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The New Mounce Parsings and the NA28

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By Olive Tree Staff: Matthew Jonas

Some of you may have noticed that the parsed version of the NA28 text that Olive Tree is now offering uses a different parsing database than the parsed NA27 text that we offer.  The parsing database that Olive Tree offers with the NA27 is the Mounce-Koivisto parsing database.  It is based on the work of both Dr. William Mounce and Dr. Rex Koivisto.  The new parsing system is based entirely on the work of Dr. Mounce.

Both systems provide the sort of basic parsing information that students and pastors would typically expect:  tense, voice, mood, person, and number for verbs; case, number, and gender for nouns, and so forth.  The Mounce-Koivisto also includes some additional data at times that the new system does not contain, such as types for pronouns (demonstrative, personal, etc.) and syntactical information about the uses of conjunctions (coordinating vs. subordinating, temporal, causal, etc.)  However, since the new Mounce system is simpler, it is also more straightforward and easier to understand in some cases.

If the basic parsing data is very similar between the two systems, you may wonder what the advantage of the new one is.  The answer has to do not so much with the parsings themselves as it does with the accompanying set of glosses.  The parsings that Olive Tree has made available with the NA28 contain much fuller glosses than the parsings that are offered with the NA27.  The glosses are an important distinctive feature of the Mounce-Koivisto parsings as compared to AGNT, which uses an excellent parsing system, but has no glosses.  The addition of fuller and more accurate glosses in the new Mounce parsings make this even more of an advantage.

For example, the difference between the older glosses and the newer glosses is very apparent when looking at a preposition such as ἐν.  The Mounce-Koivisto (NA27) gloss is “(+dat) in, with, by, to.”  The Mounce (NA28) gloss is “Spatially: in, inside, at, among, with; logically: by means of, with, because of; of time: during, while.”  Not every gloss is as long as this, but fuller and more accurate glosses are given for certain words such as in this example.

My experience has been that once a student has learned the basic forms of nouns and verbs that the main barrier to reading the New Testament is unfamiliar vocabulary rather than unfamiliar forms.  The fuller set of glosses that are part of the new Mounce parsing system will hopefully make it easier to bridge the gap between the shorter glosses that students learn when starting out and the fuller definitions found in lexicons.  These coupled with Dr. Mounce’s straightforward parsing system and the text of the NA28 make this a valuable resource for anyone interested in the Greek New Testament.

Why I Preach From My iPad

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Guest Blogger: Ken Daughters, Former President of Emmaus Bible College

I preach two or three times a week and often travel to preach. I used to carry my big Ryrie Study Bible in my carry-on suitcase, but the x-ray image looked sinister to airport security. They asked me to take it out and put it on the belt separately, just as I do my laptop. I thought of carrying a smaller Bible instead, but I enjoyed the outlines and notes in my study Bible. It was at this point I considered just carrying my iPad. The college had purchased an iPad for me to demonstrate our courses on iTunes. I naturally tried every Bible program available for the iPad and picked Olive Tree’s Bible Study App as my favorite.

The big question was whether I could preach from an iPad. Would it be safe? Would the program crash? Would I become confused as I fumbled with the interface? I tested it first in our college’s chapel service. My students are tech-savvy, so I doubted they would be offended. In fact, a number of them followed along on their smart phones. No one blinked an eye. So I started carrying my iPad to our church services. I enjoyed following along with the sermon using the translation the preacher chose and consulting my imbedded commentary if I wanted additional information. I decided to take my iPad preaching on the road. At first I was nervous that the older folks in the meetings would take offense. “How can he preach without a real Bible?” I imagined them asking. In reality, no one took offense, and a number of shy iPad users  came out of the woodwork and used them in church meetings as well. It was as if my use of my iPad in public made it culturally acceptable. We would compare which programs we were using and tips in their use.

Which features caused me to pick up The Bible Study App? First, the app was intuitive and easy to use. I have more resources available in some of my other programs, but their interfaces are more difficult to use. With Olive Tree I picked the typeface and font that fit my preaching needs and chose the softer book image background. I use a vertical scroll so I can move the verses from which I’m preaching to the top of the page. All of my resources are downloaded onto my iPad so I am not dependent on Wi-Fi access. I greatly appreciate the cross-references imbedded into the Scripture text as superscripts that lead to pop-up windows. I can still see my original text and the read the cross-reference from the pop-up at the same time.

Using the notes feature, I began to imbed my own cross-references into the text. All I needed was the reference. The Bible Study App recognizes any biblical reference as a hypertext link to jump to the verse immediately in a window. If I planned to spend a lengthy amount of time in another passage, I bookmarked it to I could turn to it quickly. Both techniques are faster and more efficient than using a printed Bible. The “Go To” feature of the verse chooser is also faster than a printed Bible. I can win most Sword Drills. There is a history feature if I want to return to a passage I recently read.

Perhaps the most important feature of using a computer-based Bible text is the ability to search on key words or phrases, turning the program into a computer concordance. The interface of the search feature for Bible+ is the fastest and most straight-forward I have seen!

If all I am packing for research in my suitcase is my iPad, I want to be able to access commentaries and dictionaries. The split screen feature of Bible+ serves me very well. I usually have the Bible Knowledge Commentary in my split window for quick reference I have even experimented with sermon notes as the second window! A number of sources from OliveTree are free, but my first purchase was the NASB that has Strong’s Numbers imbedded in the text. I have seen programs that place the actual numbers interspaced in the text, which is nearly unreadable. I like that I can touch a colored word and the Strong’s number, the original Greek or Hebrew word, and the dictionary definition appear. The greatest advantage of this resource is the ability to search on a Strong’s number, not the word in the English translation. For non-Greek readers, this allows one to get behind the translation and conduct more accurate searches. When I don’t need Strong’s numbers, I use the ordinary NASB text so I can touch the screen without concern. My next purchase will be the Analytical Greek New Testament (AGNT) with Morphology, Lexicon, and UBS4 Critical Apparatus.

I like to mark up my paper Bibles with color coding and write notes in the margins, but I hesitate to do so because of the permanence of the markings. I even printed out passages or photocopied pages so that I could mark them up to my heart’s content without regret. Now with the ease of the color coding available to me with The Bible Study App, I mark up the text constantly, and if I change my mind, I just redo it. I even created my own custom color. I have begun to copy and paste specific sermon or interpretive notes into the text, so I am ready to preach or teach on a moment’s notice. The notes are always there. I use Evernote to back them up or import long sets of notes. One of the best features of OliveTree is that my purchases and notes are available across all of my mobile platforms. I need to buy a resource only once. I keep each device updated by syncing. When I upgrade my iPhone, I download the resources I have in the cloud to be available wherever I am 24/7, even better than the old vest pocket New Testament! My Bible is always with me! (And so is a commentary!) OliveTree gives me the software upgrades for free, instead of trying to sell me an entire new program.

It may seem strange, but I have my devotions on my iPad using The Bible Study App. My daughter does as well. We like to share the verses that were especially meaningful to us. The copy and paste feature is particularly useful for this. I find myself sending verses not just to her, but to a number of family members and friends.

I recently stepped down from my role as president of the college. The iPad belonged to them. The device had become more than just a hyper-portable computer. It had become my Bible. I asked if I could keep it. I told them it was my Bible. Thankfully, they graciously said “Yes!”

 

Taking Notes in iPad

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Here is one way you can easily take notes in The Bible Study App. You can also easily record notes side by side with your Bible in the Split Screen.

 

 

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

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This week we’re able to offer some outstanding illustrated commentaries that are an amazing resource for use within The Bible Study App. 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. Watch the videos below to see a preview and get them at a great discount HERE!

 

 

 

I don’t like to sing. I don’t like to worship?

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Nearly every Sunday, church gatherings all across the world start out with one thing in common – singing. In many churches there are a group of people who lip sync, don’t sing at all, or purposely come to the service late so they don’t have to sing.

Unfortunately our understanding of worship is often limited to just singing songs and understandably so. In our culture today we even have a specific genre of music that we call ‘worship’ music. Often times we even evaluate Sunday church gatherings on the quality of the sermon and of the worship (music). We even have a ‘worship leader’ who is almost always the upfront person singing. It’s no wonder that singing and worship can’t be separated in our mind. As a result many people who just don’t like to sing, add two and two together.
I don’t like to sing…so I must not like to worship.”

When we look at what the Bible has to say about worship we see a far bigger picture of what worship is. Sure, we see singing and lots of it. But we also see sacrifice, commitment, and devotion. In Romans 12:1 the Apostle Paul says that if we live sacrificial lives committed to Jesus, that is true worship. I certainly don’t live my life like a Disney musical walking around singing all the time.  But when I live devoted to the things of God, committed to furthering his Kingdom, and willing to give my time -all for God -than I’m worshiping Him with my life. No singing needed.  If you have ever thought you don’t like to worship remember that singing is simply one form of worship. True worship permeates our daily actions and demands something far more than singing a song. It demands sacrifice, devotion, commitment, as well as admiration and reverence.

So why do we sing? Psalm 98:1 says, “Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him”.
This is one verse of many that reference singing as a response to what God has done. The book of Revelation paints an amazing picture of worship through song and so it’s important that we understand singing is going to be a primary activity in Heaven.

Maybe you’re thinking, “You don’t understand, my singing doesn’t even sound good in the shower!” Psalm 100:1 is just for you: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” This is good news! So if you find yourself lip syncing, not singing at all, or purposely come to the service late, let me encourage you to remember that we sing not out of tradition or duty but because of who God is and what the Lord has done for us! It’s then that our singing becomes worship. It’s only when we have had a revelation of who God is that we can really worship him and there is something powerful and very Biblical about using song to do that.

Sunday mornings are meant to be a powerful time to worship God through singing, praying, giving, fellowship and hearing God’s word. Let’s engage in these acts of worship not just when we gather together, but throughout the week, living lives committed to Jesus!

 

  • Besides singing what are some other ways that you worship God?
  • If you don’t normally like to sing, how have you overcome this in order to still worship God through song?
  • Outside of church gatherings where else do you worship God?

All Around the World

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A couple of weeks ago we asked a question on our Facebook about what device people were using to run The Bible Study App and what country they were from. Hundreds of you were kind enough to answer (you can see the post here) and one of the things that stood out was how many people from around the world use the Bible Study App to read and study God’s word – over 3 million people from 6 continents (we’re still trying to find someone in Antarctica).

There are two reasons this is exciting to us at Olive Tree:
Matthew 24:14 says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” As many of you indicated the country you’re from it was a great reminder that God’s promises come to pass. The good news (gospel) has gone out as Jesus promised and no matter what country we’re from we are all a part of his Kingdom.

The other reason it was great to see your responses is because our work at Olive Tree is driven by our mission statement to, “inspire people to connect with God and study the Bible using technology.”  As individual employees we are all continuing to grow in our faith and blessed to be a part of a company that seeks to provide the best tool possible to study, learn, and grow.

(The Olive Tree Offices)
Last week we asked for prayer requests through our social media channels and as a staff we gathered together on a Thursday morning to pray for those of you who had submitted requests. It was a great honor for us to be able to do that and something we want to continue to do in the days ahead. We also appreciate your prayers as we are praying and planning for the future and how to best equip and resource people who use The Bible Study App.

We value your feedback and our development teams are constantly working to bring new features to the various platforms. We also appreciate your ratings! If you haven’t yet rated our app on Google Play or the Apple Store please take a minute to do so.

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