Tag Archive: Look Inside

Look Inside: The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible

Posted by on 06/06/2016 in:

The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible includes more than 7,500 articles, hundreds of full-color and black-and-white illustrations, charts, graphs and maps from 238 contributors from around the world.

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With this much content, how can you sort it all out to see what’s relevant for your Bible study?

Here are three ways the Olive Tree Bible App makes the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible even more powerful (screenshots are from an Android tablet):

ONE:

Open your favorite Bible in the main window. (I’ve got the NIV open in this example.)  Tap the split window and drag it to a width or height you like.  As I scroll through the Bible text, the resource guide keeps up with me and searches through all the books in my 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.”

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Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about.  I chose “Altar” 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 results from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.

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You’ll see that the resource has the words “Article on ALTAR” underneath the book cover.  Tap/Click on the book cover and the App will take you directly to the article within the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.  After you’ve tapped on the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, you can scroll down and read the entire article without having to leave your Bible text.

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If there are scripture references in the article, just tap the verse and it will appear in a pop-up window.

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TWO:

You can also utilize the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible as a traditional encyclopedia in The Bible Study App.  Just Tap/Click the “Go-To” button and scroll through just as you would a hard-copy encyclopedia.

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THREE:

The Bible Study App Search feature takes the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible to another level. Tap/Click the “Search” icon (magnifying glass icon) and type the word you’re looking for to find all the references of that word in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.

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The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible is on sale now thru June 13!

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Look Inside: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

Posted by on 05/16/2016 in:

This week we’re able to offer some outstanding illustrated commentaries that are an amazing resource for use within the Bible App. The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on both the New and Old Testament brings to life the ancient world in informative entries and full-color photos and graphics.

The resource guide of the Bible App makes using Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary a seamless part of your study.

In the screenshot below (taken from an iPad) I have my Bible opened to Daniel chapter 1. The commentary section of the resource guide then shows me which of my commentaries have related entries to this text.

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The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary indicates five entries so I’ll click on that commentary to see a preview of the those entries.

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Since this chapter talks about Daniel and his friends being placed in a Babylonian learning environment, I’m interested in learning more about what that may have looked like. I then click on the third entry that talks about the language and literature of the Babylonians.

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I can then read a fascinating article about historical Babylonian education that Daniel and his friends would have been exposed to. Thanks to enhanced commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary I can easily gain some amazing insight that helps me view the Biblical text in new ways.

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Look Inside: Visual Theology

Posted by on 05/16/2016 in:

Visual Theology is a newly released title by writer Tim Challies and artist Josh Byers.  It apply’s a unique blend of writing and infographics, creating a new kind of presentation of the Bible’s deepest truths.  On it’s print release it quickly hit Amazon’s Top 20 Bestselling Books.

We’re pleased to give you a peek inside the first available digital version of Visual Theology.

Like most eBooks in the Bible App you can easily navigate to to specific chapters and sections with a tap/click from the contents page.

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You can also navigate by using the verse chooser in the menu bar.

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As the title indicates, Visual Theology has a lot of great graphics and charts. You can view the images inline with the text or tap them to view a larger image like the two images below.

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As you’re reading scripture references also become hyperlinked for easy access to that particular passage.

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As you can see Visual Theology in the Bible App is a great resource. Go HERE to get it now!

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Look Inside: Maxwell Leadership Bible Notes

Posted by on 05/10/2016 in:

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John Maxwell is a nationally respected expert in leadership and a follower of Christ. The Maxwell Leadership Bible Notes provides an in-depth look at God’s laws for leaders and leadership.

Here is a look inside the Maxwell Leadership Bible Notes and how it works in the Olive Tree Bible App running on an Android tablet.

Like any study Bible notes in the app they can be used with your favorite translation in the main window and accessed easily in the Resource Guide found in the split window. Entries for the passage opened in your main window are indicated by a number.

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Simply tap/click on the Maxwell Leadership Notes in the Resource Guide to access the content. Any text that is colored blue means you can tap/click it to jump to other notes or sections.

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When I tap/click on the ‘Go to the Index of Leadership Articles’ hyperlink it quickly takes me to another section of the Maxwell Leadership Bible notes for easy reference.

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In addition to the Resource Guide the Maxwell Leadership Bible can be used independently when selected from the Library. Once selected tap the settings icon in the verse chooser to select ‘Alphabetical List View’. Now you can quickly navigate to any section for leadership notes on particular books of the Bible or great articles and insight.

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The Maxwell Leadership Bible Notes are on sale for a special introductory price this week only!

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3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Study Bible Notes

Posted by on 03/29/2016 in: ,

Study Bible Notes are a great resource for those wanting to go deeper in their study of the Bible. Here are three ways to use them in the Bible Study App that will help you unpack God’s word.

1. Resource Guide

In your Main Window, open the Bible translation of your choice. (I have the NIV translation open in this example).  Then tap the arrow to open the split window on the right side of the screen (bottom if you are in portrait). Tap the more button (3 dots) and then choose Resource Guide.

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You’ll now see relevant “hits” in the resource guide from all of the resources you have downloaded to your device.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 Bible notes sync to exactly where you are in your reading.  You’ll save an enormous amount of time with this feature alone.

As I scroll through the Resource Guide I can see all of my enhanced resources that have an entry pertaining to the current text that I’m reading. I notice that my NIV Study Bible Notes has entries for commentaries, outlines, introductions, and maps. The numbers indicate how many entries are available for each enhanced resource.

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The NIV Study Bible Notes in the resource guide shows two entries under the Commentary section for Romans 1:1-10. When you tap on the NIV Study Bible Notes it then shows me a preview of those entries and I can click again to read the full commentary. As you read on in the text, those entries will stay in sync with your passage no matter what translation I have open in the main window.

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2. Split Window – Specific Resource

Go to the main Split Window, Tap Open and you will see the navigation menu again.  Here you can choose Recently Opened, Library Favorites, My Notes, My Highlights, and My Bookmarks. At the bottom of that screen tap Open Full Library. This will open your Library navigation. Scroll down the list and find the NIV Study Bible Notes (or the study notes of your choice). Tap to open it.

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As with the resource guide, The Bible Study App’s sync scrolling will keep track of where you are in the Bible text regardless of what translation you have open.  This is a great way to study if you just want to focus on one resource in your library.

3. Resource Guide on a Verse

An additional iOS option is looking up additional information on just one verse.  Tap a verse number in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  From here you get the options Copy, Highlight, add a Note, Bookmark, Share, Guide, and More.

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If you tap the “Guide” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific verse. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.  You can even choose to open your study notes in the main or split window.

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This is helpful if you want to read through your Bible “full screen” and refer to the study notes when you want to see what it says about a specific verse.

As you can see, study Bibles notes in The Bible Study App can save you a lot of time and will help you get more of of your quiet time.

Check out the NIV Study Bible Notes or other Study Bible notes here.

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Look Inside: Calvin’s Institutes

Posted by on 03/17/2016 in:

Our content formatting team at Olive Tree has put a lot of work into a new edition of Calvin’s Institutes for Bible+. In this post, I want to show off some of the things we’ve done to make the Institutes more accessible and perhaps convince you that it’s worth having a copy in your library.

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Regardless of your opinions about Calvinism, it might interest you to know that Jacobus Arminius (yes, the fellow after whom Arminianism is named) once said that Calvin’s works are some of the most valuable books written in church history. Many today who are strongly opposed to Calvinism still find Calvin’s Institutes and commentaries to be extremely helpful in their studies.

Calvin was clear and passionate about much of what is important to evangelical Christians today: including justification by faith alone and the supremacy of the Scriptures. For this reason and many others, I personally believe it would be beneficial for every Christian to read and reference Calvin’s Institutes.

Of course, one of the problems with old books is that they are often not easy to read. What Christian authors of old writeth, modern Christians wot not. We have a hard time with the King James-style English that we see in many of the reformers and Puritans. This edition of the Institutes should help with that.

Calvin’s Institutes were originally not written in English, and some of the translations that have been made are so old, they barely look like they’re in English. A more recent version, translated by Ford Lewis Battles and edited by John T. McNeill makes Calvin’s Institutes readable to just about anyone. In comparison to other translations I had used, I personally found that I was able to read this translations almost twice as fast, enjoy it more, and feel like I understood it better.

If you’re new to theology and just looking to read through the Institutes, you might find a Theological Guide helpful, too.

Features in the Olive Tree Edition

Although I’ve read through the Institutes once (and many parts twice or more), I still find it very helpful to use as a reference. Using this resource as a reference gets pretty cumbersome in most eBook apps and requires a lot of flipping around in the print version.

When you open our version, the first thing you’ll notice is that even though the Institutes were written in four books (and is often spread across 2–3 volumes when printed), Olive Tree combines everything into one resource. This makes it easier to use the search feature.

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In these screenshots, I have the Institutes open on my iPad Pro right next to a Bible (the way, I’m sure, Calvin would have wanted his writings to be read).

The next thing you’ll notice is how easy the Institutes are to navigate in our app. Everything is arranged hierarchically and you can drill down to go straight to the section you want.

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Of course, if you highlight something on your tablet, the highlight will be there waiting for you if you open the book on your phone later.

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I’ve saved the best feature for last. With Bible+, we’ve made the indexes at the end of the resource link to actual sections in the book so that you can quickly find what Calvin had to say about various Scripture passages, subjects, and where he quoted other authors.

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All of these features, plus the readability of the translation, make this a really great deal—whether you want to read through the Institutes, or just use them as a reference.

Get The Institutes

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Look Inside: The Preacher’s Commentary Series

Posted by on 01/28/2016 in:

Pastors have a hard job. They get in front of their congregations every week and preach a word from the Lord with the intent of impacting their lives and souls. To accomplish this goal the preacher must do two things: 1) explain the text, and 2) relate the text. Many of the Puritans believed a preacher had to saturate himself with Scripture and apply it to himself before he could preach it with power to others. With such sound advice, what can a preacher do to aide in the application of Scripture both to himself and others? This is where a resource like the Preacher’s Commentary Series is handy; it helps preachers and teachers understand their passage while providing applicable truths & illustrations.

Let’s look inside The Preacher’s Commentary Series and see how it works in the Bible Study App.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible Study App, the Preacher’s Commentary Series is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you read the Bible the Resource Guide follows along and gives an overview of resources in your library that have content related to your passage. In the screenshot below you can see we have a hit in the commentary section for the Preacher’s Commentary Series. Since I’m currently studying the armor of God in Ephesians 6, I can quickly see what this commentary says without having to go find the commentary in my library and manually open it to my desired location. Not only do I save time, but I get the information I need with minimal effort.

The Commentary

One thing I appreciate about the Preacher’s Commentary is it reads like a devotional. Instead of getting caught in the nuances of the text that may not help you teach a passage, the commentary keeps an eye on explaining the things that matter. This means you don’t waste time skimming through pages of endless commentary to find the nuggets you came for. For example, in the commentary on Ephesians 6:10-20 the text is explained while intertwining a great illustration that bring immediate application. You then get descriptions for each piece of armor and their relevance to the Christian life.

Use it Today

The Preacher’s Commentary Series is a perfect companion for the teacher or pastor looking to relate the passage to their students or congregation.

Add the Preacher’s Commentary Series to your Olive Tree library today. Also be sure to check out the other titles we have on sale!

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Enhanced Maps: ESV Bible Atlas

Posted by on 01/03/2016 in: , ,

Capitalizing on recent advances in satellite imaging and geographic information systems, the Crossway ESV Bible Atlas offers Bible readers a comprehensive, up-to-date resource that blends technical sophistication with readability, visual appeal, and historical and biblical accuracy.

All the key methods of presenting Bible geography and history are here, including more than 175 full-color maps, 70 photographs, 3-D re-creations of biblical objects and sites, indexes, timelines, and 65,000 words of narrative description.  With The Bible Study App, all Scripture references become hyperlinks that you can tap and read the Bible text without having to leave the ESV Bible Atlas.

Here are a two examples: (screenshots are taken from an iPad Mini 4, click for a larger view)

 

Using The Bible Study App’s powerful resource guide, the ESV Bible Atlas detects where you are in the text that you’re reading and pull up maps pertaining to that particular passage. You can then tap on a map for a bigger view and even zoom in and out on the map for more details.

You can then tap the “Go” button and read the content applicable to the map you are viewing.

Or, you can view the map full screen on your mobile device.

Enhance your Bible study with the ESV Bible Atlas!  See all Maps & Atlases available for The Bible Study App!

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Look Inside: Thompson Chain Reference System

Posted by on 01/01/2016 in: ,

By Olive Tree Employee: Genny Gager

Bible commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding what the Bible has to say to us today. Often overlooked, however, is the value that using scripture to understand scripture can bring. God’s inspired word is a complex tapestry of themes all woven together, and the development of those themes can provide us with insight into the relevant message of the Bible for today’s readers.

Finding our way around these themes can be a daunting task, especially given the variety of subjects covered in the Bible. A word search can be helpful, but it can give an incomplete picture due to the complexity of language and the context in which words are used. The great news is that Olive Tree offers the Thompson Chain Reference System, which links various themes together as they are touched upon and developed throughout Scripture. The very heart of this product is the thematic chains that number in the thousands, and people at all stages of learning about the Bible have used it in the 100 years since its initial release. The Thompson Chain resource is also a great study Bible, offering cross references, book outlines, book introductions, maps, and harmonies to aid us in our study.

We’ve put quite a bit of attention into converting the rich topical content so it can be used in the Bible Study app. Our goal was to make navigating the famous topical chains easy and intuitive and to allow quick access to the additional materials as well.

We’re going to walk through a quick example of how the Bible Study App can make navigating the Thompson Chain Reference System enjoyable and easy. The example uses and refers to the iPad version of our software. We’ve designed this resource to work seamlessly with the built-in resource guide, so if you don’t already know how to open it, read this article to open it in the split window, and have your Bible of choice open in the main window of your app.  Although we’ll be relying on the iPad version in our example, other versions of our app will have similar functionality.

If you want to follow along with the example, bring 1 Samuel chapter 17 up in your Bible. With everything set up, the screen will look similar to this (your screen may look a little different depending on what resources you have and how you have your resource guide set up):

To activate the chains, tap the name of the Thompson Chain under the commentaries section of your resource guide. Your split-window view will change to a listing of verses directly related to your location: (more…)

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