Posts tagged Olive Tree

Using Word Biblical Commentary in the Bible Study App

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Word Biblical COmmentary

The Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) is now available in the Bible Study app. We couldn’t be more excited to offer this outstanding commentary set to our users. I spoke with the content craftsman who formatted the WBC, Matthew Jonas, and asked him to talk a little about WBC and how it can best be used in the Bible Study App. He gave me a lot of great information, and I thought I’d pass it along to you here.

A Long History of Excellence

WBC currently contains 59 volumes and has been in progress since 1977. Written from an evangelical perspective, WBC strives to uphold the ideas of the Scripture as divine and revelation, and the truth and power of the Gospel message.  All of the volumes were originally written in English, but are based on the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic texts of the books they cover.  Each author was required to provide his own English translation for each passage, which always forms the first sub-section in each section of the commentary.

Using the WBC in the Bible Study App

If you saw our last article on WBC you will know that this is a hefty commentary series. Because of the vast information included in WBC, it presents some challenges for usage in a mobile platform. Each section of commentary in WBC (covering a range of verses) is further divided into a number of sub-sections which each approach the entire set of verses from different perspectives like “Bibliography”, “Translation” and more. As I mentioned before, each of these sub-sections covers the entire range of verses for the section.  If we were to attach a Bible verse location to all of them, there would be no way to distinguish in the verse chooser between the sub-sections and you’d be given multiple results for every location.

To avoid this problem, only the translation section is tied to a Bible verse location.  This means that if you select a verse in the verse chooser, you will be taken to that verse in the translation sub-section of the appropriate section in the commentary.

Why the Resource Guide Makes WBC Even More Awesome

The best way to use WBC in the Bible Study app is with the Resource Guide.  Each of the sub-sections has been individually tagged based on content, meaning that if you have a particular Bible passage open in the main window, the Resource Guide will display the commentary notes for that passage in the WBC for each of the subsections. Using it like this with the Resource Guide like this makes it easy to drill down to one sub-section, then jump back up quickly and then back down to another sub-section on the same passage.

More Tips for Using WBC

When using WBC in your main window, you have the option to switch the Go To menu from grid view to list view. The list view will give you access to the full table of contents as outlined in the table of contents at the beginning of each printed volume. This is the recommended method of navigating from point to point in our version of WBC.

One more note on the WBC, if you have your main window and split window set up to track along with each other, moving the text in the other window will take you back to beginning of that section in the commentary.  You can turn off the setting that sets windows to follow one another, which is recommended when using the WBC alongside another text.

Thanks Matt! If you missed out on the great savings we offered on WBC a couple of weeks ago (it was only $299.99 for this incredible set!), keep your eyes out. We are going to be running some great promotions during Christmas and a little birdy told me that WBC might just go on sale again.

Preparing a Sunday School Lesson with Olive Tree

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Developing the Bible Study app and resources isn’t just a job for us here at Olive Tree. Like you, we are passionate about reading the Bible and we love using our app to enhance our study of God’s Word.

We thought you might like to see the Olive Tree app in action. Keith, an Olive Tree engineer, put together a step-by-step guide for preparing a Sunday school lesson on the Bible Study app for Windows 7. Here’s Keith:

“I’ve been preparing Sunday school lessons on the “Lord’s Prayer”-Matt 6:9-13, and next Sunday’s lesson is on Matthew 6:11: Give us today our daily bread.”

“With the ESV Bible open in my Windows 7 Bible Study app, I type Matt 6:9 in the search bar in the upper right corner of the window and press enter. This takes me to this passage in the main window.”

 

 

“I’d like to make some text from this passage be my lesson title, so I highlight “Give us today our daily bread” in the Bible window and right click the highlight. This displays a menu from which I click “Copy” and now I can paste the text into my word program.”

 

 

“I want to know more about the word “bread” in the Matthew passage, so I right click on “bread” in the text which highlights the word and displays a menu with various search options. I select “Look up bread” from the menu.”

 

 

“From “Look up bread,” a list of articles, notes, images, etc. about “bread” will appear. I choose Easton’s Dictionary of the Bible from the “Articles,” which gives me a great article with some background information. I highlight the first two paragraphs in the pop-up window and right-click/copy/paste the section into my lesson document. Here’s what I find in the Easton’s Bible Dictionary:”

Bread–

Among the Jews was generally made of wheat (Ex 29: 2 Judg 6: 19), though also sometimes of other grains (Gen 14: 18; Judg 7: 13). Parched grain was sometimes used for food without any other preparation (Ruth 2: 14).

Bread was prepared by kneading in wooden bowls or “kneading troughs” (Gen 18: 6 Ex 12: 34; Jer 7: 18).

 

“The term “daily bread” reminds me of “manna,” so I look up manna by typing it into the search bar and hitting enter. In the right window, I now see headings that guide me to topics, articles, Bibles, images, charts, all about “manna”. I can simply click on a result to go to any of the articles and Bible passages that pique my interest. In “Search results in Open Books,” I choose the Bible I’m using for study to see a list of every time “manna” is mentioned in the Bible. I highlight and copy the verses I want to paste into my lesson plan.”

 

 

“But what does the word “manna” mean in the original Greek and Hebrew? I go back to my search results for manna and scroll to the “Search results in Dictionaries” to select Olive Tree’s “Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary” that comes with Strong’s numbered Bibles. Now I have information about manna in Hebrew and Greek:”

h4478. מנ man; from 4100; literally, a whatness (so to speak), i. e. manna (so called from the question about it): — manna.

AV (14)- manna 14;

manna the bread from Heaven that fed the Israelites for 40 years of wilderness wanderings means ‘ What is it?’

“Olive Tree has many original language reference works available, including many Bibles with Strong’s definitions that are tied to the words in the biblical text. In a Strong’s numbered Bible you can click the word “bread” and the Strong’s definition pops up with further options for searching deeper into the word right in the popup.”

 

 

“With this research under my belt, I’m well on my way to bringing an excellent and thought-provoking lesson to my Sunday School class.”

 

Thanks Keith! That was only an introduction to the basics of how the Bible Study app can help you prepare for Bible studies, Sunday School classes, sermons, and more. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of all the latest updates and news for the Bible Study app.

 

This blog is a re-post from the best of 2011 Olive Tree blogs.

Top 5 Features in The Bible Study App

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I teased you last week with some exciting new features that are making their way to The Bible Study App, but I realized that everyone might not know about all the great features already available in our app. Here are my top 5 favorite features:

1. The Resource Guide

This is hands down the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in a Bible study app. While I’m reading the Bible, I can open the Resource Guide in the split window to see cross references, study Bible notes, maps, topics and more that are all related to my current reading. As I continue to read, the Resource Guide tracks with me and updates the material to match the Scripture I’m reading.

Resource Guide

2. Search

I’m not very good at remembering verse references and often find myself asking things like, “Where is that verse about the mustard seed?” Instead of flipping through the Bible or searching through an index, I can tap (more…)

Bonhoeffer

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When I started working at Olive Tree over a year ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), I worked on the content craftsmen team. For my first project, I was given an eBook, more specifically, Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, and asked to format it for the Olive Tree apps.

I was lucky to get an eBook because the formatting is simple, but this eBook presented me with the special challenge to stay on task. I often found myself stalled on a particular section, not because it had complicated formatting, but because the writing had pulled me in and distracted me from my work. I have since moved to the marketing department (which might be for the best considering how long it took me to format this book) and decided I should read the whole of Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer. Here are my thoughts on the book:

It is Well Written

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is well known for his writings like The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together and many have even heard of his anti-Naziism. Metaxas goes beyond the Bonhoeffer that we’ve heard of, covering a lot of ground while still taking time on the little details that leave you feeling like you know Bonhoeffer personally. The passion and excitement Metaxas brings to this biography is evident. His writing is engaging and moves quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the biography and found myself getting lost in Metaxas’ captivating prose.

(more…)

Around the Web

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Happy Friday! Here are some things from around the web to keep you entertained this weekend.

Photo By loop_oh

Did you know there is a castle in Death Valley? Read about the best ‘middle of nowhere‘ places.

A call to read meaningful books that lead to deep, rich, robust and everlasting joy. The More Wood the Bigger the Fire.

How to Balance Work & Home Without Losing Your Mind from Andy Andrews

Can we stop flavoring everything with bacon, please? Bacon-flavored coffee to be sold in the US.

You waste a lot of time at work and how to remedy time wasted on checking your email.

 

1 John 5:13

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

 

Renouncing Independence

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A group of Olive Tree employees met this morning to pray for Olive Tree, our users, our industry partners, and the personal concerns of our employees. We started our time together by reading from Day 3 of Olive Tree’s 30-Day Devotional, which included a Scripture passage from John 15:7 and an excerpt from R.A. Torrey’s book How to Pray. Torrey writes:

“Now for us to abide in Christ is for us to bear the same relation to Him that the first sort of branches bear to the vine. To abide in Christ is to renounce any independent life of our own…and constantly to look to Him for the inflow of His life into us, and the outworking of His life through us. When we do this, and in so far as we do this, our prayers will obtain that which we seek from God.”

The renouncing of an independent life is true for Olive Tree as a business, but it’s also true for each individual who has devoted his or her life to Christ.

What might it look like for you to renounce your independence in favor of a Christ-governed life?

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