God Can Show Up Where You Don’t Expect or Deserve

Posted by on 02/26/2018 in: ,

The following is an excerpt from the For Everyone Commentary Series by John Goldingay and N.T. Wright.

WE DON’T ALWAYS GET WHAT WE DESERVE

I’ve remembered why I had that visit from the man I mentioned in connection with Lamentations 5. I’d talked in class about a pastor who ignored a call from God to go and serve him abroad as a missionary. His subsequent ministry in England had been greatly blessed, even though he was not in the place where God had wanted him. One failure in obedience to God doesn’t have to ruin your whole life.

The man who came to see me had been told that persisting with his new relationship and divorcing his wife so he could marry this other woman would mean God would never bless his new marriage. I told him you could never make such predictions because God is always having to decide afresh whether to be merciful or disciplinary. Our calling is to do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because we might forfeit God’s blessing.

LEARNING FROM EZEKIEL 1:1-28

Ezekiel’s community is people who were transported to Babylon in 597; five years have now passed. Anyone with religious sensitivity or principle knew that they’d deserved this fate (even if there were individuals like Ezekiel who didn’t deserve it) and would wonder whether they could ever expect Yahweh to reach out to them in Babylon. Their feelings might be similar to those expressed in Lamentations after the further fall of Jerusalem in 587. They’ve forfeited any right to expect God’s blessing.

(We don’t know what “the thirtieth year” refers to. Maybe Ezekiel was thirty years old, the age when he might have taken up his ministry as a priest if he hadn’t been transported to Babylon.)

GOD SHOWS UP

Out of the blue, in a literal sense, Yahweh appears in Babylon. Maybe Ezekiel sees a literal storm approaching, with wind, cloud, and lightning. If so, Yahweh turns the literal storm into an appearance of his own cloud carriage. Yahweh is coming to his people in Babylon—Babylon of all places!

Not that he’s coming with a message of comfort; rather the opposite. It does mean he hasn’t simply washed his hands of them. Perhaps the vision’s significance is to show that Yahweh has already been present with his people in Babylon; he now enables this prophet to see behind the veil constituted by the heavens themselves, to see that Yahweh is present, and to report that fact to the people.

There are limits to what God dares let Ezekiel see. Too direct an appearance of God would simply blind a mere human being. Most of what God lets Ezekiel see is his carriage pulled by four creatures—not mere horses but combinations of human being, animal, and bird (so they can fly and transport God through the heavens). They’re subsequently called cherubs. Their combined features give them great maneuverability, as do the crisscross wheels on the carriage that can go this way or that at will. But they’re driven by one will.

HE LETS US SEE & EXPERIENCE HIS GREATNESS

The creatures support a platform on which there stands a throne; on the throne is a human-like figure. Ezekiel is looking from below, so he sees little of the figure. His experience parallels that of Isaiah, who sees only the hem of God’s robe. While God can be pictured as lion-like or rock-like, more often God is described as human-like—it links with the fact that human beings are made in God’s image to represent God in the world. Ezekiel’s account also safeguards God’s transcendence (it won’t let us think of God in too human terms) by using the name Shadday. The traditional translation “Almighty” is a guess. The only other Hebrew word with which the Old Testament links the name is a verb meaning “destroy,” so people might take “Shadday” to suggest “destroyer”; this understanding would suit Ezekiel.

It’s also a solemn fact that the storm comes from the north, the direction where people often located God’s abode, but also the direction from which invaders came. But then it declares that there was something of a rainbow’s appearance about this God, one who put his bow away and let it hang in the sky without string and without arrows (see Genesis 9).

God’s appearing to Ezekiel is both good news and solemn news. For Ezekiel’s audience and for people reading his messages in written form, it also indicates that we’d better take his words seriously.

THE FOR EVERYONE COMMENTARY SERIES

Did you enjoy how this commentary takes a passage of the Old Testament and relates it to daily life?

The For Everyone Commentary Series has 35 volumes, including books from both the Old and New Testament. Each volume includes the editors’ translations of the entire text. Then, each short passage is followed by background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today.

This resource works with the Resource Guide, showing you relevant articles as you read the Bible. Also, verses and footnotes are linked for quick reading.

Visit our website to learn more about this well-loved commentary series.

COMMENT BELOW: Where have you seen God show up where you didn’t expect or deserve?

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A Feature to Keep You Focused

Posted by on 02/23/2018 in:

When I was in Bible college, my homiletics professor said that for every minute you preach, you should spend one hour studying. I would sit down, ready to put a few good hours of research in… and I would get distracted. The worst part is that I wasn’t primarily distracted by people, or noise, or daydreaming.

I was distracted by all the resources.

Maybe you’ve experienced this, too. Your table is full of commentaries. You’re unsure which one to crack open first. Will it have the type of information you’re looking for?

Before you know it, you opened four more commentaries, went down six rabbit holes, and spent most of your time flipping pages. You’ve lost focus on your sermon. And you’re drowning in all the information. At least, that’s how I always felt by the end of it!

GAIN FOCUS

Imagine that you’re sitting at that table full of commentaries. As you flip through your Bible, all the commentaries automatically turn their pages as well. You can stand up and get a bird’s eye view of all the content you have on a passage at once.

Then, you can easily focus on what’s vital and relevant to your study.

Guess what? THIS IS POSSIBLE.

Well, not with paper resources… that would defy laws of nature. But with digital resources, we’ve found a way to work smarter, not harder.

THE COMMENTARY / STUDY NOTES FEATURE

Underneath the list of features on the Life Application Study Bible, you’ll see that “Commentary / Study Notes” is listed. This means that the commentary or study Bible notes in the resource are enhanced. They will follow along with your Bible reading. It looks like this:

Even when you switch books of the Bible, the commentary or study Bible notes will keep up with you.

Also, this feature will help you make the preliminary decision of which resource to open up. When you have a Bible open, look at the Resource Guide to see which commentaries or study Bibles have related content.

Even if you aren’t doing hard research, this feature is useful. Picture yourself in small group and you’re about to start reading 1 Kings. You wonder if there’s any quick insights you could get about the passage before everyone starts asking questions.

You open up the Study Center and check out the list of applicable commentary the Resource Guide has found for you:

Now you can focus on what’s important (the passage, the conversation in the room, and questions being asked) instead of flipping pages, trying to find something relevant to share.

GET THIS FEATURE (AND MORE!)

We recently published a blog about ALL of our different features: what they are, how they work, and what they look like in the app. If you want to see a list of our top-selling enhanced resources, visit our website by clicking here.

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Introducing: New Beacon Bible Commentary Set

Posted by on 02/21/2018 in: ,

This week, we’ve added 29 volumes of the New Beacon Bible Commentary Set to our website! This Wesleyan commentary based on the NIV is readable, relevant, and academically thorough. General Editors Roger Hahn, Alex Varughese, and George Lyons care deeply about the Church being well-equipped to study and teach God’s Word.

Want to know what’s inside? Hear from the Editor’s themselves:

GENERAL EDITOR’S PREFACE

“The purpose of the New Beacon Bible Commentary

…is to make available to pastors and students in the twenty-first century a biblical commentary that reflects the best scholarship in the Wesleyan theological tradition. The commentary project aims to make this scholarship accessible to a wider audience to assist them in their understanding and proclamation of Scripture as God’s Word

Writers of the volumes in this series not only are scholars within the Wesleyan theological tradition and experts in their field but also have special interest in the books assigned to them. Their task is to communicate clearly the critical consensus and the full range of other credible voices who have commented on the Scriptures. Though scholarship and scholarly contribution to the understanding of the Scriptures are key concerns of this series, it is not intended as an academic dialogue within the scholarly community.

Commentators of this series constantly aim to demonstrate in their work the significance of the Bible as the church’s book and the contemporary relevance and application of the biblical message. The project’s overall goal is to make available to the church and for her service the fruits of the labors of scholars who are committed to their Christian faith.

The New International Version (NIV) is the reference version of the Bible used in this series; however, the focus of exegetical study and comments is the biblical text in its original language. When the commentary uses the NIV, it is printed in bold. The text printed in bold italics is the translation of the author. Commentators also refer to other translations where the text may be difficult or ambiguous.

The structure and organization of the commentaries

…in this series seeks to facilitate the study of the biblical text in a systematic and methodical way. Study of each biblical book begins with an Introduction section that gives an overview of authorship, date, provenance, audience, occasion, purpose, sociological/cultural issues, textual history, literary features, hermeneutical issues, and theological themes necessary to understand the book. This section also includes a brief outline of the book and a list of general works and standard commentaries.

The commentary section for each biblical book follows the outline of the book presented in the introduction. In some volumes, readers will find section overviews of large portions of scripture with general comments on their overall literary structure and other literary features. A consistent feature of the commentary is the paragraph-by-paragraph study of biblical texts. This section has three parts: Behind the Text, In the Text, and From the Text.

The goal of the Behind the Text

…section is to provide the reader with all the relevant information necessary to understand the text. This includes specific historical situations reflected in the text, the literary context of the text, sociological and cultural issues, and literary features of the text.

In the Text explores what the text says,

…following its verse-by-verse structure. This section includes a discussion of grammatical details, word studies, and the connectedness of the text to other biblical books/passages or other parts of the book being studied (the canonical relationship). This section provides transliterations of key words in Hebrew and Greek and their literal meanings. The goal here is to explain what the author would have meant and/or what the audience would have understood as the meaning of the text. This is the largest section of the commentary.

The From the Text section examines the text

…in relation to the following areas: theological significance, intertextuality, the history of interpretation, use of the Old Testament scriptures in the New Testament, interpretation in later church history, actualization, and application.

The commentary provides sidebars on topics of interest

…that are important but not necessarily part of an explanation of the biblical text. These topics are informational items and may cover archaeological, historical, literary, cultural, and theological matters that have relevance to the biblical text. Occasionally, longer detailed discussions of special topics are included as excurses.

We offer this series with our hope and prayer that readers will find it a valuable resource for their understanding of God’s Word and an indispensable tool for their critical engagement with the biblical texts.”

HOW IT WORKS

If you’re reading a passage of the Bible in the main window, this commentary will track side-by-side with you in the Study Center. The Resource Guide will also let you know when there is an introduction or outline from this commentary that is applicable to what you are reading in the main menu. These features speed up your Bible study AND get you the information you need, without you searching for it.

Also, verses are linked in the resource, along with abbreviations. See what this looks like!

LEARN MORE

Want to learn more about this title, watch a video on how commentaries work in the app, and more? Visit our website!

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What’s an Enhanced Resource?

Posted by on 02/19/2018 in: ,

At least once a year, we like to highlight our enhanced resources: resources that we’ve enriched so that it’s more useful inside our app. Instead of our resources simply being eBooks that you only scroll and read, we’ve made the content discoverable by search and the Resource Guide, hyperlinked verses, activated cross references, and more.

Digital resources have their perks!

Truth is, most of our resources are enhanced in some way now. This is great for you… but only if you know how they are enhanced! So, first let’s look at where to find which enhancements a product has. Then, we will go through all the different enhancements we are currently implementing and how they work.

IS THIS PRODUCT ENHANCED?

Here is a screenshot of our website:

Inside the green circle, you can see a list of features (enhancements) that are inside this resource. If you tap the arrow, you will be able to see the full list.

Not sure what the feature means? No problem. Tap on the name of the feature and a description will appear.

These descriptions are also available in the store while you are inside the app.

13 DIFFERENT ENHANCEMENTS

1) STRONG’S NUMBERS

Gain the insight of studying the Bible in its original language without knowing Greek or Hebrew. Simply tap a linked word and read the original definition in a pop-up window. You can also build your understanding by searching for other uses of the word in the Bible and looking up related articles.

2) PARSINGS

Tap on a word and access it’s parsing instantaneously. A pop-up window will display a dictionary definition, a link to more information, a gloss, and parsings. For more advanced study, you can search on the word’s morphology as well.

3) COMMENTARY / STUDY NOTES

Gain reliable knowledge on any passage of the Bible, exactly when you need it. The Resource Guide will let you know when information in this title is relevant to anything you’re reading in the main window. It will also conveniently track along with you as you read through the Bible.

The number inside the purple circle lets you know how many related articles a resource has on the passage you are reading.

4) MAPS

Wondering where that ancient Israelite city is located that you just read about? Check out the maps the Resource Guide found for you, pulling in maps from all the resources you own. Then, zoom-in or make it full-screen—or both.

5) CROSS REFERENCES

Quickly see all the verses relevant to the current verse you’re reading. Tap on the cross reference, a pop-up window will appear, and then you can quickly navigate to the corresponding verse—without ever leaving the passage you’re reading.

6) DICTIONARY / ARTICLES

This is so much more than a traditional dictionary. While you’re reading the Bible and other titles, the Resource Guide will pull up related articles dictionaries you own. You can even select words you want clarity on, tap “Look Up”, and access any relatable information in a convenient pop-up window.

In this example, we saw that the Resource Guide suggested we see if there were any articles in our library on “Apostles.” This is what it found!

7) READING PLANS

Not sure what to read during your devotional time each day? Stay committed to growing spiritually with daily readings, personalized reminders, and a calendar to track your progress.

When you see this feature on a product, it is most likely a devotional book. Instead of leaving this file as an eBook, we’ve adapted it to work like our other reading plans.

8) CHARTS

Learn more with information displayed in visually-appealing ways. Not sure what charts you have? The Resource Guide will automatically pull up charts from any relevant sources while you’re studying.

This screenshot was taken directly after tapping on a chart that the Resource Guide pulled up.

9) OUTLINES

Get a feel for how books of the Bible are laid out and how your commentaries will be structured. You can also access these from the Resource Guide when it’s applicable to the passage you’re reading, providing additional context.

10) INTRODUCTIONS

Quickly find information about a book of the Bible, its author, date, audience, purpose, and other topics worth keeping in mind. If you have an introduction to the book of the Bible you’re currently reading, the Resource Guide will make it easily accessible for you.

11) SERMONS

Read sermons prepared by famous pastors. If you’re reading a passage of Scripture that one of the sermons addresses, it will appear in the Resource Guide for quick access.

12) TAGGED IMAGES

Reading about a person, place, or thing but don’t know what it looks like? If this book has an image of what you’re looking for, the Resource Guide will let you know. Just glance under “Image,” and tap to see the photo enlarged.

13) LINKED VERSES

Did your resource mention a passage of Scripture, but you can’t remember what the verse says? No fear! Tap the linked verse and a pop-up window will appear, giving you quick and easy access to the verse in context.

SEE OUR TOP ENHANCED RESOURCES

If you are wondering which enhanced resources could be helpful for you, we’ve pulled together a list of our top-sellers! Visit our website to see the list and check out which enhancements each resource has.

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Look Inside: Essential Bible Reference Collection

Posted by on 02/16/2018 in:

Learning how to study the Bible shouldn’t be difficult. The Essential Bible Reference Collection provides four quality, easy-to-use resources to get you started. Before you know it, you’ll feel confident using Bible dictionaries, handbooks, and historical resources.

Let’s take a look inside this new collection in our store!

THE ESSENTIAL BIBLE COMPANION

This resource covers each book of the Bible! It gives easy-to-digest bits of information that will help build context before you begin your study. Each introduction covers:

  • Summary Overview
  • Key Themes
  • Purpose
  • Author
  • Recipients
  • Interesting Facts

There are also applicable pictures—which are always a plus!

LOOK INSIDE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE ESSENTIAL BIBLE DICTIONARY

This resource is a typical Bible dictionary. You can look through it alphabetically on its own like this:

OR — you can use the lookup feature. Either select a word in the text or look for articles in the resource guide.

RESOURCE GUIDE

SELECT A WORD AND TAP “LOOK UP”

ESSENTIAL BIBLE COMPANION TO THE PSALMS

Similar to the Essential Bible Companion, this resource provides fundamental information on each Psalm.

You’ll find information on:

  • Type
  • Author
  • Background
  • Structure
  • Special notes

AN ENTRY ON PSALM 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PICTURES AND IMAGES

There are also photos, charts, and lists. Some of the hyperlinked lists (that can be made full-screen) include: unusual terms found in the Psalter, Hebrew References to God, and Types of Psalms.

ESSENTIAL BIBLE COMPANION TO LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES

This resource is a short Bible handbook covering topics on family, household, work, society, government, and religious life during Biblical times.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

TAP TO READ HYPERLINKED VERSES 

IT’S ESSENTIAL

A resource like this is great for anyone wanting to start the journey of deeper Bible study. Learn to use a dictionary, handbook, and historical resource to investigate passages of Scripture. You’ll build context and be able to interpret the Bible more accurately.

Visit our website to learn more about the Essential Bible Reference Collection.

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Grow in Love: Helpful Family & Marriage Resources

Posted by on 02/14/2018 in:

Happy Valentine’s Day! We would send you all flowers and chocolate if we could… but instead, we decided to discount some of our top Marriage and Family resources. This is the kind of gift that keeps on giving!

Scroll through this blog and see if anything catches your eye. You can’t go wrong!

TOP MARRIAGE AND FAMILY TITLES

LOVE LANGUAGES DEVOTIONAL BIBLE (NLT)

Grow toward God—together. This devotional by Dr. Gary Chapman comes with

  • Scripture reading plan, making it easy to read through the entire Bible in a year
  • 260 daily devotions, one for each weekday
  • 52 feature articles, one for each weekend
  • Prayer guides, reducing awkwardness by providing specific cues
  • Select readings addressing a wide variety of couple-oriented topics
  • Bible book introductions providing context and essential background information

View Resource

THE DEVOTIONAL BIBLE NOTES

Experience the heart of Jesus with popular author, Max Lucado. This devotional Bible is great for anyone needing to read something relatable that is encouraging and speaks truth.

View Resource

COUPLES’ DEVOTIONAL BIBLE NOTES (NIV)

Read this daily devotional by Zondervan with your significant other. You’ll find entries from Dale Evans (wife of TV cowboy Roy Rogers), Frank Peretti (author of “This Present Darkness”), and 141 other evangelicals.

View Resource

FAMILY MINISTRY: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

Author Diana Garland takes a three-pronged approach to family ministry, which includes developing families grounded in Christian faith, helping families live the teachings of Jesus with one another, and equipping and supporting families as they learn to serve others. The insights gained are organized into four main sections:

  • The Context for Family Ministry
  • Family Formation
  • Family Dynamics
  • Leading Family Ministry

View Resource

BIG PICTURE FAMILY DEVOTIONAL

Want to teach your children about God and the Bible, but unsure where to start?

Intended for families to use three times per week, each 5–10 minute lesson includes:

  • A basic Bible question with an accompanying answer in the form of a memory verse
  • Carefully-chosen Scripture passage to read aloud
  • A devotional paragraph designed to help kids connect the Scripture passage to the Bible’s overarching message
  • Reflection questions for the whole family to ponder and discuss together

View Resource

THE TOP 10 MOST OUTRAGEOUS COUPLES OF THE BIBLE

Christian psychologist Dr. David Clarke provides both biblical teaching and real-life counseling expertise to help you see what will work—and not work—in your marriage today. Written with plenty of humor, The Top 10 Most Outrageous Couples of the Bible proves that “outrageous” isn’t a bad thing—as Clarke says, “It’s not always pretty. But it’s always powerful.”

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THE GODLY HOME

With an introduction by J. I. Packer, this book includes topics for those passionate about families or those teaching on the characteristics of a godly family. Richard Baxter covers topics such as marriage, children, and family worship methodically and comprehensively through both hypothetical and real-life questions and concerns that arise in family dynamics.

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THIS MOMENTARY MARRIAGE

Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons.

This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.

View Resource

LOVE DARE: THE 40 DAILY DARES

The New York Times best-selling book The Love Dare now has a devotional companion: The 40 Daily Dares. Strengthen your marriage through these 40 days of challenging, but rewarding, lessons.

View Resource

MARRIED. HAPPILY.

In Married. Happily., Pastor Greg Laurie opens God’s Word to show husbands and wives how to find oneness and harmony in their lives together – and how to avoid the common snares and perils along the way.

View Resource

HOW TO PRAY FOR YOUR WIFE: A 31-DAY GUIDE

This book is for all husbands who wish to better understand how God made their wives and how they can pray biblical prayers for them.

The study guide at the end of the book, designed to help pastors and leaders in their teachings on marriage, draws from the themes of the book’s daily readings and can be adapted for men’s Bible studies, men’s retreats, premarital counseling, or discipleship meetings.

View Resource

EXPLORING GRACE TOGETHER

Assisting parents with this high calling, Jessica Thompson offers us an alternative to merely telling our kids what they must do to please God and be a “good Christian.” Designed for the whole family, this collection of gospel-centered devotionals will help you teach your children to treasure and rely on Jesus more than anything else.

This resource contains 40 devotionals for the family.

View Resource

FROM ME TO WE

Getting married? Check out this premarital devotional for brides- and grooms-to-be.

From Me to We is a transparent, surprisingly honest, and widely informative guide. It will inspire readers to safeguard their marriage by tackling tough questions and issues before they say, “I do.”

Lucille Williams, pastor’s wife and trained Prepare/Enrich Marriage Facilitator, offers straight-talk about marriage as well as challenges and discussion questions—a must-have tool for premarital counseling.

View Resource

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Why Celebrate Lent?

Posted by on 02/13/2018 in:

In high school, I attended a Baptist church “in-town” while most of my peers went to the Catholic church down the street. I always knew when the Lent season started—not just because of the ashes they wore to school—but because of the cafeteria food. They started serving fish. Every. Friday.

And high-school-cafeteria-style fish is not the most appetizing.

Somehow, this was all that Lent meant to me: black smudges and Fish Fridays. But then, I went to Bible college, attended a few churches, and went to some Lent services. I realized how much I had been missing out on.

THE BENEFIT OF CELEBRATING LENT

In case you didn’t know (like me), the Lenten season lasts for 40 days, mirroring Jesus’ time spent in the desert. Just like Jesus fasted during those 40 days, many Christians choose to give something up for that period of time. This is a practice of self-denial, discipline, and reflection. We take time to recognize that the ONLY thing that can quench our hunger, thirst, and desire is Jesus Christ.

Then, when Easter comes, our hearts are ready to rejoice. We do have and will always have a relationship with our Lord.

WHAT SHOULD I GIVE UP?

If you don’t answer this question before Lent starts tomorrow—don’t give up. You can still participate in this tradition!

Some advice I’ve been given that I found useful is to pick something that I think about a lot or find my identity in.

This is why people often give up a food, drink, or social media.

If you decide to give up something that you use or think about often, it will help draw your mind to Christ more frequently—reminding you that He is the one who sustains you.

WHAT ABOUT ADDING SOMETHING?

Yes, yes yes.

Adding a spiritual discipline to your daily or weekly routine during Lent is another great way to turn your heart toward Christ. This is a practice of self-denial and discipline as well—giving of your time and energy in new ways.

What should I add?

We’ve put together a Lent Reading Plan for all of you.

We hope you’ll find it as encouraging as we do during this season. You can find it here with all of the other reading plans:

We also put together a list of Lent Devotionals

You can check out the list by heading over to our website.

HAVE ANY ADVICE, TIPS, OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

Share with us in the comments! How do you celebrate Lent?

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Look Inside: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

Posted by on 02/12/2018 in:

Have you ever been sitting in church and wondered what a Philistine era oil jar looked like? Okay, maybe that is a little too specific… but the idea is that you CAN find an image of this ancient artifact WITHOUT using wifi. How? We’ve got the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary available for the Olive Tree Bible App. Let’s look inside.

STUDY MADE SIMPLE

The resource guide of the Olive Tree Bible App makes using Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary a seamless part of your study.

In the screenshot below (taken from an iPad) I have my Bible opened to Daniel chapter 1. The commentary section of the resource guide then shows me which of my commentaries have related entries to this text.

The circle next to the title indicates there five entries related to this section of Scripture. So, I’ll click on that commentary to see a preview of the those entries.

Since this chapter talks about Daniel and his friends being placed in a Babylonian learning environment, I’m interested in learning more about what that may have looked like. So, I tapped on the third entry that talks about the language and literature of the Babylonians.

Then, I read a fascinating article about historical Babylonian education that Daniel and his friends would have been exposed to. Thanks to enhanced commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary I can easily gain insight that helps me view the Biblical text in new ways.

TAKE A FEW MORE PEEKS

This illustrated commentary is full of pictures, charts, graphics, maps and more. Here are a few more images to give you an idea of what’s inside:

        

LEARN MORE

Read an in-depth product description, compare bundles, and more over on our website.

Already own this resource? Let us know what you think of it in the comments!

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The Noahic Covenant

Posted by on 02/09/2018 in:

“I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh: the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
—Genesis 9:13–16

AFTER THE STORM

The faint rainbow that appears after a summer thunderstorm symbolizes God’s mercy, His compassion on all. Moreover, it is a sign of God’s covenant, His binding agreement with all humanity to never destroy the earth with a flood.

God initiated this covenant under the worst circumstances: “The earth was filled with violence” (6:11, 13). Even though humanity’s decline into evil greatly troubled God, He favored one man, Noah. He determined to save Noah and his family from His coming judgment and establish His covenant with them.

NOAH’S STORY

Although Noah was surrounded by violence and all kinds of evil, Noah walked with God (6:9) by seeking to obey Him. Noah’s simple obedience is recorded five times in this story (6:22; 7:5, 9, 16; 8:17–18). God called this obedient man to build an ark. With this large boat, God saved Noah from the cleansing waters of the Flood. With the past evils and sins washed away from the earth, Noah and his family could start anew (see 1 Pet. 3:21 for Peter’s analogy comparing baptism with the Flood).

GOD’S PROMISE

God not only gave them a fresh start; He also gave them an unconditional promise or covenant. He promised not to destroy the earth with a flood no matter how evil Noah’s descendants got. Indeed, He promised that until the end of the earth, there would be the seasons of planting and harvest and day and night. God unilaterally promised to uphold the rhythms of the earth in order to sustain human life—even though humans had rebelled against Him, their Creator.

Today all of us—Noah’s children—should remember God’s mercy to us when we see the beauty of the rainbow.

What are God’s promises telling you today?

Excerpted from the NKJV Study Bible in Full Color. Learn more about this title that we recently added to our store by visiting our website.

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Look Inside: NKJV Study Bible Full Color Edition

Posted by on 02/08/2018 in:

We’ve added a new title to our store! Keep reading to get a sneak peek into the NKJV Study Bible in Full Color. It’s packed full of helpful articles, maps, and more.

CONTENTS

Typically, study Bibles are known simply for their short comments in the footnotes—but the NKJV Study Bible in Full Color comes with much more than that. Let’s take a look at all the contents by type:

ARTICLES

When looking at the contents list, you’ll see a section called “List of Articles.” These titles are hyperlinked, and tapping on one will take you directly to the article in the study Bible. As an example, there are 9 articles listed for the book of Psalms, covering topics like Image of God, Royal Psalms, and The Sanctity of Life.

This study Bible also provides a short article titled, “How to Understand What the Bible Means by What It Says,” along with a preface to the NKJV. Additionally, you can quickly navigate to hyperlinked lists of Teachings & Illustrations of Christ, Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus Christ, parables, miracles, prayers of the Bible, a concordance and more.

Just when you think you’ve seen all the study Bible has to offer, there’s more for you to discover. The best part? It’s all easily accessible and organized, getting you where you want without turning a page.

CHARTS & DIAGRAMS

Under the “Charts and Diagrams” section, you can quickly find all the helpful visual aids inside the study Bible. For instance, under 1 Kings, there is a visual representation of Solomon’s Temple. Here’s what happens when you tap:

There are also plenty of charts and timelines, helping you grasp the historical events of the Bible.

MAPS

There are four ways to view maps in this resource.

ONE: Maps will appear as you are working your way through the notes. If there is an applicable map, you’re sure to stumble upon it.

But if you are wanting a specific map, here’s how you find it:

TWO: View the contents of the study Bible and tap on “List of In-Text Maps.” Here you will be able to tap on hyperlinked map names in order to quickly navigate to the map in-context of the passage.

THREE: Know the place you’re trying to find? Navigate to the Map Index. Places are arranged alphabetically. Just tap to see a map!

FOUR: Select “Nelson’s Full Color Maps” at the bottom of the list of contents. Here you will find maps which are typically discovered in the back of a Bible. Tap and zoom to enlarge the map!

WORD STUDIES

While you’re reading the Bible, the NKJV Study Bible in Full Color will occasionally provide you with a word study using Strong’s numbers. This is a very helpful tool for making sure you are interpreting a passage correctly.

To see a list of all the word studies, tap on “List of Word Studies” in the table of contents. Here’s what we found on “mighty men” in 2 Samuel!

INTRODUCTIONS

Each book of the Bible comes with an introduction. It provides you with important background information, timelines, description of the author and how the book was composed, and any other historical information you may need.

MOST IMPORTANTLY!

Last, but not least, there are over 15,000 notes in this study Bible. You’re going to learn so much while reading the Bible with this resource. And if you have a question on a topic, check out the List of Bible Times and Culture Notes. You might be able to find some answers without digging through the entire Bible first.

HOW IT WORKS

In case you haven’t used the Olive Tree Bible App very much, we’ll give you a brief description of how the Study Center works in the app.

When you purchase the NKJV Study Bible in Full Color, you are actually receiving TWO resources: the NKJV Bible and the notes. You can have any translation of the Bible open in the main window while using the notes in the Study Center,

Best of all, the Resource Guide always knows when you have a resource that discusses the passage you are reading. So, when you’re studying the Bible, just tap on study Bible in the split-window, and it will follow along with you.

WHY IT’S USEFUL

Whether you just started studying the Bible, or have been an avid reader for decades, you will always be in need of direction and guidance. There’s so much to learn about the Bible, and we have to be careful to turn to the right resources for information on our faith! Looking to the wrong places (or not looking for outside help at all) can have detrimental consequences.

So, if you’re in need of a good study Bible, we recommend the NKJV Study Bible in Full Color. To learn more about this resource, see a view of how it works in our app, and even make a purchase, visit our website.

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