Tag Archive: Look Inside

Quick Tip: Using TWOT in the Bible Study App

Posted by on 08/12/2015 in: ,

Let’s face it, studying the Old Testament can be hard work. This is doubly true once you dive into the original languages, and Hebrew in particular. There are a plethora of useful resources to choose from when studying Biblical Greek, such as BDAG, EDNT, TDNT, NIDNTTE, Louw & Nida, to name a few. Yet when it comes to studying Hebrew the pickings are slim. In Olive Tree, outside of the Strong’s Dictionary, you’re limited to a few titles including: NIDOTTE, HALOT, and TWOT. Even though there’s not a lot to choose from when it comes to studying Hebrew, the available resources are extremely useful.

Today I will show you how to use the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) in the Bible Study App.

Studying with TWOT

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament is essentially a Hebrew lexicon and can be used like any other Hebrew lexicon. However, it has certain special features which are designed to facilitate its use, especially for those less at home in the Hebrew language. It is primarily intended to be a ready tool for the pastor and the serious student, who want to study carefully and understand more fully the sacred text.

I recommend using the TWOT in conjunction with a Strong’s Bible, such as the ESV, to get the most out of it. To illustrate how TWOT works, we will take a look at 1 Samuel 16, a passage I recently read in my Olive Tree daily reading plan. In this passage we find Samuel anointing David as the new king of Israel, since Saul, the current king, had chosen to stop obeying the Lord.

1 Samuel 16 in ESV Strong's Bible

1 Samuel 16 in ESV Strong’s Bible

With the emphasis of anointing in this passage, I wanted to find out more about the Hebrew word behind it, since I knew it is used in several contexts in Scripture. To do this, I tap on the word “anoint” in 1 Samuel 16:3 to bring up a Strong’s popup.

Strong's Popup for "Anoint"

Strong’s Popup for “Anoint”

The definition from the Strong’s dictionary is rather sparse, so I want to find out more. This is where the TWOT comes into play. I tap the “Lookup” button and then select the TWOT article.

Lookup for Hebrew Word

Lookup for Hebrew Word

TWOT in Popup Window

TWOT in Popup Window

The TWOT is now in view and I can read more about the Hebrew root word. If I want to keep the window open or have more space to read, I can then open it in the split window.

Open TWOT in Split Window

Open TWOT in Split Window

TWOT in Split Window

TWOT in Split Window

As I read I can see there is some theological significance to this word, including the divine enablement that accompanied someone being anointed king over Israel. This is information I wouldn’t have gotten from Bible reading alone or from my Study Bible notes. Thanks to TWOT I have a richer understanding of the importance of Samuel anointing David as king.

Because the TWOT is an enhanced Olive Tree product, it is extremely easy to use. Anywhere you find a tagged Hebrew word you’ll be able to quickly get to its TWOT entry. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading your Hebrew and Strong’s Bibles or looking at another Hebrew lexicon. TWOT is always right at your fingertips to expand your understanding of the Hebrew text.

Add TWOT to Your Library

The TWOT is currently half off in our Back to School sale. Add it to your Olive Tree library today and check out the other titles on sale.

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Introducing the IVP Dictionary Series

Posted by on 08/10/2015 in: ,

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!

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Look Inside: Courson’s Application Commentary

Posted by on 06/29/2015 in: ,

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

Closing

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!

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Look Inside: The Moody Bible Commentary

Posted by on 06/15/2015 in: , ,

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

Introductions

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

Outlines

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

Commentary

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

Endorsements

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

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5 Ways Bible+ 6.0 Android Titles are Different

Posted by on 06/05/2015 in: , , ,

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:

androidkjvharmonywithnav

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

rainingbooks

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!

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ESV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament on Bible+ 6.0 for Android

Posted by on 06/03/2015 in: , ,

With our newest App update to iOS 5.9 and Bible+ 6.0 for Android we can now offer Interlinear Bibles!  What’s an interlinear Bible you ask?  An interlinear Bible typically is 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 a brief look inside the ESV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. (Screenshots are taken from an Nexus 7, click for a larger view)

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-30-53

Not only can The Bible Study App display the text in an Interlinear format, we’ve tagged the Greek word with the Greek Parsing and Strong’s Definition: Simply tap a word to get more details on that Greek word.

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-30-34

We’ve also tagged the English Word:

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-31-12

And the Strong’s Number:

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-31-43

Searching for this Greek word in the text? No problem. Tap search and The Bible Study App will bring you a list of results for that Greek Word:

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-32-10

You can also tap “lookup” and The Bible Study App will find dictionaries already downloaded to your device that contain more information on this Greek word:

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-33-46

You can also search the Greek word in the same form as the word you’ve tapped,

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-34-26

Or, you can search for all Greek words in the same form as the word you’ve tapped:

Screenshot_2015-06-02-14-35-21

We’re really excited about the release of the Greek-Interlinears!  To celebrate their release, we’re offering great discounts on the ESV, NKJV, and KJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament Bibles!

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Three Ways to use the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity

Posted by on 03/09/2015 in: , , ,

encylopedia of ancientWe are thrilled to announce that Olive Tree is the first to release the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity in digital format!

This three-volume encyclopedia offers unparalleled, comprehensive coverage of the people, places and ideas of ancient Christianity. With Olive Tree’s Bible Study App you can access eight Centuries of the Christian church in just three taps!

Here’s three ways to use the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity in Olive Tree’s Bible Study App! (Screenshots are taken from an iPad 2 – click for a larger view)

The first way is through the Split Window and Resource Guide.  Open your favorite Bible translation in the main window and the Resource Guide in the Split Window.  As you read through your Bible text, the Resource Guide searches through all the downloaded resources in your library to find related Bible study content.

You’ll notice that the Resource Guide pulls related content from all of your downloaded resources.  If you scroll down the Resource Guide results, you will see the section headings “People,” “Places,” and “Topics.”  These headings give you the results of articles based on your downloaded resources.
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Tap or click on the person/place/topic you want to learn more about. I chose “Anointing” 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 the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity within the Resource Guide.

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You’ll notice that the resource has the words “Article on Anointing” underneath the book cover.  Tap/Click on the book cover and The Bible Study App will take you directly to the article within the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity. As you are reading the article, any Scripture references become hyperlinks that you can tap/click to view as a pop-out window:

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The second way you can utilize the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is as a traditional dictionary in The Bible Study App.  Open the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity in the main window, and then just tap the “Go-To” button and scroll through this awesome resource as you would a hard-copy dictionary.  For faster results, tap “Browse Dictionary” and enter the term you are looking for in the search bar.

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The third way is to use the Bible Study App’s Lookup Feature. Tap and hold a word in the Bible text and an option menu bar will pop up.  If you tap the “Lookup” button you’ll get “hits” from your resources on just that specific word. From here you can follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option above.

IMG_1562 IMG_1563

If you’re on an iOS device, you can also tap the verse number and a menu bar will appear.  Tap “Guide” and you will get hits from your resources on that specific verse.  Then just follow the same steps as you would in the resource guide option.

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The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity covers eight centuries of the Christian church and comprises 3,220 entries by a team of 266 scholars.  Using the Bible Study App’s lookup feature makes the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity great companion tool for many other resources.

Use the lookup feature when you’ve got the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture in the split window:

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Taking a Church History course and want to learn more about the Council of Nicaea?

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Reading a biography of St. Augustine and want to know more about the city of Carthage?

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Any resource you have in The Bible Study can utilize the content in the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity! As you can see, the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is an extremely helpful resource for studying the Bible and ancient Christianity.  Right now you can get this amazing resource for only $149.99.  That’s $150 off the regular price!  Hurry because this is a limited time offer!

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What The NIDB Is and How It Has Helped Me

Posted by on 02/06/2015 in: , ,

Guest ReviewAbram Kielsmeier-Jones

NIDB Olive TreeAn underrated but really good Bible dictionary is the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIDB). Published by Abingdon, the five-volume set is edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and includes contributions of nearly 1,000 scholars.

For a short time the dictionary set is $99.99 in Olive Tree Bible software. Below I offer–from my perspective as a preaching pastor and Bible reader–my take on the set, with a focus on Olive Tree’s iOS Bible Study App.

What The NIDB Is and How It Has Helped Me

There are more than 7,000 articles in NIDB. The contributing scholars are diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, and denominational background–a refreshing mix of voices. The dictionary balances reverence for the biblical text with rigorous scholarship–though the dictionary is rarely arcane.
The NIDB has been eminently useful to me in my weekly sermon preparation. Last fall, for example, when preaching through Genesis, I knew I’d have to make sense somehow of the “subdue” command that God gives the first humans regarding their relationship to the earth. The dictionary’s “Image of God” entry helpfully clarifies:

While the verb may involve coercive activities in interhuman relationships (see Num. 32:22, 29), no enemies are in view here–and this is the only context in which the verb applies to nonhuman creatures.

The same article puts nicely the implications of humanity’s creation in God’s image: the “image of God entails a democratization of human beings–all human hierarchies are set aside.”

This sort of blend between technical detail and pastoral application is present throughout the dictionary.

I’ve also found useful background for my Greek reading. This year, for example, I’m reading through the Psalms in Greek with a group of folks (see here). In the “Septuagint” entry in NIDB I find this:

The 4th-cent. CE “Codex Vaticanus” contains all of the books of the Hebrew Scripture or Protestant OT, and the following material that is today classified as deuterocanonical: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Ps 151, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus or Ben Sirach, the additions to Esther (several of which were originally composed in a Semitic language; others of which are original Greek compositions), Judith, Tobit, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, and the additions to Daniel (Azariah and the Three Jews, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon).

The entry goes on to describe other Septuagint manuscripts, with hyperlinks in Olive Tree to related entries.

iOS Features in Olive Tree

Olive Tree logo

Olive Tree is as cross-platform as a Bible study app gets: it runs on iOS (iPhone and iPad), Mac, Windows, and Android. The app itself is free, and you can get some good texts free, too, so you can preview the app before you buy any resources in it.

I’ve got the Olive Tree app on Mac, iPhone, and iPad Mini. It’s one of the best-executed iOS Bible study apps I’ve seen. It is visually appealing, highly customizable (especially with gestures and swipes), and easy to learn.

When reading the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (or anything else), here are a few features that have impressed me:

You can navigate with “flick scrolling” (how iBooks is set up) or “page scrolling” (like Kindle). This will make just about any user feel at home in the app. Flick scrolling (how you’d navigate a Web page) feels more natural to me, so I use that.

Dictionary entries are easy to get to. You can simply tap on “Go To” and type in the entry you’re looking for. The auto-complete feature saves having to type very much on the iPhone’s small keyboard:

NIDB Go To

You can search the entire contents of NIDB by word. If I wanted to see not just the entry for “Septuagint,” but every time the NIDB mentions the Septuagint, I would simply type that word in to the search entry bar:

NIDB Search

Then I can select a result and read the given entry.

The full-color photos are zoomable. The NIDB contains full-color photographs that help visualize various entries. You can select the photograph and pinch-zoom for more detail.

NIDB iPad

I’ve noted this before–there is a great deal of customizable “Gestures/Shortcuts” preferences in the “Advanced Settings” menu. Olive Tree is the most versatile Bible study app in this sense. For example:

  • Two-finger swipe left and right takes you through your history within the app. I can swipe between NIDB, and the last NIV Old Testament passage I was reading, and a commentary, and…. No need to go through menus.
  • Two-finger tap gets you from any screen to your library; right away you can get at your other resources.

Concluding Assessment and How to Buy

One of my favorite features of Olive Tree’s apps is that you can view two resources at once that aren’t tied together by Bible verse. It’s like having split windows on an iPad. So you can have the NIDB open in the top half of your screen, and a Bible text or other resource open in the bottom half–even to unrelated topics if you want.

The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible is about as good a Bible dictionary as you’ll find. If you can use it to complement the Anchor Bible Dictionary (also available in OT), you’d be very well set with Bible dictionaries.

Olive Tree has done a great job, especially with its iOS apps. As much as I loved my print copy of NIDB, I unloaded it not long ago since I can essentially carry it around with me now. And getting at its contents is even easier with the enhancements Olive Tree provides.

Abram Kielsmeier-Jones is the pastor of a great church in a seaside community near Boston, a youth ministry consultant, a husband and father, and a follower of Jesus. At his blog Words on the Word he records his thoughts on the Bible (particularly as written in Greek and Hebrew), books about the Bible, pastoring, leading worship, parenting, youth ministry, music, the Church, and more. Read more about Abram here.

Thanks to Olive Tree for the NIDB for the purposes of this review, offered without any expectations as to the content of the review. You can find the product here, where it is currently on sale for $99.99.

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Best New Bible Study Tool: Greek-English Interlinear New Testament

Posted by on 01/21/2015 in: ,

In July 2014 we released our newest App update to iOS 5.9.  With this update we released Greek Interlinear Bibles and they soon became a go to Bible study tool for many people.

What’s an Interlinear Bible? An interlinear Bible typically is 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 a helpful Bible Study tool, especially for those wanting to dig deeper into original Bible language studies.

Here’s a brief look inside the ESV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. (Screenshots are taken from an iPad 2, click for a larger view)

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Not only can The Bible Study App display the text in an Interlinear format, we’ve tagged the Greek word with the Greek Parsing and Strong’s Definition: Simply tap a word to get more details on that Greek word.

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We’ve also tagged the English Word:

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And the Strong’s Number:

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Searching for this Greek word in the text? No problem. Tap search and The Bible Study App will bring you a list of results for that Greek Word:

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You can also tap “lookup” and The Bible Study App will find dictionaries already downloaded to your device that contain more information on this Greek word:

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You can also search the Greek word in the same form as the word you’ve tapped:

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Or, you can search for all Greek words in the same form as the word you’ve tapped:

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To celebrate their becoming the best Bible Study Tool of 2014, we’re offering great discounts on the ESV, NKJV, and KJV Greek-English Interlinear New Testament Bibles as well as the Best New Titles from 2014.

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