So I arrive at Trinity Road Chapel Sunday morning. I’m going to be preaching from Mark 15. I figured I’d use my Accordance app on my iPad, but decided I might use my OliveTree Bible reader instead, just to have both Greek and English available. So I fire it up and am surprised to see a gorgeous green leather cover type graphic appear rather than the wooden one that I was accustomed to. Seems there was an upgrade the last time I updated my apps.

But what greeted my eyes once it loaded was pretty amazing. This isn’t just a slight tweak, a few new features. No, this is an entirely new program. Now sometimes that is unsettling for those of us of Scottish extraction, but I had to immediately admit, the “look” is very impressive. As I started to tap around and explore, I grew more impressed. I did not have a lot of time before the service, but I chose to use it for the service, and it worked well.

That evening I was preaching through Romans 9:1-24, so I was doing some more exploring before the service. I decided to show the new program to my friend Doug McMasters, the pastor of Trinity Road Chapel. While we were looking at it, I clicked on a note I had inserted from my book at Romans 9:5. We were both utterly amazed to discover that not only did it open the note in a very readable fashion, but it had converted all biblical references to live links to the relevant texts, in Greek! Wow! What a massive leap forward in the notes area!

Seeing is believing, so here is the video from the OliveTree folks about the new BibleReader 5.0:

For speaking from the iPad (sermons, especially, teaching Bible Studies, etc.), OliveTree has catapulted itself right into the top spot with this upgrade. While Accordance still rules the roost as far as data available goes (Logos, with all its rich resources, has always been saddled with a horrifically unfriendly interface, and that remains the case with its iPad app), the Accordance app is graphically nowhere near this new BibleReader version. Note to Accordance: the “dial” type navigation has to go. BibleReader does it right. We have to be able to get to texts quickly while speaking, and the dial type navigation is slow and attention intensive. Now if OliveTree could rustle up some textual critical modules, it might start giving Accordance a race in the scholarly area as well!

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