Using Your Bible Resources – Study Bibles and Commentaries

Posted on: September 9th, 2006 by Michelle Stramel 12 Comments

If you’re one who has just purchased a new study Bible, commentary, Bible dictionary,  Strong’s Concordance or other Laridian book, you may be wondering how to use those resources effectively.  Although they each work in a similar fashion, I am going to take one type of resource each week and provide tips on how you can get the most out of the product you purchased.  This week it’s study Bibles and commentaries.

To begin, think of your Laridian books in the same way you do with books on a shelf.  When you have multiple books, can you look at them all at once?  No.  You usually take one down, review the information and then put it back.  Then you take another book off the shelf and do the same thing.  Sometimes you may have several books open on a desk so that you can compare details between books.  The Laridian software works in much the same way.

You start with a Bible.  It can be any Bible that you may have installed on your PDA.  As you’re reading you come across a passage that you find confusing to you.  Instead of reaching for a study Bible from your bookshelf, you open a second window on your PDA and select your study Bible or perhaps a commentary.  To do this in MyBible tap Tap to open book.  In PocketBible tap View and Add Book.  Select your preferred book.  You can add a third window if you’d like. 

You now have the Bible in the top window and your Study Bible or commentary in the bottom window.  Since these two types of books are so similar I’m going to call each of these a commentary book for the remainder of this article.

If you have your synchronization feature turned on, the commentary book will open to the same location in the Bible that you are reading.  If the commentary book does NOT automatically move to the same location then you either have your synchronization feature turned off or the commentary book does not contain notes on that particular verse.  When you move to a verse that does contain commentary notes then the book will move to the same location.

To toggle synchronization on and off in MyBible, go to Options and Synchronization (or enter S in Graffiti or on a keypad).  With PocketBible you tap the third icon from the right. 

What if you just want to read through the commentary book without being connected to a specific verse?  When you are working with primarily the commentary book and tapping links to view the mentioned passage, turn the synchronization off.  Otherwise if you make a move in the Bible window, your commentary book will move to that new location (since they are synchronized) and you’ve just lost the place where you were reading in the commentary book.  With PocketBible this isn’t too bad because you can select the back arrow to move back to where you were and continue where you left off.  With MyBible it’s tricky.  You can go back to the previous verse location in the Bible (Navigate, Back) but then you will need to scroll down through where you were reading in the commentary book to continue where you left off (if you remember where you were).  So, it’s just good to get in the habit of turning off the synchronization when you’re going to be spending more time in the commentary than in the Bible.

If you want to go to a specific location in the commentary book you are viewing, go to the table of contents.  In MyBible tap the down arrow in the upper left corner of the commentary book window.  Tap the second “Change…” You are now viewing your table of contents.  You may need to tap BACK to collapse the current tree view and continue tapping back until you are viewing the main tree.  Then scroll up and down through the chapters and expand the tree to find what you need.

In PocketBible 3 select Edit and Go To or tap the second icon from the left.  Use the scroll bar to move up and down through your table of contents and expand the tree to find what you need.

If you want to put your commentary book back on the shelf and select a different one to view, tap the down arrow in the upper left corner of the window you want to change (MyBible).  Select the first “Change…” and select your new book.  In PocketBible press and hold your stylus on the book window you want to change and select Change Book.  Select your new book.

If you’re done and you want to put all of your books back on the shelf (except the Bible), close the window you no longer want to view.  In MyBible tap the down arrow in the upper left corner of the window you want to close.  Select Close.  In PocketBible press and hold your stylus on the book window you want to close and select Close.

Some of these lessons will be repeated in future articles since all of the books work in the same manner.  They are just books you’re taking off of the shelf, opening, closing, and putting back on the shelf.  The only difference is that you are doing it electronically.  Some books, though, are a little more unique and those are the areas that I will work to explore with you in future articles.

NOTE: If you are having trouble with your MyBible or PocketBible software, please do not post your technical support issues as a comment.  Instead, you need to send an email to for assistance.  Be sure you’ve checked the Help Desk Knowledgebase before you request assistance.  Thank you.

12 Responses

  1. Jonathan Bach says:

    Thanks Patty. Your analogy of taking books on/off the shelf works great for teaching. Of course, electronic books have advantages, and I ask that you consider enhancing PocketBible so that you can choose to search through the entire shelf full of books at once — with a list showing “hits” under each book title. One step further, (and like the Bible Explorer 4 program for your PC that now gives away free), please provide an option that shows a list of “hits” for the entire library as you change from one verse to another. That way you don’t have to “take each book off the shelf” and look at it one after another — you automatically know which references have something to say on the passage at hand. Again, the list would show the links for “hits” under each book title.

    If I am not being clear, download Bible Explorer 4 onto your PC, update it with some free references, open a Bible window and activate the cross-reference pane — you will instantly see what books in your library speak to the verse at hand.

    So, that is where I wish the “bookshelf” one-at-a-time analogy would break down, and we could benefit from the dutiful servant programming of the pocket computer.

    Thanks again, I’ll be reading your articles.


  2. Patty Brockett says:

    PocketBible can already tell you which books have something to say about the current passage. On your Pocket PC go to Options and More Options. Select the BOOKS tab at the bottom. At the top select Add a book for the book toolbar button. Show Abbreviation and Location when selecting a book. Tap OK. Go to a location in the Bible for which you want more information. Tap the blue book icon (1st icon on the left). Expand your commentary tree view and you will find all of the books that have anything to say about that particular verse. Select the book in which you want to read more and tap OK. The book will open in a new window.

    The ability to search all books at once for a specific word or phrase is on the suggestion list for consideration. We appreciate knowing of your interest in such a feature.

  3. Jonathan Bach says:

    Excellent! I tried it last night and it works GREAT!

    Now … to include ALL of the non-bible books on my bookshelf … like the dictionaries and devotionals. Then we would know what books in our library have something to say on the passage at hand — either by reading the work of others in commentaries and devotionals, or doing original research yourself with the dictionaries.

    For dictionaries, I imagine you would prepare an index of the article headings used in your dictionaries and use that to do a reverse-lookup for the words in the current passage. Perhaps this would be one index file included with the PB3 program itself. By only indexing the heading or entry words chosen by the dictionary editors, this would avoid looking for “the,” “of,” “and,” etcetera. For speed and common-sense, this dictionary index would NOT include Strongs Hebrew/Greek — since the Strongs numbers are there for that purpose already (and that is where you can do your “the,” “of,” “and,” lookups up if you like).

    For devotionals, you would have to index which scriptures are discussed in each devotional (perhaps just the main scripture, not others mentioned in the devotional text – ?).

    I’m not sure how the Bible Explorer folks do it with such speed, but that’s my guess.

    But for now, I’m really enjoying the instant Commentary cross-reference list. THANKS!

  4. You don’t ask for much, do you? :  )

    We do appreciate your comments as we continue to work on building a better product.

  5. Jonathan Bach says:

    Who me? Just try Bible-Explorer with the cross-reference pane on (and a few free books downloaded/installed), and you will instantly see how helpful this is.

    Instant awareness and access to ALL related texts for the passage at hand — priceless for “redeeming the time” when studying/preparing/looking for illustrations.

    YOU can DO it! I KNOW you can. You’ve already shown your abilities with PocketBible 3 – a superb product.

    Thanks for listening! I’ll be cheering for you.

  6. Bob Stewarts says:

    I haven’t been able to copy from the New Bible Dictionary and paste to a Word document. Does copy and paste not work for the NBD, NBC, NBDT or NDT? I can copy and paste from the Bible.

  7. To copy text from the bottom window select the text you want to copy. Tap the down arrow in the upper left corner of the window from which you are copying. Select Copy Selection. It is now in your clipboard to paste to another application.

  8. Sandy Reynolds says:

    Is there a way to copy from the commentaries when you are toggling between the Bible and a commentary? Before when I could view the two in the window, I was able to. However, when just viewing the commentary I have been unable to copy and paste.

  9. With MyBible 4, when you are using the dictionary or commentary function under “Options”, you will not have the ability to do a copy and paste. That ability is still available to you in the second or third window of the main MyBible screen when you are viewing a dictionary or commentary.

    We will keep your request in mind as we continue to work on improvements.

  10. Sandy Reynolds says:

    Thanks for the reply. I thought that I was just missing something. It would be a great added feature. Also, thanks for keeping improving the MyBible program. It is an awesome program. I just love it.

  11. anne says:

    while using MS Word, is there a way to write a scripture reference and be able to tap on it (like an underlined reference) make it link to that place in the bible?

  12. No, there is not a way to link MS Word with PocketBible. Thanks for asking.

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