Posts tagged Bible
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.
If 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.
Sermon & Lesson Prep in the Windows Desktop App
But what if I want to view different scriptures in my study? What if I want to study how Ezra and Nehemiah compare to each other? I can open multiple pop out windows and choose either to have them sync or not sync with the main window. When I choose to have them not sync with the main window, I can move around in my main window without moving the other resources that I want open. To do this, choose the “Windows Link Options” in the pop out window drop down menu.
Here’s how it works:
After I’ve opened the new pop out window (usually a different Bible translation, comparing NIV and the ESV, for example), I click on the drop down menu of the new window and mouse down to the Window Link options. There I find that I can have this new window track with the Main Window, or I can choose “link sets” of windows, up to three groups A-B-C.
This means that I can have up to four groups of resources (including the Main Window and Split Window) open at the same time. These groups will scroll together without affecting the other groups or the main window. At this point, I can open as many as windows as my computer’s memory can handle.
What I like to do is have my favorite Bible translation in the main window and my favorite Study Bible in the split window. Then, I pop out an alternative Bible translation, Commentary, and Study Bible for Group A, then a third set of Bible + Study Bible + Commentary for Group B, and a fourth set for Group C.
It looks something like this:
|Main / Split Window||Group A||Group B||Group C|
|ESV Study Bible||NIV Study Notes||HCSB Study Notes||NKJV Study Notes|
|NIV Application Commentary||Key Word Commentary||Thompson Chain Reference System|
|Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible|
An alternative would be this:
|Main / Split Window||Group A||Group B||Group C|
|ESV Study Bible||NIV Study Notes||HCSB Study Notes||NKJV|
|Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary||Holman Bible Atlas||NLT|
|Word Biblical Commentary||ESV Bible Atlas||The Message|
This allows me to check different translations, commentaries, and other Bible study resources without leaving my main text.
There is a plethora of possibilities with these features. How do you make the most of multiple windows and resources in The Bible Study App?
The New International Commentary Series on the Old Testament (NICOT) and New Testament (NICNT) are highly regarded scholarly resources that are always ranked at the top by scholars, pastors, students, and professors.
The Bible Study App makes the NICOT/NICNT even more dynamic. Here’s how:
Open your preferred Bible Translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window. You’ll see relevant NICOT/NICNT commentary “hits” in the split window.
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, the NICOT/NICNT syncs 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.
Search & Look Up Feature
Search the NICOT/NICNT for words or passages. Take “love” as an example. You can search the entire NICOT/NICNT series for where “love” is mentioned in the commentary series. 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.
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 the beginning of Jesus’ ministry there are multiple references to The Lord’s Chosen servant in Isaiah that are pertinent to my study. 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.
Related to this is footnotes/endnotes. Since the NICOT/NICNT is a highly scholarly work, there are a lot of references to other materials. In the past I would have to stop where I was in the reading, look at the footnote, then go back to where I was in the writing. This also was a huge time waster, and I would often lose my train of thought. With The Bible Study App, all of the footnotes are linked. Just tap on the footnote, read it, and go back to where you were without losing your place.
As you can see, the NICOT/NICNT within The Bible Study App gives you the best in scholarly work, while saving you valuable study time and tremendous effort. Get the NICOT and NICNT at 40% off the regular price this week through Monday, May 27th.
The Bible Study App for Kindle is a great addition to your Kindle HD or Kindle Fire. If you don’t already have it installed here’s how!
- From your Kindle Fire home screen tap on “Apps”
- Tap on “Store” on the top right corner of the Apps window
- Tap on the top input bar “Search Appstore” and then type in “Olive Tree”
- Tap on the FREE Olive Tree Bible Study app
- Tap on the Download button
- Once the download begins you should see a progress bar
- After the download is complete, you can tap the ‘Open’ button or go to your apps screen and tap on the Bible Study icon to open the Olive Tree app
For instructions to download titles which are registered to your Olive Tree account, click here.
Not seeing your Notes or Highlights in the text?
There is a setting on some platforms which affects whether or not highlights and notes are displayed in the text. In order to hide or display highlights in the text please follow these steps:
Open the Olive Tree app
With Scripture on the screen, select the ‘Settings’ icon (A*)
Select ‘Advanced Settings’
Select ‘Other Settings’
Selecting ‘Hide Annotations’ places a check mark, enabling this feature
Unchecking this selection will Show Annotations in the text
The New Interpreter’s Study Bible Notes, based on the text of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, blends a devotional and a thought provoking reading of the Old and New Testament and deuterocanonical books ( also known as the Apocrypha). This resource is especially equipped with enhanced features in The Bible Study App. The split-screen mode allows you to read the study notes, outlines, and book introductions alongside the biblical text.
Introductions at the beginning of each biblical book highlight major themes within that book, the style of the author and his writing, and the historical and biblical context of the book. Detailed verse-by-verse notes follow the introductions and book outlines and contain helpful insights into the biblical text.
There are also over 90 excursus that help explain the thematic and theological background of the Bible text.
Students of the Bible will find new depth and insight in this work, whether newcomers to scriptural study or seasoned academics. Check out the New Interpreter’s Study Bible Notes on The Bible Study App. Now through May 13th, you can get the New Interpreter’s Study Bible Notes, the New Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary, and the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible Complete Set for half the regular price.
From Olive Tree Staff: Ben Backstrom
I currently lead a Bible study at my church and being an Olive Tree employee, I naturally want to utilize our software to meet the needs of our group as well as my own needs in preparing for our study. Like most of us, I am pretty busy and need to make the most of my time spent on preparing for our meeting. In this post, I’ll walk through the steps I take each week to prepare for the Bible study I lead. Olive Tree’s software makes each step easy.
I use the Android application primarily, since I have both an Android phone and tablet. However, I also use the Windows and Mac applications when available. The screenshots come from my Android phone.
Each week, we go through a chapter or two from a book of the Bible. We are currently studying Acts. We created a Facebook group for our small group so that members can post events, prayer requests, and the like to other members in the group. The first thing I do to prepare for our discussion is to post the week’s passage on our small group’s Facebook page. This is easy with the Android Bible Study App. I simply select the verse number of the current passage and select share. Once I’ve shared, members can read the verses on Olive Tree’s website by clicking the link in the post. I can also choose to add comments to the message if I like:
Now, all group members can see the week’s passage from the Olive Tree website.
My work at Olive Tree includes converting the text of original works so that Olive Tree’s application can display it, so I am blessed with a familiarity of the books we offer. Of these, there are several that I use repeatedly to prepare for the study.
1. Archaeological Study Bible: This resource provides a wealth of knowledge about the cultural background of the Bible. I often use it as a starting point to understand basic concepts about the week’s passage. For our current book (Acts), the maps and images give me something visual to present to the group on my Android tablet.
2. English Standard Version: A great free translation available with the Olive Tree application.
3. NIV Study Bible: Since most of the members in our group use the NIV, I usually consult the Study Bible for insight on why the passage was translated the way it was. The notes highlight specific words used in the NIV translation and why they are significant to the passage.
4. NASB Strong’s: I find myself using this Strong’s Bible most often. A Strong’s Bible is especially useful during group study when someone has a question about a word in the passage.
One of the benefits of having Olive Tree on several platforms is that I can access my study materials anywhere. If I have some free time and my laptop is available, I can use the Mac or Windows app. If I’m away from my computer, I can access the app on my Android phone or tablet.
The ability to sync my notes and highlights makes the app even better. I facilitate the group exclusively from the notes I make in my Olive Tree app. I’m often on the go and can’t sit down at my laptop to study very often. So, it is great to have Olive Tree on my Android phone. I can study a passage and make notes on my phone, then sync those notes to my tablet, which I use at the study.
Those are a few of the ways I use The Bible Study App to prepare for and engage my small group.
How do you use Bible software to prepare for your personal or group study?