Posts tagged Bible Study Tips

Four Tips for using Commentaries in The Bible Study App

0

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)

IMG_0326

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.

IMG_0329

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.

IMG_0331 IMG_0332

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.

IMG_0333 IMG_0328

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.

IMG_0334

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.

What’s in the Archaeological Study Bible?

8

When I first heard about the Archaeological Study Bible, I wasn’t sure what to think.  My initial thought was how could there be an entire Bible devoted to archaeological study?  And honestly, how could a study Bible devoted to archaeological study not be a snoozer?  So, I got a copy of the Archaeological Study Bible and began looking through it.  Wow, was I impressed (and wrong)!

The Archaeological Study Bible is a great resource.  There are 520 articles covering five main categories: Archaeological Sites, Cultural and Historical Notes, Ancient Peoples and Lands, the Reliability of the Bible, and Ancient Texts and Artifacts.  The Bible Study App enriches the Archaeological Study Bible. As you read through your Bible, the split screen and resource guide keep you synced with your reading.

Here’s an example of an article on the Zealots and Essenes (screenshots from an iPad, click images to enlarge):

Also included are almost 500 full-color photographs throughout the text.  Here’s two examples:

Throughout the text there are detailed charts like this one:

At the end of the Archaeological Study Bible there are several maps that help you get an idea of the placement of biblical events:

The authors of the Archaeological Study Bible also included detailed book introductions for every book of the Bible. Other study tools include a glossary, extensive concordance and several indexes to help you find articles relevant to your study.

The Bible Study App enhances this resource when articles reference other articles within the Archaeological Study Bible.  By tapping or clicking on the hyperlink, you can go directly to the related article, view in the Split Window, or view it in a Popup screen.

As you can see, you can spend hours learning the historical background of the Bible and the settings in which biblical events took place.  The articles and pictures will give you insights into the Bible and make you feel like you could have been there.

You can get the Archaeological Study Bible for 50% off this week only. Click here for more!

Enhanced for the Resource Guide: Cross References & Quick References

2

By using The Bible Study App’s cross references and quick reference titles enhanced for the resource guide, you’ll save tons of time and effort.  No longer will you have to leave your original text to search for a reference.  All your content will be at your fingertips!

Here’s how we’ve enhanced these resources (screenshots are from the Windows Desktop App):

Bring up your preferred Bible translation in the main window. (I have the New Living Translation open to Romans 12:1 in this example.)  Click the split window button at the top right of the screen.

splitwindowbutton

Click and hold to adjust the split window to your desired size.  Next, click “Tools & Notes” to see the drop-down menu and choose “resource guide.”  Please note that the split window opens to the last place that you had viewed, so if you were last in the library, the screen will default back to the library.

splitwindowmenunavdropdown

The resource guide keeps up with me as I scroll through the Bible text and searches through the books in my library for content related to the Scripture passage in the main window.

splitwindow-resourceguide>

You’ll see that the resource guide has found related Bible content in the “Content” section. (click image for larger view)

contentsection

I can click the cross reference related to “a living” (Hebrews 10:20 in this case) and a pop-up window will appear.  This means that I don’t have to leave my place in Romans 12:1 to read the related verses.  I can also click the pop-out button to view the related content in a new window.

results-popout-newwindow

If you scroll a little further down the split window, you’ll find the “Related Verses” section.  Since I have the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) downloaded to my PC, The Bible Study App has found related content in this resource. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is the best known and most widely used collection of 500,000 Scripture references and parallel passages.

relatedversessection

In our example, you’ll see that there are 49 related verses in the TSK from the Romans 12:1-17 passage we’re studying. By clicking on the TSK book cover, I can view each set of cross references that correspond to each individual verse from my passage in Romans.

relatedversesbyverse

Like before, I can click the reference in the TSK and view it in a new window without leaving my original text.  This feature alone will save you hours.

Now, let’s turn our attention to quick references.  In the resource guide in the split window, scroll down to view “Places,” “Maps,” “Outlines,” and “Introductions.”  All quick reference content will be displayed in these sections.  In our example, after clicking “Rome” under “Places,” the resource guide shows me that I have two images available in my library.  I can click these images to see a larger view or even view them within the resource from which the content is found, the Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding the Bible.

holmanimageintext

I can also see that there are Outlines and Introductions available in MacArthur’s Quick Reference Guide to the Bible and other resources that have related content.

outlines&intros

By clicking the book covers for these resources, I can see all of the results within that resource for the Bible passage.  In this example, I can see that there are three entries under introductions in MacArthur’s Quick Reference Guide to the Bible.  Click the article or reference and I can read the content in the resource.  Again, any Scripture verse becomes a hyperlink that I can view within the resource guide.

bibleplusmacarthurcontentwithpopout

This is how cross references and quick references are enhanced in The Bible Study App.  What are some ways that you’ve utilized this feature to deepen your Bible Study?

Look Inside: Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary

2

The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary offers easy access to articles on people, places, things, and events in Scripture. Here are two ways you can use this comprehensive resource in the Olive Tree Bible Study App.

The first way is through the Split Window and Resource Guide.  Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window and the Resource Guide in the Split Window.  As you read through your Bible text, the Resource Guide searches through all the downloaded resources in your library to find related Bible study content.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-splitwindow.rg      ipad-splitwindow        windows-splitwindow.rg

You’ll notice that the Resource Guide pulls related content from all of your downloaded resources.  If you scroll down the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”  These headings give you the results of articles based on your downloaded resources.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-people      ipad-people         windows-people

Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose “Samaria” 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 the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary within the Resource Guide.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-samaria       ipad-samaria        windows-samaria

You’ll notice that the resource has the words “Article to Samaria” underneath the book cover.  Tap/Click on the book cover and The Bible Study App will take you directly to the article within the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-samaria2      ipad-samaria2         windows-samariaarticle

As you are reading the article, any Scripture references become hyperlinks that you can tap/click to view as a pop-out window:

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-scriprefpopup      ipad-scripturerefpopup         windows-scriprefpopup

The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary is a comprehensive resource with 5,000 articles by leading evangelical scholars.  There’s also 400 color illustrations, maps, and photos.  Here’s one example from the Samaria article we’ve been reading:

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-samaria3pic       ipad-samaria-pic       windows-samariapic

The second way you can utilize the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary is 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 dictionary.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-bibdtradtional       ipad-toc       windows-bibdtradtional

With our Search feature, The Bible Study App takes the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary to another level. Tap/Click the “Search” icon and type the word you are looking for to find all of the references in the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

android-bibdtradtional-search      ipad-search        windows-search

As you can see, the Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary is a helpful resource for studying the Bible.

Click here to see all Bible dictionaries available for The Bible Study App.

How I Use Vine’s in The Bible Study App

3

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary is a great resource for who don’t have any background with Greek or Hebrew.  Here’s how I used it in a recent sermon.

I read this verse in Genesis 39:2: “And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

This passage got me thinking about the word “prosperous”, so I opened the Resource Guide in the split window of The Bible Study App and typed in “prosper”.

searchprosper

This brought up Vine’s under the search menu for tsaleach צָלַח, along with an article about the word.

vinessearchhit vinesarticle

The article shows some of the different occurrences of tsaleach in the Bible.  All I have to do is tap the reference and the biblical passage appears in a pop-up window. This gives me instant access to other places the word is used in the Bible and helps me keep my Bible study on track by not having to stop in the middle of my study to find the reference.

scripturepopup

Another great thing about this resource is that Vine’s gives the Strong’s number (6743 in this case) and is tied into the Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary that is included in this resource.  This allows me to tap on the Strong’s number and see the definition of the word and the words in both the original language and transliterated form.

strongsnumberpopup

As you can see, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words is a fantastic, easy-to-use resource that gives anyone access to the original languages.  With over 6,000 key biblical words that have reference to Strong’s numbers, there is no end to how it can help you understand the Bible and keep your study on track.

You can get Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words for 50% off the regular price now through June 10th.  Check it out today!

Reading Daily God’s Story

1

By Olive Tree Employee: Emily Roth, Content Editor

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:1-2).

The nature of my position at Olive Tree requires that I read the Bible throughout the day, whether to check a verse citation or to study an entire book. Due to a recent project, I managed for the first time to read straight from Genesis to Revelation. Each day on this project, no matter where I was in the Bible, something from God’s Word spoke to my heart, convicted my soul, or related to my struggles. My computer monitors store a collection of sticky notes for the verses I want to keep in mind.

It surprised me on a consistent basis the value of the simplest or most overlooked of verses. While I’ve long believed in the inspiration of the Bible in its entirety, I tended to judge certain books or passages as “most important” and then ignored the rest. What did I care about the Minor Prophets? They had to be called “minor” for a reason, right? But as I read, I realized that the Bible isn’t a bunch of stories about a bunch of people. It’s one continuous story about one God.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).

Even Jesus affirms the absolute necessity of reading God’s word. He quotes from Deuteronomy, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4). And the best part? Anyone who doubts the Bible’s benefits can test it for himself.

The Bible Study App now has several reading plans available for free download. Over time, this new feature will offer additional plans across all platforms. Find one that interests you by looking under “Reading Plans” in the “My Stuff” window. After beginning a plan, you can check off each reading as you go.

Olive Tree Summer Bible Reading PlanIf you have never read the Bible as a whole, it may seem like a daunting challenge. The Olive Tree Summer Bible Reading Plan provides guidance to study major themes and events throughout your preferred version of Scripture from June 1 to September 11. Compiled by the Olive Tree staff, this resource includes brief introductions of each book as well as the literary subgroups such as the History books of the Old Testament or the Pauline Epistles.

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thess. 2:13).

Until I read through the Bible all at once, I didn’t realize how much I had been missing. The Minor Prophets, for instance, display some of the most heartbreakingly expressive poetry that I’ve ever read. Read them for yourself if you don’t believe me. And while you’re at it, just finish the whole collection of books in the Bible if you never have before.

If the idea of daily reading intimidates you, simply commit to finding out what God wants to tell you today. Then do the same tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. It won’t take long to feel its effect. You will find a deeper appreciation of the Bible, God, and the story he has invited us into.

This week you can get the Olive Tree Summer Bible Reading Plan for FREE now through June 6th.

Go to Top