Windows Phone Thoughts: Laridian's Life Application New Testament Commentary

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Saturday, March 15, 2003

Laridian's Life Application New Testament Commentary

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "CONTENT" @ 10:59 PM

The Life Application New Testament Commentary (LANTC) is the electronic version of the consolidated paper version. The consolidated paper version is a single volume, as opposed to the full version which is about 17 volumes and retails for close to $200. It is an in depth study and commentary on the books of the New Testament. It is meant to be used in conjunction with the translation or translations of your choice that you have installed in Pocket Bible from Laridian

Navigating The Commentary
The first thing you will see when use the LANTC is the commentary. The best way to use it is to find the verse in your translation of choice, select View|Synchronize from the Pocket Bible Menu. This will synchronize all books and translations in your library to the same verse you are at in the translation you are reading. Then select View|Two Books and pick LANTC from the list and press "OK" as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Selecting a second book in Pocket Bible. "LANTC" is the Life Application New Testament Commentary.

You will now be in a dual window view with the Bible verses at the top and the LANTC at the bottom as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The top half of the screen is the Bible verses. The bottom half is the commentary.

For more information on multiple views and navigation, please see the Life Application Study Bible Notes (LAB) review.

You can also use the index to navigate to any verse directly as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: The LANTC Index.

The Commentary
Now that we have the LANTC and Bible turned to the verse we want to study, what will we find? For this exercise I have chosen John 3:16.

Quote: NIV: Jn 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The LANTC will have the following commentary available:

Quote: Jn 3:16 The entire gospel comes to a focus in this verse. God's love is not just to a certain group of individuals—it is offered to the world. God's love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. Here God's actions defined the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships—when you love someone, you are willing to sacrifice dearly for that person. Sacrificial love is also practical in seeking ways to meet the needs of those who are loved. In God's case, that love was infinitely practical, since it set out to rescue those who had no hope of rescuing themselves. God paid dearly to save us; he gave his only Son, the highest price he could pay.
This offer is made to everyone who believes. To “believe” is more than intellectual agreement that Jesus is God. It means putting our trust and confidence in him that he alone can save us. It is to put Christ in charge of our present plans and eternal destiny. Believing is both trusting his words as reliable and relying on him for the power to change.
Jesus accepted our punishment and paid the price for our sins so that we would not perish. Perish does not mean physical death, for we all will eventually die. Here it refers to eternity apart from God. Those who believe will receive the alternative, the new life that Jesus bought for us—eternal life with God.

Almost every verse in the New Testament is covered by the LANTC. To speed up the rendering of pages, the commentary for each verse is on a separate page. Occasionally verses are grouped together when it makes sense to do so.

This commentary is identical to how the paper version of the LANTC reads but obviously having both the Bible and the LANTC in your hand means you can easily refer to these notes in a study group, Sunday school or even when you have a few minutes to kill at your local coffee shop.

I have included the commentary from the LAB review on John 3:16 as well so you can compare how the two commentaries differ.


The electronic version of the LANTC lacks the maps and diagrams the paper back versions include, a limitation shared by the LAB.

Book Overviews

In addition to the commentary on verses, there is an overview of each book of the Bible. To access this information, you need to use the LANTC index as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Navigating to the Introductions

The introductions in the LANTC are sometimes very similar to the Book Overviews found in the LAB as you can see by this intro to John 3:16. As you read further though, there are differences. In other cases, the writing is completely different. In any event, even if you own both the LAB and LANTC and have read the introductions in one, you will probably learn something new if you read the intro in the other.

Figure 5: Introduction to the book of John

After the introduction, there are several more sections that go into greater detail on various aspects of the book being studied. Not all sections make sense for each book. I'll cover those in the John commentary to give you a flavor of what to expect for other books.

First we are shown some background information about the author of the book.

Figure 6: Author information

The LANTC goes into quite a bit of detail on the authors of each book, far beyond the quick overviews that the LAB typically offers.

Figure 7: Author’s Ministry

Next we are given some background information on the author’s ministry, things like the locations, the times, etc.

Figure 8: Date and Setting

Here we are told when the book was written and given some historical, geographical an even political information going on both during the timeframe of the contents of the book and in the life of the author when he wrote it.

Figure 9: Audience

The audience is who the book or letter was written to.

Figure 10: Occasion and Purpose

The Occasion and Purpose section give a little bit of background on what the purpose of the book is or why the letter was written.

Figure 11: Message

The message section simply tells you what the main thrust of the book is about. It is similar in many ways to the Megathemes section of the LAB.

There is an Outline section that is virtually identical to the outline that the LAB presents. In addition to everything already listed the LANTC also includes the same 250 events in the life of Christ that the LAB has, shown in figure 12. This is at the very bottom of the LANTC index.

Figure 12: 250 Events in the life of Christ

Additional Comments

Interspersed in the commentary on the verses, the LANTC also includes sidebars as shown in figure 13.

Figure 13: Sidebars

These give you a broad overview of the verses coming up. The problem is the way the electronic version of the LANTC presents them. They precede the verses, which makes sense, but they are on the previous page.

Figure 14: Sidebars locations in the index

When you are reading the text of the LANTC, the sidebar will be at the end of the previous section. If you are reading an entire chapter and the LANTC along with it, this is no big deal. But in figure 13 above, that sidebar for John 1:19-28 appears immediately after the commentary for verse 18. Because the LANTC inserts page breaks before each verse commentary, which it does to speed up page rendering, if you open your Bible to John 1:19 and synchronize the LANTC to where you are, you'll never see this side bar unless you page-back for some reason. The page break should be moved immediately after the commentary. That way, this sidebar would appear above the commentary for verse 19, not on the previous page.


Like all other books from Laridian, you can add your own notes to the LANTC. Also like all other books from Laridian, your notes aren't searchable.

The LANTC seems to work with every Bible translation Laridian offers, even the new verseless paraphrase "The Message".


There are a few things I would like to see added or improved in the electronic version.
  • The page breaks after the sidebars make them hard to find unless you are reading a chapter straight through, something you don't necessarily do in a topical Bible study. I would either like to see the page breaks moved before the sidebars or a hyperlink after the commentary that would take you to the sidebar. As it is laid out now, you miss them too often.
  • I want the maps, charts and diagrams. I know, it might be HUGE but it is only memory card space. I'd gladly accept a 7, 10 or even 20MB folder of maps that were hyperlinked to from the commentary.
  • This is a great resource based on a single paper volume. I'd like to see the electronic equivalent of the 17 volume version. :) It is only memory and I am looking for a good excuse to buy that 512MB SD card.
  • Unlike the commentary on the verses, the Book Overviews with information on the book, author, audience, etc. are on one page. Because Laridian uses the Pocket Internet Explorer to render its pages, it can take a long time to render these lengthy sections. A few page breaks would clear this problem up. It still isn't an unbearably long wait, just noticable as you watch the spinning pie for a few seconds.

Where to Buy

The LANTC is available from Laridian (affiliate link) for $19.99. As noted before, you must have Pocket Bible installed and the translation of your choice for the LANTC to be of any use to you.


Pocket Bible requires Windows CE 2.11 Palm Sized PC's or any Pocket PC to run. The LANTC alone requires nearly 3.0MB of storage space. To put into perspective how much detail the LANTC includes on the New Testament, the entire NIV translation for Pocket Bible is only 2.3MB. It will work just fine from your storage card.


The LANTC is a wonderful resource for Pocket Bible and the Pocket PC platform is well suited for this type of content. It is not the first commentary I would purchase. I would get the Life Application Bible Study Notes first, which covers the whole Bible, admittedly in less detail. The LANTC though would definitely become the second commentary in my library. To see what other commentaries, translations and books I use with Pocket Bible, visit my web page.


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