Posts tagged Bible Study
I’ll be upfront with you. I’m not going to tell you what Bible translation I think is the best. I won’t even tell you which one I prefer or if it may or may not have colorful illustrations that make Jesus look like a surfer from Southern California. I tend to agree with Pastor Rick Warren when he said, “The best Bible translation is one that is translated into your life.” In saying that, there are a couple of things that are worth knowing that may help you decide what you use for study, what you recommend to new believers, and even what you read to your kids.
Centuries of scholarship have gone into the English translations we have today and there are even some great books written on how to choose a translation.
The two primary metrics for how translators have interpreted the English Bibles we have today are based on:
1. How close the translation is to the original literal word (word for word).
2. How close the translation is to the original idea being communicated (thought for thought).
The challenge for scholars is how do you translate the original manuscripts in a way that makes them accurate and literal, but also readable and understandable?
For an example of this challenge imagine that I’m speaking to an audience in China through a translator and say, “Hong Kong is the coolest city I’ve ever been too.” If my translator literally interpreted my statement to the audience and said, Hong Kong is the coldest city I’d ever been too, they’d probably think I grew up in the middle of the Gobi desert (Hong Kong never really gets cold). I would want my translator to understand my culture and west coast slang enough to take the liberty to translate my thought, as opposed to my literal words; “He really likes Hong Kong”.
And so for centuries the challenge has been to translate the Bible into thousands of languages worldwide, maintaining as literal an interpretation while still making it readable and understandable. So where does your favorite translation rank in terms of being word for word and thought for thought? Check out the *graphic below:
You’ll notice this chart doesn’t say one translation is better than another but it is a useful graphic to understand where the different translations lean in how they interpret the original manuscripts. If you want to dig deeper, check out the links below for more in depth thoughts on the differences between translations.
- A guide to popular Bible Translations
- How we got the Bible
- A History of Bible Translations
- The Origin of the Bible
*Image courtesy of Zondervan
** Please note that there is no specific difference (other than their place on the continuum) between the orange and green Bibles listed in the graphic
You have the NIV, but what’s the next step in your Bible Study Experience?
Here are three ways you can enhance your NIV Bible Study Experience (screenshots are taken from an iPad 2. Click for a larger view).
#1: NIV Study Bible Notes
A study Bible in The Bible Study App is an easy to use and very powerful tool in guiding you in your understanding of the text. Many study Bibles contain resources such as maps, timelines, profiles on Biblical characters, commentaries and articles.
Our most popular NIV Study Bible Notes are Archaeological Study Bible Notes and the NIV Study Bible Notes. However, there are also several other Study Bible Notes to choose from. From Quest Study Bible Notes, and Couples’ Devotional Bible Notes, to Men’s Devotional Bible Notes and NIV True Identity Notes: The Bible for Women, we are sure you can find one that will help deepen your spiritual walk. Because study Bibles are uniquely enhanced for the resource guide they will work with any version of the Bible that is open in the main window.
#2: NIV Application 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. Bible Commentaries can be an extremely valuable study tool. The NIV Application Commentaries merge the original, ancient context with right now, showing us both how ancient readers would have read the Bible and how we can connect to this living word of God from a modern context. Most importantly, however, it helps us begin the life-changing process of true application, showing how God’s word can continue to have a powerful voice in our lives today. The resource guide of The Bible Study App makes using the NIV Application Commentaries a seamless part of your study.
#3: NIV Bible Study Bundles
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.
NIV Bible Study Bundles come in the following Collections:
- Bible Study Essentials (NIV Bible, Dictionary, Cross-Reference and Maps)
- Bible Study Standard (Essentials bundle, plus Strong’s Tagged Bible, Essential Bible Companion, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery and Expanded Maps)
- Bible Study Expanded (Standard bundle, plus Key Word Commentary, Expository Dictionary, Concordance, and even more Maps)
- Bible Study Premier (Expanded bundle, plus more Commentaries, Bible Encyclopedia, more Cross-references and a Bible Atlas)
Bible Study Bundles are also available in the following Bible translations: HCSB, NKJV, and NRSV.
As you can see, these titles will enhance your NIV Bible Study experience to help you go deeper in the Word of God. All of these NIV enhancements are on sale now through January 27.
Bible Handbooks and Quick References are great resources that help you go deeper in your Bible study.
Here’s how we’ve enhanced these resources: (screenshots are from the Windows Desktop App. Click for a larger view):
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (MED) is a word study dictionary covering the entire Bible.
Here are three tips for Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary in The Bible Study App to enrich your personal Bible Study. (screenshots are from an iPad 2, click for a larger view):
ONE: RESOURCE GUIDE
Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window. (I’ve got the NIV open in this example.) Then tap the split window handle and drag it to a width or height you like. As you scroll through the Bible text, the resource guide keeps up with you and searches through all the books in your 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.”
Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose the topic “Fellowship” in this example. The Bible Study App then brings you results from Mounce’s Expository Dictionary.
You’ll see that Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has the words “Article to Fellowship” underneath the book cover. Tap/Click on the book cover and The Bible Study App will take you directly to the article. You can scroll down and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text. If there are scripture references in the article, just tap the verse and it will appear in a pop-up window. 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: LOOKUP FEATURES
For iPhone/iPad open the Resource Guide in the split window of The Bible Study App, tap the double arrows, then tap the “lookup” option in iOS, type in “Fellowship” and then tap “search”. This will bring up Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary article on Fellowship as we’ve seen before.
If you like reading your Bible “full screen”, try the integrated look-up feature. Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up. From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, Note, Bookmark, Share, Define, Lookup, and More..
If you tap the “Lookup” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific word. Like before, just tap the book cover and you can read the article in the pop-up window, or choose to open in the Main or Split window.
THREE: INTEGRATES WITH STRONG’S TAGGED BIBLES
If you have a Bible Tagged with Strong’s, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary is a great addition to your Bible Study library. This is also a great Bible study method to see how other versions of the Bible translate different scriptures. Since I have the English Standard Version (ESV) with Strong’s, I pulled it up in my main window and tapped “fellowship”. This brings up the Strong’s article and definition for κοινωνία (koinōnia).
From there I tapped “look up κοινωνία (koinōnia). This brought up Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary that I can tap then read the article on κοινωνία (koinōnia) in the pop-up window, or open the Main Window or Split Window.
This is how Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has been enhanced for The Bible Study App to enrich your personal Bible Study. How do you use the Mounce Expository Dictionary in your personal Bible Study? What are some insights you have learned by using Mounce’s Expository Dictionary?
By Olive Tree Employee: Joe Carter
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
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].”
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.
Here’s a brief video to help introduce you the translation philosophy behind GOD’S WORD Translation
You can get GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) for $4.99 now through November 4th.
What People Are Saying about GOD’S WORD Translation
“An easy-to-understand Bible. . . . It is a wonderful version.”—Rev. Billy Graham
“Readable, faithful, accurate—what more could you ask for in a modern translation of the Bible? GOD’S WORD Translation is a great version for enhancing your love for God’s Word. I recommend it.” —Ann Spangler, General Editor of The Names of God Bible
“A remarkably fresh, accurate, and readable translation that communicates well the original text for modern readers. An outstanding achievement.”—Dr. David Dockery
“The Bible is the means God has chosen to reach out in human language, reveal the essence of his relational heart, and relate the Good News of his redemptive plan. GOD’S WORD Translation presents that message in a way that makes sense to readers of all ages. It is an accurate translation using modern English language and phraseology which makes it easier to understand.”—Josh McDowell
Experience GOD’S WORD with these Sample Texts
(Screenshots are taken from an iPad 2. Click on the Image for a Larger View)