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Posts Tagged ‘cross-references’

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).

How to Create Your Own Topical Chain Reference in PocketBible

Posted on: November 1st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 13 Comments

Topical chains are references that take you to the next verse in a topic. They are great for personal study, devotions, sermon prep, and for teaching or preaching. You can easily create your own topical chain reference in PocketBible. It can be as simple or detailed as you want: anything from a few verses and topics to a complete topical chain reference study Bible.


PocketBible’s bookmarking feature is one I’ve used for years to aid in memorizing scripture. I now have my entire family’s memory list on my Android. Each person’s list is under their own name (as a category). The ability to maintain multiple bookmark lists is perfect for creating your own topical chain reference list.

Simply select a verse in PocketBible and place the bookmark. Create a new or choose an existing category (or topic) to place the bookmark in and you’re done. Easy. There is no limit to the number of bookmark categories you can create or the number of verses you can have in each category.

Verse Links

The next step on the list is creating your own links. To do this you will use the note feature. Select the verse you want to use in your chain reference and type the reference in a note on that verse. The reference becomes a clickable link. You can create a link to just the next verse or you can include the previous verse if you want your chain to go backwards as well as forwards. For multiple topics or to show more detail, write the topic name along with the reference. An alternative is to copy and paste the verse into the note and then place the reference with the portion of the verse you want it to refer to. Go to each verse in your bookmarks and create your links. (Note: verse reference links can’t be created in the Windows Phone/Windows Store versions of PocketBible at this time but is on our request for consideration in updates to these versions).


Another option is to use the highlighting feature. Each highlight can represent a topic (highlights can be renamed if you have the Advanced Feature Set for the version of PocketBible you are using). There are 19 different highlights which include 16 colors and 3 types of underlining. You can use highlighting as the primary topic and write the names of the subtopics in the notes. Select the verse you want to highlight, and then choose your highlight color.

Reading by Topic

To read the verses in the topics/category, simply review the list of verses you’ve bookmarked or highlighted. Any verse links you have added will show up in the notes attached to the verses in your list. This makes it easy to look through and read every single topic and chain reference in your lists.


One of my favorite topics is the Scriptures themselves. I’ve created a chain that I call The Word of God. My list is not exhaustive, but the beauty of using PocketBible is that you can add to your list as much as you want. Here is the list of verses that appear in my bookmark category, The Word of God:

Psalms 119:11, Psalms 119:16, Psalms 119:89, Psalms 119:103, Psalms 119:105, Psalms 119:130, Proverbs 6:23, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 24:35, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:25, 1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 3:15-16

As I come across verses that speak to me about God’s Word I simply add it to the list. I have color-coded these verses green because that’s the color I use for the Scriptures.

Where do you get the verses for the chains?

My favorite place to get the verses is from my own reading. As I come across a verse that I want in a topical list I simply place it there. Another option is to use other Bibles as resources. I do this when I’m studying from Bibles that contain topical lists or chain references. Another choice is using PocketBible for word-searches.

Have you created your own topical chain references in PocketBible? Do you use another feature not included here?

This article is a guest post by Randy Brown, a long-time PocketBible user and owner of the Bible Buying Guide blog.

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned in this article are only available with purchase of the Advanced Features Set for PocketBible. Advanced Feature sets vary and are sold separately for each version of PocketBible.

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.

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