Sermon Prep Part 4: Theotek Podcast #068

We talked about using Digital study tools to do word studies. Specifically we looked at Accordance Bible Software, Logos Bible Software and Bible Reader from Olive Tree.

We focused on studying the Bible in English using the tools built into Bible software that help users find the Greek or Hebrew words behind our English translations. Good language study tools focused on Greek and Hebrew tagging using Strong’s numbers helps users get at the Biblical meaning of each word and words in context. Regardless of which software you use, start with a text that includes Strong’s tagging. Usually they will let you right-click or double-click or even triple-click the word you want to study.

Start this process by searching for a word and read it in context in the different places it’s used in the Bible. Then use your software’s built-in word study tools. For example both Accordance and Logos show you how the author uses words with graphs and charts that show how many times a word gets used in each book of the Bible or how many times the original word gets translated one way versus another.

logos word study right click

The next step, after searching the word, is to look up the word in Greek or Hebrew Lexicons. Most Bible software tools include some in base packages. Users can buy more advanced tools.

Finally, if you still need some help, look up the word in an English Bible dictionary. Start with exegetical dictionaries like the Holman Treasury of Key Words or the AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Greek or Hebrew.

Our Favorite Things

apple 29watt usb c charger

This week in “Our Favorite Things” we got some interesting recommendations. First, Antoine recommended the 29 Watt Apple USB-C charger to charge your iPad Pro. It charges the iPad in about an hour, but costs $49. It also requires a USB-C to Lightning cable which adds $35. He still loves the speed of the charging and wished Apple included this charger with the iPad Pro.

anker powercore charger

Rick recommended a similar device, the PowerCore+ 26800 & PowerPort+ 1 charger. It includes QuickCharge technology and with 2.4amp USB ports. It’s got 3 ports and can even charge the MacBook or other USB-C devices that need a lot of power. The 26,800mAh battery handles almost anything you can throw at it.

I showed off a new feature in the latest Developer Preview version of Windows 10. Microsoft has what they call the fast ring and slow ring for beta testers of their operating system. The fast ring version added a new feature that shows up in the system tray. The icon for this feature looks like a pen with a drawn line. Tap or click on it and a new pen-focused menu pops up with a few options as follows:

  • Sticky notes
  • Sketchpad – a white board
  • Screen sketch – the ability to do a screenshot that opens into an editor with pen/pencil drawing on the screen shot
  • Recently used – a few of the most recently opened Windows 10 Universal apps
  • Suggested – pen/stylus focused apps from the Windows store
  • Connect your pen – a link to the Settings where you can connect your Bluetooth Surface Pen or other stylus

windows 10 ink workspace

Microsoft calls this the Windows Ink Workspace.

In the “Least Favorite Things” folder, I talked about Vufine. This was originally a Kickstarter project that I mistakenly backed. They call it an HD wearable display that fastens to your glasses and shows a tiny screen inside the little device that sits just off the front of your glasses. It comes with a cheap, flimsy pair of plastic glasses if you don’t wear glasses regularly.

The problem is the Vufine is to tiny it’s nearly useless for anything. Some use it connected to a GoPro to see what the GoPro sees. But using at an actual display is nearly impossible since text is so small.

Sermon Prep Part 3: Theotek Podcast

In part 3 of the Sermon Prep series on Theotek, we covered digital reference books. Each member of the team recommends our favorite tools like Bible dictionaries, lexicons, and more.

For review we covered the first steps of sermon prep in part one of our series. Then in

We started out with English Bible dictionaries. Here’s a list of what we recommended.

  • Anchor Bible Dictionary
  • IVP Bible Dictionary
  • Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  • Biblical Archaeology Review
  • Hermeneia
  • Bible Illustration from Holman
  • Accordance Photo Guide
  • Wikipedia
  • CCEL
  • Harper’s Bible Dictionary
  • Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs

Here’s a couple of Bible Background sources we prefer. These help you get at the cultural information that tells us more about the world of the Biblical writers.

  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • Accordance Atlas – one of the best digital atlas resources in Bible software

Next we look at Bible commentaries. The series that we each picked included…

  • Word Biblical Commentary
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • New American Commentary
  • Ancient Christian Commentary
  • IVP Bible Background Commentary
  • JPS Commentary

best commentaries

To find the best sources, we all agree that just one series isn’t the best approach to building a good library of commentaries. Instead check out Best Commentaries on the web. It lists the commentaries by book of the Bible and rates the best options available. They update it when new works come out.

Our Favorite Things

visual theology

I recommend Visual Theology, a work that Olive Tree released recently.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 9.49.54 AM

Antoine recommended the Google Cardboard, their inexpensive Virtual Reality tool that the user can put their phone into to get a VR experience. There are other VR options like Samsung Gear VR, which I don’t recommend. The children’s version comes from Mattel and uses the old View Master idea.

Rick went the opposite direction and shared one of his least favorite things. He doesn’t like the 12-inch MacBook. The screen’s nice but the keyboard doesn’t feel very good and performance suffers when doing more than word processing or surfing the web.

Sermon Prep Part Two: Theotek Podcast #066

It’s part two of our sermon prep series using Bible software to help us write a message. This week just Rick Mansfield and I tackle a little used tool – the passage outline. We show how to do so in a few BIble software packages and talk about doing it in the Notes tool of any program.

We looked at the outlining features of both Accordance Bible Software and Logos. You can also do one of these in the notes tool of any Bible software that includes one. Just copy and past the text into the note and use the space or tab keys and the return button to arrange the text on-screen in way that shows the relationship of the ideas.

logos bible outline

For a good book on how to do good Bible passage outlines in English, see The 12 Essential Skills of Great Preaching by Dr. Wayne McDill, my preaching professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Digital Sermon Prep Part 1: Theotek Podcast #065

We started a series in this week’s Theotek Podcast on doing digital sermon prep. Our team will take you through our steps of sermon prep using Bible software and digital tools.

In this first step we focused on choosing a passage. Software packages come with tools to help you figure out what verses to include in your passage, or as the scholars call it, pericope. Then we look at other aspects of sermon prep. Watch the video below or listen to the audio version at the end of this post.

We didn’t have any recommendations in Our Favorite Things this week.