Awhile back, Randy Brown, creator of BibleBuyingGuide.com, shared how he chooses a Bible for preaching. Randy reviews Bibles in all price ranges to help people make the best choice for their budget. His mission is to promote Bible reading and study, and to share quality publishing. After spending a couple months with the Faithlife Study Bible, here’s what he has to say.
They’re kind of like margin notes, only better.
When you write Community Notes, you decide who gets to see them. You can post them directly to one of your Faithlife Groups, or don’t select a group, and share them to “My Faithlife,” so all your connections can see them.
Community Notes sync across all of Faithlife’s Bible applications. That means you can make them on Bible.Faithlife.com and Biblia.com, in Logos Bible Software, and the Logos and FSB apps. Once you’ve made a note, you can see it from anywhere.
Depending on where you choose to get into the Word, making Community Notes looks a little different.
Make one in the mobile app
Here’s how to make Community Notes using the Faithlife Study Bible mobile app:
Make one on the web
1. Find the passage you want
Enter the passage in the search field. If you want to make a note on the entire chapter of John 2, just type John 2; if you want to comment on a specific passage or verse, like John 2:11, enter the specific passage in the search field. The Community Note you create will attach itself to the passage in your search field—even when you change translations!
2. Go to the “notes” section and click this icon:
3. Choose a Faithlife Group, write a note, and click “post”
Right below the passage you’ve selected, a drop-down menu lets you select from all of your Faithlife Groups. In the image above, I’ve selected the Community Study Bible: a user-created Faithlife Group that capitalizes on the potential of Community Notes.
You don’t have to be a biblical scholar or a pastor to create Community Notes. They’re for connecting what you know with who you know.
If you are a pastor, Community Notes can help you take better sermon notes.
Create a Community Note today! Find your favorite verse and share why it matters to you.
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Want to see Community Notes in action? Join the Community Study Bible group. Share notes or interact with the notes of others.
When you read your Bible, study notes and other resources help you get more out of the verses. After you have time to process Scripture and think about what it means for your life, you walk away with insight you didn’t have before.
Imagine reading a Bible that was full of these insights from Christians all across the globe. A Bible packed with Community Notes where people share why particular passages have meant the most to them, connections they’ve seen with other verses, and what God has shown them through that passage.
That’s exactly what Nathan Parker envisioned when he created the Community Study Bible. It’s a Faithlife Group that let’s anyone and everyone share Community Notes on the verses and passages that mean the most to them.
If you’ve ever learned something from a verse before, this is the place to share it. If you’ve ever written or preached on a passage before, share the insight you gained. You never know who might need to hear what you have to say about a verse.
Even if you don’t feel qualified to provide insight into Scripture, your thoughts matter. Joining the Faithlife Group is like adding a whole new layer of notes to your Bible—the notes appear on the passages they’re connected to, so if you’re part of the group and someone has learned something from a passage, you’ll see it in a note icon, like this:
Click the note icon to bring up the note, right within the translation you’re using. When you change Bible translations, the notes tag along—they’re connected to the verse, not the version. If there are Community Notes in the chapter you’re reading, you’ll see a note icon attached to the chapter heading—click it to see all of the Community Notes in the chapter.
When I read through my print Bibles, the notes I’ve made in the margins over the years reveal different perspectives I’ve had over time. Questions I’ve wrestled with because of a particular passage. Connections I’ve made. The Community Study Bible exposes you to the “margin notes” of other believers through interactive Community Notes.
You can respond to other people’s notes, build off their thoughts, or ask questions to get more out of the notes. And every time you do, you increase the value of the Community Study Bible to everyone else.
Get the most from the group
If you aren’t already using the Faithlife Study Bible app on your phone or tablet, download it today to have these Community Notes with you wherever you study.
You can even browse through all of the Community Notes by going to the Community Notes tab in the group itself.
The Community Study Bible group was created by users, for users. A thriving Christian community like this adds a whole new depth to your Bible study.
Join the Community Study Bible group today.
Margin notes are great, but Community Notes are better!
Create a Faithlife Group, and start using Community Notes today.
There are a lot of ways Faithlife Groups can improve your Bible study or small group.
One of them is the revolutionary Bible study tool, Community Notes.
When you reread your favorite passages of Scripture or your favorite books, your margin notes remind you of insights, revelations, or interpretations you’ve encountered in the text. With Community Notes, you can effortlessly share those same insights with your family, your small group, or your ministry team.
Every time you create a Community Note, select which Faithlife Group you want to share it with. Whenever you open your Faithlife Study Bible, Vyrso App, or Logos Bible Software, you can toggle which groups’ Community Notes you want to see as you read along. That means you can see the Community Notes of your entire Christian community, or you can isolate it to your small group, your family, or your ministry team.
Here are five ways you can use Community Notes to get more from your Bible study:
1. Study interactively
When your Faithlife Group studies a passage together, Community Notes let you pose questions to the group, right from your Bible, directly into theirs. You can even comment on a Community Note, so you can point someone to related Scripture, or even a relevant book in your library. You can also use a particular passage as a spring board for deeper questions, and encourage your whole group to respond.
2. Follow along with your pastor
Your pastor is one of the greatest resources you have in your church. But think about how exhausting it would be for your pastor to personally invest time to study with every individual member of the congregation.
Your pastor already spends a lot of time in personal Bible study. As a member of the congregation, you are indirectly learning from your pastor’s Bible study all the time through their teaching and counsel. Creating a Faithlife Group for your pastor means you get to learn directly from their personal study as well. Every note your pastor writes on a passage can become an opportunity for your church to grow.
Encourage your pastor to help you grow, using the studies they’re already doing!
3. Hold each other accountable
Community Notes are a great way to show each other that you are reading and wrestling with Scripture. If you’re setting reading goals with your friends or family, sometimes it’s hard to know if everyone is on track—especially with young kids or people who don’t like to read. Setting goals that incorporate Community Notes provides a tangible way to hold each other accountable.
Depending on the group, you could set a goal like one Community Note per chapter, or one per paragraph. Setting goals with Community Notes asks people to not just read Scripture, but to process it.
And encouraging someone to process Scripture is like asking them to chew their food.
4. Learn what to focus on
If you’re a small group leader, Community Notes can help you prepare for your next meeting. If your group actively uses Community Notes to point to the verses or passages they struggle with, then you can prepare to spend your time on those areas, and assemble any necessary materials before you meet.
Without Community Notes, you could prepare a great lesson or discussion on a verse or passage no one had questions about. Community Notes help you invest in the areas your group needs the most help processing.
5. Grow with your whole church
Faithlife Groups aren’t limited to small groups. Thousands of churches across the globe have Faithlife Groups that are open to their entire church.
Your church is full of wise, intelligent people that you can learn and grow with.
Community Notes help you tap into your church’s collective wisdom.
Start small, and invite church members you know, or go big, and approach your congregation or leadership team. When you share your wisdom with others you help build up the body of Christ.
Start using Community Notes today! Learn more here.
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If your small group isn’t using a Faithlife Group yet, you’re missing out on prayer lists, shared reading plans, Community Notes, and more. Faithlife Groups are the ultimate church communication tool. The best part is, they’re absolutely free.
The events of the Bible happened in real places, with real people. Take a virtual journey across the biblical landscape, and see the cities where Jesus and the Apostles walked, lived, and changed the world.
Logos Bible Software sent photographers all over the holy land, and they assembled 400 photos, videos, infographics, and maps of biblical places to guide your studies and help bring the Bible to life.
You can find them all in the Faithlife Study Bible.
Here are 26 breathtaking photos taken right from the FSB:
1. Nazareth sunset
2. Herod’s Aqueduct, Caesarea
3. Reef Palace pillars, Caesarea
4. Arched doorways, Thessalonica
5. Arches, Pool of Bethesda
6. Parthenon columns
7. Ruined arch, Philippi
8. Stone doorway, Philippi
9. Jail, Philippi
10. Floor, Caesarea theater
11. Restored stoa, Athens
12. A partially restored ancient arch in Corinth
13. Fountain at Tabgha
14. Roman ruins, Scythopolis (Beth Shan)
15. Central Dead Sea looking East
16. Stone tomb closure
17. Arch series, Smyrna
18. Ornate column capital, Laodicea
19. Curetes Street, Ephesus
20. Mosaic floor, Sardis synagogue
21. Marble columns and gymnasium façade, Sardis
22. Latin inscription, Ephesus
23. Simon the Tanner’s house
24. Roman hippodrome, Caesarea
25. Jezreel Valley from Mount Precipice
26. Capernaum synagogue, limestone wall
For more captivating photos of biblical places, get your copy of the Faithlife Study Bible today, and enhance your Bible study with 400 photos, videos, infographics, and maps.
If you’ve downloaded your copy of the free Faithlife Study Bible, you already have a great start on deeper Bible study. But did you know the FSB connects directly to other Logos resources in your library, too? If you have another book that focuses on a particular passage, you can read the FSB notes right alongside it.
A great example is The Expanded Bible: New Testament—it’s the perfect supplement to your FSB. In each line, The Expanded Bible: New Testament incorporates the information you’d find in significant Bible reference works, so you can read the Bible and see alternate interpretations of words, phrases, or idioms right in the text.
John Ortberg says, “This project makes the best of biblical scholarship more available to any interested reader of the Bible.”
Christian Monthly Standard calls it “A very useful resource. The Expanded Bible gives its readers quick access to the nuances and deeper meanings in the Scriptures.”
You’ve probably heard about Logos, but if you’re the kind of person who prefers to test the water first, adding The Expanded Bible: New Testament to your Faithlife Study Bible is like dipping your toe in—it shows you how incredible the pool is. For just two more days, The Expanded Bible: New Testament can be yours for just $11.95.
Ready to jump in?
The John MacArthur Study Library gets you 24 books, study Bibles, and Bible studies by one of America’s best-known pastors—for less than $2 per book. This library combines MacArthur’s bestselling Bible study books into one powerful collection.
For over 30 years, John MacArthur has studied the Bible for 30 hours or more per week. That’s over 46,000 hours of Bible study. Who better to study the Word with? For just two more days, you can get all 24 volumes for $34.95.
Of course, to get the most out of your Logos library, you’ll want a Logos base package. The latest edition—Logos 5—can perform hundreds of hours of Bible study in seconds, accessing hundreds (or even thousands) of resources at once to pull out all the information available on a topic or passage. There are even base packages designed to fit your theological background. Pick a base package today!
The last week of Jesus’ ministry, often called Passion Week, was packed with action—powerful teaching, bold confrontation, intrigue, and prophecy both fulfilled and made anew. Explore it all with the free Faithlife Study Bible app.
Passion Week begins when Jesus rides into the Jerusalem on a donkey to the adulation and cries of, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” The account is recorded in several different places in Scripture, but the most detailed is found in Matthew 21:1–11. The study notes accompanying that passage include an detailed and visually interesting infographic:
In this one event, Jesus fulfilled a number of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, something he did no less than 68 times in his life. This chart details each of them:
Jesus found many opportunities to preach throughout Passion Week. The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28–32), Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21:33–45), Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1–14), The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34–40), and the Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1–36). And whenever Jesus taught, the religious leaders were close by to challenge him. One of their Passion Week challenges came in the form of a trick question about taxes, intended to trap Jesus. The Pharisees asked him if it was lawful to pay Roman taxes—a clever question because whether Jesus answered yes or no, the answer could be used against him. Jesus managed to answer without giving them the ammunition they anticipated. The Faithlife Study Bible notes explain: “Jesus both settles the matter and avoids incriminating Himself. The coin had Caesar’s image and title on it, and therefore by extension, belonged to Caesar—it was his currency. However, if Caesar got his due, God should likewise receive His due—the whole earth is His and everything in it (Psalm 24:1). What they were required to give God was of far greater worth than a coin—their entire lives. The currency of the kingdom of God is based on following Christ.” The Faithlife Study Bible also includes this great image so we can visualize the coin in question:
After this, the religious leaders in Israel began making plans to kill Jesus. Scripture uses a unique word to describe their actions—dolos. It means deceitful, underhanded, or treacherous. The FSB’s study notes point it out and suggest that Matthew used it to contrast Jesus’ innocence and righteousness. I also see a link to A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament, since I have that book in my Logos library (don’t forget that books you get on Logos.com network automatically with your other resources to make them more powerful). The last night of Jesus’ ministry was spent with his disciples celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover. He instituted our New Testament observance of communion in the midst of the Passover celebration. Afterward, Jesus and his disciples walked from the city to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he would be arrested later that evening. We sent a video-production team to Israel to capture images and video of important locations like this. You can take a virtual stroll through the garden in the study notes on Matthew 26:36:
Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples, led his enemies to the garden where they could arrest him in secret. Ten of the disciples fled, but Peter jumped to his defense, wounding a servant of the High Priest. Jesus intervened, reminding him that the armies of heaven stood ready to defend them all, but he chose not to call on them. The religious leaders of Israel bribed witnesses to accuse him in a secret trial held in the council chamber. The Faithlife Study Bible includes this image, helping you imagine the setting:
They found him guilty, but lacked the authority to carry out the death sentence they sought, so they brought Jesus to appear before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect in Jerusalem. For years, Scripture was the only record of Pilate. Many skeptics denied his existence until an inscription was uncovered by Robert Bull in 1982. With this archaeological discovery, the details of the biblical narrative were once again confirmed accurate:
Though Pilate did not want to order Jesus’ execution at first, eventually he succumbed to the public pressure whipped up by the religious leaders. Jesus was crucified outside the city walls at a place called Golgotha, which means “place of the skull.” Protestant archaeologists in the nineteenth century identified this hill as the most likely spot because its location fits the biblical description and the rock formation does resemble a skull. The Faithlife Study Bible includes this image:
If the story ended there, we probably would not know it today. But of course, Jesus did not stay dead. Three days after his execution, two women traveled to his tomb to pay their respects and felt an earthquake beneath them. When they arrived at the tomb, they found it empty. An angel told them not to fear, because Jesus had risen from the dead. The account is recorded in Matthew 28, and the Faithlife Study Bible puts it this way:
This chapter contains the most important event in human history: the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah from the dead. In fulfillment of his prediction, He conquers the grave and rises again to life.
So we celebrate, once a week on Sunday and once a year on Easter, the victory that Jesus won over death, hell, and the grave. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
To explore Passion Week and the rest of Scripture in a new way, download the free Faithlife Study Bible on your smartphone or tablet today.
The Faithlife Study Bible app has been downloaded by more than a quarter million people. Every day, it helps thousands connect with God by unlocking the truths of Scripture with a modern English translation, layers of study notes, rich multimedia, and several included devotionals.