Syntax Search

Syntax search allows you to search the grammatical structure of the Hebrew Bible, Greek New Testament, or Septuagint. You can choose to run a variety of syntax searches using templates, or build your own query using Verbum’ advanced syntax search features.



To begin a Syntax search:

  1. Click the Search icon  in the command box.



  1. Ensure that the Syntax search type is selected.


  1. Select the syntactical database you want to search by clicking the Search Resource drop-down menu and making a selection.



  1. Click Query. A drop-down menu will appear with search templates, as well as an option to create a New Syntax Search.



Using a Syntax Search Template

  1. Select a search template from the drop-down menu.



  1. Begin typing, or paste, your search query in the search box. Verbum will generate a list of suggested terms. You can select one of these (recommended), or finish typing your search term. Press Enter or click Go.



  1. Verbum will display a list of your search results in the original language version. To view another version, click + Add Versions above the search results and enter the version name or abbreviation of the version you want to view.



Creating a New Syntax Search

  1. Clicking New Syntax Search opens a new window. You can dock it in the main Verbum window, or leave it floating.


  1. Name your syntax search by clicking in the title box and typing a name.



  1. Typically, you will want to perform a search to find syntax that is similar to syntax you have encountered in a particular passage. In another panel, open one of the following:





Navigate to the biblical passage upon which you want to base your search. Note that hovering over each abbreviation in this resource opens a tooltip providing a glossary definition for the abbreviation. (You may also want to open A Systematic Glossary to the Andersen-Forbes Analysis of the Hebrew Bible, or the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament: Glossary.)



In this example, notice that Matthew 1:1 is a sentence (Sn) made up of a verbless clause (CL-VBls), which comprises a single predicate (P), which is composed of a nominal phrase (np) that itself contains a series of nominal phrases (np).


In order to find similar constructions elsewhere in the New Testament, we need to make the syntax search mirror this sentence construction.


  1. In the Syntax search window, click: Add search terms here. To search for syntactic constructions similar to that in Matthew 1:1, click Add search terms here, then select Sentence.



  1. Performing the syntax search at this point would return results showing every sentence in the New Testament, so we need to refine the search further. Hover over the Sentence icon and click the Plus icon  that appears to the right of the Sentence icon . Select Clause.


  1. Select the Clause icon, then expand the Clause Type option in the sidebar and check the box next to Verbless Clause.



  1. Performing a search at this point would return results showing every sentence in the New Testament composed of a verbless clause. We can continue to refine this search. Click the Plus icon  to the right of the Clause icon and select Clause Function. In the sidebar, expand Clause Function and check the box beside Predicate.



  1. Performing a search at this point would return all sentences made up of a verbless clause that serves a predicate function. To further refine this search to mirror Matthew 1:1, click the plus icon to the right of the Clause Function icon and select Phrase. In the sidebar, expand Phrase Type and select Nominal.



  1. At this point, the Syntax search may be sufficiently specific. Notice that, although the Syntax search you created does not use abbreviations, its structure follows the syntax of Matthew 1:1 (starting from the left). Click Search. Verbum opens a new panel displaying the search results.



Refining Your Search

You can limit your search to specific sections of the Bible, or to a Passage List, by clicking All Passages to open the reference range drop-down menu and typing a reference or making a selection.


Saving Your Search

Verbum automatically saves your syntax searches. You can find them by opening the Documents menu and entering the syntax search name in the search window, or by scrolling through the list of recent documents. 


Additional Resources

Verbum Help: Syntax Search

Faithlife Groups: Logos Syntax Search Group

A Systematic Glossary to the Andersen-Forbes Analysis of the Hebrew Bible

Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament: Glossary 

Lexham Hebrew Bible: Cantillation Analysis Documentation

Was this article helpful?
Suggest an improvement or request a feature

We're sorry to hear that! Tell us why.

Have more questions? Ask the community.

Can't find what you need? Contact us!