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Posts Tagged ‘New International Version’

Which PocketBible Bible is right for you?

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 12 Comments

There are many reasons to choose a specific translation of the Bible. People often use what their pastor or church recommends. For many people, the Bible and King James Version (KJV) are synonymous. In fact, Christianity Today reported last year that the KJV is still the most popular and fastest growing Bible translation.

While we provide the King James Version for free with PocketBible, there are many other translation options available. One of the major features of PocketBible is the ability to compare translations or create your own parallel Bible. Thus, you don’t have to be limited to one translation as you are with a printed book. This makes it easy to look at how a verse is worded in multiple translations to gain insight into its meaning.

Which translation is best?

Bible translations are usually categorized as to whether they provide a “word for word” translation from the original manuscripts (most accurate) or more of a “thought for thought” translation (easier to read). While the “best” translation will always be somewhat subjective, you can still find the one that is “best” for you. In addition to comparing translations for insight, you may find that you like one translation for your Bible reading and prefer another for study purposes.

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Catechisms, Confessions and the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

What is the chief end of man?

I can attest that knowing the answer to this question from the Westminster Shorter Catechism has benefited me more than once over the past 20 years or so since I first learned it. The fact that my chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” realigns my thinking to see my life as God does. It is an unchanging truth based on biblical text that I have been able to stand on.

For all that benefit, I never took the time to learn any further points in the Westminster Catechism. Studying confessions and catechisms isn’t trendy in our churches today. I think that is to our detriment.

Perhaps it is too much work to wade through dry statements of belief or memorize them (as was done by previous generations). Or perhaps anything outside of the Bible text is of questionable value. However, our forefathers thought it worthwhile to formulate these various creeds and confessions for the purpose of outlining and passing on the faith. As such, their study is worth considering, especially if you are in the Reformed tradition.

The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (SOTR) brings life to the study of these historical documents in two very helpful ways. First, by including the full text of several early confessions and catechisms: the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Secondly, it ties the confessions and catechisms to the Bible text providing easy reference between the two and an alternative way to learn and use these documents of faith.

In the SOTR, the Bible text and the documents of faith are fully cross-referenced and the links are easy to use in PocketBible. The catechisms and confessions are published with references to the Bible verses in the footnotes. The direct biblical correlation is easy to cross-check. Even more valuable is the fact that the study notes include references back to related statements in the catechisms and confessions.

For example, as you are reading 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” the study note points you back to the question on “the chief end of man” in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Instead of wading through confessions and catechisms, you have the tenet as you are reading the applicable Scripture. You also see where the same issue is addressed in multiple documents. 1 Cor. 10:31 is cross-referenced to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Heidelberg Catechism. The integration of the two provides an easier and perhaps more memorable way to become familiar with these important documents.

The spirit behind the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible

The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (SOTR) is a major revision and expansion of an earlier publication titled the New Geneva Study Bible (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995). That study Bible was based on the NKJV text. The SOTR is based on the New International Version text.

Like its precursor, the SOTR’s study notes and theological articles are built on the Reformed doctrine of Sola Scriptura, which affirms the unquestionable authority of the infallible and inerrant Old and New Testament Scriptures as originally given by divine inspiration.

The notes and articles included in the study Bible remain faithful to the system of theology represented in the historical confessions and catechisms. However, the authors recognize that the Holy Spirit has continued to bring reformation to the church. Through the Spirit’s illumination many helpful insights into Scripture have come to be widely endorsed by those who have remained faithful to the central doctrinal perspectives of Reformed theology. In line with the claim that “the Reformed church is always reforming,” this study Bible reflects these developments where appropriate.

Like most study Bibles, each book of the Bible has an introduction with an outline of the book and information on author, dates of writing, etc. Each book also includes an article called Purposes and Distinctives that illuminates historical background, major theological themes and literary qualities.  Another unique feature for the Old Testament books is the “Christ in _________” section included in the introduction which explains how the person and/or work of Christ is anticipated in the book.

Over 100 theological articles are included with the applicable Bible book. For example, you’ll find an article on Major Covenants in the Bible with Genesis, The Glory of God: Who gets the Glory? with Ezekiel and Christian Liberty: How Free am I? with Romans.

The extensive study notes provided by the SOTR (over 20,000) offer comments on Scripture from a Reformed perspective along with the already mentioned links to the Confessions/Catechisms.

The editors and contributors for the study Bible reads like a “Who’s Who of Reformed Theology.” The General Editor is Richard L. Pratt, Jr. Th.D. (Reformed Theological Seminary). Theological editors were John M. Frame, M.Phil. (Reformed Theological Seminary) and J.I. Packer, D.Phil. (Regent College). Contributors include Tremper Longman III, Sinclair Ferguson, Wayne Grudem, Graeme Goldsworthy and many more.

The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible is available for use with PocketBible on your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. The list price is $14.99. The New International Bible version text is sold separately for $9.99.

Which NIV Bible is Which?

Posted on: June 28th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 9 Comments

The New International Version of the Bible (NIV) was originally published in 1973. It was updated in 1978, 1984 and then again in 2011. If you purchase the New International Version Bible from Laridian today, you will be purchasing the 2011 edition. If you purchased the NIV Bible previous to 2011, you have the 1984 edition. According to the translators of the NIV, the 2011 update reflects developments in biblical scholarship and changes in English usage yet 95% of the text from the 1984 edition has remained the same.

The PocketBible version of the NIV includes two options (or files) – one with cross-references and one without. If you purchase the 2011 version, the two files will be labeled as follows in your download account:

  • New International Version (NIV Cross Reference Edition)
  • New International Version (NIV)

Note that the cross-reference edition lists a larger file size than the second or non-cross-reference edition. If you also owned the 1984 edition of the NIV, you can continue to use it even if you purchase the 2011 edition. You will see the 1984 edition in your download list as:

  • New International Version (1984 NIV)
  • New International Version (1984 NIV)

Again, look at the file size to distinguish between the cross-reference and non cross-reference edition – the larger file contains cross-references.

If you are not interested in cross-references, install the edition without cross-references. If you like to use cross-references, install only the cross-reference edition. If you ever want to view the Bible text without the cross-reference indicators (also known as footnotes), you can turn those off temporarily in the settings of PocketBible.

If you install both the NIV 1984 and NIV 2011 editions (either cross-reference or not), when you go to open the Bibles – the 1984 Edition is the one that is titled The Holy Bible: New International Version. The 2011 edition is entitled simply as the New International Version. If you open both versions, they each use the NIV abbreviation so it is better to open only one at a time.

New for PocketBible: Halley’s Bible Handbook

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

Halley’s Bible Handbook is a world-renowned Bible handbook that has been treasured by generations of Bible readers for its clarity, insight, and usefulness. The 25th edition of this classic title is now available for use with PocketBible.

Halley’s Bible Handbook makes the Bible’s wisdom and message accessible. Whether you are new to the Bible or have read it many times, you will find insights that can give you a firm grasp of God’s Word. It will help you develop an appreciation for the cultural, religious, and geographic settings in which the story of the Bible unfolds. You will see how its different themes fit together in a remarkable way. And you will see the heart of God and the person of Jesus Christ revealed from Genesis to Revelation.

In addition to its section by section commentary, the PocketBible edition of this handbook includes the full color pictures, maps and charts.

The handbook was born out of Henry H. Halley’s conviction that everyone ought to be a devoted reader of the Bible. His interesting story (links to PDF) is a testimony to a man who lived his beliefs.

Halley’s Bible Handbook sells for $19.99 and can be used with PocketBible for iOS, Android, Windows PC and Windows Mobile. It is also available for use with MyBible for Palm OS.

Now complete: Expositor’s Bible Commentary for PocketBible

Posted on: June 6th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 5 Comments


A few months back, we released the New Testament volumes of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary from Zondervan for use with PocketBible and MyBible. The Old Testament Volumes of this commentary set are now available as well. You can purchase New Testament ($79.99), Old Testament ($99.99) or a money-saving bundle of both ($129.99).

Features of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary include:

  • ECPA Gold Medallion Award Winner
  • Based on the New International Version text
  • This is the unabridged edition of the commentary that was originally published in 12 volumes (covers every book of the Bible plus introductory articles).
  • 78 contributors from various countries and Christian faith traditions
  • Includes introduction, outline, bibliography and expository comments for every book of the Bible
  • The chief principle of interpretation: grammatico-historical, which is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstancese of its writing.

If you are using the New Testament Volumes in PocketBible or own these titles in print, please share what you think of them in the comments.

New for PocketBible: KJV and NIV Commentary

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

We have released new commentary for use with PocketBible and MyBible, Zondervan King James Version Commentary. The two volumes in this set can be purchased separately or as a bundle:

The Zondervan KJV Commentary is based on the best-selling Zondervan KJV Study Bible. Study notes have been expanded by a group of conservative, evangelical scholars from a wide range of denominations to encompass the two volumes of commentary. Includes verse-by-verse exposition that is based on the King James Version text.

Also available for use with PocketBible and MyBible is the NIV Bible Study Commentary from Zondervan. This is a one-volume commentary designed to be a companion to your reading of the New International Version (NIV) Bible. It is more of a quick reference resource rather than an in-depth study tool. Valuable when you want to get an overview rather than diving deep into a passage.

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