olive tree bible study

5 Best iPad Bible Study Apps

The iPad assists mobile Bible study thanks to a lot of iPad Bible Study apps. But which one should you use? How good are they and what can a person do with them. Let’s look at the best iPad Bible Study apps to help preachers, teachers and Christians study the Bible.

iPad Bible Study Must Haves…

Recently we differentiated between mobile Bible Study apps and Devotional or Bible reading apps.  Please see that post to understand the difference. The apps below fit in the more advanced Bible Study Apps sector. Users can use them for Bible reading and devotional Bible reading as well, but they are more than that. Here’s what I think every good Bible Study app should include that might not show up in a simple devotional or Bible reading app.

  • Original language tools
  • References like commentaries, Bible dictionaries, atlases and more
  • Dual pane view showing the Bible in one and a reference or language study tool in the other panes or showing two or more translations on the screen at once
  • Feature-rich note taking within the app

The apps below all give us more than the four features above, but these are the bare minimum. I think they should also be good at helping you do your Bible reading. No one should have to install two Bible apps on a phone, tablet or Chromebook.

Logos Bible

UPDATE: Note that the screenshots and descriptions are of the latest beta of Logos Bible for iPad that will hopefully get released soon. Read more about it in the Logos forums and if you have an Android device you can actually sign up for access to the beta and download it now.

Logos Tools Menu Button
The Tools Menu button on the bottom shows most of the same menu as the one above the book window.

The Logos Bible app is unique compared to the other apps in this roundup. It offers a Home page that shows a ton of content by default. I actually turn off much of this. Here’s what you get right after installing the app.

Logos Home Screen Settings

  • Featured Bibles – top Bibles that Logos thinks you’ll like and want to use.
  • Group Invites – Logos has the Faithlife community a kind of Christian social network that focuses on their products. You get invitations to join certain groups and they show up here.
  • Today’s Readings – reading plans for Bible readings, book readings, etc. Tap on them to see the most recent reading for that plan.
  • Reading Plan Invitations – like the group invites, these offer potential reading plans like a Gospels in 90 days or Read Mark in a month.
  • Verse of the Day – a graphical representation of a new verse of Scripture each day that you can quickly share online.
  • Faithlife Today – the news about  Faithlife, their products or interviews and skills development videos all focused on Bible study.
  • News – text-based news links to the Logos blog.
Logos Library Button
Tap the Library button send from the left to bring up this screen.

In addition to the Home screen, we also get other tabs (buttons across the bottom of the app’s screen). These show your Library, Bible, Work Spaces, and a Plus button to add  a new work space/tab. The Library button opens your list of books in the library so you can open them. Each book opens in a new Work Space screen. The Bible button opens a list of Bibles so you can add one to a new Work Space. The Work Spaces shrinks each work space and you can swipe between them. This screen also lets users sync the various screens. If you have a copy of the Bible on one Work Space and a copy of your favorite commentary on another, you can sync them so that as you navigate through the Bible from book to book or passage to passage, then the commentary will follow and keep up. Move from Matthew 18 to John 10 in the Bible and a synced commentary or Bible will also move there.

Logos Work Spaces Button
The Work Spaces button brings up this screen so you can add, remove or sync screens.

The app lets users tap and hold on a word and a context menu opens. Here’s what the context menu will show you.

Logos Context Menu
Press and hold on a word to bring up the context menu.
  • Copy – copy the selected text
  • Look up – do some language study or look up in a dictionary
  • Search – search your library, the Bible or book for selected text
  • Share – post to social media or send to friends via a text message or an email
  • Highlight – just like you would some text in your paper Bible with a highlighter
  • Note – add a digital margin note like you might in your paper Bible
  • Clipping – collect content in a clipping document while researching a topic or passage
  • Visual Copy – creates an image of the text to share online or save for presentations

In the upper right corner there’s a menu button (three vertical dots) that give options for the more powerful features like:

Logos Tools Menu
The Logos tools menu shows up in the lower toolbar and above the book window.
  • Change Resource – replace the current book with another
  • Search – search the Bible or open books and the entire library
  • Passage Guide – research tool finding your text in reference tools like commentaries and more
  • Make a Note – adds a note to the current passage or part of the book
  • Add to Favorites – like a bookmark feature
  • Text Comparison – shows the text in multiple translations all on-screen at the same time
  • Make a Clipping – collect content just like you do with the button in the context menu above
  • Exegetical Guide – runs an original language research of the present passage
  • Visual Copy – same as the context menu above
  • Share – like the context menu above share content with others
  • Book Info – shows the front of the book info like publisher, author, etc.
  • View Settings – change things like text size, font etc.

The iPad in recent versions of iOS offer a kind of widgets that Android users enjoyed for a long time. In iOS you find these on the iPad when you swipe down from the top of the screen and then swipe right to show the list of Notification Widgets. Logos has a widget that displays their Verse of the Day image that you’d also see on the app Home screen. Tap it to launch the Logos app and it opens to that verse in your currently open Bible.

Logos Notification Widget
The Logos Notification Widget only shows the verse of the day image.

The Logos Notification Widget doesn’t do as much as the Accordance widget. I wish it had a version chooser or let you open recent books read like the Accordance widget.

logos base packages

Users can get the app free, but it works best if you own a library of book from Logos.com. Get one of their Logos Base Packages to bundle a library of books and save money versus buying each book individually.

Bible by Olive Tree

olive tree bible study

While Logos may offer more complex features, Olive Tree offers a simpler app with a great set of tools for doing advanced Bible study on a mobile device. In fact the Resource Guide might offer the simplest method of accessing all the content in the library related to a given passage on any of the mobile apps in this roundup.

The Bible shows up in the left side with the Study Tools on the right. Inside Study Tools you’ll find the Resource Guide along with a library button, a notes button, and the Lookup button, which lets you look up words in word search in dictionaries, the Bible and your notes.

olive tree bible study resource guide
The Resource Guide is like a research assistant that retrieves your library resources related to the passage in the Bible window to the left.

The Resource Guide is one of the Study Tools and it will arrange your library content by category. All the Related Verses, Commentaries, other Bibles, People, Topics, Maps, Charts, Introductions and more will show up in lists one after another. Each list will show your books ready to open to the content related to the passage or subject found in the verse showing in the left hand window. Tap them to see the content.

olive tree bible study
The Olive Tree Bible Study menu lets you access your library, the Store, your user-created content and the app’s settings.

On the top left there’s a menu button to show…

  • Suggested Resources – an ad for a book Olive Tree’s pushing at that time
  • Store – link to buy new books from within the app
  • Messages – content from the blog often written by our own Theotek contributor LaRosa Johnson
  • Reading History – the list of texts you’ve read in the Bible
  • Notes – Shows your user notes
  • Highlights – show  your user highlights
  • Book Ribbons – shows your user book ribbons which are like favorites
  • Saved Passage – similar to Book Ribbons with a list of passages you’ve saved as bookmarks
  • Tags – a list of all the tags you’ve created so you can make your own topical Bible
  • Sync – lets you sync your app notes, ribbons, etc. with Olive Tree’s servers
  • Help – the Olive Tree help system

olive tree bible study toolbar

Across the top of the Bible Screen we see two toolbars. The topmost toolbar has the following:

  • Library – opens your library
  • Reading Plan – opens the reading plan screen with suggested reading plans you can add or your own reading plans
  • Store – opens the store to buy more books
  • Quick Settings – change things like font, screen color (low light verse regular) and others
  • Search – search the Bible
  • Ribbon – add a ribbon to the current top most verse

Below the top-level toolbar you’ll see a second toolbar that shows two buttons, the Select Verse button that opens a Book/Chapter/Verse style navigation tool and a lock button that keeps the toolbar from disappearing. I prefer this and I’m glad Olive Tree added this button for use on the iPad. The iPhone version is best without the toolbar showing so you don’t cover up too much of the text on the smaller screen.

The strength of Olive Tree’s Bible is the simplicity and great library available. It also has the best notes feature available in these three. However, the weakness comes from the desktop app. The Accordance and Logos desktop/laptop apps offer far more than Olive Tree’s.

Olive Tree Store Online

Download the app for free and get some free books to try it out. Then check out their store for more tools. They don’t focus as much on bundled libraries of books, although they do offer them. I like this because you buy only what you want or need.

Bible Study With Accordance Mobile

At first look, the Accordance Mobile app seems like little more than a basic Bible and book reader tool with split-screen display options. Admittedly, I’m not a frequent user of Accordance Mobile. However, as I dig deeper and take time to discover the features, I realize they a user can do a lot with what looks like very little at first.

Accordance Mobile

The Accordance user-interface opens, after you’ve downloaded books, to show a Bible. There’s a handle on the right side that opens a second window with another book. Tap the title of the book to bring up the library list of books. The left window library lists shows a list of the installed Bible Texts while the right shows Texts, Reference Tools like Commentaries or Study Bibles, and your Notes files.

Open the Notes file and you’ll see your notes. To add a note, select a word or verse and a menu pops up above it. Tap on Note and screen offers to add the note to one of your Notes files.  Start typing inside that pop up box. It has a button to change the font, size, color and make the font Bold, Italics or Underlined. Sadly, even though you can see your notes on the right, you can edit them in place. To edit a note, select it and it offers to let you edit the note with a full-screen editor. This covers up the text. I like to make observations about the text in my notes and I can’t see the text in Accordance. That’s the same problem you have with Logos. At least in Logos you can open the Note file and edit in place. It’s hard if you have a lot of notes in your file.

Unfortunately, I experienced a problem with Notes Sync via Dropbox. They don’t use their own servers and rely on Dropbox to sync between the desktop and mobile app. ON the desktop it’s automatic, but not on mobile. That’s a huge weakness of Accordance if you’re a heavy notes user like me.

Accordance Mobile Context Menu
Select text and this menu will pop up. Also an info window pops up.

If you open a book with Strong’s Numbers tagging attached to the text, like the ESV or HCSB or KJV, then you can select a word and a box will pop up showing the original language information. You get the English word, Strong’s number and the Greek word. Then it shows your favorite Greek word dictionary. OT shows Hebrew. Then tap on Search at the bottom of the pop up and it finds that word through the NT. The Amplify will let you search by word or the key number.

Accordance Library Sync and Settings
Open the Library screen with the button in the lower right to show this screen.

The Library button lets you download your books over the Internet. You can also sync those if you have both the desktop and the iPad connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It doesn’t work if your desktop isn’t connected via Ethernet.

The second button from the left lets you sync via Dropbox or via Wi-Fi. Notes and user tools sync via Dropbox while the syncing directly over Wi-Fi syncs your books from the desktop to the iPad.

accordance bible collections

Accordance users will get a number of free books. However, it will work better if you buy a package to use on your iPad. The free Accordance Lite includes some good tools like ESV with Strong’s plus some public domain books. To add books you can buy books or get a Collection. They start with the free Lite package and go up to more advanced sets like the Pro sets in English, Hebrew or Greek that each cost $999. If you want all three you can get what they call the “Triple” package in the Learner or Discoverer levels. There’s also a graphics-focused set of tools called the Graphics Learner, Discoverer or Master.

PocketBible Bible Study

laridian pocketbible

I love PocketBible from Laridian because it’s the first mobile Bible study app I ever used on my PocketPC a long time ago. Then I moved to Palm and there it was. I went to iPhone and then iPad and it was still available. On Android, eventually it came along for the ride.

When you first install the app it offers a great help screen that shows you how to use the app from the get go. It’s the best on-boarding experience for a new user. Then you’ll get a single window, but no Bibles yet. Open the button at the bottom of the toolbar on the right. Find the Add/Remove books and download all of your books. If you’re not registered, you can do that in the tutorial that opens when you first install.

After you get some books installed open a book using the top button on the toolbar. You can use the Settings (third from the bottom) to add a second window. The rest of the buttons on the toolbar include:

  • Open Books
  • Navigate to passage
  • Search
  • Back
  • Forward
  • Calendar for Bible reading plan
  • Button to open the toolbox pane (more on that below)
  • Panes chooser lets you pick how many window panes to open at a time
  • Font settings
  • Reading controls for books with audio included
  • Settings
  • Menu where you can add/remove books, change other app settings and control books

The toolbox holds another toolbar with six icons as follows (see the right most box in the image above):

  • Find
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights
  • Notes
  • Find Notes
  • Journal

Select a word, phrase or more and a menu pops up above it with buttons as follows:

  • Copy – copy the selected text
  • Share – post to Facebook or send it over text or email to name a few
  • Find – search the selected text
  • Look Up – search your favorite dictionary
  • More… – opens another menu with a number of other tools, functions and book controls

Laridian offers a number of books to buy. They offer PocketBible Library Collections ranging from $60 on up to $380. You can also buy books or commentary sets.

PocketBible isn’t as polished as some of the other tools. However, it’s one of the easiest to learn and costs less for collections than some of the above options.

Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop

splashtop computer chooser

This last option’s not a Bible app at all, but rather a utility that lets you connect to a desktop. Install the Splashtop Streamer utility on your Mac or PC and let it run automatically. Download the app for iPad and run it. After you log in you’ll see all of your computers running the Streamer listed. Tap the one you want to log into. It opens the computer and shows the screen.

splashtop accessing Bibleworks on my windows pc

Now you can control anything on the computer including a full desktop class Bible software program. Above you’ll see it running with Bibleworks 10 showing on the screen.

Bible Study Apps Versus Devotional Apps

With all the Bible study apps available on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac, it’s easy to get confused about which app a person should use. I’ll post a few recommendations over the next few weeks, but today I want to discuss a fundamental question. What do you plan to do with the app?

People use their Bible study apps in different ways. How do you plan to use your Bible study app? Will you merely read the Bible, track your reading with a reading plan that the app provides or do you want to create your own personalized Bible reading plan? Will you highlight the passages on occasion or add personal notes, like you can do with a pen or pencil in the margin of your paper Bible? Maybe you want to work on a research paper for a Bible class in college or seminary. Some people need to translate the Bible into another language as part of a translator team or for a tribe in the jungles of South America in mission work.

congerdesign / Pixabay

There are apps that can handle all the above functions of reading or studying the Bible, but many apps work better for some of the things listed above and don’t do others that well.

Bible Reading and Devotional Bible Study

bible app youversion lifechurch
YouVersion Bible app for reading and devotions.

Some people want little more than a book reader that displays at least one translation of the Bible and that’s it. Maybe they want to search the Bible and even track their daily Bible reading. We call these devotional Bible reading apps. The list of common ways people describe these kinds of apps include…

  • Bible reader app
  • Devotional Bible app
  • Bible app
  • Bible study

The last name is a misnomer. I think Bible study apps include features that simple Bible reading or devotional apps don’t often include. Also, calling a devotional or simple Bible reader app a Bible app is like calling both a minivan and a NASCAR vehicle a car. They’re both cars but different people drive them. Jimmie Johnson, the driver of the #48 Lowes car in NASCAR may drive a minivan on occasion, but a man who drives his kids or grandkids to and from school or baseball practice probably never drives a racecar.

Here’s what every good devotional Bible app or simple Bible reading app should offer users.

  • Bible reading in all the popular translations like KJV, NIV, CSB or ESV and more.
  • Highlighting of verses
  • Add personal notes to the Bible app
  • Sharing on social networks
  • Copying to other apps to send a verse in email or a text message to your spouse or friend
  • Search the text of your translation
  • Customized display of text (fonts, sizes, background colors)

Would you expect any other features in a simple Bible reading app? Please respond in the comments to add other features that you would include at a minimum. But read the next section first, since many of the other features a person wants in their Bible app will mean they really need more than a simple Bible reader app. They want a Bible study app.

Bible Study App

olive tree bible on android
Olive Tree Bible study app on Android tablet.

Bible apps with more than the above features typically fit in the class of Bible study apps. These app developers target scholars, pastors, Bible teachers in Sunday school or informal communities of Bible students or people who want to study the Bible for personal development and spiritual growth.

The list of basic minimum features you should expect in a quality Bible study apps include…

  • All of the features included in a Bible reader or devotional Bible app
  • Includes other resources like commentaries, Bible dictionaries, atlases, study Bibles, language study tools like Strong’s dictionaries and lexicons
  • Advanced search tools that do more than find a list of verses with the word “grace” or “holy” like boolean searches
  • Multiple windows showing at the same time on-screen
  • Notes with advanced formatting
  • Library management that shows all of your books and lets you download or even remove books
  • Offline reading and study tools
  • Sync
Logos on Android without Internet
Logos on Android without Internet

Some of the best apps in the iOS or Google Play Store don’t include all the features in the above list. For example, Logos Bible from Faithlife doesn’t let you do Exegetical study (original language study) on their iOS and Android app without an Internet connection. However, I’d still call it one of the better mobile Bible study apps available.

What do you expect in a serious Bible study app? Let me know by commenting below.

digital libraries

Digital Libraries in Bible Software: Theotek Podcast #096

With the huge libraries of books available today in Bible software and eBook readers, some people now own massive libraries. Is this a good idea?

In this episode of the Theotek Podcast, we talked about that and shared reasons to avoid it as well as tips for what to do if you already own a lot of eBooks in Kindle or in your digital library of Bible software.

digital libraries

There’s also a few ways to convert eBooks so you don’t get stuck with books in a format you can’t use anymore because the program goes away like the old Pradis software. This includes making Kindle books from Bible software book and converting Kindle books to a less proprietary DRM-laden format. We even get a workflow for converting papers books to digital library books using a scanner and cutting the binding off books at Kinkos or other office supply stores.

Convert Digital Libraries – To and From

We mentioned a few things in the Podcast. First, here’s the link for exporting Logos books to Kindle using the Send to Kindle printer driver. You could adapt this to work with any books in any Bible software although it may not work as easily as this system found in the Logos user community forums.

Next, Wes talked about converting Kindle books to other formats. He uses a tool called Calibre to do this. Digital Trends hosts a useful tutorial on how to convert books using Calibre among other tools.

Favorite Things

kindle paperwhite

Speaking of Kindle, we shared our favorite things and Antoine picked the Kindle Paperwhite ($120) as his. He likes to use it for distraction free reading. He also mentioned using a paper Bible, something Rick agreed is a good way to do your devotions.

I shared the Christian Standard Bible or CSB translation as one of mine. You can buy paper copies of it or get the free CSBible app for iOS and Android. It’s also online. Accordance Bible Software published the digital book first, followed by Olive Tree. WORDsearch will offer it soon for free to all users. Logos will release it April 5. I’m not sure about other software companies plans.

Rick’s favorite thing was his new Logitech 922x Webcam, which he used to podcast with in this episode. Get it for under $90 at Amazon.

Fujitsu Scanner for Converting Paper Books to Digital Libraries

The Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 does a great job of scanning books once the user cuts the spine off the book. Scan with any sheet fed double-sided scanner, like the Fujitsu. Here’s my review of this great scanner from Notebooks.com.

Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 Review: Powerful and Fast

Is Apple Ruining Bible Software: Theotek Podcast #087

It seems that Apple is moving away from macOS towards an iOS-centric future. If the iPhone and iPad replaces the Mac, what does that mean for the church, Bible software and companies that make tools and software to help the church and believers make disciples? That’s our discussion as we focused on the question, “Is Apple moving in that direction? If they are does that affect Windows, Mobile devices, and other platforms? What is the future of church software and technology in light of this possibility?”

The conversation began, however, with our Christmas tech toys. The gifts we got for Christmas included some fun things like the following:

  • Michael Purcell – my son joined us for this episode and got the Surface Pro 4, Type cover and Surface Pen. He explains why he loves his.
  • Wes AllenThinkGeek toys like the BB8 Waffle Maker and the R2D2 Coffee Press. He also got an Apple Pencil.
  • LaRosa Johnson – one of LaRosa’s co-workers sold him the Blue Yeti mic.
  • Antoine Wright – one of Antoine’s Kickstarter campaign investments actually came through in a positive way. He got the Lumos Bike Helmet.
  • Kevin Purcell – I got myself a Kindle Fire with the gift card for Amazon that my wife bought me.

You can always listen to the Theotek Podcast using the built-in player below or subsribe to us in iTunes and leave comments if you like us. We’re also on other podcasting apps thanks to Stitcher Radio.

What’s New in Accordance 12 and MacBook Pro with Touchbar: Theotek #086

Accordance 12’s been out for a little while, but we got a chance to see all the new features demonstrated by Mark Allison, an official trainer for Accordance Bible Software. He showed off the new things like Stacks, Paper and more.

Also, Rick Mansfield gave us his mini review of the new MacBook Pro with Touchbar. I showed off my Olloclip for iPhone 7. The shot below shows a wide-angle shot.

Here's a wide-angle shot using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.
Here’s a wide-angle shot using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Here’s what it looks like without the Olloclip using only the iPhone 7 Plus camera.

Here's a regular shot not using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.
Here’s a regular shot not using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.

The Fish-eye is my favorite.

olloclip fish-eye lesn
The Olloclip for iPhone 7 Fish-eye lens creates this cool effect.

Olloclip gives you a macro lens in the kit too.

macro lens olloclip
This is a drop of water on a table shot with the macro lens on the Olloclip for iPhone 7 Plus.

Wes Allen’s favorite thing comes from Edovia. It’s an app called Screens that lets you remotely control your computer from an iPad. He loves using it with the iPad Pro.

Mark Allison gave us a recommendation called Quad Lock for iPhone. It’s a case and mounting system for your phone and it attaches to bikes, a tripod and more.

You can listen to the podcast below and the intro music comes from Incompetech.com. Please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

The Value of Free Stuff: Theotek Podcast #080

Sometimes churches or believers can’t afford the high-end or expensive option in many categories like Bible software or web services, so we’ve got some of the best free stuff or free alternatives for you. We shared our favorite freebies that churches, pastors, and believers can use to help build the kingdom of God in their context without wrecking their wallet or bank account balance.

Below the video you’ll see the list of freebies starting with the Bible Software free stuff and then a simple list of the other free stuff we talked about in this episode of the Theotek Podcast.

Bible Study Free Stuff

e-Sword is the best free Bible study app available. They make both PC version and a Mac version, that’s not free but really inexpensive.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

Sticking with Bible study Rick Mansfield showed off the free Accordance Mobile app, which people can download on their iPhone or iPad and get a ton of free content, especially if you sign up for a free user account with Accordance. Rick showed off the great ESV interlinear Bible available in the app.

accordance-mobile-esv-study-bible-app

Antoine showed us his favorite Bible app called Verse3. We had the developer of Verse3 on show #044. It’s not free, but only costs $5.

verse3 ipad app

Olive Tree offers a free version of their Bible app for almost every platform you could want. Download the app on your computer or mobile device, get some free content and then, if you prefer, add some premium content later as needed.

olive tree ipad app
Olive Tree Bible app

I showed off some free online Bible study sites that I wrote about a while ago in a two-part series. Here’s part two.

Finally, LaRosa also reminded us that WORDsearch, his former employer, offers what used to be called Bible Explorer. It’s now called WORDsearch Basic and it’s now their free option.

wordsearch-basic

The Other Free Stuff

Here’s our list of other Free Stuff to help you do your work for free or almost free.

  • WordPress website management system also called a content management system or CMS. You can set up a free website and even buy a domain from a company like Hover that will forward that domain to your free WordPress site.‘
  • YouTube for video hosting and for playing videos. Find tons of content from entertainment to music to educational content all on YouTube. Of course we use it to stream our Theotek Podcast.
  • Microsoft Sway is a great presentation app that lets users share images and pictures. Think of it as a PowerPoint or Keynote alternative for online presentations.
  • Facebook Live lets you record and host live video which people can then find later in recorded form on your Facebook wall.
  • Libre Office offers a full free office suite with alternatives for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.
  • Google gives away tons of free tools, including free office software like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.

iPhone 7

We ended the show discussing the new iPhone 7, which Rick and I both had our hands on. I did an unboxing of the wrong phone. Watch me get totally disappointed because T-Mobile screwed up and sent me an iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus I actually ordered. Watch the above video to hear what Rick thinks of his iPhone 7 Plus.

 

Logos 7 Arrives: Theotek Podcast #077

Faithlife shipped Logos 7. The update comes with a lot of new features for users of Logos 6. Logos Now users will feel like it’s a pretty minor update.

We covered the major new features in Logos 7 and talked about how users can upgrade or subscribe to Logos Now.

What’s New in Logos 7

Logos 7 Quickstart Layouts

Logos 7 incorporates a bunch of new features including the QuickStart Layouts accessible from the Layouts menu. You’ll find it on the toolbar towards the right next to the question mark icon. A box pops up and along the left inside that box you’ll see a list of layouts. The top section shows your QuickStart Layouts. Think of them as predefined layouts ready for your use. Logos lets users arrange all the books on their desk the way they prefer and then save the layout. See the Saved Layouts in the bottom of the left hand list in the screenshot above. The QuickStart Layouts are layouts made by Logos designers.

Logos 7 Sermon Editor

The Sermon Editor, accessed from the Sermon item in the Documents menu, gives users a sermon creation tool inside Logos 7. The sermons become searchable and show up when the user creates a Passage Guide search on a passage that includes a Sermon made in Sermon Editor.

Inside the Sermon Editor users can instantly add the text of Bible verses by typing the reference. It will replace the reference with the text of that passage.

Logos 7 Sermon Editor Export Tool

The editor also makes slides instantly out of Headings, Bible passages and more. The user can export these slides to Faithlife’s Proclaim presentation service or PowerPoint and others.

Courses Tool creation screen

The Courses Tool takes advantage of the Mobile Education feature introduced in earlier versions of Logos. The Courses quickly takes content from a user’s library and creates a course. This feature will eventually make it possible for a person to make a course on their own or for teachers and professors to create their own courses for use in Sunday school classes, small groups or formal education settings. Until that happens in a future version, the user must use some of the courses already included in their library. It comes with some and users can buy more.

Select from the list along the left of the tool’s box that shows up when you open it from the Tools menu. Click a course and it offers to set it up on for a specific number of days or you can customize how fast you want to move through the course.

There’s a long list of new features with links to explanations of what the new features are in the Logos forums.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

samsung galaxy note 7

After looking at Logos 7, I showed off my new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The Note 7 is a great Android phone with an active Stylus and now includes a USB Type-C connector. It has a great screen and camera. I love this phone.

Bible Apps on ChromeOS and More: Theotek Podcast #072

We have a few topic for this week’s Theotek Podcast. We’ll see how well Android Bible apps run on a Chromebook with the new Android Apps on ChromeOS on the ASUS Chromebook Flip.

Olive tree running on Asus Chromebook Flip
Olive tree running on Asus Chromebook Flip

Olive Tree Bible Study 6 for Mac came out this week so LaRosa Johnson will show that off. Finally, Rick Mansfield comes to us live from Asia where he’s training for Accordance. We’ll learn about the perils and pleasures of traveling internationally.

Check out the end for our Favorite Things too.

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.