bible study with accordance

Theotek Podcast #018: All in One Accord 2.0

In this Theotek Podcast we got a fresh look at Accordance Mobile 2.0 or Bible Study with Accordance as it’s known in the iTunes App Store. Rick Mansfield from Accordance showed off the new features and what makes it a great refresh of what some of us thought wasn’t the best Bible study experience in its previous version. However, even the most ardent critic of the 1.0 version will have to admit that 2.0 comes with an appealing set of new features and design refresh.

bible study with accordance
Bible Study with Accordance for iPad updates to Accordance Mobile 2.0. We demo it on this Theotek Podcast

Watch the YouTube version as Rick shows it off and Antoine Wright and I ask questions.

I’ll be doing a written review of the product sometime in the next week or two. So check back for that.

People who want to switch from their current Bible study software can do so by going to the Accordance Crossgrade site. Also, Accordance offers a 20% discount site wide until April 6th for people who want to add to their library. Get the app from the App store for your iPad or iPhone.

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Play the audio version of the podcast below.

propresenter5

Theotek Podcast #017: Presenting Like a Pro

Paul Alan Clifford, or just Paul to his friends, is a church tech guru. He specializes in ProPresenter and social media. Paul shares tons of great church tech related content on his website, YouTube channel and social media connections. He joined us on the Theotek Podcast to talk about ProPresenter, a worship presentation tool that replaces PowerPoint and more easily display lyrics, images, video, Bible passages and more.

Check out Paul’s website TrinityDigitalMedia.com for ProPresenter news, tutorials and other church tech content. In addition to talking about ProPresenter, he covers church podcasting, creating media for worship, social media as it relates to the church community and using tech to communicate with members.

propresenter5

In our discussion in the video above, he shared a great idea for churches in the snowbelt areas. When bad weather comes, instead of canceling church take it online via a streaming. I’m thinking about trying that sometime next winter.

We also talked about Planning Center. Here’s a tutorial from ProPresenter on how to use Planning Center Online inside ProPresenter 5.

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logos 6 from faithlife

5 Best Mac Bible Study Programs [Video]

For a long time doing Bible study on a Mac meant getting Accordance Bible Software, a couple of lesser known programs without a lot of support for current Bible translations and resources, or installing something like Parallels software to run Windows Bible study software on a Mac. Today, there’s a number of great Mac Bible study programs that run fine on OS X.

Search the Mac App Store and there’s still not a lot of quality there, but that’s alright. Go directly to the source and download the programs below that don’t show up in the app store and start enjoying some excellent Mac Bible study software. To make this list, the program must run as a real Mac app, not a Windows app using emulation software like WINE.

Here are the 5 best Mac Bible study programs in alphabetical order.

Accordance Bible Software

accordance Bible software

Long the standard for Bible study on a Mac, Accordance 11 from Accordance Bible Software offers a rich, powerful package with everything a user might need or even want in Bible software. Some of the best features we get with Accordance include:

  • A true Mac program without any Windows code ported over using WINE or some other overlay
  • Speed with power in one package
  • Excellent search features
  • Original language study
  • Extensive options for screen layout

Learning to use Accordance will take some time, but the company offers some free training to help new users. Mastering Accordance takes time because it’s not simple to figure out. For example, entering a Bible verse may take the user to that verse, but it may not, depending on how the user enters it. Sound confusing? It can be.

Also, sometimes the program displays one verse at a time or it shows the verse in context of a few verses or a chapter or more. The user must learn how to change the settings to make it show what the person wants to see.

Despite the complexity, Accordance is a great program. It offers all of my favorite features in a single, powerful Mac Bible study program, including a feature filled notes tool, lots of top-flight digital content and quick and powerful navigation.

accordance bible lands photo guide

One lesser known feature includes some of the best multimedia content. The company produces what they call the Bible Lands Photo Guide with pictures taken on site in Israel. There’s also a nice collection of artwork centered around Bible topics and passages.

The program relies on Dropbox for syncing user content, which isn’t idea. However, it’s available if needed. The new iPad app also syncs via Dropbox or direct sync over Wi-Fi, but this requires a manual connection between the Mac and iOS app while they’re sharing the same network.

Accordance doesn’t come cheap. They sell Collections starting with the Starter Collection at $59.90, but it doesn’t include a lot. There isn’t much multimedia content and only has the ESV and KJV plus a few older public domain translations. We only get is the IVP New Testament Commentary plus a few public domain commentaries and references. The other Collections include:

  • Bible Study – $199
  • Original Languages – $299
  • Essential – $499
  • Advanced – $999
  • Ultimate – $1,999

Of those, the real bang for the buck is the Essential Collection, if you can afford $500. If not, start with the Original Languages Collection and upgrade as soon as you can afford to. Accordance also offers payment plans.

Buyers can get it directly from Accordance or from the Mac App Store for $50, but I don’t recommend that route since it’s not updated as quickly as the version they sell on their site.

 

Bible Study from Olive Tree

Olive Tree Bible Study App

Olive Tree’s started in mobile Bible software early on, but recently Harper Collins bought them. The company still keeps their mobile apps fresh and now makes a Windows and Mac version. It’s one of the few decent Bible apps available in the Mac App Store.

Olive Tree’s Mac Bible Study program runs on Apple OS X and provides Apple fans a great native Mac app that runs quickly.

The library of digital books available from Olive Tree makes this an intriguing solution. However, it’s not just a simple book reader. Multiple features make it an excellent option for users. Here’s a few of the reasons I put it on this list of the best Mac Bible study programs.

olive tree bible study app resource guide

First, the program runs with speed, offers a healthy library of books, and uses a simple user-interface. The Bible Study app from Olive Tree quickly shows users content about a given passage in the Resource Guide, which opens on the right side of the screen. It lists all the resource in a user’s library that include information about the passage displayed on left. Users can customize what it shows. See the customization option in the screenshot below.

olive tree resource guide preferences

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Resource Guide tab from inside Preferences and there’s a link to the company’s online store where users can buy more books. The bookstore opens inside the Olive Tree Bible Study App window. I like that the store’s there if you want it, but it stays out of the way until you do. There’s also a link on the at the bottom of the Library sidebar on the left.

olive tree store inside bible study app

Olive Tree’s Bible Study App includes all the basics expected in a Bible Study program including…

  • Simple and complex search
  • Easy navigation in books
  • Notes features
  • Syncing to backup notes, highlights, and bookmarks

olive tree quick details

One more useful feature shows up in the lower left corner of the app. Hover over a hyperlink and the information that link points to shows up in the Quick Details section. In the example above, I hovered over the word Prophecy in 1 Corinthians 13:2 in the NASB with Strong’s Bible. It quickly showed the Strong’s Dictionary entry for that word. There’s a tiny scroll bar that lets you move up and down in longer entries. Unfortunately, it’s not resizeable.

Bible Glo Premium

glo bible premium media

I only include Bible Glo Premium because of the rich media content that the program includes. Also, it’s available on the Mac App Store for only $34.99. The rest of the app looks beautiful, but doesn’t offer as much for advanced Bible study. The media along makes it worth the cost.

Logos Bible Software

logos 6 from faithlife

One of the most complex and feature filled programs comes from Faithlife. That’s the new name of the company that sells Logos Bible Software.

Subscribe to our Theotek Podcast on YouTube in video format or in audio format on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Logos recently received a major update to Logos 6 and we enjoyed a live demo from Faithlife’s Sean Boisen on the Theotek Podcast. You can watch the demo below.

There’s too much in Logos to give a comprehensive overview, but let’s start with the first of my three favorite features in Logos, the Guides.

The Passage Guide is what enticed me to first buy Logos 3 many years ago. Use it by entering a passage into the search box (see the red box on the top left of the image below) or from the Home Screen. Logos searches your library for information related to that passage. The Guide searches the following kinds of books by default:

  • Commentaries
  • Journals
  • Cross References
  • Ancient Literature
  • Parallel Passages
  • Cultural Concepts
  • Outlines
  • Biblical People, Places, Things, and Events
  • Media Resources
  • Logos Media
  • Atlas
  • Music
  • Topics
  • Illustrations
  • Interesting Words
  • Compare Versions
  • Sermons
  • Bookstore
  • Gracewaymedia.com
  • Sermonaudio.com
  • Sermons.Logos.com
  • Sermoncentral.com

That’s a lot of content. Your results may not include everything on this list. Only the groups that include books in the user’s library will show up in the results. Also, the last few come from websites.

logos passage guide

The Passage Guide shows the results in a long list, as seen above. There’s an arrow that points to the right when that section is closed (see the red arrow on the left above). Click it to open that section and the program will search those books of that kind.

Users can add other sections by clicking on the Add drop down link in the upper right corner of the Passage Guide window. See the arrow pointing to it in the upper right of the above image.

Other Logos Guides include the Exegetical Guide, focused on original language study, the Sermon Starter Guide, for finding content to put in a sermon or Bible study, and the Topical Guide, which searches the library by topic instead of passage. Find them all from the Tools menu.

logos copy bible verses

The Copy Bible Verses tool seems like a mundane feature to highlight, especially when a Logos user considers the hundreds of awesome tools. Yet, people copy the Bible into their documents for creating sermon preaching notes, Bible studies, books or any other document created about the Bible. This tool makes it so easy.

The Copy Bible Verses tool grabs the verses the user selects or enters into the dialog box at the top of the window. It can copy from Bibles or other books and place the text on the clipboard for manually pasting into another program or it will automatically format it and paste it into certain programs on the Mac.

logos copy bible verses tool

The feature works with Microsoft Word and the following:

  • Textedit
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • Proclaim (their worship presentation software)
  • PowerPoint
  • LibreOffice Writer

Logos Data Sets give users detailed information about their passages. This makes it easy to understand the Bible and therefore teach the word. One of the newest that came out in Logos 6 is the Factbook. It gives details about people, places, geographical information and more. See it below.

factbook in logos

The above example shows Bethlehem (of Judea). We get media like maps, images and such. Then we find dictionary entries and references to the place in the Bible. You can’t see the other items in the Factbook list related to this entry. We get Hebrew and Greek Lemmas, a list of library search results from the Logos library, community tags, and more.

PocketBible for Mac OS X

pocketbible for mac

Laridian also got an early start in mobile Bible software. I first used PocketBible on a Palm and then Pocket PC PDA. They branched out to iOS and Android. Their Windows program is a simple tool, but they recently did a Kickstarter campaign to see how many users would want PocketBible on a Mac. The campaign successfully got funded and they produced the program.

PocketBible doesn’t look as pretty as some of these, but it’s simple and fast. It includes a great search feature and a nice collection of books. The designers paid close attention to the layout tool making it easy to set things up quickly to organize the open books.

Along the left we see a mult-use window called the Study Panel that includes tabs for easily navigating the main features in PocketBible. Search, manage bookmarks, highlights and notes, and quickly navigate to a passage.

PocketBible takes advantage of their built-in Cloud Sync to keep multiple machines or devices up to date with the user’s latest information.

 

 

get connected online

Online Church?

Church today takes on many forms, from the traditional collection of members meeting regularly in a building to house churches that gather in a living room or even churches in coffee shops, restaurants or other public places. But can a church go online and still keep the biblical requirements for church?

Paul Alan Clifford from Trinity Digital Media talks about what it takes to properly put together an online campus in a recent episode of his Tech No Babel show. Watch it below and then see what the Bible requires for a group to claim the status of church listed after the video.

6 Requirements for Church

It’s an interesting idea and a traditional church pastor like me struggles with the idea. How can you do church without a building and a regularly Sunday morning worship serviced where people gather in one place to sing, pray and listen to preaching or teaching from the Bible? That’s not the list the Bible offers for the requirements for church.

There’s no one passage that neatly lists them, but here’s what I think the Bible says a church should look like.

  1. Pastoral Leadership – Ephesians 4 talks about how God gave the church equipping gifts, including pastors and teachers. Without a pastor, we don’t have a church. Some churches lose their pastor, but they look for a replacement and often call an interim until they find one. An online church must have an equipping pastor.
  2. Community – In Hebrews 10:25 we read that we should not forsake the assembling of the community. Can a group of people engage in community if they can’t see one another face-to-face? I have a group of friends that I’ve never met in person, but they’re still important to me. I’ve shared private prayer needs with them. I laugh when they tell jokes. I feel the pain of their struggles. We are friends and fellow believers. We share community. Why can’t people do that online for one another in a church?
  3. Disciple-making – Jesus commanded all people to go and make disciples in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Any online church that’s not effectively teaching people to observe all that Jesus commanded them isn’t a church.
  4. Evangelism – As a part of making disciples we’re told to “do the work of the evangelist” in 2 Timothy 4:5 meaning we as believers must share the Gospel with others. Without evangelism you don’t have church.
  5. Ministering – Some people call this service or care-giving. Whatever you call it, its loving others and meeting their needs. The early church appointed deacons for this purpose. Without people sharing and meeting the needs of others, you don’t have a church. Deacons organize this, but everyone’s responsible to minister to the other members of the church and their community outside the church. This, more than possibly anything else, grew the local Jerusalem church in the early days of its history in Acts.
  6. Worship – This seems like the easiest one to fulfill online. After all most online churches stream “worship services” to their online community. Are the viewers really worshipping? Viewing a stream seems quite passive. If the online participants worship, then they can claim to have a church. If not, then it’s not. I’ve watched streamed worship services and it feels like watching a TV program, not actively participating in a church. It seems like the easiest element to fulfill, but might be the hardest.
get connected online
Media Credit: Sharefaith.com

The Answer

As I look over the list above, one thing stands out; many churches fail to measure up to the Biblical requirements of church whether online or offline. How many churches fail to make disciples, effectively share the Gospel, never really meet needs and don’t sincerely worship. Instead they’re performing a series of habitual activities that resemble worship but without any power?

If a congregation doesn’t include these six things, then it’s not a church. If it does, then who cares whether all the people meet in the same building or online.

what is a church
Media Credit: Sharefaith.com

How to Do Online Church

As Paul Alan Clifford says in the episode of Tech No Babel posted above, a dedicated pastor can help the online campus achieve the status of church. That’s not possible for some churches. Adding new staff for this group may not make sense financially. However, they could add the duties to someone already on staff. This only works if the person prioritizes the online members. Their needs can’t tumble to the bottom of the to-do list every day.

Getting a volunteer whose mature and needs some experience is a better solution for an online church pastor. Maybe a church has a person whose got the gifts and skills to become an effective pastor, but not the training or theological education. Here’s a great way to let them learn on the job as an apprentice of the church’s pastor. Serve as the online pastor and meet the needs of the online attendees by calling on the online members through digital means. Pray for them and even teach them through a YouTube channel or video chat.

Second, setup a way for these members to enjoy community. Use Google Hangouts or Skype. Find some way for them to get together regularly for online fellowship, prayer and even group Bible study online. If possible, schedule some in-person time for those living close to one another.

Finally, encourage them to minister to people’s online needs for the sake of the kingdom. Tech savvy members can volunteer to help people with tech needs. This is the digital version of raking leaves for a senior citizen. In the process they’re sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way. They can also share prayer needs in a private moderated online forum of some kind like a Facebook Group or a Google Community on Google+.

Who Should Attend Online Church

Despite all we’ve said, I don’t think its a good idea for a person to make an online church their exclusive church. People need a hug sometimes. So who should attend one of these online churches? Here’s a few. Add your own to comments below.

  • Shut-ins – train them to use the tools and even get them a computer or tablet to make it possible.
  • Temporary attendees – people away at college, in the hospital for an extended time, or shut-in temporarily make great candidates for an online campus.
  • Potential members – someone might want to get involved with a church, but they don’t want to commit yet. They could find the church’s website and get involved in a non-threatening way. This person may be extremely shy and threatened by interaction with people they don’t know.
  • Inmates – Paul had a great ministry to people in prison since he found himself in one a few times. A church could do the same digitally.
  • Sunday workers – many people work on Sundays and can’t attend our services. Get them involved online so they can still grow until their job changes.
macbook

Theotek Podcast #016: Matters Ministry Does

We might have gotten away from the Theo part of Theotek this week as we talked about the hot news of Apple’s announcement of an Apple Watch, the new Apple MacBook and Google’s new Chromebook Pixel.

Our entire crew joined us this week plus we added a new contributor, Pastor Paul Culbertson from Grace Community Church in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Paul is a serious Apple Geek and a great pastor. We hope Paul will start joining us regularly

We don’t have a lot to share in the show notes this week. If you’re interesting reading more about the details of the Apple Watch, the new MacBook and the Chromebook Pixel, check out some of the content at GottaBeMobile or Notebooks.com where I write in my free time.

apple watch

 

What do you think about the Apple Watch and its competitors, the many Android Wear watches or the Pebble Steel Time.

Would you prefer a new MacBook or a Chromebook Pixel? For Bible study, the MacBook will work better since a Chromebook means no locally installed Bible software. However, there’s a great set of online Bible study tools, as we posted recently in our two-part series on online Bible study sites (part one and part two). Also church media people will prefer the new MacBook, but it won’t really help much. They should look at a MacBook Pro or a full-powered Windows laptop that runs an Intel Core i3 or higher processor.

Acer C910 Chromebook_left facing

That said, as a second machine, the Chromebook Pixel looks attractive. However, Acer announced today that they will sell an Intel Core i5 Broadwell chip 15.6-inch Chromebook coming in April for $500. That sounds appealing to me as a Chromebook fan.

Let us know what you’d like to hear on a future Theotek Podcast. We are also always looking for good guests who have something to say. Invite yourself by contacting me personally or one of our other hosts. You can find their contact information on our Theotek Podcast page.

Theotek Podcast #015: Getting Social

Okay, so updating this site with the latest Theotek podcast episodes, jumped way down the priority list. But here’s episode 15 in video (below) and audio form (at bottom).

Theotek Podcast #015: Getting Social – YouTube Video

Let’s start with the episode 15 from two weeks ago. We had a great discussion about social media and the church. In the end we came up with what we’re calling the Social Media 5 Commandments for Christians. Here’s the video…

5 Commandments of Social Media for Christians

In this episode Antoine Wright and I came up with the following 5 Commandments for Social Media.

  1. Honor God with what others can see and not see
  2. Honor your brothers and sisters with all communication whether public or private
  3. Understand that you’re ambassadors of Christ, your family and your church both off and online
  4. Treat social media content as public no matter what the privacy settings say
  5. Back up your social media communications

The first two items on our list apply the Great Commandments of love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind and spirit and love your neighbor as yourself. The third item applies the statement from Paul, which says we are Ambassadors for Christ.

social-media-commandments

Tell us what you think of these in our moderated comments below or replay to us on Twitter @TheoTekNews or on Facebook.

logos 6.1 update

Logos 6.1 Update Now Available and Free Download

Last fall Faithlife, formerly Logos Bible Software, not only changed their corporate name but released a huge update to Logos 6. Now they’ve fixed some bugs and added a few minor features bringing the latest release to Logos 6.1. With this release, customers can now update to the version six display engine for free.

logos 6.1 update

What’s New in Logos 6.1 Update

The upgrade from 5 to 6 brought a ton of new features. (see the video below for a demo of new features in Logos 6) However, the Logos 6.1 update brings just a few. Here’s what’s new in this Logos 6.1 Update.

As always, users can get help from the Help menu or by pressing the F1 key. However, there’s now a library resource called Logos Help. Click here to open Logos to the Logos Help resource.

Logos 6.1 Update help
Either open the Library and find the Logos Help resource or click the Help button on the right end of the toolbar to open Help in Logos 6.1.

So why did they create the Logos Help book? This makes it easy to update with a resource update instead of a whole program update. It also lets the user search for content in the book. They can use the new Inline Search that the company introduced in the version six update. Inline Search means a user doesn’t have to open a Search pane to search inside an open book.

Logos promises to update the Logos Help book with “more comprehensive information, at a later date.”

Second, users can print more than 100 pages of a Personal Book. Personal Books are custom-made resources that the user can add to their Logos library.

personal books in logos 6.1 update
Users can now print more than 100 pages of a Logos 6.1 Personal Book.

Go to the Files section of the Logos forums and find a ton of Personal Books that other users created. To learn more about creating Personal Books, check out the Logos Wiki which explains the process of making your own Personal Books for use in Logos.

As an aside, there’s a great resource from Logos user and expert Mark Barnes called the Dictionary of Christianity and the Bible. Go get it and build a Personal Book. I wouldn’t recommend printing it, however. Mark estimates that a printed version would take up 19 volumes of 1,000 pages each.

The update also fixed a problem with an error when trying to remove Personal Books.

Here’s a few of the other cool new updates in this Logos 6.1 update:

  • Performance fixes and improvements
  • Reduced the “preparing your library” time on startup
  • Loads a Basic Search faster
  • Autocomplete feature in Search works faster
  • Fixed some problems displaying Hebrew text

 How to Get Logos 6 Core Engine for Free

Until now updating to Logos 6 from earlier versions cost a pretty penny. However, users who don’t care about all the new data sets can get just the Logos 6 Core Engine for free. Download it from the Logos download site and install it.

logos 6 crossgrade packages

Downloading this Logos 6 Core Engine will give users some menus with links to books that you won’t own. In other words, the core engine shows many of the new features, but doesn’t include most of them. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a Logos 6 Base Package upgrade. You don’t have to buy the same package that you own. For example, you may own the Gold package of Logos 5. You don’t have to buy the Logos 6 Gold Package. You can get just the Logos 6 Crossgrade. It’s still expensive, but for most users it’s worth the cost. Pay monthly if paying all at once isn’t possible.

Theotek Podcast #014 – Blue Dress is White [Video]

Have you seen the blue/white dress phenomena that grabbed the Internet by storm last week? We don’t discuss that on our podcast (listen above), except for a moment at the beginning. Instead, on this week’s Theotek Podcast, we talk about a few interesting topics including the following (after the video below)

Visual Sermon Notes – a recent Baptist Press article talked about a pastor who creates preaching notes that look like a doodle instead of a list of points with text. Our own Antoine Wright does this all the time. We discussed his use of this and mind mapping. Here’s the image.

visual sermon notes
Here’s what one pastor takes into the pulpit as he preaches.

And here’s Antoine’s Flickr Album with his “Sketch Notes”.

antoine wright sketch notes
Our own Antoine Wright uses what he calls Sketch Notes to show his message notes visually.

Next we talked about a recent study in Washington Post that says the digital native generation actually prefers reading paper books. Should this impact the way the church relates to this generation using digital Bibles or resources?

washinton post ebooks vs paper

Finally, we ended with an interesting discussion of a social media policy for churches and non-profit organizations. We’ll hit that again next week.

 

blue letter bible

6 Best Online Bible Study Sites – Part Two

More and more people want to study their Bible using a computer or tablet. That used to mean installing complicated Bible study software, but now we’ve got some incredible online Bible study sites that let us do more than just search and read the Bible. These 6 sites include commentaries, simple original language study, and digital Bible markup.

Here’s got part two of this list of the 6 best online Bible study sites. The earlier post included…

Here’s the last three of our 6 best online Bible study tools including my pick for the best online Bible study site.

Blue Letter Bible

The Blue Letter Bible presents their Bible study tools inside a useful layout. The site’s excellent search feature sets Blue Letter Bible apart. Find the search box on the right side of the main page. Three tabs under the Search the Bible heading offer Help, Quicknav, and Adv. Options. Click on the Quicknav to jump to any Bible verse. Click on Adv. Options to narrow searches to parts of the Bible like the Old Testament or Pauline Epistles, as seen in the screen shot below.

search options on blue letter bible
Blue Letter Bible shows some advanced searching filters.

The site includes most of the popular Bible translations like…

  • ESV
  • HCSB
  • KJV
  • NKJV
  • NLT
  • NIV
  • NASB

When the user navigates to a verse, the site displays them with one verse on each line and a Tools button next to the verse number on the left.

tools button on blue letter bible
Click the Tools button to find the study tools.

Click on the colored tool and it opens in a pop up window with tabs. The tabs correspond with the listed tools.

tools pop up tabs on blue letter bible
The tabs on the Tools pop up correspond to the Tools button list in the screenshot above.

The tabs show…

  • Interlinear Bible
  • Bibles tab with that verse in all the available translations
  • Cross references for that verse
  • Commentaries
  • Dictionaries
  • Miscellaneous for things like maps and more

Most of the tools available are public domain. They used to sell books, but as of January 2015, the bookstore closed.

blue letter bible

The user-interface is one of the best available online, but the library leaves us wanting. Still, it’s a useful online Bible study site.

Lumina

lumina

Lumina content comes from Bible.org. In case you haven’t heard of it, Bible.org is a great library of simple, pastoral and scholarly Bible study tools curated by Dallas Theological Seminary.

This site doesn’t include as much as some of the other sites, but it has some modern translations and the connection to Bible.org and it’s wealth of articles enhance online Bible study.

The site’s navigation makes it easy to find verses, highlight, annotate and share the Bible on social media. Do some original language work as well.

MyStudyBible.com

kevins-pickThe winner of our “Kevin’s Pick” is MyStudyBible.com. Why is it the best of the best? For a few reasons…

  • Library – it includes many of the great books from WORDsearch’s library of Bible study and Christian books.
  • Layout – MSB uses a simple user-interface that’s intuitive for novices and advanced Bible students alike.
  • Personal Content – like a lot of these sites, it includes notes, highlights and bookmarks.
  • Modern Translations and Resources – MSB doesn’t only offer public domain books, but recent content as well.
  • Language Study – the site handles original language study well enough for novices and intermediate level digital Bible students to use.
  • Help Guide – MSB offers the best tutorial guide of any of the online Bible study sites.
mystudybible
My Study Bible enjoys the support of Lifeway’s WORDsearch library of books.

MyStudyBible.com comes from Lifeway and WORDsearch. It’s this huge library of nearly 2,000 books that makes it my pick. The site includes more books with a greater variety than all but one of our 6 best online Bible study sites (the other is Biblia from Logos). Not all of WORDsearch’s books work with the site, but a large percentage do.

Notice the attractive layout with the Bible taking center stage and reference material along the right. The left shows the current open book, the user’s account user name with or a link to sign into the site, a link to notes and new books under the New Arrivals link.

The top section shows tabs of open books with the toolbar below it. The toolbar includes …

  • Back button
  • Table of contents
  • Reference box
  • Font size button
  • Verse per line/paragraph toggle
  • Strong’s links
mystudybible strongs
Notice the words get underline. Click one to show the language study information.

When the user turns on Strong’s links, the words with corresponding Strong’s Numbers get underlined. Click to show a pop up of the word’s language study information. This only works in translations that come with Strong’s tagging.

mystudybible guide
Learn to use MyStudyBible by clicking the small down arrow at the top center to show this helpful guide overlay.

At the top of center of the screen notice a small arrow pointing down. Click and the above guide shows how to use the site’s features. No other site presents this kind of help as simply and elegantly.

If you know of a great online Bible study site that I’ve not included, please comment below. All comments get moderated, but only for offensive content and spam.