prophecies of the Bible as either partially or already been fulfilled. Preterism is divided into two camps: full (or consistent) preterism and partial preterism. The full preterist viewpoint takes a viewpoint that all prophecy in the Bible has been fulfilled in one way or another. Partial preterists claim the book of Revelation was written before AD 70 and believe that the prophecies in Daniel, Matthew 24, and Revelation (with the exception of the last two or three chapters) have already been fulfilled and were fulfilled no later than the first century AD.

According to partial preterism, there is no rapture, and passages describing the tribulation and the Antichrist refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 67–70 and the Roman emperor Titus. Partial preterists believe in the return of Christ to earth and a future resurrection and judgment, but they do not teach a millennial kingdom or that Israel as a nation has a place in God’s future plan. According to partial preterists, the Bible’s references to “the last days” are speaking of the last days of the old Jewish covenant, rather than the last days of the earth itself.

And the idealist interpretive model views the book through the lens of a great conflict between good and evil, throughout the church age, rather than a predictive of what is to come or a reviewing of what has taken place. Generally speaking, the idealist viewpoint sees the book of Revelation as an allegory or story of Christ winning every battle. In more recent days this viewpoint has made room for wide ranging contemporary issues such as environmentalism.

Of course there are differing flavors of each of the above, but this is general summary of the four major models of interpreting the book of Revelation.

4. Which of the four is the best and which one do you adopt in your translation and footnotes?

There is validity and truth in all four. I have sought to translate the text of Revelation “straight up,” that is, without inserting any bias on my part or leaning toward any one of the four. However, I do see the most neglected and rejected of the four is the idealist model. I think there is value in seeing the symbols consistently throughout the Bible, and especially in Revelation pointing us to Christ and understanding more of His parabolic and metaphoric teachings (parables, stories, etc., per Matthew 13:34). Most people bounce back and forth from literal to symbolic, but I would think it is more consistent to make the entire book of Revelation one or the other, literal or symbolic.

We have chosen to take a very symbolic viewpoint of the book, for indeed the title says it all. In Greek it is best translated: The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. That is, Christ is unveiled in our hearts as the hope of glory, the triumphant King, the ever Faithful and True beloved of the church. Many of the judgments found in the book are actually the work of Christ “judging” the issues of our lives that must be overcome and yield to the triumph of the cross—the unveiling of Christ within His people.

5. Is there a key verse or a key truth that will help believers understand this book?

Absolutely. I’m convinced it is found in chapter 1 verse 3: “A joyous  blessing  rests upon the one who reads this message and upon those who hear and embrace the words of this prophecy, for the appointed time is in your hands.”

To read this book and not be blessed means you have missed its message. There is embedded in Revelation a divine blessing to those who embrace and “eat” the book (10:19). I can’t imagine a book that is pure judgment being a blessing to the hungry lovers of God. No, Revelation must be unfolded within us, a little at a time, until the “unveiling” of Christ is realized. We look for Christ, not insights into coming events. It is not the Middle East, but the middle of you that is the most important as you read through the book.

6. What do you recommend to a serious student of the book of Revelation? How should one read the book and find that blessing you mention?

I suggest reading it a chapter at a time until you really know what it contains. Even if it takes a year reading chapter 1 every day, it’s worth it to break open the scroll and look inside and understand what it says. I compare reading the book of Revelation to learning a new language. You don’t learn Chinese in a day, a week, a month, not even a year, no matter how intensely you study it. Learning a language takes time, immersion, and patience. So read the book of Revelation many times until you are immersed in it, and be patient. Over time it will yield its beauty and glory to you.

7. What surprised you the most as you translated Revelation?

The biggest surprise to me was what I didn’t find. Some common words and terms that we associate with Revelation are not even found in the book. For example, here are some words not contained in its twenty-two chapters: “Antichrist,” “rapture,” “millenium,” and “second coming.”

8. Is there any last think you’d want to mention about studying the book of Revelation?

Yes, keep your heart open to the truth it contains. Look for Christ, not a map of coming events. Prepare to have your world rocked as the truths of Revelation settle into your heart. Jesus is Lord, Savior, and our soon coming King!

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Spurgeon Study Bible

Posted by on 11/03/2017 in: ,

“Spurgeon had a phenomenal grasp of theology, and his reading had afforded him a breadth of insight matched by few, but when it came to opening up the Scriptures, he was a master of clarity and simplicity. He warned his students about going down among miners with technical theological terms and high-sounding phraseology. To do so, he said, was to act like an idiot.” – Alistair Begg

SPURGEON’S STUDY BIBLE

The day has finally come! The Spurgeon Study Bible is designed, formatted, and available for download. We’ve been waiting to tell you about it all month long.

Why are we so excited about this study Bible? What makes it worth the read, different than the rest, and helpful in your study of God’s Word? Here’s three reasons.

1) IT’S SPURGEON

If you don’t know much about Charles Spurgeon, you’re missing out. For nearly two centuries his nickname has been “The Prince of Preachers,” and for good reason.

Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England in 1834. Growing up, he was influenced by both his father and grandfather who were nonconformist ministers. He loved to read Pilgrim’s Progress and learn about theology, although he never attended seminary. Spurgeon was one of a kind—insistent on the Bible’s power, continuously doing ministry, and an incredibly humble man. In his lifetime, he wrote over 135 books, founded an orphanage, and pastored a church that could hold 5,600 people. Without a doubt, Spurgeon was the most popular preacher in England.

Like the quote states at the beginning of this blog, Spurgeon’s fame didn’t encourage him to flaunt his wisdom. Instead, he always made sure to speak humbly and clearly. With this study Bible, you’ll get to soak up all of Spurgeon’s wisdom—with ease.

If you’re interested in learning more about Charles Spurgeon, Alistair Begg wrote a short biography as the introduction to the Spurgeon Study Bible. That’s where I found some of the details I shared above.

2) THE EXTRAS

SPURGEON QUOTES – Nestled inside Spurgeon’s commentary are thought-provoking quotes. This way, you get some of his most famous sayings, even if they aren’t directly related to a section of Scripture. (Click on the images below to enlarge them!)

SPURGEON ILLUSTRATIONS – Along with quotes, you’ll also find full illustrations that Spurgeon used while preaching. This is yet another way that Spurgeon will get you to think more deeply about Scripture and your relationship with God.

SPURGEON’S LOST SERMONS – There are twenty of Charles Spurgeon’s earliest sermon manuscripts from The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854. Also, you’ll find hand-written notes by Spurgeon!

3) USE WITH ANY BIBLE, ANY TIME

Now, this is only true with our digital version of this study Bible. There are paper versions out there, and in order to use them, you have to open multiple books if you want to see any other study Bible notes or translations.

But, when we sell study Bibles, we only sell the notes because they can be opened alongside ANY translation that you have in our app. So, if you’re doing a little reading while you wait at the bus stop or the doctor’s office, and Spurgeon had something to say about the passage you’re reading… the Resource Guide will show it to you. Just tap, and then you’re immediately reading the notes—without wifi.

You can take the wise words of the Prince of Preachers with you anywhere and read them at any time.

LEARN MORE

Excited to learn from Charles Spurgeon and the Spurgeon Study Bible? You can read more about the resource by visiting our website. Feel free to ask us any questions you have below or at support@olivetree.com.

See this video by the publisher of the Spurgeon Study Bible to learn more:

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About the Passion Translation

Posted by on 11/02/2017 in: ,

This article is provided by BroadStreet Publishing Group, the publishing house for The Passion Translation.

The Passion Translation is a groundbreaking attempt to re-introduce the passion and fire of the Bible to English readers. The Passion Translation is a new, heart-level translation that expresses God’s fiery heart of love to this generation using Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic manuscripts, merging the emotion and life-changing truth of God’s Word.

Dr. Brian Simmons—linguist, minister, Bible teacher, and former missionary—serves as lead translator for The Passion Translation. As a missionary, he and his wife, Candice, pioneered church plants in Central America. As a linguist, Brian co-translated the Paya-Kuna New Testament for the Paya-Kuna people of Panama. He and his wife have started numerous ministries, including a dynamic church in West Haven, Connecticut. He is also a gifted teacher of the Bible who has authored several books and serves churches worldwide through his teaching ministry.

Brian began his biblical studies with The New Tribes Bible Institute and continued on to earn his doctorate with Wagner Leadership Institute, with a specialization on prayer.

While Brian serves as the lead translator for The Passion Translation, the translated text and the numerous footnotes are evaluated by respected scholars and editors to ensure The Passion Translation is faithful to the original text and heart of God.

So why another translation?

Many wonderful versions of our Bible now grace our bookshelves, bookstores, software programs, even apps on our phones. So why add one more? The reason is simple: God longs to have his Word expressed in every language in a way that unlocks the passion of his heart. The goal of this work is to trigger inside every reader an overwhelming response to the truth of the Bible, revealing the deep mysteries of the Scriptures in the love language of God, the language of the heart.

God refuses to meet us only in an intellectual way. God also wants to meet us heart level, so we must let the words go heart deep—bringing words that go through the human soul, past the defenses of the mind, and into the spirit. There is a language of the heart that must express the passion of this love-theology. That’s why The Passion Translation is an important addition to peoples’ devotional and spiritual life with Christ.

Bible translations are both a gift and a problem. They give us the words God spoke through his servants, but words can become very poor containers for revelation—they leak! Over time the words change from one generation to the next. Meaning is influenced by culture, background, and many other details. You can imagine how differently the Hebrew authors of the Old Testament saw the world from three thousand years ago!

There is no such thing as a truly literal translation of the Bible, for there is not an equivalent language that perfectly conveys the meaning of the biblical text except as it is understood in its original cultural and linguistic setting. Therefore, a translation can be a problem. The problem, however, is solved when we seek to transfer meaning, and not merely words, from the original text to the receptor language.

That’s the governing philosophy behind The Passion Translation:

to transfer the meaning of God’s original message found in the biblical languages to modern-day English. We believe that the meaning of a passage should take priority over the form of the original words, so that every English speaker can clearly, naturally encounter the heart of God through his message of truth and love.

To transfer the meaning of the biblical narrative from one language to another requires interpretation. Undoubtedly, the process of Bible translation cannot be considered a perfect science, but more of an artistic, Spirit-led production. Dr. Simmons has sought to faithfully carry over the meaning of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic into modern English along with the nuances of the Scripture’s poetry and prose to make it come alive to the reader.

If you’re hungry for God and want to know him on a deeper level, The Passion Translation will help you encounter God’s heart and discover what he has for your life.

THE PASSION TRANSLATION & OLIVE TREE BIBLE APP

Now, the Passion Translation New Testament contains not only the ENTIRE New Testament, but also Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs! If you purchase this Bible through Olive Tree, you will also receive the I Hear His Whisper devotional reading plan by Brian Simmons.

Already own a volume of The Passion Translation?

If you have already purchased a volume of The Passion Translation, you can upgrade at no additional cost on our website! Learn more here.

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