Posts tagged Bible Study

Vine’s Expository Dictionary in The Bible Study App

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Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary is a great resource for those who don’t have any background with Greek or Hebrew.

Here’s how I used it in a recent sermon. (screenshots are taken from an iPad 2. Click on the images for a larger view)

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.” (ASV)

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

search

From there I got two search results, and tapped the one for “prosper”.

IMG_0848

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

vine's hit     vines article

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.

verse hyperlink

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.

strongs link

If you have a Bible Tagged with Strong’sVine’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 words.

Since I have the English Standard Version (ESV) with Strong’s, I pulled it up found that the ESV translates “prosperous” as “successful”.  I verified this by tapping on the word “successful” and confirmed that it is the same word for “prosper/prosperous” that the ASV uses.

strongs tagged popup

From there I tapped “look up tsaleach צָלַח”.  This brought up the Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s dictionary and Vine’s.  From there I also can tap Vine’s and read the article on tsaleach צָלַח.

lookup word from strongs  vines article from strongs

Lastly, I find that the popup windows can be a little small sometimes, so the popup window gives me the option to open in the Main or the Split window.  This way I never have to leave my Bible text to do a quick word study and study more in depth.

open in split window

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, it makes a great addition to any Bible study library.  There is no end to how it can help you understand the Bible and keep your study on track.

3 Simple Ideas for your Devotion Time

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man and bible bw“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says,” James 1:22 (NIV).

James wrote these words long ago but his challenge still resonates strongly today. The words echo what Jesus himself taught in John 14 that whoever loves him will obey his teachings.

We live in an amazing time where – thanks to technology – we have access to numerous Bible translations, libraries of biblical wisdom, and can listen to thousands of sermons from preachers all around the world. The challenge for us in the Western world isn’t getting access to this information, it’s what we actually do with the information we have. How do we apply it? Let me offer three simple ideas to you that have the potential to breathe new life into your Bible reading.

Pray
After Jesus’ resurrection and before he ascended into heaven, Jesus promises that the church won’t be left alone, that the Holy Spirit will come and be the one to guide the believers into all truth (John 16:13). As believers, that same Holy Spirit lives within us, so while you read God’s Word, ask the Holy Spirit to guide, reveal, and help you apply his word in your life.  It’s a prayer that he wants to answer.

Meditate
The word ‘meditate’ may generate a specific response or picture in your head – either good or bad. Many religions use meditation in one form or another. One of my favorite pictures of what it means to meditate is the idea of ‘chewing.’ Many of us approach reading God’s word with the goal of getting through it in a set time. In contrast, the idea of meditating is to slow down, imagine, consider…or chew. If you’re a ‘get it done’ type of person by nature, try a different approach to reading God’s word. Use your imagination as you think about the setting of Jesus’ teachings or the surroundings of the desert that the Israelites lived in for 40 years. Chew on the implications of Paul’s teachings for the people living in pagan Ephesus – both for them in the first century and for you today. As you meditate, you’ll find that God’s word sticks with you throughout the day.

Questions
Sometimes the simple questions you ask every time you read through the Bible can help get the wheels turning on how to apply God’s word. Here are a few easy ones:

  • Who was the original audience of this passage?
  • What are the timeless truths in this passage?
  • What does this passage show me about who God is?
  • What do I need to study further in this passage so I can understand it fully?

You may not be able to answer all of these questions easily, depending on the passage you’re reading but asking questions will help ensure that your daily reading is applied to your life and can challenge you to go deeper.

As someone once said, “Proclamation, without application, can lead to stagnation.” I trust that these simple ideas for application can become a normal part of your study and that for all of us, the long distance from our head to our heart will become shorter and shorter as the truth of God’s word bears fruit in our lives.

A Look Inside the Holman Bible Atlas

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The Holman Bible Atlas is a fantastic visual resource through which the reader can explore the world of the Bible.

This resource contains 140 full color maps key to biblical events.  With the Bible Study App, you can zoom in on any image to get a closer look.  Like this:

holmanzoomedimage

The Holman Bible Atlas also includes 140 full color photographs illustrating the land, sites, and archaeology of the biblical world:

Pyramids

The Holman Bible Atlas begins with an introduction to the geography of the biblical world emphasizing the major physical features of the Ancient Near East with special attention given to the geographical regions of Palestine.

There are also over 20 charts that give insight into the Biblical text:

largechart

With The Bible Study App, you can easily access the maps, charts, and pictures through the Table of Contents, by chapter, or Bible section.

navigatemaps navigatecharts sidebaritems

Enhance your Bible Study with The Holman Bible Atlas, and more Maps, Atlases & Visual Guides on sale now through October 28th!

Expositor’s Bible Commentary in The Bible Study App

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An award-winning legacy continues; completely revised and featuring world-class evangelical scholarship, the Expositor’s Bible Commentary-Revised includes brand new commentaries and updates throughout the volumes. In The Bible Study App, the Expositor’s Bible Commentary-Revised comes to life.

(Click any of the images to zoom)

Verse references become hyperlinks:

Android                              iOS                                    Windows Desktop

verselinkandroid     verse reference     verselinkwindows

The split window allows you to read the Bible side-by-side with the commentary:

Android                              iOS                                     Windows Desktop

splitwindow-android     split window     splitwindow-windows

Easily copy and paste from the text into notes, or make your own notes:

Android                              iOS                                     Windows Desktop

notes-android     take notes     notes-windows

Enhanced for use in the Resource Guide:

Android

enhanced-resourceguide-and1     enhanced-resourceguide-and2

iOS

enhanced 1     enhanced 2

Windows Desktop

enhanced-resourceguide-win1     enhanced-resourceguide-win2

Let The Bible Study App simplify your study with The Expositor’s Bible Commentary-Revised.  Get it 30% off now through October 21st!

NIV Application Commentaries in The Bible Study App

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The NIV Application Commentaries use a highly accessible, three-tiered method of bringing readers to a fuller understanding of each Biblical book.

Original Meaning will explore a book’s meaning in light of its historical and cultural context.
(click images for bigger view)

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

originalmeaning-android      originalmeaning-ios     originalmeaning-win

Bridging Contexts, as its name implies, will help the reader link the text’s original meaning to its Contemporary Significance

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

bridgingcontexts-android      bridgingcontexts-ios     bridgingcontexts-win

Contemporary Significance—the final tier that helps you apply the Bible to everyday life.

Android                              iOS                                       Windows Desktop

signficance-android      signficance-ios     signficance-win

The Bible Study App makes the NIV Application Commentaries even more powerful and accessible.  Verse references become hyperlinks, the split window allows you to read the Bible side-by-side with the commentary, and you can easily take notes and highlights within the text. Enhanced for use in the Resource Guide, read YOUR CHOICE of Bible translations while the commentaries keep track of where you are in the scriptures.

What is Inductive Bible Study?

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Guest Blogger: Tom Possin

old bibleAs a teacher of the Inductive Bible Study Method I am often asked, “What is Inductive Bible Study?”. Unfortunately, there is really no short answer to that question.  Inductive Bible Study is more of an approach to the Bible than it is any particular technique. In fact the “Inductive Method” that we teach in the School of Biblical Studies is really a collection of Bible study techniques combined in such a way as to help the student maintain an “inductive posture” toward the text. The shortest description I can give of this approach is this, “Inductive study is an approach to the Bible that helps the student build their conclusions from observations of the text.” In other words – observation first, conclusions second.  Sounds simple, but there are complications. To illustrate let me tell a very old folk tale.


The Two Travelers and the Farmer
A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

-North American Folk Tale (Source uncertain)

 

This story illustrates many points but the one I think is the most relevant to Biblical study is that people tend to see what they expect to see. Or to put it another way, what people bring to the Bible greatly influences what they take away from the Bible. How do we prevent this? By doing all we can to set aside our preconceived ideas about the text and focus on two things – reading and observation -forgoing judgment until we have thoroughly analyzed the text. We need to learn to let the text speak.  We need to let our observations drive our conclusions. Rather than simply taking our conclusions to the text for testing, or worse yet, merely looking for validation of what we already believe or have been told. The text is always right and proper interpretation is defined as what the author meant and what the original readers would have understood.  To understand the author and original readers of the text we must first identify them and their issues. This is historical context and it is critical to our understanding of what the text is really saying. Our situation should not even be considered until we understand what was meant when it was written. To sum up, understand what the text says, who wrote it, and as much about the original readers as you can. Careful reading of the text in its proper historical context is the key to proper interpretation.

After we have discovered the meaning in the original historical context we are finally ready to take that giant leap forward in time and culture to our present time and circumstances. By identifying the timeless truths at work under the specifics of the text, we can then begin to ask questions about why these truths are significant today. The timeless truths driving the ancient solutions then become the truths directing our modern applications. By building these disciplines in students it is possible to train them to truly listen to the text each time they read it, rather than simply seeing what they expect to see.

The three main steps of inductive study to remember are these:

  • Observation – What the text actually says.
  • Interpretation – What the text meant to those to whom it was originally written.
  • Application – How do we respond to the timeless truths of the text today?

Text first, original audience second, our perspective last.  The Bible was written for us – not to us. Use the clear passages to understand the obscure passages, and most of all pray. And may God enlighten you as you continue to explore his word.

Tom Possin is the Director of the School of Biblical Studies at Youth with a Mission of Montana – Lakeside. He has been a missionary with Youth with a Mission since 1991 and taught the inductive bible study with the School of Biblical Studies since 2002.

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