6 Reasons to use Preaching the Word in Bible+

Posted by on 11/02/2015 in: , , ,

The Preaching the Word Commentary Series offers unique insights into Biblical texts from the heart of a pastor. It is noted for its unqualified commitment to biblical authority and clear exposition of Scripture. Its emphasis on application and shepherding makes it a valuable asset for sermon and class preparation, as well as personal study.

Here are Six Reasons to use The Preaching the Word Commentary Series in Bible+.  (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4.  Click on Images for a larger view)

1. Resource Guide

Open your preferred Bible Translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window.  You’ll see relevant “hits” from Preaching the Word in the split window.

Bible+ 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 commentary 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 this feature alone.

2. Search & Look Up Feature

Search The Preaching the Word Commentary Series for words or passages.  Take “Vine” as an example.  You can search the entire commentary  series for where “Vine” 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 passage. You can also copy the text to add to an existing note or add a note right from the search results.

3. 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 John 15 where Jesus is talking about the Vine and the Branches. In the Preaching the Word Commentary there’s a reference to Isaiah 5:7. 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.

Related to this is footnotes/endnotes. The Preaching the Word Commentary Series has a lot of references to other materials.  In the past I would have to stop where I was in the reading, look at the footnote, then go back to where I was in the book.  This also was a huge time waster, and I would often lose my train of thought.  With Bible+ footnotes are linked.  Just tap on the footnote, read it, and go back to where you were without losing your place.

4. Copy/Paste into Notes

The Preaching the Word Commentaries are full of great content.  I often find myself reading a passage, going deeper with the commentary and finding that “perfect quote” that sums up what I was thinking but didn’t know how to express it in written form.  However, in the world of hard copy commentaries, I have to re-type it into my personal study notes.  With The Bible Study App, all I have to do is highlight the text that i want, copy it and paste it into my notes.  This feature saves me a ton of time, not to mention the wear and tear on my typing fingers!

 

5. Integrated Dictionary (iOS Extra)

In iPhone/iPad app, you also have an additional option.  Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options to Copy, Highlight, Note, Bookmark, Share, Define, Lookup and More.

If you tap “Define” you will get the integrated iOS dictionary pop-up.  This is extremely helpful when you run across a word in the commentaries or even the Bible text that you do not know.

6. Resource Guide on One Verse (iOS Extra)

An additional iOS option is looking up additional information on just one verse.  Tap on 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, Save Passage, Share, Guide, and More..

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 the The Preaching the Word Commentary in the main or split window.

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

As you can see, The Preaching the Word Commentaries within Bible+ give you the best content, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

Right now you can the Preaching the Word Commentary 29 volume set for only $199.99!

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Designing Bible+ 6 for iOS: Menus and Navigation

Posted by on 10/30/2015 in:

Our goal in designing Bible+ 6 for iOS was to provide you with an experience that delights you, makes studying easier, and stays out of the way so you can focus on God’s Word. Last time, we talked a bit about how we structured text layout so that you can read faster, understand easier, and remember better. In this post, we want to talk about how you move around in the app and access all of the various features.

The Menu

iphone-menu-blogSmartphones and tablets are rapidly changing. Screens are getting bigger and nicer. While it used to make sense to separate “My Stuff” and “Advanced Settings” into two completely different menus to save space, we find now that the added space for longer menus (among other factors) has made it a better practice to have one longer menu with headers than to have multiple menus.

One effect this has is that of simplifying the reading interface. When you tap to see the menu bar, you now see fewer icons and buttons to tap on. This means that you don’t have to think as much about what it is you that want to access.

We’ve also discovered that this change—at the same time as making the app feel less complicated—also makes features like highlights and notes easier to find. The briefcase icon worked well when we implemented it, but it wasn’t as discoverable for new users as we wanted.

The new menu serves as a central hub for doing virtually anything in the app. If you tap the menu button, you can do anything from access your highlights to opening a new book. This means that even if you tap the menu button accidentally when meant to open the navigation menu, you can still get to what you’re looking for from the main menu.

All in all, we think that this layout helps users get to what they’re looking for more quickly and without having to think as much or as hard about what they want to do and how to do it.

The Navigation Menu

Another important part of the app is the Navigation Menu (formerly the Verse Chooser). If the app were a car, I suppose the navigation menu might be the steering wheel; you can’t get where you want to go without it. In this update, we’ve done a lot to simplify and clarify the Navigation Menu, but we’ve been careful to maintain the same functionality and basic experience.

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The first thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t a dedicated button that says, “Go To” like there was before. To save space, we’ve taken the entire area in which we display your current location and we’ve turned it into a big button. This again simplifies the reading interface and makes the app work a bit more like most other reading apps you’re already used to using.

The second thing you’ll notice is that the layout feels like it has more room to breathe. Removing and reducing the heavy colors and borders makes the menu feel a lot feel a lot less cluttered. We also cleaned things up a bit; while you can still access all the verse chooser’s features, they’re now consolidated into a single menu.

We know that many of our users like the visual grouping of books into the Pentateuch, the wisdom literature, etc. You can still turn this on. Instead of shading the cells, we’ve designed a color scheme for the letters. We feel that this makes the distinction between books even clearer, while not sacrificing the open feel that keeps things from seeming cluttered.

Conclusion

It has been said that you can’t make something better without making it different. While Bible+ 6.0 might look a little different from what you’re used to, we’re convinced that it’s easier and more enjoyable to use. We hope you’ll think so too. Bible+ is always a work in progress; we’re always looking to make it better. Please continue to tell us what you like, as well as what you don’t like. We’re committed to crafting every detail of the app to give you the best experience possible.

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Bible+ 6: What Users are Saying

Posted by on 10/28/2015 in:

Bible+ 6.0 Splash Screen

Bible+ 6 for iOS has been out for a little more than a week now and the feedback we’ve received has been amazing. We at Olive Tree felt this was our best release to date, and you, our users, have confirmed what we believed. Today we want to share with you some of the positive feedback we’ve received in the App Store.

“My favorite app just got even better with this update”
– Chilldaddy

“Almost every problem I had with the previous version in term of usability and design are ‘fixed’ in this version. Good job!”
– iphone4lah

“This new update is totally awesome. Love it! Love it! Totally love it! Welcome back, Olive Tree, this time MUCH BETTER than before!! :-)”
– JoeJMV

“The new update is fantastic, really easy and intuitive! I’ve been a long time Olive Tree user and it just keeps getting better! This really is the best Bible app for true studying.”
– bmaloy

“The new UI looks so great. This design and updates to this new version were very well thought through and it shows. …Hurray for Dark Mode! …I also like that user feedback is taken into account for future releases – the developers listened to some of my suggestions in changing the names of bookmarks vs book ribbons to be less confusing. ‘Saved Passages’ is much more clear in its purpose and intent; users are now less likely to be confuse these with ‘book ribbons’ …Overall, great job guys keep up the good work!”
– Keifer86442

“Oh man, you guys made my day with this update. ”
– nordical

“This is the best Bible app I’ve found. Trust me, I’ve tried several. With this latest update, the layout functionality is even more user friendly and looks great. I’m very happy that the folks at Olive Tree continue to improve this app. It makes the purchase so worth it. I’m literally giddy over this update!”
– victorialchoo24

“Olive Tree has really raised the bar with this new version. The look and feel with iOS 9 is amazing. The app is optimized without losing speed in search, taking notes, or highlighting… I’ve tried other readers, but always come back to BibleReader.”
– G-Pappy

“My initial experience with v6 has been very positive. I honestly love the new design. The old design felt a bit like a 90s website with all of the beige and gradients, but v6 feels much more modern and slick… On the whole, it’s a solid update. Thank you developers!”
– blindseeker777

“I had dabbled with Olive Tree over the years, never jumping in. Last month I gave it another try and am so glad I did. The v6 update is outstanding. By far the best reading and study tool on the store. It’s like a developers text editor. Invest a little time setting it up, and it becomes an extension of you. Love it.”
– rivalsociety

Leave Your Own Feedback

If you enjoy what we’ve done with the Bible+ 6.0 update please do a couple things for us: 1) rate and/or review the app in the App Store, and 2) share the app with your friends. Those 4 & 5 star ratings help us have greater visibility in the App Store, and word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Thanks for your years of support, it means a lot! We wouldn’t be here without you & we did this update for you!

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iOS Bible+ 6 FAQs

Posted by on 10/26/2015 in:

bible-study

Bible+ 6 for iOS has garnered lots of praise since its release last week. But, it hasn’t been without its pain points, which is expected with any big software update. Settings got moved around, functionality was removed and added, and so on. Today we want to address some of the top issues that have been reported by you, our users.

No More History Button?

Yes, the history button is gone. This was an intentional design decision on our part in favor of having a cleaner & more user friendly header. Many of you used the history button as a quick access feature, which is now a multi-step process through the menu. Even though the button is gone, there is still some good news. You can setup a gesture to easily access your history. To set the gesture, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Menu icon
  2. Select “App Settings”
  3. Select “Gestures/Shortcuts”
  4. Choose the actions you would like to use (if not already used, “2 finger tap” works well for this)

Where’d the Bookshelf Go?

This is another item that went away with our new design update. Why? The bookshelf was based on skeuomorphic design, which was popular a few years ago. When iOS 7 released, Apple replaced skeuomorphic design in favor of simplified design elements. We also removed the bookshelf as a means of simplifying the app’s functionality. If you’re looking for an easy way to use your favorite & most-used books, we recommend using the Favorites section of the library view. You can put your most-used resources here, and use “Manage Favorites” to organize them however you would like. These favorites also sync across devices, so you only need to set them once.

How Do I Change the Split Window Font Size?

In our what’s new blog we highlighted how to quickly change the font size. As a lot of you noticed, this only applies to the main window. Here’s how to change the font size elsewhere in the app:

  1. Tap the Menu icon
  2. Select “App Settings”
  3. Select “Fonts”
  4. Choose the font size for the different sections of the app

What Happened to Evernote Sync?

Evernote Sync never quite worked the way we envisioned it. It worked well for some users, but for others it was nothing but a headache to get working. With Bible+ 6 we made the decision to stop using the old Evernote sync system. In its place, Bible+ 6 now implements the native iOS share functionality. You can use this to export/share a note to Evernote, your social media accounts, email, or any other connected app. Even though the export of notes no longer happens automatically, we find this functionality gives you more control and doesn’t limit you to just using Evernote.

Here are the steps to share a note to Evernote (or any other app):

  1. Create a note by tapping on a verse number or selecting text
  2. After you’ve added content to the note, tap the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the “Edit Note” box
  3. Tap “Share” from the bottom of the list and choose Evernote (or the app you want to share to)

Please note that you must have the Evernote app downloaded on your device for this option to work. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to sync your notes from Evernote back to Bible+.

Where Did My Menu & Icons Go?

Bible+ has a toggle in the app to enable distraction-free reading, which hides the icons and menu. This feature has been in the app for quite a while but it is more noticeable with this update. Fret not, this is not a bug. To re-enable the menu at any time all you have to do is single tap the screen (preferably somewhere without text). If you want to enter distraction-free reading mode again just single tap.

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Designing Bible+ 6 for iOS: Typography and Layout

Posted by on 10/23/2015 in:

Bible study can be a complex thing. There are a lot of things to keep track of: highlighting words and verses, writing notes, leaving bookmarks, saving passages, creating categories, tagging things, reading commentaries, studying maps and charts, looking up Greek and Hebrew words, and more things I can’t even think of right now. Honestly, I’ve tired myself out just listing all of those things.

When you do all these things with paper books, it can be hard to keep track of where you put your highlighters and on which page of which book that helpful definition of agape was written. Bible software is supposed to make all of this easier for you, but sometimes it falls short of that. Sometimes apps can be hard to use: it can be hard to figure out how to view a note you’ve written or it can be tricky to get your settings just right. A lot of this has to do with how the app is designed, which is why our app’s design is something we’re always thinking about.

We want Bible+ to be an app that provides easy access to all the tools and resources you need in studying the Bible. We want the app to give you these things and then keep out of your way. Really, you should be able to focus so closely on God’s Word that you start to forget the app even exists.

Our team here at Olive Tree has worked really hard to make sure that this release is our easiest to use yet. Change can sometimes take a little getting used to, but we really believe that each and every change we’ve made makes the app better at getting out of your way and helping you connect with God’s Word. We wanted to write a couple of posts to help you understand a little better the thinking behind our new design.

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The Typography and Fonts

The text of your Bibles and books is by far what you’ll spend the most time looking at. Providing a good experience here is critical. We need to have sharp fonts, proper spacing, and work to ensure a natural flow. Believe it or not, optimizing how the text is displayed on the screen (this is called typography) can make a big difference in how fast you can read and how much you’ll understand and remember.

The last time we picked the font for our main window, digital screens looked a lot different. Apple released the first retina screen five years ago, and it become the standard for all of their iOS devices a few months ago. Retina screens are sharper and much better at rendering the subtle details in fonts that can guide your eye from one letter to the next. Our old font, Georgia, was designed specifically with older, less sharp and precise displays in mind. We decided to ditch Georgia, which was a great font for its purpose, and move to something that really takes advantage of new displays: Source Sans Pro.

Another big factor for reading is spacing between lines and around the edges of text blocks. When this is done well, it becomes easier to read; you can focus on what the words are saying and not on how you’re reading them. With the Bible Study App, we’re always trying to walk a balance between adding enough space to provide an optimum reading experience, but also fitting as much content as we reasonably can on the screen so that you can perform in-depth study without having to scroll or swipe too much. After some tweaking, research, testing, more tweaking, and more testing. We’re confident that the typography in the app is the best it has ever been.

As a note, we do recognize that casual reading and studying are two different things and we want to respect this in how we format the text. We’re working on even more updates for the app that will build on and improve the foundation we started in this release.

More to Come

The typography and fonts are important, but you’ve probably noticed there are a few other changes as well. Most of those are related to the verse chooser and the menu, which we’ll talk about in the next post.

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What’s New in Bible+ 6.0 for iOS

Posted by on 10/19/2015 in:

Bible+ 6.0 Splash Screen

You might have heard that we’ve been working on a big update for Bible+ on iOS. The rumors are true and it’s our biggest release to date. With this update we’ve completely redesigned the look and feel of the app so you can study the Bible better. We took a lot of your feedback into consideration and are confident this app is much easier to use and better looking than anything we’ve done before. But, with a new look and feel come changes. Today we want to tell you about some of the more important changes and new features in Bible+ 6.0 for iOS.

My Stuff

Remember that icon in Bible+ 5 that looked like a briefcase? Do you know what it was for? If not, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, a lot of our users didn’t know what it was for either. After listening to your feedback, we finally got the message that we needed to rethink that icon’s functionality. In it’s place we implemented a centralized menu where most of the app’s features now reside. Looking for your notes, highlights or book ribbons? Now all you have to do is tap the “hamburger menu” icon at the top left. The same is true with reading plans, or anything else you’re looking for. Everything is organized according to its function in the app, so you can find what you’re looking for at a glance. This change alone makes Bible+ much easier to use.

Bible + 5.0 vs Bible + 6.0 - My Stuff

Bible+ 5 vs Bible+ 6.0 – My Stuff

Verse Navigation

In changing the look and feel of the app, we thought it was time to give the verse chooser a much needed face lift. Gone are the tan and gray boxes. Welcome a more streamlined design that is easy on the eyes. And, if you want a more colorful verse chooser (see below), you can tap the gear icon & turn on the shading effect. Another change is in how you access the verse chooser. Instead of having a separate “Go To” button cluttering the screen, you now tap on the book title or passage to bring up the verse chooser. Alternatively, you can access it from the main menu, but that makes it a two-step process. The new verse navigation helps Bible+ get out of the way so you can study without distraction.

Old vs. New Verse Chooser

Old vs. New Verse Chooser

Night Reading Mode

We know that a lot of you like to study your Bible or read a devotional before the sun comes up or late at night. That proved difficult in the Bible study app because it felt like the bright screen was blinding you when in a dimly lit room. Even lowering the brightness of the device didn’t do much to help with the problem. Well, we’ve finally done something about that. With Bible+ 6.0 we are introducing a dark theme that is conducive to reading in low light situations. Toggling the feature only requires two taps: 1) tap the menu icon, 2) tap on the dark theme & you’re done.

Night Reading Theme in Bible+ 6.0

Night Reading Theme in Bible+ 6.0

Saved Passages

This is a relatively minor change, but it is another that comes as a direct result of your feedback. Book ribbons and bookmarks, what’s the difference between the two? Honestly, most Olive Tree employees couldn’t clearly articulate the difference either. Therefore we thought it was time to change the terminology to better reflect what each does. Book ribbons remain unchanged, and should be used like you use the book ribbon in your Bible. You use it to mark your place in a book or Bible for future reading. Book ribbons are meant to serve as temporary placeholders.

Bookmarks, on the other hand, are now called “Saved Passages.” Saved passages are better used as long term markers for verses you would like to navigate to again in the future. This change in terminology better reflects how the feature is to meant to be used in the app. You’ll see this change in two places. First, when you tap on a verse to save a passage, the popup menu now says “Save” instead of “Bookmark.” And the main menu says “Saved Passages” instead of “Bookmarks.”

Bible+ 6.0 Popup Menu

Bible+ 6.0 Popup Menu

Saved Passages in the Study Helpers Section of the Menu

Saved Passages in the Study Helpers section of the Menu

Changing Font Size

Changing the font size was another feature that got a minor update. Again, thanks to your feedback and expressing the confusion of not knowing whether to tap the briefcase or the “A with the gear,” we made this change with you in mind. Now all you have to do is tap the new menu icon and then increase or decrease the font size. No more having to remember where the setting is. And, if you need to change more settings, those are now found near the bottom of the menu.

Bible+ 5.0 vs. Bible+ 6.0 - Font Size

Bible+ 5 vs. Bible+ 6.0 – Font Size

Leave Your Feedback

If you enjoy what we’ve done with the Bible+ 6.0 update please do a couple things for us: 1) rate and/or review the app in the App Store, and 2) share the app with your friends. Those 4 & 5 star ratings help us have greater visibility in the App Store, and word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Thanks for your years of support, it means a lot! We wouldn’t be here without you & we did this update for you!

Note: Bible+ 6.0 will only work on iOS 8 or later.

Update (10/28/2015)

Click here to get answers to some of the more frequently asked questions concerning the new app.

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Look Inside: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary

Posted by on 10/19/2015 in: ,

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

When it comes to expositing and faithfully teaching the Bible, John MacArthur is a name respected by many. He has been preaching at Grace Community Church and heading Grace to You since 1969. In that time he has written nearly 400 books and study guides that have been published throughout the world. The reach of his ministry has allowed his ever popular MacArthur Study Bible to be translated into at least 8 different languages. It’s an understatement to say that MacArthur is a household name in evangelicalism.

Aside from his study Bible, Dr. MacArthur is best known for his MacArthur New Testament Commentary. The commentary series began 32 years ago (1983) when he published his commentary on Hebrews. Since that time he has meticulously preached through the New Testament at his church and written detailed verse-by-verse commentary on each New Testament book. Today I want to show you how you can glean from MacArthur’s insight on any New Testament passage while studying in the Olive Tree Bible App.

Why This Commentary?

One of the questions that’s often asked when discussing commentaries is, “Why should I buy commentary ABC instead of commentary XYZ?” Here are a couple reasons why the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is a valuable resource to have in your library.

First, when you look at most modern commentary sets, each volume is typically written by a different author. While there may be a singular general editor, there may be differences of theology and understanding among the authors, making for a lack of consistency across volumes. What’s more, sometimes the same author will write a commentary on a book of the Bible for different commentary series. For example, Douglas Moo has written a commentary on Romans for both the New International Commentary and NIV Application Commentary series, and a commentary on James for the Pillar New Testament and Tyndale New Testament Commentary series. The advantage of the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is its singular voice. You’re not going to encounter the issues you may find in other series. Having one author write the entire series provides a level of consistency in thought and teaching that isn’t necessarily possible in the other commentary sets. Whether or not you agree with what is taught, at least you know it will be consistent throughout the entirety of the series.

Second, John MacArthur is not just a Bible scholar, he is also a pastor. This may not seem like something that would be important, but it means this commentary has a different tone and approach than other series. There is a difference between writing a commentary academia and writing for the general Christian population. MacArthur’s commentary certainly falls in the latter. His tone is pastoral and stays away from being unnecessarily complex. Every passage is explained clearly so that you have little to no questions afterward. His exegesis of the text also makes applying the text to your life easy. This makes it an easy commentary to read, whether you’re in the pew or pulpit.

Using the Commentary

Like many resources in the Olive Tree Bible App, the best way to get the most out of your library is by using the Resource Guide; the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is no exception. To illustrate, let’s assume we’re starting to read Mark’s gospel and are using MacArthur’s commentary to aide our study.

Introductions

When beginning a study on a new book of the Bible, one of the first things you want to do is get some background information. Resource Guide makes this easy. Simply scroll down to the “Introductions” section, where we find 5 hits for our commentary.

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Here we find information about the gospel, it’s author, date, audience, purpose, and other issues worth keeping in mind.

Outlines

Next, you’ll want to get a feel for how the book is laid out, so let’s find an outline. Again, the Resource Guide shows us that MacArthur has an outline for our book, and we see that it is quite extensive. One thing worth noting is that the book’s outline also serves as the layout for the commentary. This helps in seeing how a handful of verses relate to their larger context. Personally, I refer to the outline often throughout the course of studying a book of the Bible, as it keeps the big picture in view.

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Commentary Text

Finally, when it’s time to dive into the commentary text, the Resource Guide is again our friend. Instead of hunting down the commentary on your passage, let Resource Guide do the heavy lifting. Find the MacArthur New Testament Commentary in the commentaries section, find your passage, and commence reading. This saves you both time and effort while studying, which is useful with our busy lives.

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Alternatively, you can leave the MacArthur New Testament Commentary open in your split window and it’ll always be at the right location when you need it. This will save you even more time if you don’t plan on consulting other resources.

Upgrade Today

No matter who you are, the MacArthur New Testament Commentary is an excellent go to resource for New Testament studies. MacArthur’s knack for explaining the text is second to none and easy to follow. Even if you don’t completely agree with him theologically, you can still appreciate his clear exegesis and application.

Add the MacArthur New Testament Commentary to your Olive Tree library today. Whether you’re buying the full set, upgrading, or buying an individual volume, we have a deal that will fit any budget.

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Apologetics is for Everyone

Posted by on 10/14/2015 in:

Want to know more about apologetics? Check out this video with Dr. Bill Mounce as he explains what apologetics can and cannot do.

Why are you a Christian? Christianity is outdated and needs to get with the times. What proof do you have to substantiate your beliefs? Isn’t it just blind faith in a fictional God? The creation story in Genesis can’t be true because we’ve proven that evolution is true. Don’t all religions eventually get you to the same place? Just do what works for you.

Does any of that sound familiar? It should because it’s a picture of the times we live in. Christianity and the Bible are under attack from all angles, and if you believe in the God of the Bible, you’re viewed as someone who is antiquated and needs to get with it or shut up. While it is sometimes easier to keep our faith to ourselves, Christianity is a perfectly rational and defensible worldview. We do not hold to a blind faith. There is plenty of evidence and logic to back up our claims. As Christians, we ought to be ready to defend our faith against its opponents. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 that we should always be prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks. This wasn’t a command he gave only to church leaders; it was for everyone, including you!

Many people think they cannot share their faith or have religious conversations because they don’t have all the answers. But no one has all the answers. Not having answers doesn’t mean we cannot work with what we do have. It also doesn’t mean we cannot continue to learn as we go along. One of the great things about living in the age we do is that we have a wealth of information at our disposal, ready to be called upon at a moment’s notice. Not only that, but many of the arguments we face today aren’t new. Great Christian thinkers have already tackled these tough issues, and we can glean from their writings instead of trying to figure it out on our own. For most people, it only takes having a few apologetic resources in their library to equip them to defend and share their faith.

While Olive Tree may be known as the “Bible App,” we can also help you defend your faith with the resources we offer. If you want an apologetic resource and Bible study notes all in a single resource you can look at resources like the Apologetics Study Bible or the Evidence Bible. We also have books dedicated to the subject, such as Alister McGrath’s Mere Apologetics, R.C. Sproul’s Defending Your Faith, and John Feinberg’s Can You Believe It’s True?, just to name a few. With the Olive Tree Bible App, you can keep both your Bible study and apologetic library with you at all times, giving you all you need to live up to Peter’s call. Both Jesus and Paul were apologists, and we should be too!

Equip yourself today with the tools you need to be ready to defend your faith in our Apologetics Sale.

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Look Inside: Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Posted by on 10/06/2015 in:

These days it’s hard to find a commentary that is distinct from all the others on the market. I mean, there are only so many ways that you can exposit a passage. With that in mind, it’s worth noting when a commentary comes along that is wholly unlike the rest. The Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by G. K. Beale & D. A. Carson, is one of those commentaries. Let’s take a look inside this commentary and see how it can enhance your Bible study in Bible+.

What It Is and Isn’t

The key to using this commentary is first understanding how the editors designed it. This is not a verse-by-verse commentary on the entire New Testament; there are plenty of commentaries that already do this well. Nor is this a commentary that gets into the debates surrounding how the Old Testament is utilized by New Testament authors. Again, there are plenty of books already written on the subject.

Instead, what you get with this commentary is exactly what its title says: a commentary that explains how the New Testament makes use of Old Testament quotations and allusions. While analyzing these passages, Beale and Carson encouraged the commentary’s contributors to keep in mind six questions that ought to be answered:

  1. What is the NT context of the citation or allusion?
  2. What is the OT context from which the quotation or allusion is drawn?
  3. How is the OT quotation or source handled in the literature of Second Temple Judaism or early Judaism?
  4. What textual factors must be kept in mind as one seeks to understand a particular use of the OT?
  5. What is the nature of the connection as the NT writer sees it?
  6. To what theological use does the NT writer put the OT quotation or allusion?

Wherever possible, each passage covered in the commentary seeks to answer these six questions so that you, as the reader, can understand how the text is being used. While most commentaries delve into this subject matter on some level, the advantage of this commentary is that it’s its sole focus. You don’t have to worry about reading only a few sentences or a short paragraph because the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament will give you everything you want & then some.

Using the Commentary

There are a few ways you can use the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament in Bible+, but let me show you the most convenient way: Resource Guide.

Depending on the Bible translation you’re using it can be easy or difficult to identify when the New Testament authors are quoting from the Old Testament. For example, in the ESV you may find text that is indented and set apart to show that it’s a quotation; but, it’s not as easy to identify when it is kept inline. Translations like the NASB, on the other hand, put OT quotes in small caps, which make them easier to identify (see below). In a book like Matthew, this isn’t a big deal; but consider a book like James that alludes to the OT frequently. In this case, you could miss these in the ESV, where they are obvious in a translation like the NASB.

ESV & NASB in parallel

ESV & NASB in parallel

With the Resource Guide your choice of translation doesn’t matter, whether it be the ESV, NASB or some other translation. As you’re reading a New Testament passage, you don’t even have to consider if what you’re reading contains an OT quotation or allusion. Simply glance down at the commentaries section of Resource Guide and see if you have a hit for the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. If there is, you can proceed reading the commentary text. A perfect example of this is James 5:1-6 where James condemns the rich for oppressing their workers. There is no clear OT quotation, but a Jew would understand that James is alluding to the Mosaic Law. The commentary explains this in great detail, providing all the context you need to understand what James is trying to get across.

Commentary on the NT Use of the OT in Resource Guide

Commentary on the NT Use of the OT in Resource Guide

Commentary on the NT Use of the OT opened in Resource Guide

Commentary on the NT Use of the OT opened in Resource Guide

The biggest benefit of using Resource Guide in your study is that you don’t have to manually search through your commentaries. Forget having to wonder if the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament addresses your passage, you’ll know without ever having to open it. The Resource Guide saves you time and effort in your studies by putting the information you need at your fingertips.

Purchase the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament today and save 33% off our regular price in our Pastor Appreciation Sale.

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