Posts tagged Bible
I first began teaching and preaching in my local church at age 14. Before my first sermon, my Dad handed me my first Strong’s Concordance and a brand new Bible. Following his lead, I would read through a passage of Scripture and look up every word in the Strong’s Concordance that I didn’t understand or that caught my attention.
I soon learned that I needed a more formalized approach to my Bible study. Here are some basic steps and tools that help me focus on Bible Study and get me back on track to studying God’s Word.
Prepare yourself through Prayer
“All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hardheartedness.” – John Piper, Martin Luther Lessons from His Life and Labor
There is no substitute for prayer when reading and studying the Bible. Prayer takes the attention off of what we can do and puts the attention instead on what God can do in and through us. Bible study is a spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1) in which we present our best to God. We have to remember that this is not just a book we’re reading. We need prepare our hearts and minds for Bible study.
Read the Scripture for yourself
Read and re-read the passage you’re studying. Get familiar with the flow of the passage. If there are terms that you don’t know, look them up in a simple dictionary.
Ask yourself these Questions
- Observe – What does the text say?
- Interpret – What does the text mean?
- Apply – How does it apply to me today?
Asking these questions will keep you focused on the study at hand. These questions are also helpful when preparing, guiding, and leading discussions for small group and Sunday school Bible studies.
Read and Research
1. Cross References
After you’ve thoroughly read the scriptures for yourself, read all of the related verses for that text. The Bible Study App has some great resources to help you find all of the cross references. These are helpful because they will save you tons of time and effort just looking up the references.
2. Bible Concordances
Concordances are great tools that give you a list of verses that contain that root word in the Bible. However, be careful that you do not JUST use a concordance in your preparation. Concordances are a great place to BEGIN, but are never the END of your Bible Study.
With that “don’t try this at home” disclaimer, I do suggest using a digital Bible with Strong’s numbers integrated into the text for your Bible study.
3. Bible Dictionaries
Dictionaries give you more explanation and meaning for specific words. They also help us to keep our Bible Study on track.
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary (Free Olive Tree Resource)
- Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary (Free Olive Tree Resource)
- Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
4.Bible Study Notes
There are multiple Bibles that have study notes written by scholars and trusted authors that will assist you in better understanding the Bible. I recommend choosing one that corresponds to your preferred translation (KJV, ESV, NIV, NLT, etc.)
5. Bible 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.
- Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary (Free Olive Tree Resource)
- Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible (Free Olive Tree Resource)
- The Bible Knowledge Commentary
- Word Biblical Commentary (WBC)
6. A Basic and Solid Library
To help you get started, 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.
- Read & Study Collection
- Bible Study Toolkit
- Bible Study Essentials (Bible Translation of your choice, 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 available in the following Bible translations: NIV, HCSB, NKJV, and NRSV
7. How to Study Resources
Lastly, here are some useful resources to further your Bible Study methods:
- Learn to Study the Bible by Andy Deane
- The New How to Study Your Bible by David Arthur, Kay Arthur and Pete De Lacy
- How to Study the Bible by Rose Publishing
- Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren
- How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart
Using these simple methods and tools will deepen your Bible Study and further prepare you to present God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).
What are your favorite Bible Study resources?
You know about the resource guide in The Bible Study App and how it looks into the passage you’re studying. But, what if you just really want to dig deeper into just one Bible verse?
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.
If you tap the “Guide” button you’ll get the resource guide “hits” from just that specific verse.
Try it out and let us know what you think.
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.
One hundred scholars collaborated to produce this new translation, one which they envisioned not as a revision of earlier English translations, but as something completely original, derived directly from the most reliable Greek and Hebrew texts.
The guiding principle behind the Holman Christian Standard Bible, or Holman CSB, or HCSB is neither word-for-word nor thought-for-thought translation, but a combination of the best of both principles called “optimal equivalence,” which seeks to convey the precise meaning of the original by the best means available in the language of the new version, with clarity and readability being high priorities.
Get the HCSB for free in your in-app store and also check out these other great HCSB resources!
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.
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.
You’ll see that the resource guide has found related Bible content in the “Content” section. (click image for larger view)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
What is the Resource Guide?
As you read along in your Bible in the main window of The Bible Study App, the Resource Guide in the split window follows along, looking in your library for any information that is relevant to your reading. As you scroll or change scripture references the Resource Guide will stay in sync looking to all of your study resources making for a powerful and easy to use study tool.
Your Very Own Research Assistant
Think of the Resource Guide as your own personal research assistant. If you were reading about Paul’s first missionary journey in Acts 13, your research assistant has a map of Paul’s journey, cross references to passages in Paul’s letters written to the churches he founded, charts that give an overview of Paul’s life, and all sorts of other resources. You didn’t have to do anything, in fact, you didn’t even have to ask. All of the work was already done by your personal research assistant, the Resource Guide.
The configuration of the Resource Guide is also customizable. To access the options for customizing the Resource Guide tap on the double arrow button (double gear for Android) in the upper right corner. You will then see the various options for customizing the different sections in the Resource Guide.
What types of resources work with the Resource Guide?
The Resource Guide is ‘verse driven’ which means that the Bible passage that is open in the main window directs references in the Resource Guide. Not every resource is verse driven but some examples of verse driven resources are:
- Articles on people, places, and other topics
- Study Bible notes
- Introductions to books of the Bible
- Cross references
For more information about the Resource Guide or other App features check out our Help Center.