Explore the Bible on Your PDA or Smartphone

Using only your handheld PDA and Olive Tree Bible Software,
you'll quickly and easily uncover life-changing treasures from God's word. As always, Olive Tree’s goal is to bring you the very best in Bible Study Software for your handheld PDA.

I Love the Bible, but Do I Really Want a PDA?

Awhile back I was getting ready to fly from Washington State to a Christian retreat in Pennsylvania. As usual, I stood in front of my library of Bibles, Bible study resources, and related books, wondering what to carry with me this time. I like to travel light, with a laptop and a few books, but there always seems to be at least one more book I wish I could take with me. When a friend of mine who uses his Pocket PC for Bible study encouraged me to buy one, I stalled, not realizing this wallet-sized digital gadget could handle more Bibles and study tools than I could imagine, using a storage card the size of a quarter.

After some consideration, I decided to take my friend’s advice and went out to purchase a Hewlett Packard iPAQ®, one of a number of Pocket PC devices that would serve the purpose. It took a few days to get used to tapping on a screen instead of turning pages to get where I wanted to go, but very soon I found that I was using this little Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) for much of my Bible study needs, and thoroughly enjoying it. When it came time for the trip, I didn’t even have to check a laptop through airport security.

A Complete Library of the Best Bible Reference Works

More and more people are discovering the amazing efficiency and convenience of using a PDA for Bible reading and Bible study, both personally and in groups. When I say PDA, I’m talking about the Palm OS and Pocket PC handheld devices (iPaq®, Axim, Toshiba, Treo, Tungsten, and LifeDrive, among others) that many business people use for maintaining calendars, storing lists of contacts, and accessing their email.

Did you know that today’s PDA’s can store dozens of Bible versions, dictionaries, multi-volume Bible commentaries, daily devotionals, and eBooks? Although the screen is no bigger than a baseball card, the storage capacity on today’s SD Cards behind the screen is astounding. Through Olive Tree’s BibleReader™ application, all the resources and features are available to enable you to search for words, look up the meaning of a word, delve into the original languages behind the English translations, read the Bible in a foreign language, and investigate what Bible scholars have to say about a passage you are studying. You can even watch multi-media presentations about Bible times and places.

Talk About Portable!

Needless to say, the PDA offers maximum portability and convenience. Take it on a walk, read it during a bus ride, enjoy it during a break at work or school, carry it with you on a camping trip, or just sit with it in a patio chair on a balmy day. I like to let the device scroll automatically while I do my daily Bible reading. I bought a small case for mine that fits on the belt, but you could just as easily put it in a pocket, a handbag, a briefcase, a picnic basket, a backpack, or the glove compartment. A real library of Bibles and reference material with you wherever you go!

What If I’m not Technologically Adept?

I discovered as well that PDA’s are easier to use than I thought. The downloadable Bible programs and text documents are simple to install and intuitive to navigate. Expert online help is readily available when you need it. With minimal assistance, a non-technical person like me can easily figure out how to move through the software to accomplish my Bible study goals. I can personalize the fonts and colors to make the appearance pleasing and easy to read. I can also set my software so that the buttons on my Pocket PC perform favorite functions that I use over and over again. The software enables me to open multiple windows so that I can compare Bible translations, refer to a Bible dictionary, look at cross-references, or read a commentary on the verse at hand. Moreover, I can always search for verses that otherwise would be difficult to find, which is the feature that many users of Bible software appreciate the most.

Redeeming the Time

We all know that time is a fleeting thing, especially in our fast-paced modern world. As much as we may realize that reading the Scriptures should be among our very highest priorities, finding the time to read and study God’s word can be a challenge, for the cares of life continue to press in on us from all sides and the world’s troubles multiply. Consider for a moment, how Moses exhorted the Israelites to keep God’s word before them day and night:

“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of heaven above the earth”

(Deut 11:18-21, NKJV)

It has been my personal experience, and perhaps yours too, that carrying a small pocket Bible enables me to keep God’s word in front of me, to redeem those moments in life when I am waiting for the next thing to happen: times like traveling in an airplane, sitting at the bus stop, standing in a line, or relaxing on a park lawn.

Now I find that my PDA serves the same function but goes a few giant steps further by enabling me to locate hard-to-find verses, study the meanings of words, or muse on interesting cross references. It has even worked amazingly well as an icebreaker to share God’s word with others; for example, while on a recent plane trip I asked the man in the seat next to me, “Have you ever seen one of these?” It was an effortless way to start a conversation, and the result was that the two of us had genuine fellowship about God’s word for most of the trip.

Upcoming Articles on Using Your PDA to Explore the Bible

We at Olive Tree Bible Software are beginning a new online article series to help you learn more about our Bible study tools and how to get the most out of each. We want to empower you to use the wide variety of resources we offer, so that you can make the most of your study of the Bible, personally and together with others. Topics in this series will include reading the Bible, searching the Bible, using cross references, comparing multiple translations, using Bible dictionaries, etc. We anticipate that our current users, and other interested consumers, will find these articles interesting and helpful whether or not they are experienced users of PDA Bible software.

This online article series will also be available soon as a collection of eBooks to download to your PDA – ready tutorials to help you use your BibleReader software to its full potential.

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