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Archive for the ‘How to’s’ Category

3 Tips for Navigating Your Books in PocketBible

Posted on: October 20th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 26 Comments

Navigating PocketBibleIf you want to explore the contents of a print book, you know to look at the table of contents inside the front cover. When it comes to Bibles, you may be able to flip through and be fairly close to the book of the Bible you are looking for because you are already familiar with the structure of that type of book. But how do you navigate different types of books in PocketBible? Where are the tables of contents?

GoTo = Index/Table of Contents

The key to simple navigation of any type book in PocketBible is the GoTo icon on the toolbar. Most PocketBible users know to tap on this icon if they want to go to a specific place in the Bible–here you can specify Book, Chapter and Verse to move to an exact location. But did you know this same button works similar for other types of books as well (i.e. dictionaries, devotionals and commentaries)?

When you tap on the GoTo icon in PocketBible, it presents you with an index or table of contents based on the book you currently have active. Thus, the navigation options presented change based on the book you are viewing. There are five categories of books in PocketBible:

  • Bibles – you can navigate Bibles by Book | Chapter | Verse.
  • Commentaries – while these books are organized by Bible verse, navigation options will also include links to introductory articles and appendices along with options to drill down to comments on specific Bible books, chapters, passages and verses.
  • Dictionaries – there are two types of PocketBible dictionaries:
    • English dictionaries – navigation is in article order, usually alphabetic but sometimes topical.
    • Greek/Hebrew or Strong’s number based dictionaries – navigation is by Strong’s number. Unless you have Strong’s numbers memorized, it is best to use a Strong’s numbered Bible translation to navigate to a definition as described here: How can I Use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?
  • Devotionals – navigation is by date. If you tap on the GoTo icon with a devotional active, you’ll be presented with a calendar. If the date is off or you are behind schedule, you can reschedule or start the readings over.
  • Other – the books in this category vary widely by type but one thing is the same for all, tapping on the GoTo icon with this type of book active will still present you with an appropriate index to navigate the book easily.

Searching

A major feature of PocketBible, Searching, lets you quickly find what you’re looking for in PocketBible without navigating an index. Just type in any word or phrase in the search field (look for the magnifying glass on your toolbar) and you’ll be able to choose from a list of places in a book where your search word(s) were found.

Synchronizing Books

Take advantage of PocketBible’s ability to synchronize books automatically and you won’t have to worry about navigating. If you go to John 3:16 in your NIV Bible, all other Bible translations will move to that same verse and your commentaries will move to that verse if they have a comment on it (this option can be turned on/off in PocketBible). Dictionaries will sync by topic/article as well. For example, if you look up the word “Aaron” all open dictionaries will move to their article on Aaron, if applicable. The same if you tapped on a Strong’s number – all open Strong’s numbered dictionaries will move to the article on the active Strong’s number.

A Bonus Tip

A quick way to move between open books is to tap on the title bar of the active window. You’ll get a drop down list of books that are open in that window or pane and you can tap on any book listed to move there. You’ll also see options in the drop down list to close or open books in that window. (Mac and PC users will see tabs for opening and closing books). See a video of this.

Reading Through the Bible: To Plan or Not to Plan

Posted on: October 11th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

PocketBible includes handy features for helping you read through the Bible. We have a variety of Bible reading plans and you can happily track your progress through them. If needed, you can take advantage of the easy-to-use reset and catch up features. However, if you are like me and are more successful at starting Bible reading plans than finishing them, here are some alternatives…some open-ended, do-it-at-your-own pace options for reading through the Bible using PocketBible.

Mark your place with Bookmarks

Create a bookmark category called Daily Reading in PocketBible and simply set/delete bookmarks each time you read to keep your place. You can choose to read the Bible from beginning to end or tackle different parts of the Bible with multiple bookmarks (i.e. Old Testament/New Testament or create your own modified Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System).

Overview Commentaries

While not an official category of commentary, I refer to the following PocketBible commentaries as “overview” commentaries. The type of insight they offer is brief–chapter-by-chapter or less (as noted). They are ideal for guiding you through your reading of the scriptures because you won’t get involved in explanatory detail for any particular passage. With one of these books as your companion, your journey through the Bible can be informed yet open-ended (with no checklists or plans to answer to!).

  • Open Your Bible Commentary – this commentary was written to encourage daily Bible reading and study. It covers the entire Bible chapter-by-chapter (sometimes section by section) with brief explanation and application.
  • Bible Reader’s Companion – gives you a one-page overview for each chapter of the Bible, with key verse and suggested personal application.
  • With the Word Commentary – a chapter-by-chapter handbook on the Bible by Warren Wiersbe.
  • The Bible Book by Book – an overview for each book of the Bible (i.e. summary, outline, key teaching).
  • Ryken’s Bible Handbook – fact sheet and guide for each book of the Bible.

How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?

Posted on: October 4th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

When it comes to Bible study, a concordance usually refers to one of two things: the concordance in the back of your Bible or Strong’s Concordance.

What is a concordance?

The concordance found in the back of your printed Bible lists common words or phrases in alphabetical order with verse references. You won’t find such a list in the back of your PocketBible Bibles because the built-in search feature replaces it. PocketBible acts as an unlimited concordance allowing you to search for any word or phrase in the Bible and learn where (and how many times) it occurs.

What is Strong’s Concordance?

In the late 1800’s, James Strong decided Bible students needed an exhaustive list of the words used in the Bible and an easier way to tie it back to the original language word. So he assigned a number to every original language word used in the Bible – Hebrew root words used in the Old Testament (8,674) and Greek root words used in the New Testament (5,624). He then went through the King James Version Bible and listed every English word used in that translation. Then he put the two together by assigning an original language word number to each English word so you could see the connection without needing to know Hebrew or Greek.

Along with the original language Hebrew or Greek word, are included a transliteration (so you can pronounce the word) and a brief definition. Over the decades since Strong’s Concordance was first published, others have used his numbers to provide more extensive explanations of the Hebrew or Greek word including W.E. Vine (Vine’s Expository Dictionary) and Spiros Zhodiates (Complete Word Study Dictionaries). Other Bible versions (in addition to the KJV) have used Strong’s numbers to create concordances for their translations. We offer Strong’s-numbered versions of the New American Standard Bible (NASEC) and Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSBEC).

How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?

With PocketBible, you can view a Strong’s-numbered Bible and tap on the number next to a word to view the definition in any Strong’s-numbered dictionary. This is demonstrated in the video below and explained further in our article on Accomplishing Word Studies in PocketBible.

How to create a customized study Bible in PocketBible

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 1 Comment

When it comes to printed Study Bibles, most take the form of Bible text on the top half of the page and study notes on the bottom half. With PocketBible, you can have a similar setup but customize it in ways you can’t with a printed book.

Bibles and Study Bible Notes (and other commentary) are each sold separately for PocketBible. The print version of a study Bible limits you to a specific Bible translation but you can use any combination of study notes and Bible translation together in PocketBible.

Setup

To accomplish a study-Bible-like setup in PocketBible, simply:

1. Open two panes (or windows) in the PocketBible app
2. Open a Bible translation in the first pane
3. Open a set of study Bible notes (or other commentary) in the second pane
4. If you want your Bible and study notes to sync together (stay on the same verse), make sure you’ve checked that option in PocketBible settings (look for a option that says something like “Sync Bibles/Commentaries”).

Customize

Once you get the basic setup in PocketBible of Bible in one pane and study notes in the other, you are now ready to customize. You can tap on the first pane and open additional Bible translations. And tap on the second pane and open additional study Bible notes or commentary. With multiple translations or commentary open, you’ll be able to easily access additional insight on any verse. Tap on the title bar to easily switch between your open books. Watch a short demonstration video to see how you can use this setup to get more out PocketBible.

How to create a parallel Bible in PocketBible

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 5 Comments

Comparing translations of the Bible can provide great insight as you read. In the printed book world, a parallel Bible will display one or more translations of the Bible side-by-side. PocketBible not only mimics this type of book but takes it to a whole new level of flexibility!

At its simplest, you can create a parallel Bible in any version of PocketBible as follows:

1. Open up two panes or windows in the app
2. Open a Bible translation in the the first pane.
3. Open a different Bible translation in the second pane.
4. Make sure you have checked the PocketBible setting to Sync Bibles/Commentaries. This will keep your Bibles (and commentaries) on the same verse at all times. Of course, if you don’t want your two Bibles to be on the same verse, you would simply “uncheck” this option.

The fact that you can vary the Bible translations you are using in PocketBible, makes it more flexible than a printed Parallel Bible. You can also open more windows (up to five on some devices) and compare that many more Bible translations.

iOS users – if you have the Advanced Feature set for PocketBible, you can use Autostudy to instantly view the same verse in ALL your open Bibles.

Managing your Books in PocketBible

Posted on: November 6th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 5 Comments

PocketBible for AndroidAll of our PocketBible smartphone and tablet apps (Android, Windows Phone/Store and iOS) have a similar feature you can use to quickly move from one book to the other.

Tap on the title bar in a pane and you’ll get a drop-down list of what you have open in that pane. This works the same way in each pane you have open. From there you can tap on the title of another book in the list to move to it; you may be able to close a book or open another book as well (varies by OS). This simple way of managing books makes it easier to get your panes setup like you want as you study the Bible.

Here is a quick video demonstration of this feature using PocketBible for Android:

On my phone, I like to use two panes and keep my Bibles in one pane and my other type books in the second pane. I also have my apps set to sync books by verse so that my Bibles and commentaries always stay on the same verse. On my iPad, I use tabs for each category of book so I can quickly switch between type of book but when I am in a particular tab, like Bibles, I can use the title bar to quickly switch between my different Bibles.

Questions or tips for other users? Please share in the comments below!

Which NIV Bible is Which?

Posted on: June 28th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 9 Comments

The New International Version of the Bible (NIV) was originally published in 1973. It was updated in 1978, 1984 and then again in 2011. If you purchase the New International Version Bible from Laridian today, you will be purchasing the 2011 edition. If you purchased the NIV Bible previous to 2011, you have the 1984 edition. According to the translators of the NIV, the 2011 update reflects developments in biblical scholarship and changes in English usage yet 95% of the text from the 1984 edition has remained the same.

The PocketBible version of the NIV includes two options (or files) – one with cross-references and one without. If you purchase the 2011 version, the two files will be labeled as follows in your download account:

  • New International Version (NIV Cross Reference Edition)
  • New International Version (NIV)

Note that the cross-reference edition lists a larger file size than the second or non-cross-reference edition. If you also owned the 1984 edition of the NIV, you can continue to use it even if you purchase the 2011 edition. You will see the 1984 edition in your download list as:

  • New International Version (1984 NIV)
  • New International Version (1984 NIV)

Again, look at the file size to distinguish between the cross-reference and non cross-reference edition – the larger file contains cross-references.

If you are not interested in cross-references, install the edition without cross-references. If you like to use cross-references, install only the cross-reference edition. If you ever want to view the Bible text without the cross-reference indicators (also known as footnotes), you can turn those off temporarily in the settings of PocketBible.

If you install both the NIV 1984 and NIV 2011 editions (either cross-reference or not), when you go to open the Bibles – the 1984 Edition is the one that is titled The Holy Bible: New International Version. The 2011 edition is entitled simply as the New International Version. If you open both versions, they each use the NIV abbreviation so it is better to open only one at a time.

8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 14 Comments

My philosophy on Bible reading plans is similar to exercise: find what works for you and do it. We offer a variety of Bible reading plans you can use in PocketBible to get you in the Scriptures on a daily basis. And for those times when life interferes, PocketBible has easy-to-use tools to help you catch up, start over and keep going.

Which PocketBible Bible reading plan is best for you?

  1. M’Cheyne’s One Year Bible Reading Plan (free) was originally designed by the 19th century Scottish minister, Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne to encourage his congregation to read their Bibles. Each day offers two Family readings to be read during family devotions and two Secret readings to be read during personal devotions. At the end of 365 days, you’ll have gone through the New Testament and the Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once. Since M’Cheyne recommends reading or singing through the Metrical Psalms at least once a year, we have published Scottish Metrical Psalms with Notes by John Brown for use with the reading plan (sold separately for $1.99).
  2. Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System (free) is a unique Bible reading plan. Each day you will read one chapter from each of ten lists for a total of ten chapters per day from the Bible. Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again and you will experience the Bible commenting on itself in constantly changing ways.
  3. Laridian Reading Plans (free) is a collection of 7 Bible reading plans. We often get requests for a plan that includes a selection from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs for each day. That type of plan is included in this set.
  4. The One Year Chronological Bible Reading Plan ($7.99) provides a reading plan for the entire Bible–books, chapters, and even verses–arranged in the order the events actually happened.
  5. One Year Through The Bible Devotional ($9.99) guides you through the entire Bible in a year with commentary. Each day includes a Bible passage to read with a practical and helpful devotional written by one of the authors of the Life Application Study Bible.
  6. The Daily Walk Devotional ($9.99) is a publication of Walk thru the Bible Ministries. It too is a reading plan plus devotional. Along with your assigned reading for the day you get a related overview, application and insight for the passage.
  7. One Year Bible Companion ($9.99) offers a daily reading assignment with verses taken from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs for each day. This plan offers variety in what you read plus key questions and answers to enhance your daily Bible reading.
  8. OT/NT in 3 Months (free) – tackle this 90 day Bible reading plan any time of the year. Each day offers a selection from the Old Testament and New Testament.

The Bible reading plans mentioned above simply list the verses you are to read each day. You can then link from the verses to any of your Bibles in PocketBible to read the assigned verses in a translation you like. The devotionals mentioned above offer similar verse links but add devotional comments to the verses you have been assigned to read for the day.

If you have a Bible reading plan but want to start over read our tips on Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year.

NEW! Export, Share and Publish your PocketBible Notes, Bookmarks and Highlights

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 26 Comments

Are you a prolific note-taker, highlighter or bookmarker in PocketBible? We have wonderful news for you! We have a new option on our website that lets you instantly pull your personal data (notes, highlights and bookmarks) out of PocketBible for the purpose of sharing, re-purposing or turning into your own PocketBible book (with BookBuilder). Whichever you want to do!

Possibilities abound

Over the years, PocketBible users have asked for the ability to export their valuable personal data out of the program. Yes, you can now do this but we’ve taken it a step further. You choose whether you want to export your notes, highlights or bookmarks. With any of those three options, we provide you with an html file that you can:

  • Use as-is
  • Bring into a text editor and reformat and publish in a format for sharing (i.e. PDF, .doc, .txt, etc.)
  • Publish as a PocketBible book using Laridian BookBuilder program (sold separately)

What kind of book could you publish for PocketBible?

  • A dictionary of your Bible bookmarks, where each dictionary entry is a bookmark category.
  • A commentary based on your verse notes.
  • A dictionary of your Bible highlights, where each dictionary entry is a highlight color.

To encourage your self-publishing efforts, we’ve lowered the prices of both versions of BookBuilder:

There’s never been a better time to consider publishing a PocketBible book!

Getting Started

The first step is to synchronize your PocketBible data with the Laridian Server. A synchronization option is available in every version of PocketBible (except Android OS – still to come!) The second step is to login to your account on the Laridian website and choose the new My Data link. You’ll find complete information on what you can do with your data and how to do it.

Let us know what you think

We hope you like this new flexibility in using your personal PocketBible data. Is this something you will use? Let us know how you will share your writings in the comments below.

Exploring the places of the Bible with Maps

Posted on: September 22nd, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 3 Comments

You wouldn’t go on a long trip without taking a good map or atlas. In the same way, it’s good to have some maps when you’re travelling through the Bible. The events of the Bible take place in an area that is unfamiliar territory to most of us. And in certain parts of the Bible where many cities, mountains, countries and territories are mentioned (the Pentateuch and Acts come to mind), a map is indispensable. One of the best resources for seeing the places you are reading about while in PocketBible is our Bible Maps product.

Bible Maps is a set of 13 vector-based color maps covering the major events of the Bible. The product also includes a dictionary of place names with descriptions for over 350 cities, sites and locations. With the Bible Maps and Maps Dictionary open in PocketBible, you can simply tap on a place name (i.e. city, river, mountain range) to view the related article. If you are using PocketBible for Windows, you can hover over the place name with your mouse to see the dictionary article.

You can also connect to more in-depth articles on the places of the Bible from your maps by opening a PocketBible Bible Dictionary (i.e. Tyndale Bible Dictionary, New Bible Dictionary, Nelsons New Illustrated Bible Dictionary – each sold separately) instead of the Maps dictionary. Then when you tap (or hover) on a place name, the article that comes up will be from your Bible Dictionary. PocketBible will use what is open. If you like to have multiple dictionaries open, you can set a “Preferred Dictionary” in PocketBible to make sure it looks in your favorite first.

Of course, we usually start our Bible study with the Bible and not a map. It’s when you are reading a passage such as Matthew 11:20-21 that you think about how nice it would be to see the places mentioned on a map: “Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. ‘Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” You can hold-down (or right-click) on any of the cities mentioned in this passage and choose to “Look up” the city. This will take you to your Preferred Dictionary (if set) or to the first dictionary that has an article available. I have my preferred dictionary set to the Bible Maps dictionary. Then when I am taken to an article, I can choose a relevant map to see the cities in context of what I’m reading. You could also set the Bible Maps themselves to be your preferred dictionary which would take you directly to a map and then link to map articles from the map itself (tap on the city name).

Below is a screencast video of using the Bible Maps in PocketBible for iPad.

If you have any questions on using Bible maps, feel free to leave a comment.

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