Look Inside: NA28 Greek New Testament

Posted by on 02/17/2014 in: ,

The Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28) sets a new standard among Greek New Testament editions with its revisions and improvements. In the Bible Study App by Olive Tree Bible Software the NA28 is an invaluable resource for those who want to study the original language of the New Testament.

Watch the video below to see how the NA28 works in The Bible Study app running on a Mac.

The NA28 is on special right now. Go here to get it!

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Look Inside: The NLT Study Bible

Posted by on 02/14/2014 in: ,

A study Bible in The Bible Study App is an easy to use and very powerful tool in guiding you in your understanding of the text. Many study Bibles contain resources such as maps, timelines, profiles on Biblical characters, commentaries and articles. Because study Bibles are uniquely enhanced for the resource guide of The Bible Study App they will work with any version of the Bible that is open in the main window.

The New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible is one such resource and comes with great tools to help you unpack the Bible!
In the screenshot below (taken from The Bible Study App on iOS) I have my main Bible text open to John chapter 1. 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 NLT Study Bible has entries for related verses, commentaries, maps, outlines, and introductions. The numbers indicate how many entries are available for each enhanced resource.

NLT SB 1

The NLT Study Bible – in the resource guide – shows seven entries under the Commentary section for John 1:1-5. When I click on the NLT Study Bible it then shows me a preview of those seven entries.

NLT SB 2

I can then click on any of those previews to read the full commentary. As I read on in the text, those entries will stay in sync with my passage no matter what translation I have open in the main window.

NLT SB 3

The NLT Study Bible also gives you access to great resources such as maps, charts, outlines, and related verses. All of these are easy to access from the Resource Guide which pulls in entries based on where you’re reading in the main window.

NLT SB 4

As you can see the New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible is a great resource for those that want to go deeper in their study of God’s word.

The NLT Study Bible is on special this weekend. Go here to get it!

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Sneak Peek into iOS 5.9 Release

Posted by on 02/13/2014 in: , ,

The Olive Tree Bible Study App developers are hard at work on our upcoming iOS release 5.9 (aka “Flying Eagle” as it has come to be called around here). You may have noticed a little teaser in our latest iPhone & iPad release that said “This update paves the way for a future App update…”

One of the great things about this upcoming release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before.  We wanted to show you a few examples of this using the NLT (New Living Translation) Study Bible. (Screenshots taken from an iPad 2.  Click for a larger view.)

Compare Romans 1:1

Current iOS App 5.5.4                                               Future iOS App 5.9

IMG_1019     IMG_1015

You’ll notice that as you scroll through that section (and most other sections of the NLT Study Bible), you will find articles and sidebars, some of which are floating or using some nice formatting to make them stand out.

Compare Genesis 1:1

Current iOS App 5.5.4                                               Future iOS App 5.9

IMG_1020     IMG_1017

The tables and articles are much laid out in a much more flowing format with the content.  This is just one of the many advantages to this app update.  We’ll be highlighting more sneak peaks into the upcoming iOS App release in the next few weeks.

We don’t have an official release date yet, so stay tuned by subscribing to our blog or sign up for our newsletter.

The NLT Study Bible is discounted this weekend. Go here to get it!

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Where is Patience?

Posted by on 02/13/2014 in: ,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such bigstock-HS-Patience-48914204things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

If we’re honest, most of us would admit that one of our least favorite words is patience. In a ‘me first’ western culture we can often get what we want, when we want it. Whether it’s Burger King saying, “Have it your way” or the Staples slogan, “That was easy,” our natural desire to be selfish only seems to be magnified by the messages marketed to us on a daily basis, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the message of patience is nearly impossible to find in our culture. For those who have placed their faith in Jesus, however, patience is the fruit of God’s Spirit at work within us.

It’s easy to read about the people in the Bible that God used in amazing ways and yet forget about where God showed up in the timeline of their lives. The theme of patience and endurance is one we see throughout scripture. Abraham and his wife Sarah weren’t young when they finally had the child God had promised. Joseph spent years in jail on wrong accusations before he became a powerful leader, fulfilling the dreams God had given him. Moses lived a non-descript life before God called him to lead his people out of Egypt. The Israelites had to spend 40 years in the desert before God released them into the Promised Land. Even Jesus didn’t start his public ministry until he was 30 years old.

If you’ve ever been in a place in your spiritual growth or your ministry where you feel that nothing is happening, you can take great comfort that you’re in good company. God is always concerned more about our depth of character than our width of ministry.  So how do you know if God is working in your life during a season where nothing seems to be happening? Jesus answers that question in the ‘Parable of the Sower’ in Luke 8.
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15, ESV).

If you’ve placed your faith in Jesus, hear God’s Word, and are holding it fast in your heart, then be on the lookout for seasons of patience and embrace them. As you do, be reminded that you’re walking the same spiritual road as Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, and Moses. And  God used these individuals to change whole cultures.

Patience and God’s Timing
When my son was three, he and I were hanging out at home and lunch time was fast approaching. He was getting increasingly irritable and fussy, and I hadn’t quite learned how important it was to feed kids on time. He then asked me when lunch time was, and I told him I’d start making it in five minutes. Instead of saying, “Sounds good Dad,” my three-year-old son (to my ignorant surprise) proceeded to throw a tantrum that made me wonder if he had heard me say five hours instead of five minutes. As I quickly made him a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich two thoughts hit me.

First, my son didn’t have a concept of time. As an adult, waiting five  minutes is nothing. For a preschooler with no concept of time, any amount of waiting is too long, whether it’s five minutes or five days.

Second, I am just like my son. Sure, I may not throw a fit if I have to wait five minutes but if something doesn’t happen on my timeline my response isn’t much more mature than his. How many times have I approached God and said, “Here’s what I need and when I need it.” The big problem here is that if God doesn’t answer my prayers on my timeline then I assume he’s just not going to answer them. But this isn’t necessarily true. While a young child has no concept of time, we as adults also don’t understand God’s concept of time because it’s eternal. He sees our needs  but through the perspective of eternity. Though we don’t have an eternal viewpoint, God’s eternal viewpoint should give us comfort that God provides our needs and our answers at just the right time.

Jesus’ brother James says this about patience and God’s timing:
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8, ESV).

As sons and daughters of a perfect and loving God, being patient is evidence of our trust and faith in our heavenly Father. As we pray and make requests of our Father we can be confident that his timing is the best timing.

Take time to reflect on both answered and unanswered prayers. When and how did God answer those prayers?
For those prayers that have yet to be answered, ask God for his perspective and trust in his perfect timing.

 

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Gospel-Powered Parenting

Posted by on 02/10/2014 in:

By Guest Blogger: Bill Farley

gospel powered parenting

The gospel is the most important tool for parenting. For many parents this statement is surprising. When most Christians hear the word “gospel” they think of soul-winning. The gospel saves unbelievers. While this is true, the gospel is much more than a message for the lost. To the apostles the gospel was the message that saved people, but it was also a comprehensive moral and spiritual map for all of life. That includes marriage, vocation, and parenting.

By the gospel I mean the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the good news about everything that God has done to save us from eternity past to eternity future. It starts with the Father’s electing love, and ends with a new heavens and a new earth.

The goal of Christian parents is to parent our children as God has parented us. More than anywhere else in the Bible the gospel unpacks how God loves, serves, and disciplines his sons and daughters. The gospel also shows us ourselves. Everything we need to know about our value to God as well as the depths of our sinfulness, God reveals to us through the gospel.

Therefore, when it comes to our children, nothing could be more important than how to apply the gospel to our parenting. The Bible contains little teaching about parenting (only 2 verses in the New Testament). That is because the gospel is the paradigm for parenting. We can derive many parenting principles from the gospel. Here are some examples.

Should we focus on protecting our children from the world or on bringing them into new birth? The Bible stresses the positive. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). Do we really believe this? If this is true, a good offense, combined with a proper understanding of new birth, is more important than protecting them from the world.

What parental virtue is most apt to attract God’s blessing? Surprisingly, it is not love, discipline or Bible study. Scripture testifies overwhelmingly that God blesses the parent that learns to fear him, and we get that fear from the gospel.

What are the characteristics of all effective disciplinarians? First, they have a clear understanding of indwelling sin. Second they are comfortable with the authority that God has given them. Third, they love their children with God’s affection. The gospel instructs us on all three.

Last, most parents experience times of crushing failure and discouragement. The gospel encourages parents with the grace that they need when they feel discouraged, defeated, or inadequate.

In summary, go deep with the gospel, and God will amplify your children’s faith through. God will bless your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They will marry believers, enjoy a vibrant faith, stay married, rejoice in the privilege of children, joyfully serve local churches, and honor their parents. What could be better than that?

Bill is the senior pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational Evangelical church, which he planted with several other families in Spokane, Washington. Check out his book Gospel-Powered Parenting which is on sale this week.

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Free Resource Friday

Posted by on 02/07/2014 in:

Today only you can get the brand new release The Truest Thing About You by David Lomas for free!Truest Thing About You

In The Truest Thing About You, David Lomas invites you to live out who God created you to be: Loved. Accepted. Made in His image. This is a call to move beyond the lesser voices and discover how it changes everything, ultimately helping you become who you really are.

Read David’s guest blog from earlier this week HERE.

Add this great book to your account by going here!

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6 Reasons to use Commentaries in The Bible Study App

Posted by on 02/04/2014 in: , ,

Bible Commentaries are extremely valuable study tools. Many commentaries include historical and culture context, theological interpretation, and other resources like timelines and charts. Here are Six Reasons to use Commentaries in The Bible Study App.  (Screenshots are from an iPad 2.  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 commentary “hits” in the split window.

resourceguide

The Bible Study App also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.  This means that as you move along in the Bible text, the 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 commentary 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.

search

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.

search_splitscreen

3. Linked Reference Pop ups

verse popup

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.

footnote popup

Related to this is footnotes/endnotes.  Commentaries normally have 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 The Bible Study App 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

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!

copy paste

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.

define popup

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 and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options to Tap and hold on a verse number and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, add a Note, Bookmark, Share, Guide, and More..

lookup feature

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 commentary in the main or split window.

lookup 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 commentaries within The Bible Study App give you the best content, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

Click here to see all commentaries available for The Bible Study App.

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