Posts tagged Bible Study Tips
Developing the Bible Study app and resources isn’t just a job for us here at Olive Tree. Like you, we are passionate about reading the Bible and we love using our app to enhance our study of God’s Word.
We thought you might like to see the Olive Tree app in action. Keith, an Olive Tree engineer, put together a step-by-step guide for preparing a Sunday school lesson on the Bible Study app for Windows 7. Here’s Keith:
“I’ve been preparing Sunday school lessons on the “Lord’s Prayer”-Matt 6:9-13, and next Sunday’s lesson is on Matthew 6:11: Give us today our daily bread.”
“With the ESV Bible open in my Windows 7 Bible Study app, I type Matt 6:9 in the search bar in the upper right corner of the window and press enter. This takes me to this passage in the main window.”
“I’d like to make some text from this passage be my lesson title, so I highlight “Give us today our daily bread” in the Bible window and right click the highlight. This displays a menu from which I click “Copy” and now I can paste the text into my word program.”
“I want to know more about the word “bread” in the Matthew passage, so I right click on “bread” in the text which highlights the word and displays a menu with various search options. I select “Look up bread” from the menu.”
“From “Look up bread,” a list of articles, notes, images, etc. about “bread” will appear. I choose Easton’s Dictionary of the Bible from the “Articles,” which gives me a great article with some background information. I highlight the first two paragraphs in the pop-up window and right-click/copy/paste the section into my lesson document. Here’s what I find in the Easton’s Bible Dictionary:”
Among the Jews was generally made of wheat (Ex 29: 2 Judg 6: 19), though also sometimes of other grains (Gen 14: 18; Judg 7: 13). Parched grain was sometimes used for food without any other preparation (Ruth 2: 14).
Bread was prepared by kneading in wooden bowls or “kneading troughs” (Gen 18: 6 Ex 12: 34; Jer 7: 18).
“The term “daily bread” reminds me of “manna,” so I look up manna by typing it into the search bar and hitting enter. In the right window, I now see headings that guide me to topics, articles, Bibles, images, charts, all about “manna”. I can simply click on a result to go to any of the articles and Bible passages that pique my interest. In “Search results in Open Books,” I choose the Bible I’m using for study to see a list of every time “manna” is mentioned in the Bible. I highlight and copy the verses I want to paste into my lesson plan.”
“But what does the word “manna” mean in the original Greek and Hebrew? I go back to my search results for manna and scroll to the “Search results in Dictionaries” to select Olive Tree’s “Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary” that comes with Strong’s numbered Bibles. Now I have information about manna in Hebrew and Greek:”
h4478. מנ man; from 4100; literally, a whatness (so to speak), i. e. manna (so called from the question about it): — manna.
AV (14)- manna 14;
manna the bread from Heaven that fed the Israelites for 40 years of wilderness wanderings means ‘ What is it?’
“Olive Tree has many original language reference works available, including many Bibles with Strong’s definitions that are tied to the words in the biblical text. In a Strong’s numbered Bible you can click the word “bread” and the Strong’s definition pops up with further options for searching deeper into the word right in the popup.”
“With this research under my belt, I’m well on my way to bringing an excellent and thought-provoking lesson to my Sunday School class.”
Thanks Keith! That was only an introduction to the basics of how the Bible Study app can help you prepare for Bible studies, Sunday School classes, sermons, and more. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of all the latest updates and news for the Bible Study app.
This blog is a re-post from the best of 2011 Olive Tree blogs.
I teased you last week with some exciting new features that are making their way to The Bible Study App, but I realized that everyone might not know about all the great features already available in our app. Here are my top 5 favorite features:
1. The Resource Guide
This is hands down the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in a Bible study app. While I’m reading the Bible, I can open the Resource Guide in the split window to see cross references, study Bible notes, maps, topics and more that are all related to my current reading. As I continue to read, the Resource Guide tracks with me and updates the material to match the Scripture I’m reading.
I’m not very good at remembering verse references and often find myself asking things like, “Where is that verse about the mustard seed?” Instead of flipping through the Bible or searching through an index, I can tap (more…)
Creating Notes & Highlights
If you aren’t already using the notes and highlight features on your Android Olive Tree app, well, you should be. I’m here today to show you just how easy it is to take notes and highlight verses in the app. Now, lets get to the basics:
To add a highlight:
Tap on the verse number where you would like to add a highlight.
A toolbar will pop up, with several options. Select the “Highlight” option. You can now select the number of verses to highlight. Tap the right facing arrow to select multiple verses. Once you have selected the verse range to highlight, tap “Select [number] Verse(s).”
The highlight editor will pop up which allows you to title the highlight, change the highlight color and edit tags for the highlight. Make the changes to the highlight you would like, and tap “Save” to finish adding your highlight.
To add a note:
Tap on the verse number where you would like to create a note. A toolbar will pop up, with several options. Select the “Note” option.
The note editor will pop up which allows you to title the note, add text to the note and edit tags for the note. Tap on the “Edit” button to add text to your note. Tap “Done” when you are finished editing the note. A note icon should appear in the Bible text next to the verse you selected to create a note.
And that’s it! Simple, right? Now go start taking notes and highlights in the Olive Tree app and head back here to see how to sync your notes and highlights to the Olive Tree cloud and make sure you never lose any of them.
Check back every Tuesday to see a new “Back to Basics” tip for using the Olive Tree Bible app.
One of the most popular features of our Bible apps is highlighting. While highlighting is relatively easy to do, there are some cool things you can do with highlights in our Bible apps.
Adding a Highlight
There are two different ways to highlight Scripture on your iPad or iPhone. The first is a single-verse highlight and the second is highlighting a specific block of text.
Highlighting a Single Verse
The first way to add a highlight is to tap on a verse number and select the “Highlight” option. You will see the basic color options for the highlighters. By selecting a color, voila! you have highlighted that single Bible verse.
Highlighting a Block of Text
The second way to highlight is to use the tap and hold function to select an amount of text, maybe a word or two, or several verses, and then tap the “highlight” option from the list.Again, you get the basic color options and after choosing a color, the text you selected will be highlighted.
One Important Note: Single-verse highlights, made by tapping on a verse number, will appear in every Bible translation that contains that Bible verse. Text selection highlights made by selecting a specific block of text are translation specific and will only appear in the Bible translation that they were created in.
Creating a Custom Highlight
If the default highlighters aren’t what you’re looking for, Olive Tree Bible apps offer the option to create your own highlight. After you have either tapped on a verse number or selected a block of text and tapped “Highlight,” instead of choosing a highlight color, tap on “More” and then tap on the “Edit” button on the top right of the pop-up.
Select “Add Highlighter” and you will be given a broad range of options for changing the color and type of highlight you create, including creating an underline highlighter. You can name your new highlight and use it over and over again.
Managing Your Highlights
Once you have created a highlight, it will appear in your “My Stuff” folder, represented by the suitcase icon. Tap on the icon and tap “Highlights.” Select the color of highlight you want to edit or select “All Highlighters” to see all of your highlights.
If you tap on a highlight, you will be taken to that location in the main window. If you tap on the blue arrow, you can edit the title, add a tag, change the category, change the highlight color, and delete the highlight. I’ll talk more about the awesome ways to sort and organize your notes and highlights using Tags and Categories in later posts. For now, go experiment with the different highlights, create your own custom highlighter and check back with us next week to see how to organize them all.
If you have any more questions about highlighting in the Olive Tree Bible apps, let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to help you out. Head to our video page to watch highlighting in action on the different platforms, including highlighting on iPad.
Reading and studying the Bible are important disciplines for all Christians, but the concept of Bible study can be more elusive. In Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods, Warren starts out by saying, “I have discovered that most Christians sincerely want to study their Bibles on their own, but they just don’t know how.”
There are many classes, books and seminars full of theories and methods to teach you how to study the Bible. I took a class in seminary called Principles of Inductive Bible Study, and to this day I can hear the professor’s voice in my head. Every day the professor would ask, “What’s the first step in inductive Bible study?” and as a class we had to respond in unison, “Observation!” Then he would ask, “What question do we ask in the first step of Inductive Bible Study” and in unison we would again respond, “What does the text say?!” Often he would repeat these questions over and over until he felt we responded enthusiastically enough. He drilled into us what he believed to be the right steps for inductive Bible study, but his was just one out of a multitude of Bible study methods.
I’d recommend taking a look at How to Read the Bible Book by Book and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart as good introductory Bible study resources. Learn To Study The Bible by Andy Deane, and Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul are also helpful for picking up good Bible study tools and habits. Study Bibles, like the NIV Study Bible can provide notes, cross references and other insights into the text to help you in your Bible study. I have several study Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries and other resources that I consult when studying a particular passage of Scripture. However, don’t get too bogged down with study books and miss out on the truths you can glean from digging into the text on your own.
Here are some things I do when studying the Bible (don’t worry; I won’t make you memorize these!):
Context, Context, Context
I start by looking for the historical context: the author, style of writing, time period, audience and the historical background that surrounds the text. I then focus on the biblical context. I read the previous and subsequent chapters to get a full picture of the passage. Finally, I look for how the passage is applicable to my life.
I like to read the passage through three times. I write down repeated words or phrases, metaphors, similes, exclamations or anything that stands out. If anything reminds me of another passage I’ll look it up and compare. I like to pick out a couple of the repeated words and phrases for a quick word study, looking for other places those words are used in Scripture using my Strong’s Bible.
I like to re-write the passage of Scripture in my own words, taking into account all of the work I’ve done up to this point. I then summarize my study in three sentences or less. I’m terrible at memorizing Scripture, but I’ve found that re-writing the passage in my own words helps me to recall the verse, even if it isn’t exact.
Do you have steps for Bible study that you follow? Is there a resource that you find especially helpful for your study? Let us know by leaving us a comment.
Many people love reading and studying the Bible on our Bible+ and BibleReader apps, but have yet to unlock the full potential of the app by using the Resource Guide. Are you one of them? If so, read on to discover the power that is waiting for you inside the Resource Guide.
As you read along in your Bible, the Resource Guide within BibleReader follows you, looking in your library for any information that is relevant to your reading. This happens, as one of my co-workers puts it, “automagically.” You don’t have to go flipping through the books in your library to find a certain article of search for that note you took on the sermon last week. The Resource Guide does the work for you.
I like to think of the Resource Guide as my personal research assistant. As I’m reading about Paul’s first missionary journey in Acts 13, my research assistant has a map of Paul’s journey, cross references to passages in Paul’s letters written to the churches he founded on the journey, charts that give an overview of Paul’s life, and all sorts of other goodies open for me. I didn’t have to do anything, in fact, I didn’t even have to ask. All of the work was already done for me by my personal research assistant, the Resource Guide.
The Resource Guide is set up to display information for you, but if you don’t like the configuration, no worries. You can pick and choose which resources to display in the Resource Guide. You can also move the sections around so that you see the information you are most interested in first.
I’ve been using the Resource Guide for almost a year now, and my study of the Bible has greatly benefited. I no longer have days where I read the Bible with glazed eyes, hardly registering the words in front of me. With the Resource Guide open, I am drawn to topics, people and places in the text that open new pathways for my study. As I read in Nehemiah, I can select topics from patriotism, to Persia, and my Bible study takes off with maps, charts, articles, cross references and so much more.
I’ve gotten so excited about what the Resource Guide can do for you that I’ve forgotten to tell you how to get to it. The Resource Guide lives in the split window of your BibleReader app. On your mobile devices tap the double bar to pull open the split window and on your PC or Mac click on the arrow icon on the top right of your screen to pull open the split window.
We also have some helpful videos that show you how to use the Resource Guide on your device. Click on the links below watch these videos and be prepared to have your Bible study transformed.
Resource Guide Videos