Posts tagged Bible Study Tips

Family Devotions Made Easy

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Can I be honest? When I first heard about the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible I had mixed emotions. The entire concept of this particular Study Bible was intriguing, but not enough for me to spend money on yet another print Bible to have among a plethora of other specialty Bibles. Those mixed emotions quickly turned to ecstatic joy when I found out that Olive Tree was going to make this title available in the Bible Study app because it’s a perfect accompaniment to my digital library. So, I added the title to my list of projects and worked to get it done so that I could start using it ASAP (and of course make it available for everyone else). Now, I may be on the edge of my seat about this resource, but why should you? Let me tell you why by explaining its benefit for use in personal and family devotions.

Aside from working at a Bible software company and being an all around theology geek, my greatest responsibilities in life are spiritually leading my household and parenting my three children. For the longest time I wasn’t the best at leading my family in devotions, and I struggled to get material together to make it easy and manageable. With time, I’m gradually getting better; but, a resource like the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible goes a long way in making family devotions simple and doable for all. It provides all the tools I need to ground my family in the Word of God on a daily basis.

The reading plan is the ground floor and what makes family worship/devotion happen with this study Bible. Instead of trying to figure out which passage your family is going to read each day, you can use Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s wonderful reading plan, which has been thoughtfully separated into both family worship & private readings. For example, the original M’Cheyne plan will have you read the first chapter of Genesis, Ezra, Matthew, and Acts on January 1; but, as laid out in this study Bible, you’d read Genesis & Matthew during your family devotion, while reading Ezra & Acts in your private devotion time. Over the course of the year, you will have taken your family through roughly half of the Old Testament (Genesis thru 2 Chronicles, along with Psalms) and the entire New Testament. The added benefit of using this in the Bible Study app is that you can use the built in M’Cheyne reading plan to keep track of your devotions so that you can start no matter the time of year without figuring out how it matches with the calendar they provide. Personally, it’s nice having a ready made plan that I know will take my family through the Scriptures in a systematic way. It’s much easier to prepare when you already have a plan in place!

Now, as you’re reading through these passages with your family and in your own time, you’re no doubt going to run across difficult passages. The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible excels in this area. It is truly a study Bible. Each book of the Bible includes an introduction that discusses its background and purpose, even including discussions on the difficult questions that may be faced in that book. There are also thousands of study notes that explain the meaning of individual words and phrases in their context so that you can make sense of the passage. Cross references to relevant passages are also integrated into the study notes allowing you to investigate more deeply and compare Scripture with Scripture. And even though this study Bible is based on the KJV translation, the Bible Study app allows you to use it alongside your preferred translation (such as the ESV or NIV).

One of the most important things about spending time in the Bible, whether it be in a family or private setting, is to make application of the text that you’re reading. In my opinion, this is where this study Bible is worth its weight in gold. At the end of every chapter of study notes is a section called “Thoughts for Personal/Family Worship” that assists you in preparing thoughts for your time of worship and how to use the text to grow in godliness. So, even if you’re not someone who has been to seminary or Bible college, you’ll be more than equipped to lead your family in a time of devotion. To give you an idea of what this section looks like, here are the thoughts from Genesis 1:

  1. Consider the power of God in creation. If a computer were observing 10 million stars per second, it would still take 63 million years to count all the stars! Such is the power of the Almighty. Remarkably, the stars are the work of His fingers (Ps. 8:3) but salvation is the work of His right hand (Ps. 98:1). In a wonderful way God’s work in making believers new creations in Christ Jesus demonstrates a power greater than commanding the world into existence. Let us be amazed at the wonder of creation; let us be overwhelmed with the wonder of grace. How does saving grace display even greater glory than creation?
  2. Stand in awe of the power of God’s word. God’s word is the agency of creation. God said, “Let there be . . .” Christ demonstrated this power in the miracles both with people such as raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11) and with the inanimate creation such as calming the storm (Mark 4:35-40). God’s word still is powerful today through the Scriptures. It is by the word of His power as well that He bears His created world along according to His purpose of providence (Heb. 1:3). The fact that God created gives Him the right to govern and to use His creation as He sees fit (Ps. 24:1-2; 95:5). Since creation, including man, belongs to God, all of creation, including man, is dependent on Him and accountable to Him. The theological implications of creation are far-reaching.

As you can see, these items alone provide more than enough information for someone to lead a time of devotion, whether it be in a family, small group, or personal setting. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this study Bible has to offer. Tomorrow I’ll share some of the other things that make this study Bible unique and worth adding to your library. I hope that my excitement for the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible resonates and makes you want to own & use it just as much as I do.

How to use the NIDNTTE in The Bible Study App

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NIDNTTE picA standard and widely-used reference work for nearly 40 years, the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE) has been thoroughly revised and updated to aid today’s pastors, students, scholars, and teachers in their study of the New Testament.

The NIDNTTE offers a wealth of background and information on the meaning of Greek words in the New Testament—as well as related usage in classical Greek sources, the Septuagint, Jewish literature, and more

Here are Five ways to use the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE) in The Bible Study App (screenshots are from an iPad 2 – click for a larger view).

ONE – Traditional Dictionary

Open the NIDNTTE in the main window. Tap the GO TO button. From here you can search for the word you are looking for as you would another other dictionary through the Table of Contents.

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TWO – Traditional Dictionary Search

Similarly, with the NIDNTTE in the main window. Tap GO TO > Browse Dictionary > Enter the Greek Word you are looking for.  The Bible Study App search the NIDNTTE for the Greek word. Tap the word and read the article.

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These first two options require a working knowledge of Biblical Greek.  I’m sorry to say that my Greek is a bit rusty. Okay, it’s a LOT rusty. (Apologies to Dr. Walls, my Greek professor)  This is where the Bible Study App’s functionality and integration with original language resources really shines.

THREE – Strong’s Tagged Bible Integration

If you have a Strong’s Tagged Bible, using the NIDNTTE is a snap.  Open your Strong’s Tagged Bible in the Main Window (I’m using the ESV Strong’s Tagged Bible in this example). Tap the word you want to learn more about.  I’ve chosen the word “worship” from Romans 12:1 latreia. From the Strong’s Popup, tap “Lookup latreia”.

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There you will find an article in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis.  Tap the NIDNTTE book cover and you can read the article on the Greek word in the popup window.

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You even have the option to open the article in the Main Window or Split Window.

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FOUR - Original Language Integration 

Along the same lines is the integration with Greek Parsed texts like the NA28 with Parsings.

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FIVE – Greek New Testament Interlinear Integration

Lastly, the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis integrates well with our Greek New Testament Interlinear titles.

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The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis is a great resource for going further in your understanding of biblical Greek.  Thanks to our partners at Zondervan, we’re able to offer a special introductory price for the fully updated and revised 5 volume set, and the 10 volume bundle that includes it’s sister title the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE).  Hurry, because this is a limited time offer and we don’t know when we’ll be able to offer these discounts on these resources again.

Look Inside: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

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This week we’re able to offer some outstanding illustrated commentaries that are an amazing resource for use within The Bible Study App. The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on both the New and Old Testament brings to life the ancient world in informative entries and full-color photos and graphics.

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

In the below screenshot (click to enlarge) 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.

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The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary indicates seven entries so I’ll click on that commentary to see a preview of the those entries.

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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. I then click on the third entry that talks about the language and literature of the Babylonians.

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I can then 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 some amazing insight that helps me view the Biblical text in new ways.

Go here to see the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary and more illustrated titles on sale this week!

Look Inside: The Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB)

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By Olive Tree Employee: Joe Carter

I’ve been a big fan of the Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) from AMG Publishing House on Olive Tree’s Bible Study app for some time now.

This one resource in print actually takes 4 volumes:

  • The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament
  • The Complete Word Study Old Testament
  • The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament
  • The Complete Word Study New Testament

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This is a massive original language study in one resource!

I love that you can search by the English, Greek, Hebrew, or by Strong’s Numbers! Even though I personally have limited knowledge about the underlying original languages, the CWSB allows me to read through the text in English, and quickly get in-depth info on any word there just by tapping on it!

The CWSB will give you information on the parts of speech for a word (and give you links that explain what those parts of speech mean if you don’t know – with examples no less!) – the Strong’s Number for that word, a VERY robust dictionary / exegetical discussion about the word in question as well as a link to a concordance at the end of nearly every entry showing you every verse in the Bible where a word is used.

Compare this resource to a standard “Strong’s” Bible and the amount of information available with the CWSB is staggering.

For example – the entry on αγαπαω:

In a Strong’s Bible you get this:

g0025. αγαπαω agapao;

perhaps from αγαν agan (much) (or compare h5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):— (be-) love (- ed). Compare 5368.

AV (142)- love 135, beloved 7;

of persons to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly of things to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

By comparison, in the CWSB, the entry on αγαπαω goes on for over 2 pages when pasted into my word processor – with various usages of the word compared and contrasted between different passages of scripture.

Here’s a very small taste of the article on αγαπαω from the CWSB (comparing the different words for love used in Peter’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus in John 21 – FYI: Greek words in the text are transliterated into English for ease of use):

The third question of Jesus to Peter was different, “Do you love me [phileo, Are you my friend]?” (a. t.). Are your interests, now that you have seen Me risen from the dead, different than before the resurrection? Peter became sorrowful because he understood the deeper meaning of Jesus ‘question (John 21:17). His answer utilized two similar, but distinct verbs, oida, to know intuitively, and ginosko (G1097), to know experientially:”Lord, thou knowest, [oidas, intuitively] all things. Thou knowest [ginoskeis, know experientially] that I love thee [philo, that I am now your friend].”

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With this one resource you can get a backpack full of resources that you can carry around in your pocket – and instead of having to reference a number in one volume – then open another one and find that number, I can just tap on a word – then tap the links. Seamlessly moving between different ‘books’ in the collection.

As you can see, the Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) is a great resource that helps you find original word meanings quickly and easily.

Watch the video below to see how the Complete Word Study Bible works on The Bible Study App.

You can find the Complete Word Study Bible (CWSB) on the Olive Tree Store here.

Look Inside: New Bible Commentary & Dictionary

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For many years the New Bible Commentary and New Bible Dictionary have served Bible readers worldwide. We’ve enhanced these great resources for The Bible Study App.

Here’s how: (screenshots are from an iPad 2 – click on an image for a expanded view):

ONE: Resource Guide

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 “Commentaries”, “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”

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Tap or click on the New Bible Commentary for the content relevant to the passage you are reading.  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.  You can also view the new maps, diagrams, charts and tables that are included with each article.

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For the New Bible Dictionary content, choose the person/place/topic you want to learn more about.  I chose “Aristarchus” in this example.  The Bible Study App then brings you results from within the New Bible Dictionary.  After you’ve tapped on the New Bible Dictionary, you can scroll down and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text.

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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: “Traditional Uses” 

You can also utilize the New Bible Dictionary as a traditional dictionary 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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As well as read the New Bible Commentary in the split window to follow along with the passage you are studying.

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iOS EXTRA #1: Lookup Feature

In iPhone/iPad app, you also have two additional options.  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.  Tap “Lookup” and you’ll find the New Bible Dictionary “hit” there that you can tap and read without having to leave your Bible text.

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iOS EXTRA #2: Resource Guide on a 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.  Here you can see the relevant content for the New Bible Commentary, and the hits on the people/places/topics and relevant articles from the New Bible Dictionary.

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As you can see, the New Bible Commentary and New Bible Dictionary are great resources that will help you deepen your Bible study.  You can find the New Bible Commentary and New Bible Dictionary as stand-alone resources on the Olive Tree store, or save more by bundling the New Bible Commentary and New Bible Dictionary together.

Bible Maps & Atlases in The Bible Study App

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Bible Maps and Atlases give you insight into the historical, archaeological, and cultural times that the Bible was written.  Found in the maps category in the resource guide your map resources detect where you are in the text and pull up maps pertaining to that particular passage.

Watch the videos below to see how they look in The Bible Study App.

Maps on Mobile Devices:

Maps on Desktops:

Go here to see Bible Maps & Atlases available for The Bible Study App!
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