Posts tagged Olive Tree
Monday, July 9th marked the beginning of a new and exciting future for Olive Tree Bible Software. Stephen Johnson, Olive Tree’s Chief Technology Officer, was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Drew Haninger, who had been carrying both the President and CEO roles, will now focus his energy on the president’s role.
As CEO, Stephen will take care of the day-to-day operations of Olive Tree allowing Drew to focus his energy on setting the vision and strategy of the company, including developing his many creative projects and ideas. Stephen and Drew will work closely together to drive the technological innovation for which Olive Tree apps are known.
From the beginning, Stephen was involved with both the business and engineering sides of Olive Tree, from meeting with publishers to developing BibleReader for early platforms like Palm OS to making marketing decisions.
“When I started at Olive Tree in 2004, it was a small company, so you did a little of everything,” Stephen said. “We worked out of Drew’s basement and had company meetings in Drew’s living room or at Olive Garden.”
With the release of the iPhone in 2008, Stephen became the engineering department manager, and in 2009, Stephen took on the role of Chief Technology Officer. In order for Drew to focus on the core message of Olive Tree, someone needed to take over the daily responsibility of running the company. To Drew, Stephen was the obvious choice.
“For years, I watched Stephen grow into many areas of the company and knew Stephen could eventually take over this company,” Drew said. “He’s a young, committed Christian, experienced and knowledgeable about Bible software technology, and full of energy.”
Harnessing Stephen’s excitement in technology and business and Drew’s experience in Bible software, this new teamwork places Olive Tree in a position for immense growth and development. Olive Tree has experienced steady growth since its early days and continues to build apps that God uses to change lives. This transition positions the company to build on its momentum, and Stephen is excited to lead the amazing team at Olive Tree.
In a presentation on Monday, Stephen reminded Olive Tree employees that God uses their work to change lives. When they sync a user’s notes and highlights, they sync a pastor’s sermon on marriage from his desktop to his iPad that God uses to save a marriage or they sync a young woman’s highlights that she uses to share the gospel with a coworker.
“It is exciting and humbling to be involved in this awesome and eternal work,” said Stephen. ”I have the privilege of coming to work every day to collaborate with an amazing and passionate team.”
This leadership transition will continue to build momentum on a history of vibrant growth for Olive Tree and a commitment to a core message: that God uses Bible software to transform lives for the glory of His Kingdom.
There are always new things being discussed and planned at Olive Tree. Our newest and biggest project is what we’re calling by the code name the “Flying Eagle.” We’re not able to divulge any more details at present, but be assured that the talented and passionate Olive Tree staff is working hard to help you study God’s Word.
Here are some pictures from our company lunch today in which we discussed the details of Project Flying Eagle. As always, our lunch was delicious: sandwiches from a local sandwich shop, chips and salsa, fresh grapes, and soda (including the ever-present Mountain Dew that fuels many engineers!).
In line for food and drinks.
Mark A. is excited to eat his sandwich!
Stephen J. giving a presentation to the team.
Olive Tree’s President, Drew, and his wife, Sarah.
Reading and studying the Bible are important disciplines for all Christians, but the concept of Bible study can be more elusive. In Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods, Warren starts out by saying, “I have discovered that most Christians sincerely want to study their Bibles on their own, but they just don’t know how.”
There are many classes, books and seminars full of theories and methods to teach you how to study the Bible. I took a class in seminary called Principles of Inductive Bible Study, and to this day I can hear the professor’s voice in my head. Every day the professor would ask, “What’s the first step in inductive Bible study?” and as a class we had to respond in unison, “Observation!” Then he would ask, “What question do we ask in the first step of Inductive Bible Study” and in unison we would again respond, “What does the text say?!” Often he would repeat these questions over and over until he felt we responded enthusiastically enough. He drilled into us what he believed to be the right steps for inductive Bible study, but his was just one out of a multitude of Bible study methods.
I’d recommend taking a look at How to Read the Bible Book by Book and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart as good introductory Bible study resources. Learn To Study The Bible by Andy Deane, and Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul are also helpful for picking up good Bible study tools and habits. Study Bibles, like the NIV Study Bible can provide notes, cross references and other insights into the text to help you in your Bible study. I have several study Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries and other resources that I consult when studying a particular passage of Scripture. However, don’t get too bogged down with study books and miss out on the truths you can glean from digging into the text on your own.
Here are some things I do when studying the Bible (don’t worry; I won’t make you memorize these!):
Context, Context, Context
I start by looking for the historical context: the author, style of writing, time period, audience and the historical background that surrounds the text. I then focus on the biblical context. I read the previous and subsequent chapters to get a full picture of the passage. Finally, I look for how the passage is applicable to my life.
I like to read the passage through three times. I write down repeated words or phrases, metaphors, similes, exclamations or anything that stands out. If anything reminds me of another passage I’ll look it up and compare. I like to pick out a couple of the repeated words and phrases for a quick word study, looking for other places those words are used in Scripture using my Strong’s Bible.
I like to re-write the passage of Scripture in my own words, taking into account all of the work I’ve done up to this point. I then summarize my study in three sentences or less. I’m terrible at memorizing Scripture, but I’ve found that re-writing the passage in my own words helps me to recall the verse, even if it isn’t exact.
Do you have steps for Bible study that you follow? Is there a resource that you find especially helpful for your study? Let us know by leaving us a comment.
Many people love reading and studying the Bible on our Bible+ and BibleReader apps, but have yet to unlock the full potential of the app by using the Resource Guide. Are you one of them? If so, read on to discover the power that is waiting for you inside the Resource Guide.
As you read along in your Bible, the Resource Guide within BibleReader follows you, looking in your library for any information that is relevant to your reading. This happens, as one of my co-workers puts it, “automagically.” You don’t have to go flipping through the books in your library to find a certain article of search for that note you took on the sermon last week. The Resource Guide does the work for you.
I like to think of the Resource Guide as my personal research assistant. As I’m reading about Paul’s first missionary journey in Acts 13, my research assistant has a map of Paul’s journey, cross references to passages in Paul’s letters written to the churches he founded on the journey, charts that give an overview of Paul’s life, and all sorts of other goodies open for me. I didn’t have to do anything, in fact, I didn’t even have to ask. All of the work was already done for me by my personal research assistant, the Resource Guide.
The Resource Guide is set up to display information for you, but if you don’t like the configuration, no worries. You can pick and choose which resources to display in the Resource Guide. You can also move the sections around so that you see the information you are most interested in first.
I’ve been using the Resource Guide for almost a year now, and my study of the Bible has greatly benefited. I no longer have days where I read the Bible with glazed eyes, hardly registering the words in front of me. With the Resource Guide open, I am drawn to topics, people and places in the text that open new pathways for my study. As I read in Nehemiah, I can select topics from patriotism, to Persia, and my Bible study takes off with maps, charts, articles, cross references and so much more.
I’ve gotten so excited about what the Resource Guide can do for you that I’ve forgotten to tell you how to get to it. The Resource Guide lives in the split window of your BibleReader app. On your mobile devices tap the double bar to pull open the split window and on your PC or Mac click on the arrow icon on the top right of your screen to pull open the split window.
We also have some helpful videos that show you how to use the Resource Guide on your device. Click on the links below watch these videos and be prepared to have your Bible study transformed.
Resource Guide Videos
When I was a sophomore in college, I took an Old Testament Survey class in which we read the entire Old Testament in one semester. I remember reading the syllabus during our first class and balking at some of our homework assignments. Read Psalms 76-150 for Wednesday’s homework. Read Isaiah for Friday. Yes, that’s right. Read all of Isaiah.
Without a doubt, the volume of reading that semester was a challenge. But in hindsight, I am thankful for the lightning-speed pace with which we moved through the Old Testament because it revealed an overarching narrative to the Bible that I’d never noticed. There is a profound continuity between the Old and New Testament. God really is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and his desire is for the salvation of all people, first for the Jew and also for the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
When we were discussing overarching themes for the summer here at Olive Tree, we got hooked on this idea of reading through parts of the whole Bible in one summer. Rather like New Year’s, summer carries its own set of resolutions and to-dos. We invite you to make Olive Tree’s Summer Bible Reading Plan your goal for the summer.
Here’s the lowdown on reading plan:
- The reading plan organizes the Bible’s 66 books into eight literary genres: Law, History, Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Gospels and Acts, Paul’s Letters, and the General Letters/Revelation.
- Each genre and book of the Bible includes a succinct introduction written by Olive Tree staff members that will help both mature and new Christians understand the basic historical context and themes.
- The plan’s dates are from June 1 to September 11. In most cases, you’ll be reading several chapters a day.
- The plan will be available as a free download until Friday, June 8. After that, it will be available at OliveTree.com for 99 cents.
Olive Tree is excited to help you dive into the Word of God. Our end goal for the Summer Reading Plan is that you become so steeped in God’s story that it begins both to define and transform your life.
“Let your roots grow down into [Christ Jesus], and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:7, NLT)
Olive Tree just released four new Greek resources: 1) The Greek New Testament, 4th Edition with Critical Apparatus, 2) The Greek New Testament (NA27) with Critical Apparatus, 3) The Analytical Greek New Testament (AGNT – Friberg) with Morphology, Lexicon, and UBS4 Critical Apparatus, and 4) The Greek New Testament (NA27) with Critical Apparatus, Mounce-Koivisto Morphology, and Concise Dictionary.
I’ll give you a brief overview of these four titles, but to see the full details on each of the Greek resources, follow the links to view them on OliveTree.com.
- Contains both the UBS-4, an edition of the Greek New Testament aimed at pastors, translators and students, and the UBS-4 Critical Apparatus
- Text in the UBS-4 is the same as the Neslte-Aland, 27th edition, but UBS-4 has additional formatting
- UBS-4 Critical Apparatus shows variants that were deemed meaningful to students and translators, not an exhaustive list
- Contains the NA-27, a scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament and the NA-27 Critical Apparatus
- NA-27 is the product of 100 years of work from the Institute for New Testament Textual Research
- The NA-27 critical apparatus is one of the most exhaustive available and includes variants in orthography
- Contains the UBS-4, and UBS-4 Critical Apparatus
- Contains searchable lexical form and parsing information from Friberg Morphology and Parsings
- Contains definitions and grammatical analysis of Greek word forms from the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament
- Contains the NA-27 and the NA-27 Critical Apparatus
- Contains the lexical form and parsing information with a brief English gloss from Mounce-Koivisto Morphology
- Contains definitions for each Greek word from the Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament
Special upgrade pricing is available on many of these resources. Check them out on OliveTree.com to find out more!