Learning Greek can be a difficult task. It takes years of study and countless hours of practice before you reach the point of reading the Greek New Testament without the help of additional resources. Unless your aim is to be a New Testament scholar, most will not achieve that level of comfort with the Greek text. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from using the Greek New Testament in your studies. Whether you’re someone who can read Greek proficiently or have only ever used a Strong’s Bible, Olive Tree’s Interlinear Bibles are here to meet your needs.
If you’ve ever wanted to trace a specific theme or word in the Bible to see how it connect with all of scripture then the newly released Olive Tree Bible Topic Threads is a must-have resource for your Bible study library.
Bible commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding and applying what the Bible has to say to us today, but often overlooked is the value that using scripture to understand scripture can bring. When viewed as a whole, individual themes create designs and textures in a single, unified pattern of revelation.
Here is a brief look inside at the the Olive Tree Bible Topic Threads and how it works in the Bible App.
When opened in the split window the Olive Tree Bible Topic Threads will look to the text you have opened in the main window and pull in verse cross references and thematic topics. You can tap on the verse cross reference for a quick reading or tap the particular theme to view a more comprehensive list.
When you tap/click on a particular theme you’ll not only see a list of verses but you’ll also see related topics (where applicable).
If you are interested in studying a particular theme or topic you can also look it up directly.
Bible Handbooks and Quick References are great resources that help you go deeper in your Bible study. In this blog we’ll be taking a look at the Hayford Bible Handbook and the tools it has to help you in your understanding of God’s word.
Since the content of the Hayford Bible Handbook is designed to be used for your Bible study it’s best accessed from the Resource Guide. The Resource Guide looks to the text you’re reading in the main window and then pulls in relevant information based on exactly where you are studying.
In the screenshot below you’ll see that the Hayford Bible Handbook has study notes that can be accessed in the ‘Commentaries’ section of the Resource Guide.
With a quick tap I can see the notes for the section of scripture I’m reading in the main window.
The Hayford Bible Handbook also has introductions to each book of the Bible that give you a great starting point for unpacking the book you are about to read. This can be accessed in the ‘Introductions’ section of the Resource Guide.
In addition to great study articles and applications you’ll also find charts, maps, and timelines.
You can also tap on people, places, or topics to access relevant articles, word studies, or thematic studies.
Of the many Bible study tools that Olive Tree offers, sermon collections are another great resource that are specifically enhanced to work in the Resource Guide of the Olive Tree Bible App.
Sermons work much the same as a commentary in the resource guide. In the screenshot below (from an Android tablet) the resource guide recognizes that I’m in Romans chapter ten and so when I look at the sermon section of the resource guide I see that in my installed sermon collections Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody and John Piper have preached on this particular section of scripture.
A simple tap/click then takes me to the text of their sermon for easy reading and also to help me in my understanding of the passage.
We’ve just released a 63 Volume updated version of C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons. Spurgeon wrote his sermons out fully before he preached, but what he carried up to the pulpit was a note card with an outline sketch. Stenographers would take down the sermon as it was delivered and Spurgeon would then have opportunity to make revisions to the transcripts the following day for immediate publication. His weekly sermons, which sold for a penny each, were widely circulated and still remain one of the all-time best selling series of writings published in history.
You can read more about one of the most prolific sermon writers HERE.
The newly released NKJV Word Study Bible is a fantastic resource for your personal Bible study. It includes the New King James Version (NKJV) Bible text with Strong’s tagging NKJV paragraph-style text with in-text subheadings and translators’ notes, book introductions, word studies, Indexes and a concordance. In this blog we’ll show you how this great resource works when used in the Olive Tree Bible App.
The NKJV Word Study Bible includes Strong’s tagging. This means you can tap an English word and get the Greek or Hebrew word that the English word is translated from. Strong’s tagged words are indicated by a slight blue/grey shading. The Strong’s popup will then give you a dictionary definition of that word and the option to lookup more information on the word itself (very useful if you have more in depth dictionaries in your library) or search on the Strong’s number to see where that word appears throughout the Bible.
Study Bible Notes
The study Bible notes in the NKJV Word Study Bible are best used in the split window of the Bible App. You can access them in the Resource Guide under ‘Commentaries’ or from your Library in the split window. They will stay in sync as you are reading and provide you with easy access to word study articles.
Hyperlinked words are in green and allow you to quickly jump to other study sections.
Verses open in a convenient popup.
English Word Index
Scripture Passage Index
While the most common word studies are shown front and center there are often word study articles available on more than one word per verse. If that is the case you’ll find links for those additional word studies that you can easily tap for further reading.
Have a question we didn’t cover here? Ask it in the comments below.
Want to add the NKJV Word Study Bible to your account? Go here!
Application is the last step in the Read & Research study method. In this final video in the series we show you how to take everything you’ve done so you can apply it to your life. We even share some of the points of application we got from our study of Psalm 1.
Let’s be honest, it can be intimidating to ask what something is when it seems like we should already know. A theological term or Bible study method may sound familiar, but that doesn’t mean you know what it actually is. We are here to help! In this blog, we’ll talk about the difference between a study Bible and a Bible commentary and how each can help you in your own Bible study.
A study Bible is the Bible text along with additional notes and resources that are meant to help you understand what you’re reading. A non-digital study Bible is often formatted with the study Bible notes below the Bible text, which allows for quick reference without having to leave the passage you’re reading. Depending on the study Bible, the study helps can include historical and contextual background information, cross references to other verses, maps, charts, and more. Much of this will be underneath the text and some will be organized in sections in the back of the book.
Study Bibles in the Olive Tree Bible App work much the same way. While you’re reading the Bible text, the resource guide will pull in the content from any study Bible you have in your library to give you quick access to helpful information. The video below shows how this works.
For starters a Bible Commentary is not usually bundled with the text like a Study Bible is but they are typically based on a specific Bible translation such as the KJV, NIV, ESV, etc. Some Bible commentaries may have a separate volume for each book of the Bible. For example the print version of the 62 Vol. Word Biblical Commentary series would take up about 7 feet on your bookshelf. Other more concise Bible Commentaries may only be a single volume yet even these will usually offer more content than a typical Study Bible.
While most Study Bible’s take a similar approach to providing study helps, commentaries can be broadly put into three different types; devotional, homiletical, and exegetical. Before I lose you, let me define those three so you know the difference.
Devotional commentaries are primarily focused on the application of the text to daily life and are often written by one individual. They don’t typically cover the the Bible verse by verse or give as much information about specific background or context focus a lot on the individual application
Homiletical or preaching commentaries are written with the purpose of helping people to both interpret and apply the word. Many such commentary sets are written by preachers themselves and often even based on messages that have previously been preached.
Exegetical commentaries are based on a set of practices and procedures focused on discovering the author’s intended meaning. These types of commentaries will often explain passages from the original language the Bible was written in (Hebrew and Greek), the context of the culture, and other technical aspects having to do with specific text in the Bible.
With both Study Bibles and Bible Commentaries it’s important to realize that whether they have a single author or a team of contributors there are always theological and doctrinal influences on scriptural interpretation. Just as you would prayerfully evaluate a sermon you hear on Sunday it’s important to do the same thing as it relates to any sort of commentary. With that said though the scholarship and insight that you’ll find in a Study Bible or Bible Commentary can be an amazing wealth of knowledge that really helps you to unpack the Bible and see scripture in new and exciting ways.
What’s right for you?
If you are looking for quick reference material a Study Bible or a one volume commentary like the Zondervan Bible Commentary is a good place to start.
The great thing about using study Bible notes or a commentary is that either one is just as easy to use in the Olive Tree Bible App.
In the screenshot above (taken from Bible App on a Mac) all study Bible notes and commentary notes appear in the same section of the Resource Guide under ‘Commentaries’. A simply tap/click and you can access a wealth of knowledge to help you grow in your understanding of God’s word.
Want to see available Study Bibles and Bible Commentaries?
Now that you’ve taken a look at your cross reference resources, the next step of this method takes you to your commentaries and study Bible notes. In this video we show you how to quickly access these resources, as well as copying & pasting portions of the commentary into your notes. Let’s see what our commentaries have to say about Psalm 1.
In this fourth video of the series we’re doing more research as we begin to explore other resources in our library. To start, we’re showing you how cross reference tools can be a vital part of understanding the Bible. Dive in and see what other passages relate to Psalm 1.
In the third video of this series we are beginning the research part of the Read & Research Method. We begin by making simple observations of the passage we’re studying. What observations will you get from reading Psalm 1?