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Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs

Posted on: January 22nd, 2015 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Concise TheologyThis new PocketBible title from Tyndale House is a summary of what Christians believe from noted theologian, J. I. Packer. Packer’s Concise Theology offers precise descriptions of nearly 100 major Christian beliefs, from a Reformed perspective.

The book isn’t meant to be an exercise in theory. Rather, Packer’s aim is to give you a tour of the permanent essentials of Christianity, viewed as both a belief system and a way of life. It is meant to be practical and yet “to lift your heart Godward.”

Packer puts forth in the preface, “Theology is first the activity of thinking and speaking about God (theologizing), and second the product of that activity (Luther’s theology, or Wesley’s, or Finney’s, or Wimber’s, or Packer’s, or whoever’s). As an activity, theology is a cat’s cradle of interrelated though distinct disciplines: elucidating texts (exegesis), synthesizing what they say on the things they deal with (biblical theology), seeing how the faith was stated in the past (historical theology), formulating it for today (systematic theology), finding its implications for conduct (ethics), commending and defending it as truth and wisdom (apologetics), defining the Christian task in the world (missiology), stockpiling resources for life in Christ (spirituality) and corporate worship (liturgy), and exploring ministry (practical theology).”

The book is divided into four sections: God Revealed as Creator, God Revealed as Redeemer, God Revealed as Lord of Grace, and God Revealed as Lord of Destiny. Altogether, you get 94 concise studies that each focus on a unique facet of our great God and his wonderful plan for us. Yet not in a way that will be over your head. Packer explains the essentials of theology in a style and length that busy readers can appreciate.

Concise Theology requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Mac OS X, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. The list price is $9.99.

The Origin of the Bible

Posted on: January 15th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

The Origin of the BibleThis new PocketBible title from Tyndale House is an updated volume of the original classic by Philip Comfort. As the title suggests, The Origin of the Bible is a comprehensive guide to the origin and development of the Bible text, manuscripts, and canon. This updated edition (2102) provides a chapter on recent developments in Bible translation.

The book is divided into five sections. The first section, “The Authority and Inspiration of the Bible,” focuses on the Bible’s divine inspiration, lasting authority, and infallibility. The second section, “The Canon of the Bible,” reveals the processes that went into selecting the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament to be part of canonized Scripture. This section also has an essay on the Old Testament and New Testament apocrypha. The third section, “The Bible as Literary Text,” explains the literary background of the Bible and shows how the Bible is a literary masterpiece. The fourth section, “Bible Texts and Manuscripts,” describes the ancient biblical manuscripts that have been discovered and used in forming editions of the Hebrew and Greek texts. The fifth section, “Bible Translation,” provides information about the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) and Bible translation itself. In addition, this section gives a brief history of the English Bible and of other versions in many languages. The articles in each section were written by Bible scholars addressing their area of expertise (i.e. Leland Ryken on the Bible as Literature).

The Origin of the Bible requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Mac OS X, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. The list price is $9.99.

Is Your Bible “Missing” Verses?

Posted on: January 13th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 20 Comments

We occasionally receive reports from PocketBible users that a PocketBible Bible is missing a verse (or verses). These “errors” are usually discovered in a group Bible study situation. Following along as someone else reads, you realize that a verse appears to be missing in your Bible. But in this case, there is more to this than meets the eye.

What are these “missing” verses and why are they missing?

The numbering scheme for verses in the English Bible was first used in the Geneva Bible in the year 1560. This pattern was followed in subsequent English translations including the King James Version, published first in 1611. In the years since these Bibles were translated, many additional manuscripts have been found which predate those used by the translators of the Geneva and King James Bibles. Because of their age, these older manuscripts are believed by many scholars to more accurately represent the original documents. In many cases, however, they do not include all the verses that are in the more recent manuscripts.

Translations such as the New International Version, Revised Standard Version, and other newer translations take advantage of these more recently discovered manuscripts and therefore do not include all of the verses found in the older translations. Rather than reinventing a numbering scheme for the whole Bible, the translators decided to use the same verse numbers as the older Bibles but leave the missing verses blank (or move them into footnotes). The result of this is that several verses in these newer translations appear to be “missing”.

The affected verses are:

  • Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14
  • Mark 7:16; 9:44,46; 11:26; 15:28
  • Luke 17:36; 23:17
  • John 5:4
  • Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29
  • Romans 16:24

For the Revised Standard Version, in addition to the above list, there are other verses and points of interest:

  • Matthew 12:47; 21:44
  • Luke 22:43,44
  • The order of Exodus 22 in printed form is 1, 4, 2, 3, 5. PocketBible displays these verses in numeric order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • James 1:7,8 was combined in verse 7 leaving 8 blank. 3 John 14 was split into 14 and 15.

Another point of view

Some are quick to jump on the idea that the newer translations are removing text from God’s Word and therefore are not to be trusted. It is important to note that it could just as correctly be argued that the older translations added text to God’s Word. Where one comes down on this argument depends on the nature of one’s own research, or on which scholars one decides to trust. We’ve determined it’s best to present a variety of options to you so that you can come to your own conclusions when choosing the Bible (or Bibles) that you find to be the most beneficial to your own spiritual growth.

If you enjoy learning about the history of the Bible, consider the PocketBible book: The Origin of the Bible by Philip Comfort.

Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year

Posted on: January 1st, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

A new year is here and with it the opportunity for a fresh start on Bible reading efforts! Whether you are on track to make it all the way through from January 1 to December 31 or you got side-tracked at some point during the year, PocketBible makes it easy to begin anew.

Here are instructions for resetting your Bible reading or devotional tracking for the various versions of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch – open PocketBible and go to the Bible reading plan you want to reset. Select the Today button | Devotional Settings and choose to reset your reading progress and change the start date to today’s date.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – if you are using PocketBible on your Android phone, you can change the start date for a devotional by tapping on the dove menu and choosing Devotionals. Then choose the correct book at the top drop down and then hit the Manage button. You can choose to catch up or start over on this page. If you are using PocketBible on a tablet, use the blue tab instead of the dove menu.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – select Menu | Daily Readings and tap and hold on the devotional book. From the menu select Remove daily reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store (8/8.1) – select Daily readings from the application bar and select the devotional book. From the application bar select Remove Daily Reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC – choose Devotional Reading | Book Options from the menu and select the Start Over tab. Press the Start Over button. Choose the Start Date tab to set a new start date.
  • PocketBible for Windows Mobile – Are you one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.
  • DailyReader for Palm OS – Are one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.

If you are looking for a different Bible reading plan this year, you’ll find help choosing one in our article on 8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible.

Installing PocketBible to a New Device

Posted on: December 25th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 9 Comments

Are you the happy recipient of a new phone or tablet? Or a new Mac or PC? Congratulations! Here is what you need to know to get PocketBible on it!

First an important reminder – you never have to re-purchase any Laridian Bibles or books when you move to a new device. You may have to re-install a new version of PocketBible and download your books again but that is all FREE and we’ll try to make that as painless as possible with the tips in this article.

Install Guide by Device Type

Find your device type in the list below and follow the instructions from there:

  • iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (iOS) – go to the App Store from your device and search for PocketBible Bible Study. Download the free app and register it using your existing Laridian ID (or email address on file) and password. Tap on the Menu icon and choose Add/Remove Books. Go through the list of your books (should include all your previous purchases and free books) and tap on any you want to download at this time (you can always return to this list and download more later). Hit UPDATE at the top of the page to start the downloads.
  • Mac OS X – you can download PocketBible for Mac directly from our website. Go here to download and here for detailed directions. The first time you open PocketBible on your Mac, register using your existing Laridian customer information. Then you can select Cloud Library from the Books menu to download your past purchased books.
  • Android OS – go to the Google Play store on your device (or Amazon App store if you prefer) and search for PocketBible Bible Study. Download the free PocketBible app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Tap on the Dove icon and choose to Download Books. You should see your previously purchased titles along with all free books. Tap on each book you want to download (you have to do this one at a time). Check out our Android OS videos at our Youtube channel for some tips on using PocketBible for Android.
  • Kindle Fire – we are still working with Amazon to get our Android version of PocketBible to show up in the Kindle Store. In the meantime, follow the instructions at this link to download PocketBible from our site and install as a 3rd party app. HDX owners you can watch a video of how to install.
  • Windows Phone – go to the Windows Marketplace on your phone. Search for PocketBible Bible Study and download and install the free app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Choose the Cloud Library from the menu. Tap on any title to download. Open downloaded books from the Device Library.
  • Windows Surface – go to the Windows Store on your tablet. Search for PocketBible Bible Study and download and install the free PocketBible app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Choose the Cloud Library from the menu. Tap on any title to download. Open downloaded books from the Device Library menu.

If you have personal data (i.e. notes, bookmarks, highlights) to transfer, you can synchronize with our server to receive the data to your new device (assumes you have synced to our server/cloud from your old device first to get personal data there).

One final note – Advanced Feature Sets are the only items which are sold separately for each operating system. So, for example, even if you own the Advanced Feature Set for your iPhone, you’ll still need to purchase the specific Advanced Feature Set for your Surface Pro or Mac OS X. However, if you own an iPhone and iPad, since they are the same operating system, you only need one copy for both devices.

Last Minute Gift Idea: PocketBible Books

Posted on: December 18th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

gift ideasNo shipping required. No wrapping needed. A PocketBible book is the perfect gift for the last minute Christmas rush or any time of the year!

The only requirement to giving the gift of PocketBible is that your recipient have a compatible smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac where they can use the free PocketBible app. We offer versions of PocketBible that are compatible with iPhones, iPads, Macs, Android OS smartphones and tablets, all Kindle Fire devices, Windows Phones and PCs. You can simply purchase any PocketBible Bible, book or library using your current Laridian account. Check the gift option when you check out and we’ll send you instructions on how to communicate your gift to the recipient. If they aren’t already a PocketBible user, they will need to first download the free PocketBible app for their device and register it, to create their own account with us, before they can accept the gift from you. You can find complete details here.

No cost gift idea! While we mention this in our Gift FAQ, it bears repeating here. You can give any of your past purchased books away as well. For example, if you have a devotional that you’ve already read through and don’t plan on using again, you could gift this to someone else. While you may have paid for this item previously, it won’t cost you anything today because you will be giving an item you purchased in the past.

New to PocketBible! If your recipient is new to PocketBible, here are some gift suggestions to consider:

  • 2015 PocketBible Libraries – these collections of Bibles and books are deeply discounted (over “sold separate” price) and are ideal for jump-starting Bible study.
  • Under $25 – Bible translation + study Bible Note set. Bible translation + devotional. Both are good starter combinations that will normally keep your purchase under $25. Some suggested titles:
  • Over $40 and Save 15% – if you choose a combination of 2 or more PocketBible books that totals over $40, you can use our BUNDLEOFFER code at checkout to save 15%. (Excludes PocketBible Libraries and the NIV Bible)

Find Your Ideal Bible Reading Plan

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

scripture memoryThe primary goal of a Bible reading plan is to keep us reading the Bible. A Bible reading plan also organizes our reading and gives us goals to meet; usually a daily goal with the ultimate goal of finishing the plan in a specified time period.

Choosing a plan that is realistic for the amount of time you can devote to Bible reading each day will help you reach your goals. As will choosing a plan that presents the Bible in a way that will keep you motivated to read.

If you like doing things in order, then a Genesis to Revelation plan may be just what you are looking for. If you need variety to keep your interest, than a chronological plan or a New Testament/Old Testament plan might work better for you. Here are some tips on choosing a reading plan for use with PocketBible, based on your time and desire for variety.

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New PocketBible Devotionals for 2015

Posted on: December 7th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Just in time for the new year, here are three new devotional titles for use with PocketBible:

  • One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge – Strengthen the core of your life and faith on a year long journey with Super Bowl-winning form head coach, Tony Dungy.
  • One Year Book of Psalms – The entire book of Psalms is divided into 365 just-right readings with accompanying hymns, meditations, Bible “networking” cross-references, fascinating facts and topical “interludes.”
  • How Great is Our God – Timeless daily readings on the Nature of God from the writings of some of the greatest Christian thinkers of the last century including J.I. Packer, Charles Colson, Jerry Bridges and John Piper.

Each devotional requires the free PocketBible app. Devotional prices ranged from $7.99 to $14.99. All devotionals are on sale through the end of December 2014.

PocketBible for Mac OS X – Copy Passage Tips

Posted on: November 30th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

I was taking notes in church this morning and realized I was making use of some shortcut keys and program capabilities that you may have missed when using PocketBible on your Mac. So when I got home I made this video to demonstrate two methods of quickly getting Bible text into the clipboard and from there into your notes. Of course you could use this same technique to paste into any other app.

I hope this helps you get more out of PocketBible on your Mac!

New for PocketBible: The Practice of the Presence of God

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

This classic title by Brother Lawrence offers time-tested advice for turning your daily tasks into an opportunity to focus on God. In a series of conversations and letters, The Practice of the Presence of God puts forth Brother Lawrence’ philosophy on drawing near and staying near to God. “…he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.

This free book is now available for download on your device if you are using PocketBible for iOS, Mac, Android, Windows Phone or Windows Store. If you are using PocketBible for Windows PC or Windows Mobile or MyBible for Palm OS, you can add this book to your account here and download it to your device.

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