Posts tagged Look Inside

Introducing the IVP Dictionary Series

Any Bible study library worth its weight must contain good Bible dictionaries. Inevitably you will come across something you don’t completely understand and you’ll want more information than your study Bible or commentary has to offer. Bible dictionaries fill this void with their wealth of knowledge on a myriad of biblical subjects. Today I’d like to introduce you to the IVP Dictionary Series, a new top notch set that you’ll want to own as a part of your Olive Tree library.

The IVP Dictionary Series, known to many as the “Black Dictionaries” because of their covers, is a unique set of reference works that bridges the gap between scholars and those pastors, teachers, students and lay people desiring in-depth treatment of select topics in an accessible format.

When you look at many Bible dictionaries published today, they are typically a single volume and may or may not contain information on your desired topic of study. Given their single volume nature, publishers have to decide what to cover and what gets trimmed down or eliminated for the sake of page count. This is not the case with the IVP Dictionary Series. Instead, you get eight (8) individual dictionaries that target specific areas of Scripture, whether it be the Old Testament prophets or Paul and his epistles. The articles cover traditional and contemporary topics, including cross-sectional themes, methods of interpretation, significant historical or cultural background, and each Old and New Testament book as a whole.

The great thing about having individual volumes that focus on specific areas of Scripture is it allows you to get an in-depth look at the subject as it pertains to the passage you’re studying. As opposed to getting a broad overview that covers the subject over the entirety of the Bible, you can narrow down your study to only see how it relates to your passage. Allow me to illustrate, while showing you how to use them in the Bible Study app.

Let’s say I’m in the gospels studying one of Jesus’ miracles, such as his cleansing of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. As I study this passage, I’m going to want to do more study on the subject of miracles and faith, since it is clearly an emphasis in this passage. The Resource Guide makes it easy to study these topics and suggests them to me. So, I click on faith.

Faith and Miracles in the Resource Guide

Faith and Miracles in the Resource Guide

As I peruse my list of hits I find many dictionaries in my library that discuss the subject of faith. Notice that the IVP Dictionary Series is in my list, and, of the 8 volumes, 6 have entries for faith. Since I’m currently in the gospels I will take a look at the entry in the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.

Articles on "Faith" in the IVP Dictionaries

Articles on “Faith” in the IVP Dictionaries

Looking through the article, I immediately find out just how important faith is in the gospels, and the New Testament in general. I can then see a quick outline of the entry, before drilling down into the subject. When I’m done, I walk away with a greater understanding of how faith relates to the gospels and Jesus’ ministry. Now, if I want to expand my study beyond the gospels, I can read the other IVP dictionaries and see how it is understood in other areas of Scripture, such as the Pentateuch or the later New Testament writings.

"Faith" in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels

“Faith” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels

There are many ways you can utilize these dictionaries in your studies. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, just open up the dictionary and navigate to your subject. Alternatively, if you’re reading the Bible and find a word you want to study, tap it and use the Lookup feature to find hits in these dictionaries. How you use them is really up to you.

Purchase the IVP Dictionary Series today at it’s introductory sale price and start using these dictionaries in your own studies. This is one set of dictionaries you will not regret owning!

Look Inside: The Preacher’s Commentary Series

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.

Preacher's Commentary in Resource Guide

Preacher’s Commentary in Resource Guide

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.

Preacher's Commentary Text

Preacher’s Commentary Text

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!

Look Inside: Courson’s Application Commentary

Courson's Application CommentaryCommentaries are an essential part of any Christian’s library. Yet how do you decide which ones to buy? A lot of people gravitate toward commentaries that focus on explaining the meaning of the text. Personally, those are the kind I prefer and what I lean on most when studying the Bible. But a good part of Bible study also involves applying the text to your life. For many, myself included, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This is where resources like Courson’s Application Commentary are useful. It is a commentary whose primary focus is explaining the text devotionally and how it applies to our lives.

Let’s take a look inside Jon Courson’s commentary and see how it works in the Bible Study App. Screenshots are from a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Resource Guide

Like any enhanced resource you purchase for the Bible Study App, Courson’s Application Commentary is built to work hand-in-hand with the Resource Guide. As you’re reading 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 our commentary section for Courson’s commentary. After reading other commentaries or Study Bibles that explain the text, I can then turn to this commentary to help with applying God’s Word to my life.

Resource Guide - Courson

The Commentary

One thing I like about this commentary is it doesn’t try to do too much. Courson doesn’t attempt to explain the nuances of a Greek or Hebrew word or bore you with information only a scholar would appreciate. Instead, he takes a devotional approach to explaining the text so that it comes alive and is easily applicable to life in the here & now. He gets right to the point. This means you don’t have to waste time skimming through pages of endless commentary trying to find an author’s one or two sentences of practical application. You come to this commentary looking for application & he gives it to you.

Courson - Commentary

Topical Articles

Scattered throughout the commentary are what Courson likes to call “Topical Articles.” The best way to summarize these articles is to call them sermonettes. Here Courson takes a passage and deals with it topically, incorporating other passages as needed, to completely bring the big idea of a passage to life. A perfect example is the article titled “He Didn’t Say That!,” a study on Genesis 3:3. Here Courson does a wonderful job explaining Adam’s sin and how easy it would’ve been for us to commit the same sin by using illustrations that anyone can relate to.

Courson - Topical Article

The easiest way to access these articles is through the table of contents. If you change your Verse Chooser from grid to list view, you’ll see a section called “Topical Table of Contents” for each of the three volumes. Here you will find a list of all the topical articles in that volume organized by topic. Use this to easily find out what the Bible says on anxiety or how you can improve your Christian walk or any other topic.

Courson - Verse Chooser Courson - TOC Courson - Article List


Courson’s Application Commentary is a perfect companion to your daily Bible reading. It is even useful to the Bible teacher or pastor looking for the perfect way to relate the passage to their students or congregation.

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

Look Inside: The Moody Bible Commentary

Moody Bible Commentary

Commentaries are a dime a dozen these days. Bible students have no shortage of commentaries to choose from, especially when it comes to commentary sets. Yet, finding a good single volume Bible commentary can still prove difficult. Outside of the few titles that everyone knows, you have to look hard for one. So when a respected name in scholarship throws their hat in the ring it’s worth taking notice. This is exactly what Moody Publishers and Moody Bible Institute have done in releasing The Moody Bible Commentary. We are excited to partner with Moody to release this great resource for the Bible Study App.

Seven years in the making, the Moody Bible Commentary is a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible written by the faculty of Moody Bible Institute. More than anything, the fact that this commentary is entirely written by MBI staff is its biggest selling point. Similar commentaries are written by multiple authors who span the range of evangelicalism, hoping to provide a balanced view. The advantage here is that you are provided a consistent theological approach to the Bible that is still conservative and evangelical in its perspective. With that, this resource seeks to help both laypeople and pastors grow in their knowledge of the Bible and understand how it applies to life today. Moody accomplishes this goal by offering a simple approach and commenting on the text in a clear and insightful way.

Here’s a brief look inside the Moody Bible Commentary and how it works in the Bible Study App.

In the screenshot below (taken from a Nexus 10) I have my Bible open to Ephesians 1 in the main window. With the Resource Guide open on the right I can scroll through all the enhanced resources in my library that pertain to the Bible text I’m studying. As I scan through the list I can immediately see I have entries for the Moody Bible Commentary in commentaries, outlines, and introductions.

Moody Bible Commentary - Resource Guide


The Moody Bible Commentary offers introductions on each book of the Bible, giving you information about the authors, audience, and historical background. This resource keeps in mind the logic behind the biblical books, not neglecting their literary context or structure. The introductions offer strategies for how to read and understand each book based on its genre and inherent structure. In addition, key details regarding theme and purpose are discussed to provide a well rounded overview of each Bible book.

Moody Bible Commentary - Introductions


At a glance, the Moody Bible Commentary shows the organization and structure of all the book you’re studying. Use the outline to quickly get an overview of the key themes and subjects before diving into the Bible text and commentary. An added advantage to having this commentary in the Bible Study App is that you can tap on any section of the outline and immediately go to its corresponding commentary.

Moody Bible Commentary - Outlines


With the Moody Bible Commentary being written for laypeople and pastors alike, the commentary text is where this resource truly shines.

First, the commentary is understandable. The authors worked meticulously to explain the Scriptures simply and clearly. Theological terms are defined and difficult biblical words are explained to keep the text approachable. Comments on the text are concise but remain insightful.

Unlike some single volume commentaries, the authors and editors did not shy away from dealing with difficult Bible passages. Instead, they offer clear interpretations of these passages, while also making the reader aware of alternative views without over complicating the matter. Moody realizes that those studying the Bible come to commentaries because they want answers, particularly for those harder passages, so their aim is to give those answers. They also provide in-text citations directing readers to resources for deeper study.

The Moody Bible Commentary is based on the original languages of the Bible. The authors relied on the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts for their research and study. For the English translation used in the commentary Moody has chosen the New American Standard Bible (NASB), which they find to be among the more literal and readable translations available. When you see bold text in the commentary you can know that it is a quotation from the NASB. When other translations or wordings are preferable the author will note it in the commentary with an explanation.

Most importantly, you are getting an entire commentary on the Bible with this resource. This can easily be your go to resource to help you understand the Bible.

Moody Bible Commentary - Commentary Text

Maps and Charts

The Moody Bible Commentary includes several maps and charts. The maps can be helpful in orienting you geographically to the biblical landscape. What were the possible routes for the Exodus? Where were the cities Paul traveled to during his missionary journeys? The maps can help you visually answer these questions. Charts do much the same, such as providing a quick glance of all of Israel & Judah’s kings and whether they were good or bad. All of these features provide you with the tools you need to understand what you’re reading in the Bible.

Moody Bible Commentary - Maps


For generations Moody Publishers has been a name you could trust in biblical scholarship. The Moody Bible Commentary proves that this continues to be true. Check out these endorsements from some big names in evangelicalism.

I’m thrilled that The Moody Bible Commentary is available. What a tremendous resource for everyone who loves studying the Bible and values teaching the “whole counsel of God.” This remarkable work provides verse by verse exposition of both the Old and New Testaments by solid, trusted evangelical scholars who believe deeply in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and power of the Word to transform lives. It is quickly becoming an invaluable part of my reference library. I highly recommend that you add it to yours.

Joel C. Rosenberg
New York Times best-selling author and Bible teacher

The Moody Bible Commentary is a very readable resource, helpful to the layman, Bible study teacher, and serious student alike. The introductory material to each book provides excellent information, and the actual commentary offers a verse-by-verse explanation of the text and deals with the important words. The Moody Bible Commentary enables the reader  to come to a clear understanding of Scripture that will be helpful for personal knowledge, spiritual growth, and ministry.

Paul Enns, ThD
Professor and Director, Tampa Extension
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Once again, Moody Publishers, the name you can trust, has provided  Bible students and teachers  alike a comprehensive biblical resource that will help them to understand and communicate biblical truths effectively. It is a must-read tool for every Christian’s library.

Tony Evans
President, The Urban Alternative
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas

5 Ways Bible+ 6.0 Android Titles are Different

We are so excited about the newest Bible+ 6.0 Android update. We have completely rewritten our core software that displays the text you see on screen. This means you will need to re-download all your titles. Why? Besides having a cleaner text layout we want to bring you brand new tools for studying the Bible. Many of these were not possible with our older technology, but are now a reality!  Because of the new text display layout, we’ve re-designed the text layout of several favorite Bible study resources and added several NEW Bible study resources.

How are books different in the Bible+ 6.0 Android update? Here’s just 5 ways that we’ve improved and enhanced resources in the Bible+ 6.0 Android release.

1. Beautiful New Layouts

One of the great things about this upcoming release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before.

All charts are now actual text, and as with other verse references in the App, verse references now become hyperlinks that you can tap and see the verse without having to leave your place in the Bible text.  Here’s an example of this from the NIV Study Bible Notes:

Text wraps around images, charts, and tables eliminating all the blank space around them.  Another example from the NIV Study Bible Notes:

You’ll notice that as you scroll through many sections Study Bibles and Illustrated titles you will find articles and sidebars, some of which are floating or using some nice formatting to make them stand out. These new layouts are FREE when you download your new titles with the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android. There’s no additional cost or purchase necessary for you to get these new text layouts.

2. NEW! Interlinear Bibles

With this new technology, we can now offer Interlinear Bibles.  What’s an interlinear Bible you ask?  An interlinear Bible typically the Hebrew or Greek text of the Old or New Testament with a literal English translation between the lines of the original-language text.  This is an extremely helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.

Here’s what the ESV Greek-English Interlinear looks like:

Our Greek-English Interlinears are available in ESV, NKJV and KJV translations.

3. NEW! Harmony of the Gospels

A Gospel Harmony seeks to take the Four Gospels and put them in a Chronological order so that you can compare how the Gospel writers address events in Jesus’ life.  Without our new technology update, the layout needed to make this title was virtually impossible.

Here’s what our Harmony of the Gospel in the KJV translation looks like:


Our Harmony of the Gospel titles are available in KJV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, NASB, and Byzantine Greek translations.

4. NEW! Newly Released Bible Study Titles

Under the hood of the Bible+ 6.0 for Android and Bible+ 5.9 for iOS, we began the switch from Palm Database Files (PDBs) to utilize modern Electronic Publication File technology. Not only does this change in file format makes it possible to display text in unique and exciting ways, it also allows us to convert new Bible Study Titles very quickly. What would have taken us months now only takes us weeks. Here’s just a few of the new & best Bible Study Titles we’ve released in the past year:

And several more. Many of these are 50% off this week to celebrate the launch of Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android.

5. Over 1,200 New eBooks


Not only did the transition from PDB to EPUB take the conversion time down for your favorite Bible Study titles, it drastically reduced the conversion time for literally thousands of your favorite Christian eBooks. What would have taken us weeks can now be converted in a matter of minutes. In fact, since March of this year we’ve released hundreds of eBooks. Over 1,200 titles are now available and our catalog will only continue to grow in the coming months.

What about Windows Desktop & Mac?

Our developers are hard at work to bring the same update to our other platforms that we have done with our iOS, Android and Windows Store Apps. We hope to see this technology on Windows Desktop PC, and Mac very soon!

Look Inside: NIV Word Study Bible

We’re thrilled to release the brand new NIV Word Study Bible with Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers. This resource includes everything you need to start doing basic word studies in the NIV.

The NIV Word Study Bible provides a complete index of every appearance of every word in the NIV Bible; it’s a must-own for every reader of the NIV Bible. More accurate and comprehensive than online searches and offering complete access to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek from which the NIV was translated, this resource promises to make your Bible study the very best.

Olive Tree’s Bible Study App makes Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers easy and powerful. Tap on a word in the text and open the related dictionary information in a new screen, split screen, or pop-up window, depending on your device and settings.

Here’s quick look inside on how the NIV Word Study Bible can help you in your word studies. (Screenshots are taken from an iPad, but the NIV Word Study Bible is available for all customer running Bible+ 5.9 apps and above, including Android 6.0.)

G/K & Strong’s Number Pop-Ups


Open the NIV Word Study Bible you’ll see that some words are a slightly different color. Tapping or clicking on those words will pop-up the information for that word. These pop-ups contain a wealth of information, including:

  1. The Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers for that word.
  2. A short definition for that word.
  3. An outlined list of the different meanings for that word in the original language.
  4. Often you will also find that another number is included as a link. These can be similar words that you can compare or other words from which your current word selection derives its meaning.

Look-Up Options

At the bottom of the pop-up, there are two buttons that perform “look-ups” or searches based on the Strong’s number or the word in its original language.

Look-up by Keyed Number

The first button contains the keyed number for your word. Clicking or tapping on this button will perform a search in your library for articles containing this number.


Look-up by Original Language

The second button contains the word in its original language. Clicking or tapping on this word will perform a search in your library for articles about the word in its original language.  For example, I see that Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has an article on this word.


I also love using the NIV Word Study Bible on my iPhone.  It’s a fantastic resource when I’m at church, small group, or on the go.


The NIV Word Study Bible with Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers is an excellent resource for diving deeper into the biblical text. It offers insight into the original languages of Scripture without requiring you to have any formal training in Greek or Hebrew.  Be sure to check out the NIV Word Study Bible & More Great New Titles that are 50% Off this week!

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