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Posts Tagged ‘Commentary’

Bible Study Basics: Start with the 4 C’s

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 3 Comments

Bible study doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult.

When you want to explore a verse or passage in the Bible for deeper understanding, use the 4 C’s of Bible Study: Context, Comparison, Cross-Reference, Commentary.


Start with the basics and read the verse and its preceding and following verses. In PocketBible, you can easily go to any verse to read it in context. If you have time, read the whole chapter or even better, the entire book!

You could also benefit from reading an introduction to the book from which the verse is excerpted so you know the audience, purpose, etc. for the book. Most Study Bibles, Commentaries and even Bible dictionaries available for PocketBible offer book introductions.


Reading the verse or passage in multiple translations of the Bible can also shed light on the meaning of a verse. Alternative translations can give you insight into what the author is trying to say. Try translations like:

  • The Amplified Bible which includes synonyms and definitions to both explain and expand the meaning of words in the text
  • NET Bible which includes detailed information as to why verses were translated as they were
  • The Message which is a paraphrase but written in today’s language.

You can open multiple translations in PocketBible at once and tap on the title bar to switch between them (if they are all open in one pane). Or you can create your own parallel Bible by opening multiple panes with different translations.


Cross-references are designed to lead you to related verses. It is a way to interpret Scripture with Scripture and even show you where items are predicted or mentioned in other places in the Bible. If you take the time to review related verses, you’ll find that the Bible supports and sheds light on itself.

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is a free PocketBible book that offers an exhaustive collection of cross-references. You’ll also find cross-references included with PocketBible Study Bibles and Commentaries.


While commentaries provide other people’s opinion about a verse, they are usually learned or scholarly opinions. Similar to Bible translations, you can use PocketBible to consult multiple commentaries to get differing thoughts on the meaning of a passage (depending on what is in your library). Knowing how to manage your books in PocketBible makes this easy to do.

AutoStudy puts the 4 C’s together for you!

The Advanced Feature Sets available for PocketBible on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, Mac OS X and Android offer a unique ability to bring all this together for you in one step. AutoStudy the verse and tell PocketBible what you want to include from your installed books. You can include any or all of the elements mentioned above – Bible translations, cross-references, commentaries – and PocketBible will produce the comparison for you in one document that you can study or even print and save for later. (Advanced Features vary and are sold separately for each platform).

Choosing a Commentary for the way you study

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

Stack of booksFrom the early church fathers to Matthew Henry and beyond, Bible scholars and teachers continue to find different approaches for explaining the meaning of the Bible text to us. While we all appreciate their efforts, it can be difficult to choose from so many options. Here is a guide to help you easily navigate the commentary choices for use with PocketBible.

Concise Commentary

Brief but comprehensive is how the dictionary defines “concise.” You may see adjectives such as “overview,” “passage-by-passage” or “chapter-by-chapter” in the description for a concise commentary. Study Bibles generally fall into this category. As do Bible Handbooks which, among other features, offer brief commentary on the Bible text. The benefit of these types of commentaries is that they are brief and to the point. They either focus on the main or most important points of a verse or passage or provide overviews of Scripture in sections.


New for PocketBible: The 365 Day Devotional Commentary

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

We have released The 365 Day Devotional Commentary by Larry Richards for use with PocketBible. This book offers two 365-day reading plans that take you through the entire Bible. The first one (Plan A) is a traditional Genesis to Revelation reading through the Bible. The second (Plan B) alternates between reading the Old and New Testaments each day. Whether you use Plan A or Plan B, the daily reading is accompanied by study and devotional material.

Each day’s reading is enhanced with (1) an overview of the whole passage, (2) background information and commentary on history, the meaning of key words, etc., to deepen your understanding of the passage, and (3) a devotional on the core passage to help you focus on the personal meaning of God’s Word for today. You also get a personal application and quote from a famous Christian.

The author, noted Bible teacher Larry Richards, suggests that you use the commentary as follows. Each time you do your Bible reading, FIRST, read the “Overview” in the Commentary to see how the whole passage fits together. SECOND, read the Bible itself, and refer to the Commentary when you want to explore the Personal Application of a passage or event that particularly interests you. THIRD, read the “Devotional,” and spend some time in prayer. If you are in a rush on any given day, read the “Overview,” and turn directly to the “core passage” on which the day’s “Devotional” is based. Read that passage and the Devotional only, and spend time in prayer. You can view a sample reading here (links to PDF).

This book would be ideal for the person who wants to study the Bible over the year and not just read through the text. It would also appeal to the person who is looking for something more than a daily devotional reading. The layout of the book makes it easy to follow a 365-day plan or to pick and choose reading of specific books over a number of days (i.e. Read Romans in 14 days).

Also included with the commentary are two 30-day reading plans (Bible overview and personal relationship) and reading plans for special seasons (i.e. Christmas, Lent, Easter).

Because of the unique format of this book, you will receive two versions of the same book when you purchase. A Commentary version and a Devotional version. The text is the same but the Devotional version will allow you to use PocketBible’s devotional tracking features to track your progress through Plan A.

The 365 Day Devotional Commentary is available for $24.99 at the Laridian Web site. We also offer these other titles by Larry Richards for use with PocketBible: The Bible Teacher’s Commentary and the Bible Reader’s Companion.

How do I keep my Bible and commentary on the same verse in PocketBible?

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 10 Comments

As you read or study your way through the Bible in PocketBible, you should find that your commentaries are moving in sync with the Bible. In other words, when you are looking at Matthew 25:31 in the Bible, an open commentary that has a comment on this verse should be at that place as well. If you are not seeing this, it may be one of two things:

  • No comment available – The commentary you are viewing does not have a comment on the verse you are looking at in the Bible. Some commentaries are verse by verse. Some are passage by passage. And some items we classify as commentaries, such as Study Bibles, will not comment on every verse or passage.
  • Sync turned off – Keeping your Bible and commentaries in sync on the same verse in PocketBible is an option. It should be on by default in most versions of PocketBible but if a Bible and commentary are not syncing as you’d expect, double-check this option in the settings to make sure it is set correctly. Here’s how to do that in each version of PocketBible:
    • iOS – MENU | SETTINGS | BIBLE SETTINGS – make sure there is a check mark next to “Sync Bibles/Commentaries”
    • Mac OS X – POCKETBIBLE | PREFERENCES | GENERAL – make sure there is a check mark next to “Make all Bibles and commentaries move in response to changes in the active Bible”
    • Android OS – MENU | SETTINGS | PROGRAM SETTINGS – make sure the first item in the list “Bible Synchronization” has a checkmark.
    • Windows Phone and Windows Store – SETTINGS | GENERAL – first option listed, slide “Synchronize Books” to on
    • Windows PC – VIEW | SYNCHRONIZE – click on Synchronize to check mark it (or uncheck mark it).

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Series: Now Complete for PocketBible

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

We have released the final three volumes of the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Series (Tyndale) for use with PocketBible. These last three volumes in the 20-Volume series are:

You can purchase each volume separately for $19.99 or all 20 volumes in a bundle for $399.99. The books are available for use with PocketBible for Windows PC, Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

The Cornerstone commentaries offer some unique features:

  • Comments are based on the New Living Translation Bible text (although you can use the commentary with any Bible in PocketBible). Many of the authors and editors of the commentary series participated in the creation of the NLT.
  • The commentary is recent scholarship (2006 to present).
  • Presents the message of each passage as well as an overview of other issues surrounding the text

New for PocketBible: IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament (2nd Edition)

Posted on: February 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

IVP Bible Background Commentary NT 2nd Ed coverThe IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament has been revised and expanded and the 2nd edition of this best-selling title is now available for use with PocketBible.

New to the second edition of the commentary are maps and charts of important historical resources. In addition, the first edition text was expanded by 15% and updated throughout with further explanations of significant background issues. Author, Craig Keener, is one of the leading scholars of Jewish, Greek and Roman culture and religion during the New Testament era. Originally published in 1994, this second edition shows the fruit of an additional twenty years of intensive research by Keener into New Testament culture and history.

When originally published, this type of cultural information on the Bible was not accessible to the average Bible student. Keener wanted to provide cultural background on the New Testament arranged in a manner that allowed the reader to answer all the pertinent questions on a given passage. The first edition of his background commentary sold over half a million copies.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible–and richer–Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. It is available for $27.99 from the Laridian website. It is also available in a bundle with the companion volume, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament for $39.99.

New for PocketBible: Hard Sayings of the Bible

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Hard Sayings of the Bible CoverThis new PocketBible title from InterVarsity Press (IVP) is a unique commentary that focuses on the difficult passages of Scripture. Hard Sayings of the Bible was originally published in five volumes by IVP:

  • The Hard Sayings of Jesus by F.F. Bruce
  • Hard Sayings of the Old Testament by Walter C. Kaiser
  • More Hard Sayings of the Old Testament by Walter C. Kaiser
  • Hard Sayings of Paul by by Manfred T. Brauch
  • More Hard Sayings of the New Testament by Peter H. Davids

The PocketBible edition of Hard Sayings of the Bible combines these best-selling volumes into one volume along with new material from Walter Kaiser and Peter Davids. Over one hundred new verses have been added to the list of texts explained, as well as a dozen introductory articles addressing common questions that recur throughout the Bible.

The original “hard saying” of the Bible was John 6:53. This passage is explained as well as over 500 more. What makes a verse or passage a “hard saying?” “What F. F. Bruce wrote in his introduction to The Hard Sayings of Jesus can likely be said of nearly all the difficult texts in this collection: they may be hard for two different reasons. First are those that, because of differences in culture and time, are hard to understand without having their social and historical backgrounds explained. Second are those that are all too easily understood but that challenge the ways we think and act…”

Hard Sayings of the Bible requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. The list price is $19.99.

Two New Books for PocketBible

Posted on: September 2nd, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

IVP Pocket Dictionary of Reformed TraditionIVP Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition is the latest addition to our collection of Pocket Reference titles from InterVarsity Press (IVP). With 300 entries, this dictionary is a concise introduction to one of the great Christian traditions. The title can be purchased separately for $4.99 or as part of the 15 volume Pocket Reference Series bundle.

John Wesley’s Notes on the Whole Bible are also now available for use with PocketBible. These verse-by-verse comments on the Old and New Testament give you a glimpse into this great theologian and preacher’s thoughts on the Bible text — all in the convenience of PocketBible. This title is available for $24.99.

New for PocketBible: John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Posted on: June 8th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJohn Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible is now available for use with PocketBible. This 18th century commentary from the noted Baptist pastor and rabbinical scholar, John Gill, provides extremely thorough coverage of the whole Bible. You will find a comment for every verse in the entire Bible. Gill’s background in Hebrew and other Biblical languages as well as an understanding of the culture of the times make his Old Testament commentary especially valuable.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible is available for immediate download for $29.99.

New for PocketBible: Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Wiersbe's Expository OutlinesNew for use with PocketBible and MyBible, Wiersbe Expository Outlines are two volumes that are designed to guide you through a systematic study of the entire Bible.

Based on Bible studies that were originally designed for use with Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s own church, the studies were put in book form after many years of being tested “in the field.” They are ideal for personal study as well as for use with Sunday School classes and Bible study groups that want to examine God’s Word in a systematic manner.

The volumes can be purchased separately for the Old Testament or New Testament or as a bundle of both.

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of three churches, including the Moody Church in Chicago. For ten years he served as general director and Bible teacher for the Back to the Bible radio broadcast.

Also available for use in PocketBible are Wiersbe’s Bible Commentaries. This set of commentaries is based on Dr. Wiersbe’s best-selling “BE” series.

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