Posts tagged Bible Study Tips

5 Benefits of WBC in the Bible Study App


With 62 volumes and 26,000+ pages of content, the Word Biblical Commentary is a hefty commentary series.  With this much content, how do you navigate it all?

With the Bible Study App, you can easily read and study the WBC anywhere.  Here are 5 benefits of using the WBC in the Bible Study App (Screenshots are from the Windows Desktop version of The Bible Study App.  Click on Images for a larger view)

1. Resource Guide & Split Window

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

If you prefer to just read one resource at a time, you can open the WBC in the split window. 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 WBC 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 these first two features alone.

2. Easily Navigate to Commentary Sections

Each section of commentary in WBC (covering a range of verses) is further divided into a number of sub-sections which each approach the entire set of verses from different perspectives like “Bibliography”, “Translation” and more. Each of the sub-sections has been individually tagged based on content, meaning that if you have a particular Bible passage open in the main window, the Resource Guide will display the commentary notes for that passage in the WBC for each of the subsections.

Using it with the Resource Guide like this makes it easy to drill down to one sub-section, then jump back up quickly and then back down to another

3. Search & Look Up Features

Search the Word Biblical Commentary for words or passages.  Take “elder” as an example.  You can search the entire 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.

When your search hits are displayed, you can tap on the result to go directly to that section in the WBC.  You can also choose to open the search in a pop out window making this search accessible for further study.

4. 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 Genesis 12 about Abram, there are multiple Scripture references in the WBC that help me with this passage. 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.

5. Highlight, Add a Note, Bookmark or Copy & Paste

Make the Word Biblical Commentary your own with the Bible Study App. Without having to leave your current study, you can:


Add a Note, Copy & Paste


Or Bookmark and save under your own custom category

Bonus: Cross Platform

The Bible Study App is available for your iPhone, iPad, Android Phone or Tablet, PC or Mac.  With our our background sync technology, you can access all of your notes, highlights, and bookmarks on all of your devices with a free Olive Tree Account.

The Word Biblical Commentary set serves as an exceptional resource for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.

Watch a short video to See the Word Biblical Commentary in Action!

WBC On Sale

The WBC is currently on sale. All volumes are currently priced at $9.99. The full set is also discounted, along with new OT & NT sets. Be sure to buy these before the price permanently goes up after this month.

Look Inside: Open Your Bible Commentary

The difficulties of maintaining a daily Bible study routine are many. Where do you start? How do you make adequate time for more than a cursory reading of the Text? How do you find the right balance of study and devotion? And the list goes on. The truth is there are no easy answers to any of these questions. But we shouldn’t throw in the towel and give up. Every Christian struggles with their Bible reading at some point in their life. Today I want to share a new Olive Tree resource whose aim is to help your daily Bible study. Let me introduce you to the Open Your Bible Commentary.


The Open Your Bible Commentary was written to encourage daily Bible study. The content of this two volume commentary began as a series of Bible Study books originally published by Scripture Union. The series’ intent was to create a resource that encouraged a greater depth of Bible study in a way that wasn’t possible with study notes alone. This format allowed the authors to give fuller discussions on introductory, textual, and background material that might otherwise be overlooked in something like a study Bible. The principal aim of the studies was to stimulate daily Bible reading as a means of personal devotion and life application.

These sensitively edited studies have been reworked into what we now have as the Open Your Bible Commentary. With this commentary you get short readings rich in content. Each passage is carefully explained, devotionally warm, and practically relevant. In its introduction, the commentary boasts four great strengths that set it apart from others:

  1. Accessible: The studies address the average, thoughtful Christian without assuming they have a prior background with the text.
  2. Digestible: No section is overly long. It is designed so that you can read one or two sections each day without feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Dependable: The commentary is authored by renowned theologians, scholars, and experienced pastors including: F.F. Bruce, Leon Morris, William L. Lane, and others
  4. Practical: The studies offer a diversity of everyday application. Sometimes you are given clear application, while other times you are left to ponder the truths for yourself.

All in all, the Open Your Bible Commentary is built for Christians who desire to engage with the Bible daily. After each section you are sure to walk away with a greater understanding of the Bible and application to apply.

Open Your Bible in the Bible Study App

There are a few ways you can use the Open Your Bible Commentary in the Bible Study App, but let me show you my favorite way to use it.

Since the commentary is conveniently broken into manageable sections for study, I prefer to use it as my daily reading plan. In the morning I read a section from the New Testament volume along with its accompanying Bible passage. For my evening reading I do the same, but with the Old Testament volume.

Unlike most times when I read the Bible, this time I have the commentary open in the main window. I then use the Book Ribbon to mark my current location so I can easily pick up where I left off next time.

Open Your Bible Commentary with Book Ribbon

Open Your Bible Commentary with Book Ribbon

Next, I tap the verse reference and open it in the split window. Now I can read the passage and the commentary text. I can also tap on any of the cross references and read them in a pop-up.

Open the Bible text in a Split Window

Open the Bible text in a Split Window

Bible in Split Window

Bible in Split Window

Even with the Bible open in the split window I can still take notes on what I’m studying. And, if by chance I want to do further study, I can quickly switch to the Resource Guide to explore my other resources.

Taking Notes from a Split Window

Taking Notes from a Split Window

What I love about this setup is it allows me to have a different kind of reading plan that still lets me easily study the Bible. I recommend giving it a try!

Purchase Today

I’m confident the Open Your Bible Commentary will prove a great aide to your daily Bible reading. Save 50% and add it to your library today during our Back 2 School Sale.

Quick Tip: Using TWOT in the Bible Study App

Let’s face it, studying the Old Testament can be hard work. This is doubly true once you dive into the original languages, and Hebrew in particular. There are a plethora of useful resources to choose from when studying Biblical Greek, such as BDAG, EDNT, TDNT, NIDNTTE, Louw & Nida, to name a few. Yet when it comes to studying Hebrew the pickings are slim. In Olive Tree, outside of the Strong’s Dictionary, you’re limited to a few titles including: NIDOTTE, HALOT, and TWOT. Even though there’s not a lot to choose from when it comes to studying Hebrew, the available resources are extremely useful.

Today I will show you how to use the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) in the Bible Study App.

Studying with TWOT

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament is essentially a Hebrew lexicon and can be used like any other Hebrew lexicon. However, it has certain special features which are designed to facilitate its use, especially for those less at home in the Hebrew language. It is primarily intended to be a ready tool for the pastor and the serious student, who want to study carefully and understand more fully the sacred text.

I recommend using the TWOT in conjunction with a Strong’s Bible, such as the ESV, to get the most out of it. To illustrate how TWOT works, we will take a look at 1 Samuel 16, a passage I recently read in my Olive Tree daily reading plan. In this passage we find Samuel anointing David as the new king of Israel, since Saul, the current king, had chosen to stop obeying the Lord.

1 Samuel 16 in ESV Strong's Bible

1 Samuel 16 in ESV Strong’s Bible

With the emphasis of anointing in this passage, I wanted to find out more about the Hebrew word behind it, since I knew it is used in several contexts in Scripture. To do this, I tap on the word “anoint” in 1 Samuel 16:3 to bring up a Strong’s popup.

Strong's Popup for "Anoint"

Strong’s Popup for “Anoint”

The definition from the Strong’s dictionary is rather sparse, so I want to find out more. This is where the TWOT comes into play. I tap the “Lookup” button and then select the TWOT article.

Lookup for Hebrew Word

Lookup for Hebrew Word

TWOT in Popup Window

TWOT in Popup Window

The TWOT is now in view and I can read more about the Hebrew root word. If I want to keep the window open or have more space to read, I can then open it in the split window.

Open TWOT in Split Window

Open TWOT in Split Window

TWOT in Split Window

TWOT in Split Window

As I read I can see there is some theological significance to this word, including the divine enablement that accompanied someone being anointed king over Israel. This is information I wouldn’t have gotten from Bible reading alone or from my Study Bible notes. Thanks to TWOT I have a richer understanding of the importance of Samuel anointing David as king.

Because the TWOT is an enhanced Olive Tree product, it is extremely easy to use. Anywhere you find a tagged Hebrew word you’ll be able to quickly get to its TWOT entry. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading your Hebrew and Strong’s Bibles or looking at another Hebrew lexicon. TWOT is always right at your fingertips to expand your understanding of the Hebrew text.

Add TWOT to Your Library

The TWOT is currently half off in our Back to School sale. Add it to your Olive Tree library today and check out the other titles on sale.

Top 5 Advantages of Windows Desktop


Who doesn’t love a good Top 5 list? I know I do! Here are the top reasons why you should use our new Windows Desktop app alongside your mobile. Ready. Set. Go!

1. Multiple Windows

One limitation of working with the Bible Study app on mobile is that you can only have two resources open at a single time, or three if you count pop-ups. This limitation exists for various reasons, ranging from screen size to processing power. You don’t have this problem with Windows Desktop. Open multiple windows to your heart’s content and resize them however you’d like. The possibilities are endless.

Multiple Windows

Multiple Windows

2. Universal Search

Have you ever wanted to search your entire library for a topic or word? The Resource Guide helps with this to an extent, but it only works with enhanced resources. With the Windows Desktop app you can type anything you want in the search field and you’ll get hits from your entire library. This alone is a time saver or reason to get lost in rabbit trails, you decide.

Universal Search

Universal Search

3. Multitasking

Do you like using Microsoft Word or Google Docs to write your sermons or notes? That’s easy with the Bible Study app on Windows Desktop. If you have multiple monitors, have the app open on one screen and Word open in the other. Don’t have two monitors? Resize your windows and you can still do the same. Try doing that on your phone!

Easy Multitasking

Easy Multitasking

4. More Text on the Screen

My phone has a higher resolution (1440 x 2560) than my computer (1920 x 1080). But given the fact my phone is 5.7″ versus the 15″ screen of my laptop, I can still fit a lot more text on my laptop’s screen than I can on my phone. This means I can study a lot easier than I can on my phone. I can read more with less scrolling, which saves time and effort.

Look how much more text you can fit on a desktop computer versus a tablet (Nexus 10).

Greek-English Interlinear Bible - Android Tablet

Greek-English Interlinear Bible – Android Tablet

Greek-English Interlinear Bible - Windows Desktop

Greek-English Interlinear Bible – Windows Desktop

5. Distraction Free Studying

The refreshed user interface of Bible+ 6.0 for Windows Desktop was designed to get out of the way so you could focus on studying. How often have you tried reading the Bible on your phone only to get distracted by a call, text message, or notification? Happens to me all the time, and sometimes I don’t have the luxury of turning on Airplane mode to keep it from happening. The simple gesture of sitting at a computer often implies that it’s time for serious work, which can make it easier to focus and get your studying done distraction free. Plus, it’s easier to “unplug” your computer from the Internet without feeling like you’re cut off from the world.

What Are Yours?

What are some of your favorite features and tips when using the Windows Desktop app? Leave a comment and share them with us and other Olive Tree users.

Quick Tip: TDNT & HALOT Quick Dictionary Lookup

With the Bible Study App we make it easy for you to read & study the Bible wherever you are. This is especially true with original language study. Instead of hunting down the dictionaries and lexicons that possess the information you’re looking for, we put it at your fingertips. Today we’re going to show you how to use the lookup feature in the Bible Study app to access HALOT and TDNT entries in the BHS Parsed and ESV Greek-English Interlinear Bible. We’ll show you how to do this on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but the steps are exactly the same on iOS.


Step 1: Find a word that you want to study in-depth. Tap on that word to get a basic definition and parsing information. Then tap on “Lookup” to begin searching your installed dictionaries for your currently selected word.

HALOT Lookup Step 1

Step 1: Tap your word & then tap “Lookup”


Step 2: Find your dictionary, in this case HALOT, and tap on it.

HALOT Lookup Step 2

Step 2: Find HALOT in the list of dictionaries


Step 3: Read the entry for your word in the resource you selected.

HALOT Lookup Step 3

Step 3: Read the HALOT entry

Greek-English Interlinear & TDNT

These steps work exactly the same way for Greek resources. We’ll perform the same steps to lookup a Greek word in our ESV Greek-English Interlinear Bible.

Step 1: Find a word you want to study and tap on it. Then tap the “Lookup” button in the popup.

Step 1: Find a word to study & tap "Lookup"

Step 1: Find a word to study & tap “Lookup”


Step 2: Find the dictionary/lexicon that you want to read, here the TDNT.

Step 2: Select your dictionary or lexicon

Step 2: Select your dictionary or lexicon


Step 3: Read your entry in the TDNT.

Step 3: Read your entry

Step 3: Read your entry


Other Resources

This lookup feature isn’t just limited to HALOT and TDNT. Use it to lookup words in any of your lexicons or dictionaries. Tap on a Strong’s tagged word and do the same. Want to find entries on Moses? Select his name in your English Bible and perform a lookup on his name. Try it for yourself and see just how indispensable the lookup feature can be to your own studies!

Create Your Own Parallel Bible


There are lots of different methods for studying the Bible, but the common denominator is they all require you to read the Bible. More often than not, we read the Bible in our preferred translation; but, what do you do if you want to compare one translation to another? The Bible Study App makes it easy to read two Bibles side by side. Today we’re going to show you a few easy ways to do this.

The screenshots below are from a Nexus 10 Android tablet, but the process works identically on iOS devices. The methods described below require the split window to be open and assume a Bible is already open in the main window.

Method 1: Library View

The first way to create a parallel Bible is through the library view. If your split window is currently open to Resource Guide or My Stuff you can return to the library view by tapping the back arrow in the header. Once in that view, if you don’t see a list of your resources, tap the title of the currently open resource and select “Library” which will open a list of your resources.


If you have a large library, you may want to filter this view to only show your Bibles. Do this by selecting “Browse by Category” and tapping “Bibles.” Then choose the translation you want to read in parallel. In this screenshot we have chosen to open the Passion Translation.



With both Bibles now open, you can read the Bible in your main window while your secondary Bible follows along.

Method 2: Resource Guide

If you’re someone who frequently uses Resource Guide, this second method will work better for you.

With Resource Guide open, scroll to your Bibles section. Here you are presented with a list of all the Bibles in your library that contain the passage you currently have open in the main window. Select the Bible you want to read and it opens to the same location as the main window. Like in the first method, this Bible will stay in sync as you scroll through the Bible in the main window.



Bonus Method: Multiple Parallel Bibles (Desktop Only)

Do you use our Windows desktop or Mac app? If so, we have a bonus method that allows you to open multiple parallel Bibles simultaneously.

First, access your first parallel Bible by using one of the methods outlined above. Once you have your Bible open in the split window, you can then click the Popout Window button. This will open a copy of the Bible (or any resource) in a popout window that you can resize and move anywhere on the screen.


Now go back to the split window and choose a different Bible. At this point you will have three different Bibles open to the same location that sync with the main window. Repeat these steps to open up as many translations as you would like. Below is a screenshot with four different translations open to John 4.

Screenshot 2015-07-01 12.00.27

Why Use a Parallel Bible?

Now that you know how to create a parallel Bible in the Bible Study App, why would you want to use one? Here are some ideas:

  • Read a more literal translation (KJV, ESV, NASB) alongside a more dynamic one (NLT, Message, TLB) to get a better idea of what the text says
  • Have an English translation open alongside the original language text
  • Use it to compare commentaries or dictionaries by having those resources open instead of a Bible

A parallel Bible can also be used to check out newer Bible translations to see how they compare to your translation of choice. An example of this would be reading the newly released Passion translation titles as a part of your daily reading or Bible study. Purchase a single book of the Bible (such as John or Matthew) and read it beside your regular Bible. You’ll get to experience the Bible in a new way in a different translation that is still faithful to the original languages & intent of the author.

All of the Passion Translation titles are currently on sale for half off, so pick one up today and use it as a parallel Bible!

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