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Archive for September, 2012

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.

Using cross-references in PocketBible

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Cross-references are often included with Bibles to lead you to other places in the Bible that relate to the verse you are reading. Cross-references can help you see how Scripture interprets Scripture. As Martin Luther said, “Scripture is its own expositor.”

You often see cross-references, in print, in the center column of your Bibles. In PocketBible, you will find cross-references included with some of our Bible translations (i.e. NIV, ESV, HCSB, NABRE), some commentaries reference related verses in their comments, and of course, in the ultimate cross-reference resource: Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is a classic Bible study resource known for its exhaustive cross-references covering the entire Bible—over 500,000 entries in all—and is free for use in PocketBible.

Viewing cross-references in PocketBible

Verse references are hyperlinked in PocketBible meaning you can click or tap on them to view the related verse. If you click or tap to go to the verse and view it in context, all versions of PocketBible include Back buttons (usually an arrow) which will return you to your starting verse. There are some variations among the versions of PocketBible to keep in mind:

  • PocketBible for Windows PC users: you can hover your mouse arrow over the cross-reference to see the verse quoted without even going to the verse.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone users: By default (and popular demand) the back button is set to take you out of the program. You can change this behavior to take you back through previously viewed verses under Settings | History.

PocketBible gives you a mechanism via its Notes feature to record your own thoughts on related verses. Anytime you put a verse reference in a note, PocketBible will link it automatically so you can view the verse with a tap (or hover).

Turning cross-references on/off in PocketBible

Cross-references in PocketBible Bibles can be turned on/off for ease of reading.

  • PocketBible for Android: tap on the Menu button and choose Display Settings and Footnote Style. Choose Hide to completely eliminate footnote indicators; Mark will show the asterisk to mark a cross-reference or footnote; Expand will show you the entire footnote inset in the text.
  • PocketBible for iOS: tap on the Menu button and choose Settings and Footnotes. Choose Hide to completely eliminate footnote indicators; Collapse so you just see an indicator of a footnote available to tap on or Expand to see the footnote in its entirety.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC: choose Edit | Options from the menu and there is a drop down box for Translator’s Footnotes to turn them on/off/expand.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone: choose Settings | Appearance from the menu and choose Footnote Style to to turn them on/off/expand.

Greek New Testament Now Available for PocketBible for Windows

Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments


The SBL Greek New Testament is now available for use with PocketBible for Windows (versions 1.100 and later).

The SBL Greek New Testament is a new text edited by Michael W. Holmes. Mr. Holmes utilized a wide range of printed editions, all the major critical apparatuses, and the latest technical resources and manuscript discoveries as he established the text. The result is a critically edited text that differs from the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies text in more than 540 variation units. This new text was jointly sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and Logo Bible Software to provide a free, reliable, critically edited version of the Greek New Testament for use by students, teachers, pastors and laypeople throughout the world.

The PocketBible version of this text is available for use with PocketBible for Windows, Windows PC-based Bible software which can be ordered and downloaded for free. Current users of PocketBible for Windows will need to update to version 1.100 (book reader engine version 1.071) to use the Greek text. This can be done by logging in to your Laridian account at the Laridian web site and downloading the latest version of the software.

PocketBible for Windows Updated

Version 1.100 of PocketBible for Windows includes the following updates and fixes:

  • Support for Greek books:
    • Searching
      • Added underscore (_) as a wildcard character that matches zero or more diacritical marks
      • Modified question mark (?) wildcard character to match one character and its attached diacritical marks
      • Enabled Greek character support in the search entry fields
      • Searching requires the installation of a Greek keyboard input method in Windows, which is done through the Control Panel and is fully described in the updated Help included with the program
    • Hover text (tool tips)
    • Copy/Paste
    • Added capital letters with iota subscript to Laridian Greek font
    • Normalized the order of Greek diacriticals in books, search phrases, and notes
  • Note Editor changes:
    • Added <pb_lang> HTML Helper
    • Used the font and size selected by the user for the Note Tab in the Personalization Window. Notes are now displayed and edited using the same font.
  • Other enhancements:
    • Changed the behavior of phrase searches so that punctuation between words in a book will not cause it not to match
    • Updated the Help file
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed a bug introduced in 1.014 where the wrong Bible abbreviation would be attached to text copied using Copy Passage (“KJVEC” instead of “KJV” and “HCSBEC” instead of “HCSB”.
    • Fixed a long-standing bug in which browsing to a new verse while editing a note with the note lock turned off would cause an error, and doing so with the lock turned on would cause the note to be saved to the current verse instead of the verse it was originally on. Also put code in place to keep user from editing or deleting a note that was already being edited.
    • Fixed a bug in which accented characters in the name of a book or Bible were displayed as HTML character entities instead of the actual character.
    • Fixed a long-standing bug in which the left mouse button appeared to be stuck down after opening or closing a book in parallel display mode. This caused text to be highlighted as the mouse was moved until the user clicked the mouse or toggled the “parallel” button.
    • Fixed a problem in which book categories were not indicated correctly for the NABRE. (May not have affected the Windows version.)

New for PocketBible: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, New Testament

Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through the entire New Testament revealing background information about the stories, people and places of the Bible. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. Originally published in four volumes, this material is now available with full-color pictures, illustrations, maps, etc. as a PocketBible book. The printed volumes retail at $159.99. The PocketBible edition is only $127.99.

A video from the publisher explaining the concept and types of information provided in these volumes is linked below. The format and look will differ in PocketBible.

PocketBible for iOS users: What can Advanced Features do for you?

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 8 Comments

If you are using PocketBible 2 or later for iOS, here are some good reasons to upgrade to Advanced Features and how to do it.

Why upgrade?

The Advanced Features available for PocketBible on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch offer some handy additions to the basic features of PocketBible.

Tabs (or tabbed panes) are especially wonderful on the iPad. I keep 5 tabs open on my iPad and each tab contains a specific type of book so the headings display category of book (i.e. Bibles, Commentaries) rather than book abbreviation. When you mix different types of books within a pane, PocketBible shows the abbreviation for the top book instead of the category. Tabs make it fast and easy to move from my Bible to a commentary or other type of book and get the information I need to understand what the Bible is saying.

Autostudy is very useful to me because I often compare Bible translations when I read the Bible. If I particularly like or, conversely, don’t understand a verse, I want to see how it is translated elsewhere. Autostudy will put that together in seconds–all on one page. It will do the same for information from other types of books as well – commentaries, dictionaries, etc.. You can get more details on this feature in our article: Have you discovered Autostudy?

Would you like to have the program read the Bible to you? The Advanced Feature Set adds the ability to do this but you will need to make one more purchase of a voice (at $1.99 each) to take advantage of that ability. PocketBible voices are synthesized which means they are electronic and therefore won’t take up as much space on your device as an “audio Bible”. I have found this feature extremely handy for keeping up with my Bible reading in the car, as I clean the house, on a run — time that might otherwise be wasted can be reclaimed for a good purpose.

If you like to copy passages from your reference or other type books, you’ll want the Advanced Features as they allow you to do just that. And if your printer supports AirPrint, you’ll be able to print from the program.

Advanced Features were enhanced with the release of PocketBible 3 and now offers these additional capabilities!

  • A new Journal feature lets you add comments to PocketBible that are not connected to a specific book.
  • You can now rename your highlights colors. For example, you could change the label for salmon to love and use your highlights as categories for specific types of verses.
  • Change the behavior of the touch zone nagivation. The most common customization is to use swipe up and down for page changes instead of swiping left and right. Other customizations are possible.

You can watch a quick overview of the upgrade process and how to use the advanced features at the video link below:

How to upgrade

If you are already using PocketBible 2 or later on your iDevice, adding these new features is straight-forward:

  1. Purchase the Advanced Features at our web site for $4.99 (it is also available in-app for $1.00 more). Add a Voice at the same time if you think you want to use that feature. I prefer Tracy but our best-selling voices are Heather and Ryan.
  2. Go into PocketBible on your iOS device and choose the Menu button and Buy/Apply Upgrade (if you’ve already purchased at our website, you’ll just be applying). Choose Add/Remove Voices to download a Voice if you’ve purchased one.

You’re all set!

If you are still using PocketBible 1.4.7 (or earlier) for iOS, follow our 3 Steps to Move from PocketBible 1 to PocketBible 2 on your iOS device.

Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned from Ronald McDonald

Posted on: September 4th, 2012 by Craig Rairdin 1 Comment

The other day I was joking with my wife that I should write a book of life lessons that I learned from my first job: Flipping hamburgers at McDonalds. Today one of those lessons played out in real life.

McDonalds was known back in the 70′s for its fast service. As long as you didn’t want your burger with no pickles or your fries with no salt, we usually had your order cooked before you arrived. We counted heads in the lobby and had a formula for how much meat to put on the grill. It usually worked out pretty well.

Sometimes, though, we ended up throwing away food that sat under the heat lamps too long. At the end of the day, the manager had to dig through a big garbage can full of that day’s waste and count how many of each type of sandwich was in there so he could do inventory. This was especially nasty if there were milkshakes mixed in with the Quarter Pounders and Big Macs.

One night, one of the girls who worked the cash registers asked the boss, “Why don’t you just write down each thing as you throw it away so you don’t have to count it at the end of the day?” He looked at her for a second then looked at his garbage can full of Shamrock-shake-soaked McMuffins, muttered something unsuitable for inclusion here, and the next day there was a clipboard by the heat lamps and no more counting waste.

Today one of our publishers asked if we could send them their royalties on an annual rather than a quarterly basis. They said they’re trying to reduce their processing costs and they’d rather handle one giant report at the end of the year than four smaller ones sent four times throughout the year. That’s kind of a pain in the neck for us, because we’re set up to do everything quarterly.

So I suggested that they cash our checks every quarter (that just requires a rubber stamp endorsement) but file away the detailed report until the end of the year, at which time they can pull four quarterly reports out of the file and do whatever it is they have to do with them that is so complicated. My guess is they won’t be very receptive to that idea, so I’ll just do the same here: When I get their check from our accountant I’ll shred it and file away the report. At the end of the year when they email me to ask “Where are our royalties?” I’ll get out the reports, add up the total, get a check issued, and send it to them.

Maybe this is the opposite of what I learned at McDonalds (“Sometimes it’s easier to keep track as you go than to do it all at one time.”). But it’s close. What are you doing that would be easier if you either put it off until you could do the sum of a few smaller tasks all at one time, or if you kept track as you went along instead of doing it all at once later?

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