Posts tagged Bible Software

5 Benefits of NICOT/NICNT in The Bible Study App

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The New International Commentary Series on the Old Testament (NICOT) and New Testament (NICNT) are highly regarded scholarly resources that are always ranked at the top by scholars, pastors, students, and professors.

Here are Five benefits of the NICOT/NICNT in The Bible Study App.  (Screenshots are from an iPad.  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 NICOT/NICNT commentary “hits” in the split window.

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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 NICOT/NICNT 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 NICOT/NICNT for words or passages.  Take “love” as an example.  You can search the entire NICOT/NICNT series for where “love” is mentioned in the commentary series.  You can also limit your search to the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical genre, or a specific book.

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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.

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3. Linked Reference Pop ups

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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 Matthew about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry there are multiple references to The Lord’s Chosen servant in Isaiah that are pertinent to my study.  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.

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Related to this is footnotes/endnotes.  Since the NICOT/NICNT is a highly scholarly work, there are 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 writing.  This also was a huge time waster, and I would often lose my train of thought.  With The Bible Study App, all of the footnotes are linked.  Just tap on the footnote, read it, and go back to where you were without losing your place.

4. 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.

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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 NICOT/NICNT or even the Bible text that you do not readily know.

5. Look at 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..

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

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

As you can see, the NICOT/NICNT within The Bible Study App gives you the best in scholarly work, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

Bible Study Tips & Resources

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Bible StudyI first began teaching and preaching in my local church at age 14.  Before my first sermon, my Dad handed me my first Strong’s Concordance and a brand new Bible. Following his lead, I would read through a passage of Scripture and look up every word in the Strong’s Concordance that I didn’t understand or that caught my attention.

I soon learned that I needed a more formalized approach to my Bible study.  Here are some basic steps and tools that help me focus on Bible Study and get me back on track to studying God’s Word.

Prepare yourself through Prayer
“All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hardheartedness.” – John Piper, Martin Luther Lessons from His Life and Labor 

There is no substitute for prayer when reading and studying the Bible.  Prayer takes the attention off of what we can do and puts the attention instead on what God can do in and through us.  Bible study is a spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1) in which we present our best to God.  We have to remember that this is not just a book we’re reading.  We need prepare our hearts and minds for Bible study.

Read the Scripture for yourself
Read and re-read the passage you’re studying.  Get familiar with the flow of the passage.  If there are terms that you don’t know, look them up in a simple dictionary.

Ask yourself these Questions

  1. Observe – What does the text say?
  2. Interpret – What does the text mean?
  3. Apply – How does it apply to me today?

Asking these questions will keep you focused on the study at hand.  These questions are also helpful when preparing, guiding, and leading discussions for small group and Sunday school Bible studies.

Read and Research

1. Cross References

After you’ve thoroughly read the scriptures for yourself, read all of the related verses for that text.  The Bible Study App has some great resources to help you find all of the cross references.  These are helpful because they will save you tons of time and effort just looking up the references.

Recommendations:

2. Bible Concordances
Concordances are great tools that give you a list of verses that contain that root word in the Bible.  However, be careful that you do not JUST use a concordance in your preparation.  Concordances are a great place to BEGIN, but are never the END of your Bible Study.

With that “don’t try this at home” disclaimer, I do suggest using a digital Bible with Strong’s numbers integrated into the text for your Bible study.

Recommendations:

3. Bible Dictionaries
Dictionaries give you more explanation and meaning for specific words.  They also help us to keep our Bible Study on track.

Recommendations:

4.Bible Study Notes
There are multiple Bibles that have study notes written by scholars and trusted authors that will assist you in better understanding the Bible.  I recommend choosing one that corresponds to your preferred translation (KJV, ESV, NIV, NLT, etc.)

5. Bible Commentaries
After you’ve studied the Bible for yourself, it is often helpful to read trusted Bible scholars to see how they explain the text you are reading.

Recommendations:

6. A Basic and Solid Library

To help you get started, Olive Tree has bundled collections of resources to help you dig deeper into God’s word.  These bundles give you the basic tools that you need like the study tools mentioned above. All of these wonderful resources are designed to be integrated into the Resource Guide within The Bible Study App for a seamless and easy-to-use Bible study experience.

Recommendations:

Bible Study Bundles are available in the following Bible translations: NIV, HCSB, NKJV, and NRSV

7. How to Study Resources
Lastly, here are some useful resources to further your Bible Study methods:

Using these simple methods and tools will deepen your Bible Study and further prepare you to present God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).

What are your favorite Bible Study resources?

Three Strong’s Bibles Quick Tips

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The Strong’s Concordance matches every word in the King James Bible to the word it came from in the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Olive Tree’s Bible Study App has integrated Strong’s numbers to work with the ESV, KJV, HCSB, NKJVNASB, and the Almeida Revista e Atualizada (RA) translations of the Bible.

I recently found the integrated Strong’s function particularly helpful when reading John 21:5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?”  Since I normally read the NIV in my devotional time, I was puzzled by the use of the word “children” in this passage as the NIV Translation uses the word “Friends”.  So, I wanted to do a quick study to find out more.

Here’s three quick tips that helped me discover more about the translation behind this word. (Screenshots are taken with the ESV with Strong’s on an iPad, but will work with any of the Translations mentioned above and all supported devices.)

Strong’s Pop-Ups

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Open the your Bible with Strong’s and you’ll see that some words are a slightly different color. Tapping or clicking on those words will pop-up the Strong’s information for that word. These pop-ups contain a wealth of information, including:

  1. The Strong’s number (beginning with either a “g” or an “h”) for that word.
  2. A short definition for that word.
  3. An outlined list of the different meanings for that word in the original language.
  4. Often you will also find that another Strong’s number is included as a link. These can be similar words that you can compare or other words from which your current word selection derives its meaning.

You can also go to your settings in the The Bible Study App and turn on the setting to show Strong’s Numbers (iOS = Settings – Advanced Settings – Text Layout / Display; for Android = Settings – Other Settings). The numbers for the words will appear in the Bible text. Tapping on the number will also bring up the Strong’s pop-up.

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Look-Up Options

At the bottom of the Strong’s pop-up, there are two buttons that perform “look-ups” or searches based on the Strong’s number or the word in its original language.

Look-up by Strong’s Number

The first button contains the Strong’s number for your word. Clicking or tapping on this button will perform a search in your library for articles containing this Strong’s number.

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Look-up by Original Language

The second button contains the word in its original language. Clicking or tapping on this word will perform a search in your library for articles about the word in its original language.

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Using the Search Function

Strong’s tagged Bibles can quickly create a very accurate concordance. By entering the Strong’s number into the search bar at the top right of the The Bible Study App, you can easily find all of the places within the Bible where that specific word is used. This is different than searching for the word in its English form.

Secondly, when you have a Strong’s pop-up open, you can select the word as it appears in its original language form, like αγάπη, and copy and paste it into your search bar to find all of the places in the Greek text were this Greek word appears.

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I also love using the Strong’s Bibles on my iPhone.  It’s a fantastic resource when I’m at church, small group, or on the go.

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Bibles tagged with Strong’s Numbers are excellent resources for diving deeper into the biblical text. It offers insight into the original languages of Scripture without requiring you to have any formal training in Greek or Hebrew.  Be sure to check out these great resources on sale this week.

A Look Inside the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible

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The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible has been a classic Bible study resource for more than thirty years. Now thoroughly revised, this new five-volume edition provides up-to-date entries based on the latest scholarship. ios-introandroid-intro

The Zondervan Encyclopedia includes more than 7,500 articles, hundreds of full-color and black-and-white illustrations, charts, graphs and maps from 238 contributors from around the world.

With this much content, how can you sort it all out to see what’s relevant for your Bible study?

Here are three ways The Bible Study App makes the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible even more powerful (screenshots are from an iPad and a Nexus 7 – click on an image for a expanded view):

ONE:

Open your favorite Bible in the main window. (I’ve got the ESV open in this example.)  Tap the split window handle and drag it to a width or height you like.  As I scroll through the Bible text, the resource guide keeps up with me and searches through all the books in my library for content related to the Scripture passage in the main window.

If you scroll down the resource guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”

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Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about.  I chose “Altar” in this example.  The Bible Study App then brings you results from within the resources you have on your device.  This is where you will find results from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.

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You’ll see that the resource has the words “article to altar” underneath the book cover.  Tap/Click on the book cover and The Bible Study App will take you directly to the article within the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.  After you’ve tapped on the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, you can scroll down and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text.

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When you encounter a map, chart, image or photo, you can tap to bring up a closer view.

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If there are scripture references in the article, just tap the verse and it will appear in a pop-up window.

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You can also tap the top right-hand corner of the pop-up window to bring up the option to open these hyperlinked references in the main window or the split window.

TWO:

You can also utilize the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible as a traditional encyclopedia in The Bible Study App.  Just Tap/Click the “Go-To” button and scroll through this awesome resource as you would a hard-copy encyclopedia.

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THREE:

The Bible Study App Search feature takes the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible to another level. Tap/Click the “Search” icon (magnifying glass icon) and type the word you’re looking for to find all the references of that word in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.

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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.

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If you tap “Define” you will get the integrated iOS dictionary pop-up.

If you tap the “Lookup” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific word. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.

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Check out this week’s sale on Bible handbooks, encyclopedias, and dictionaries, including the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible at 43% off its regular price.

Discounts end September 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST.

iOS Quicktip – resource guide on a verse

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You know about the resource guide in The Bible Study App and how it looks into the passage you’re studying.  But, what if you just really want to dig deeper into just one Bible verse?

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.

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If you tap the “Guide” button you’ll get the resource guide “hits” from just that specific verse.

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Try it out and let us know what you think.

Four Tips for using Commentaries in The Bible Study App

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After you’ve studied the Bible for yourself, it’s often helpful to read trusted Bible scholars to see how they explain the text you’re reading. Commentaries are a great way to do just that and The Bible Study App makes them even more powerful!

Here are a few quick tips on how to get the best experience with commentaries in The Bible Study App (screenshots are taken from an iPad 2).

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.

(click on the images for a larger view)

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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, your commentaries sync 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.

Comparing Commentaries within the Resource Guide

Not only does the Resource Guide keep up with you in one commentary, it keeps track in ALL of your commentaries.  This makes comparing multiple commentaries easy.  In this example, I’ve got the Boice Expositional Commentary Series, Thru the Bible Commentary series, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, The Preacher’s Commentary Series, and the Zondervan Bible Commentary all showing “hits” from the Matthew 12:1-8 passage I’m studying.

With hard copies, I would have to go and find this passage in each commentary and then compare.  With the Bible Study App, the Resource Guide keeps track of where I am.  All I have to do is tap the book cover and it lists out the relevant sections of the commentary for me.  I then tap the section that interests me and The Bible Study App takes me exactly to that place in the commentary.

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To see what each commentary says about the passage in my main window, I just tap the “back” button and The Bible Study App will take me back to the “hits” list.  I then follow the same process as I did before to read my secondary commentary resource.  This is especially helpful if I’m comparing more technical, research-driven commentaries versus more devotional/pastoral commentaries.

Comparing Commentaries in the Main and Split Windows

Another handy way to compare commentaries on a specific passage is to place one of my commentaries in the main window.  I then open the resource guide in the split window.  Since commentaries are based on the biblical text, the resource guide searches my library for relevant content.  This means that I can check other commentaries for comparison and see what other scholars have said about the passage I’m studying.

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Search

Putting your commentary in the main window will also allow you to search your commentaries for words or passages.  Take “Sabbath” as our example.  You can search the entire commentary series for where “Sabbath” is mentioned.  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.

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As above, I can open the resource guide and see results from all my commentaries and other resources on my device.

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 Matthew about Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath, there are references to the Old Testament that I want to understand. 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.

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As you can see, using commentaries within The Bible Study App gives you the best in scholarly work while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort.

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