3 Layers of Bible Study Notes (and How to Find Them)

The Faithlife Study Bible has three layers of Bible study notes. Here’s how to find them, use them, and navigate your way safely home.

Level 1: Define it

 The first level is made up of commentary notes. Written by expert scholars, these notes jump-start your study by giving you a little more information about the context of the passage. If you’re not sure what the passage means or how to apply it, the first-level notes are a great place to start. You’ll also find some word studies, cross references, charts, and infographics. All are fun to explore.

How do I find it?

 From the home screen, tap the “read” button and you’ll be whisked away into the text. The top panel is your Bible. The lower panel is your first layer of notes. These two panels follow one another, meaning if you swipe ahead in one of the panels, the other will stay in sync. You can unlink them if you need to by long-pressing on the small gray circle between the two panels. You can also resize the two panels by dragging the circle up or down.

Level 2 Notes: Explain it to Me

 In level 2, we dive a bit deeper. You’ll collect more detail and explore how your passage connects to other parts of Scripture.

How do I find it?

Look for the gray plus signs. Anywhere you see one, level 2 notes are waiting for you. Tap the plus signs to read them.
level 2

Level 3 Notes: Tell Me Everything

If you’d like to go even deeper, the end of most level 2 entries will include links to other resources. Tap any of them to reveal the third level of notes.

How do I find it?

Tapping any of the links will launch that resource in the study notes panel.  Any additional study resources from your Logos Library will also appear here.
level 3

Let’s Look at an Example: 1 John 2:7–10

1 John 2:7–10 holds an apparent contradiction. John says both “I am NOT writing a new commandment” and “I AM writing a new commandment.” If you were encountering this passage for the first time, you might be confused. How can he contradict himself in the same paragraph?
To the study notes!
The level 1 notes would point out Jesus’ words in John 13:34 and how similar they are. Tap the gray plus sign to expand some level 2 notes and you’ll find an explanation of paradox as a literary device that John uses to draw attention to words. The contrast draws attention and causes us to consider how his admonition is built upon unique information and, at the same time, the words of Christ. The link to level 3 reveals an article from The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (which you can purchase as an add on for EVEN MORE clarity) about how John uses the word “love” throughout his writing. Interesting.

So . . . How Do I Get Back?

Great question.
  • From level 3: tap the “X”

While you’re reading level 3 notes, a small “x” will be displayed in the top left of the study-notes panel. Tap it to close the level 3 notes and you’ll find yourself viewing level 2 notes.

  • From level 2: tap the minus icon

With level 2 notes expanded, the little gray cross will turn into a minus. Tap it to close the level 2 notes.

  • From level 1: return safely home

Tap anywhere on the screen to reveal the navigation menu. Tap again on the book icon in the top left corner to be taken to the home screen that you’ve come to know and love.

Written by
Ray Deck III

Born in WV, Ray escaped to North Carolina at a young age. He came to Logos after an 8 year stint at a faith-based nonprofit in New York. When he is not assembling sequences of words, he’s probably running, surfing or shooting skeet, but you should probably go look for him. He has a terrible sense of direction and is probably lost.

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Written by Ray Deck III