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Three ways to use the Split Window

Posted by on 02/27/2017 in:

Whether you’re on a phone or tablet, one of the main Bible study features of the Olive Tree Bible App is the split window.

In this blog, we’ll show you three ways you can use the split window for your Android smartphone, tablet, or Kindle Fire.
(Click here for iOS.)

First, to access the three features of the split window, do this:

Now you will see three different features you can access in the split window.

1. The first and most popular is the Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is your personal Bible study assistant. It looks to the main window of the app and pulls in relevant study helps such as people, places, topics, cross references, commentary notes, maps, and more. The more resources you have in your library, the more powerful the Resource Guide will be. Watch this video to see the Resource Guide in action.

2. My Stuff

Selecting ‘My Stuff’ allows you to access your notes, highlights, tags, notifications and more. A personal favorite is having my notes open in the split window next to my Bible text. Whether you’re journaling during your own devotion time or taking notes from the text as your pastor is speaking, having the ability to take notes in the split window is a convenient feature.

3. Library

This is the easiest way to set up a parallel Bible or put your commentary notes next to your text. Simply select a resource from your library and it will be side by side with whatever title you have open in the main window. If it’s an ‘enhanced resource’ like another Bible or study Bible notes, it will stay in sync with the resource in the main window.

If you are a regular user of any of these features in the split window, we’d love to hear what your favorite is. Comment below to share!

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Six ways to use the Split Window

Posted by on 02/27/2017 in:

Whether you’re on a phone or tablet, one of the main Bible study features of the Olive Tree Bible App is the split window.

In this blog, we’ll show you six ways you can use the split window for your iPhone or iPad.
(Click here for Android.)

First, to access the six features of the split window do this:

Once you tap the ‘More’ button, you will see six different features you can access in the split window.

1. The first and most popular is the Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is your personal Bible study assistant. It looks to the main window of the app and pulls in relevant study helps such as people, places, topics, cross references, commentary notes, maps, and more. The more resources you have in your library, the more powerful the Resource Guide will be.

2. Recently Opened

This feature allows you to quickly view a list of recently-opened resources. Whether you were recently reading another Bible translation or a Christian eBook, you can quickly pull it up in the split window here.

3. Library Favorites

This list is curated by you and chosen from your library. When you tap ‘Library Favorites’, you will see your current list and you’ll have the option to add or remove titles.

4. Open Library

This is the easiest way to set up a parallel Bible or put your commentary notes right next to your Bible text. Simply select an additional resource from your library and it will be side by side with whatever title you have open in the main window. If it’s an ‘enhanced resource’ like another Bible or study notes it will stay in sync with the resource in the main window.

5. My Notes

One of my personal favorites is having my notes open in the split window. Whether you’re journaling during your own devotion time or taking notes from the text as your pastor is speaking, having the ability to take notes in the split window is a convenient feature.

6. Add Note

Tap this option to create a note. You can connect it to the Scripture you’re reading in the main window by tag or category.

If you are a regular user of any of these features in the split window, we’d love to hear what your favorite is. Comment below to share!

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Look Inside: New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary

Posted by on 11/09/2016 in: ,

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The 10 Vol. New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary is now available for the Olive Tree Bible App. This commentary set covers both the Old and New Testament and includes content such as:

  • A detailed, critical commentary providing an exegetical “close-reading” of the biblical text
  • Reflections that present a detailed exposition of issues raised in the biblical text
  • Introductions to each book that cover essential historical, sociocultural, literary, and theological issues
  • Comprehensive, concise articles
  • Numerous visual aids (illustrations, maps, charts, timelines)

Here’s a brief look at the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary and how it looks in the Olive Tree Bible App on an iPad.

You can access all of the study helps from the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary from the Resource Guide in the split window. As with all of our commentaries they are uniquely enhanced to track with what you’re reading in the main window so overviews, commentary notes, charts, more all easily accessible.

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Verses in the commentary notes are hyperlinked so you can quickly view cross references.

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The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary is available now at a discounted price. See it here!

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7 Reasons to Use Olive Tree’s Mac App

Posted by on 06/30/2016 in:

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Who doesn’t love a good Top Items list? I know I do! Here are seven (7) reasons why you should use the newly updated Olive Tree Bible app for Mac alongside your mobile. Ready. Set. Go!

1. Multiple Windows

One limitation of working with the Bible app on mobile is you can only have two resources open at a single time, three if you count pop-ups. This limitation exists for various reasons, ranging from screen size to processing power. This isn’t a problem on your Mac. Open multiple windows to your heart’s content and resize them however you’d like. The possibilities are endless. This is a perfect way to maximize your study time.

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2. Universal Search

Have you ever wanted to search your entire library for a topic or word? The Resource Guide helps with this to an extent, but it only works with enhanced resources. With the Bible app for Mac you can type anything you want in the search field and get hits from your entire library. This alone is a time saver or reason to get lost in rabbit trails, you decide.

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3. Multitasking

Do you like using Pages or Google Docs to write your sermons or notes? That’s easy with the Bible app for Mac. If you have multiple monitors, have the app open on one screen and Pages open in the other. Don’t have two monitors? Resize your windows and you can still do the same. Try doing that on your phone!

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4. More Text on the Screen

Given the fact my phone is 5.5″ (iPhone 6s Plus) versus the 13″ screen of my Macbook Pro, I can fit a lot more text on my Macbook’s screen than I can on my iPhone. This means I can study a lot easier than I can on my iPhone. I can read more with less scrolling, which saves time and effort.

Look how much more text you can fit on a desktop (iMac) versus a tablet (iPad Mini 4).

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5. Merge Floating Windows

The next two reasons are exclusive to the Mac version of the Bible app. First is the ability to merge multiple floating windows into a single window. This is a convenient way to organize your work space & to move windows around, especially if you have multiple monitors. You can achieve this one of two ways: 1) Go to Window, and select “Group Floating Windows into 1 Window,” or 2) the keyboard shortcut ⌘(Cmd)+Y. Presto! You’ve grouped your many pop-ups into a single window!

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6. Quick Details

There are lots of things you can get to with a tap or mouse click in the Olive Tree Bible app. A few of these include: original language parsing data, Strong’s definitions, verse links, and footnotes. In the Mac version of the Bible app you can get to this information even faster. At the bottom left of the main window is a Quick Details pane. As your pointer hovers over text, such as a Greek word in the screenshot below, the Quick Details window is populated with information about that word. Now you can quickly get information without the need to tap/click on the word to open its pop-up.

Want to see the full entry? Hold the “Control” key (to freeze the Quick Details pane) & move your pointer to that area. Now you can scroll and read all the data, such as the dictionary definition that is not currently visible in the shot below. This pane can also be resized by clicking & dragging on the “Quick Details” title bar.

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7. Distraction Free Studying

The refreshed user interface of the Olive Tree Bible app for Mac was designed to get out of the way so you could focus on studying. How often have you tried reading the Bible on your phone only to get distracted by a call, text message, or notification? Happens to me all the time, and sometimes I don’t have the luxury of turning on Airplane mode to keep it from happening. The simple gesture of sitting at a computer often implies that it’s time for serious work, which can make it easier to focus and get studying done distraction free. Plus, it’s far easier to “unplug” your computer from the Internet without feeling like you’re cut off from the world.

What Are Yours?

What are some of your favorite features and tips when using Olive Tree’s Mac app? Leave a comment and share them with us and other Olive Tree users.

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3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Study Bible Notes

Posted by on 03/29/2016 in: ,

Study Bible Notes are a great resource for those wanting to go deeper in their study of the Bible. Here are three ways to use them in the Olive Tree Bible App that will help you unpack God’s word.

1. Resource Guide

In your Main Window, open the Bible translation of your choice. (I have the NIV translation open in this example).  Then tap the arrow to open the split window on the right side of the screen (bottom if you are in portrait). Tap the more button (3 dots) and then choose Resource Guide.

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You’ll now see relevant “hits” in the resource guide from all of the resources you have downloaded to your device.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 Bible notes sync to exactly where you are in your reading.  You’ll save an enormous amount of time with this feature alone.

As I scroll through the Resource Guide I can see all of my enhanced resources that have an entry pertaining to the current text that I’m reading. I notice that my NIV Study Bible Notes has entries for commentaries, outlines, introductions, and maps. The numbers indicate how many entries are available for each enhanced resource.

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The NIV Study Bible Notes in the resource guide shows two entries under the Commentary section for Romans 1:1-10. When you tap on the NIV Study Bible Notes it then shows me a preview of those entries and I can click again to read the full commentary. As you read on in the text, those entries will stay in sync with your passage no matter what translation I have open in the main window.

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2. Split Window – Specific Resource

Go to the main Split Window, Tap Open and you will see the navigation menu again.  Here you can choose Recently Opened, Library Favorites, My Notes, My Highlights, and My Bookmarks. At the bottom of that screen tap Open Full Library. This will open your Library navigation. Scroll down the list and find the NIV Study Bible Notes (or the study notes of your choice). Tap to open it.

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As with the resource guide, The Olive Tree Bible App’s sync scrolling will keep track of where you are in the Bible text regardless of what translation you have open.  This is a great way to study if you just want to focus on one resource in your library.

3. Resource Guide on a Verse

An additional iOS option is looking up additional information on just one verse.  Tap a verse number in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, add a Note, Bookmark, Share, Guide, and More.

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If you tap the “Guide” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific verse. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.  You can even choose to open your study notes in the main or split window.

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This is helpful if you want to read through your Bible “full screen” and refer to the study notes when you want to see what it says about a specific verse.

As you can see, study Bibles notes in Olive Tree Bible App can save you a lot of time and will help you get more of of your quiet time.

Check out the NIV Study Bible Notes or other Study Bible notes here.

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Look Inside: The Preacher’s Commentary Series

Posted by on 01/28/2016 in:

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord with the intent of impacting lives and souls. To accomplish this goal the preacher must do two things: 1) explain the text, and 2) relate the text. Many of the Puritans believed a preacher had to saturate himself with Scripture and apply it to himself before he could preach it with power to others. With such sound advice, what can a preacher do to aide in the application of Scripture both to himself and others? This is where a resource like the Preacher’s Commentary Series is handy; it helps preachers and teachers understand their passage while providing applicable truths & illustrations.

Let’s look inside The Preacher’s Commentary Series and see how it works in our app.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible Study App, the Preacher’s Commentary Series is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you read the Bible, the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in the commentary section for the Preacher’s Commentary Series. Since I’m currently studying the armor of God in Ephesians 6, I can quickly see what this commentary says without having to go find it in my library and manually open it to my desired location. Not only do I save time, but I get the information I need with minimal searching.

The Commentary

One characteristic I appreciate about the Preacher’s Commentary is it reads like a devotional. Instead of getting caught in the nuances of the text that may not help you teach a passage, the commentary keeps an eye on explaining what matters. This means you don’t waste time skimming through pages of endless commentary to find the nuggets you came for. For example, in the commentary on Ephesians 6:10-20, the text is explained with a great illustration that immediately supplies application. You then get descriptions for each piece of armor and its relevance to the Christian life.

Use it Today

The Preacher’s Commentary Series is a perfect companion for the teacher or pastor looking to share deep insights and applications to their listeners.

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Look Inside: NIV Application Commentaries (NIVAC)

Posted by on 01/07/2016 in:

The NIV Application Commentaries (NIVAC) merge the original, ancient context with right now, showing us both how ancient readers would have read the Bible and how we can connect to this living word of God from a modern context. Most importantly, however, it helps us begin the life-changing process of true application, showing how God’s word can continue to have a powerful voice in our lives today.

The NIV Application Commentaries use a highly accessible, three-tiered method of bringing readers to a fuller understanding of each Biblical book.

Original Meaning will explore a book’s meaning in light of its historical and cultural context.
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Bridging Contexts, as its name implies, will help the reader link the text’s original meaning to its Contemporary Significance

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Contemporary Significance—the final tier that helps you apply the Bible to everyday life.

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The Bible Study App makes the NIV Application Commentaries even more powerful and accessible.  Verse references become hyperlinks, the split window allows you to read the Bible side-by-side with the commentary, and you can easily take notes and highlights within the text. Enhanced for use in the Resource Guide, read YOUR CHOICE of Bible translations while the commentaries keep track of where you are in the scriptures

If you don’t have the NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) Series, we’re offering all NIVAC individual volumes at only $7.99! Save on the Sets too! Hurry, this offer ends January 14, 2016!

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Make the Most of Bible Handbooks

Posted by on 12/29/2015 in:

Bible Handbooks and Quick References are great resources that help you go deeper in your Bible study.

Here’s how we’ve enhanced these resources:

Bring up your preferred Bible translation in the main window. Then open the split window.

Adjust the split window to your desired size. Next, make sure the Resource Guide is open. Please note that the split window opens to the last place that you had viewed, so if you were last in the library, the screen will default back to the library.

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The Resource Guide keeps up with me as I scroll through the Bible text and searches through the books in my library for content related to the Scripture passage in the main window.

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Scroll down to view “Places,” “Maps,” “Outlines,” and “Introductions.” All quick reference content will be displayed in these sections. In our example, after clicking “Rome” under “Places,” the resource guide shows me that I have several images and maps available in my library. I can click these images to see a larger view or even view them within the resource from which the content is found.

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I can also see that there are Outlines and Introductions available in MacArthur’s Quick Reference Guide to the Bible and other resources that have related content.

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By clicking the book covers for these resources, I can see all of the results within that resource for the Bible passage. In this example, I can see that there are three entries under introductions in MacArthur’s Quick Reference Guide to the Bible. Click the article or reference and I can read the content in the resource. Again, any Scripture verse becomes a hyperlink that I can view within the resource guide.

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View today’s special on Quick References & Bible Handbooks here!

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Get the Most out of your Strong’s Tagged Bible

Posted by on 12/26/2015 in: ,

By Olive Tree Employee: David Mikucki

The great part about Strong’s Tagged Bibles is that anyone can use them. You don’t need to be seminary trained or have years of experience. You can just tap and read. The tool is powerful and practical enough to be useful even for personal study.

As with many powerful tools, these resources can do more if you know how to use them. They can also be somewhat dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. We don’t just want to provide you with the resource; we want to help you get the most out of it and avoid the dangers of misinterpretation. In this post, we’ll talk about the basic features of Strong’s Tagged Bibles and about how to get the most out of each of them.

Tap to See Greek/Hebrew Word

The first feature is the most obvious. As soon as you tap, you can see what Greek or Hebrew word is behind it. This is the first thing you’ll see when you tap on a word. It’s probably most helpful for people who know Greek or Hebrew.

Now, if you tap on a darker word and it doesn’t open to do anything, that means that the word isn’t explicitly in the Greek or Hebrew text. The word was added by the translators in order to help the sentence make sense. We do this all the time in English, leaving out words because they’re assumed. Of course, the words left out in Greek aren’t necessarily the words we can leave out in English. Different languages have different rules for what’s important and what can be left out.

The takeaway here is that, while a word might not be in the original Greek or Hebrew, that doesn’t mean the word isn’t implied by other words. Sometimes the Bible translators add those words so that we English readers won’t be left scratching our heads.

Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary

The Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary is what appears when you tap a word that does have a Greek or Hebrew word behind it. This is a really handy tool because it will show you all the ways that the word gets translated throughout the Bible and give you an idea of how common each translation is. This can give you a fuller idea of what the word meant in the original language.

The thing to keep in mind here is something that all languages share in common: just because a word can mean something in one place, doesn’t mean it means that thing everywhere else. How and where a word is used in a sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book is a critical part of understanding what the word means.

Many words in English have several diverse meanings. For example, the word “dodge” can mean to get out of the way of something. It can also mean to lighten part of an image or photo (like the “dodge brush” in image editing programs). If you were to simply look up the dictionary definition and pick the first one, you could find yourself very confused. Another example is the English word “love.” When someone says “I love ice cream,” he means something very different from when he says “I love my wife” (or at least he ought to).

The point here is that we want to let the dictionary help us get an idea of what the word can mean, then let the context of the passage determine what the word does mean. If we’re in a class on photography, “dodge” probably doesn’t mean “get out of the way.” It probably means “lighten.” But we wouldn’t want to make that assumption in gym class.

View All Occurrences

This is probably my favorite feature in The Bible Study App for word studies. It’s the button that says “Search for g5457” (or some other number). This feature allows you to search for everywhere in the Bible where that particular Greek or Hebrew word is used. Since a translation might translate one word twelve different ways, it’s hard to know when that word is being used. But this feature can help.

The best way to use this feature is to start with where the word is used closest to the verse you’re studying, then work outward from there. Look in the verse, then the chapter, then the book, then other books the author has written, then in the whole Bible.

In this way you can get a sense for how a certain author used a particular word in its context, in all his writings, and how the word gets used throughout the whole Bible. While this doesn’t necessarily result in the same mastery of the word that a scholar might have, it certainly does help us to better understand the word and the passage we found it in.

Generally speaking, this isn’t going to completely change the way you read a passage of Scripture. The translators know the languages a lot better than most of us, so most often we’ll end up agreeing. But doing a word study can help us discover a richness to the word that we otherwise might not have seen. It can also help us to connect things in Scripture that we otherwise might not have thought to connect.

Look Up Word in Dictionaries

The Look Up feature allows you to look up a word in any Greek/Hebrew dictionaries that you might have. There are a lot of really helpful dictionaries out there by scholars who have already done the work of a detailed word study. They may also include information about where the word came from and how it was used in books outside the Bible. These can be extremely helpful to supplement the word studies that you’re already doing with the ESV with Strong’s. Here are a few you might find helpful:

Conclusion

Tools like Strong’s Tagged Bibles and Bible dictionaries can be really helpful in understanding what God has to say. We should pray that, in our study, we will allow God to correct us with what we learn about the words of Scripture. This is very different from using the tools to bend God’s words to mean what we want them to. Humility and openness to correction are important here.

If we come to the Scriptures with our tools, ready to be taught by the Scriptures, then we will be in the right place to see God’s love for us in Christ and how we are to live in light of that love. We hope these tools prove helpful in your studies.

Psalm 119:130 (ESV)

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it imparts understanding to the simple

David is a front end web developer at Olive Tree. He also writes on his personal blog, And the Rest of It.

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Quick Tip: Using TWOT in the Bible Study App

Posted by on 08/12/2015 in: ,

Let’s face it, studying the Old Testament can be hard work. This is doubly true once you dive into the original languages, and Hebrew in particular. There are a plethora of useful resources to choose from when studying Biblical Greek, such as BDAG, EDNT, TDNT, NIDNTTE, Louw & Nida, to name a few. Yet when it comes to studying Hebrew the pickings are slim. In Olive Tree, outside of the Strong’s Dictionary, you’re limited to a few titles including: NIDOTTE, HALOT, and TWOT. Even though there’s not a lot to choose from when it comes to studying Hebrew, the available resources are extremely useful.

Today I will show you how to use the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) in the Bible Study App.

Studying with TWOT

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament is essentially a Hebrew lexicon and can be used like any other Hebrew lexicon. However, it has certain special features which are designed to facilitate its use, especially for those less at home in the Hebrew language. It is primarily intended to be a ready tool for the pastor and the serious student, who want to study carefully and understand more fully the sacred text.

I recommend using the TWOT in conjunction with a Strong’s Bible, such as the ESV, to get the most out of it. To illustrate how TWOT works, we will take a look at 1 Samuel 16, a passage I recently read in my Olive Tree daily reading plan. In this passage we find Samuel anointing David as the new king of Israel, since Saul, the current king, had chosen to stop obeying the Lord.

1 Samuel 16 in ESV Strong's Bible

1 Samuel 16 in ESV Strong’s Bible

With the emphasis of anointing in this passage, I wanted to find out more about the Hebrew word behind it, since I knew it is used in several contexts in Scripture. To do this, I tap on the word “anoint” in 1 Samuel 16:3 to bring up a Strong’s popup.

Strong's Popup for "Anoint"

Strong’s Popup for “Anoint”

The definition from the Strong’s dictionary is rather sparse, so I want to find out more. This is where the TWOT comes into play. I tap the “Lookup” button and then select the TWOT article.

Lookup for Hebrew Word

Lookup for Hebrew Word

TWOT in Popup Window

TWOT in Popup Window

The TWOT is now in view and I can read more about the Hebrew root word. If I want to keep the window open or have more space to read, I can then open it in the split window.

Open TWOT in Split Window

Open TWOT in Split Window

TWOT in Split Window

TWOT in Split Window

As I read I can see there is some theological significance to this word, including the divine enablement that accompanied someone being anointed king over Israel. This is information I wouldn’t have gotten from Bible reading alone or from my Study Bible notes. Thanks to TWOT I have a richer understanding of the importance of Samuel anointing David as king.

Because the TWOT is an enhanced Olive Tree product, it is extremely easy to use. Anywhere you find a tagged Hebrew word you’ll be able to quickly get to its TWOT entry. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading your Hebrew and Strong’s Bibles or looking at another Hebrew lexicon. TWOT is always right at your fingertips to expand your understanding of the Hebrew text.

Add TWOT to Your Library

The TWOT is currently half off in our Back to School sale. Add it to your Olive Tree library today and check out the other titles on sale.

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