How do I use Search Operators in Verbum?

One of the features of Verbum that makes it so valuable is the ability to tailor your search strings to locate precise results from your Bible and from your library, which likely contains tens of thousands of pages. Gaining some proficiency with the search operators greatly enhances your ability to study in Verbum and yields rewarding discoveries in the biblical text and in other resources from your library.

Note: When you use these search operators in a Bible search, Verbum finds results within either verse or chapter boundaries (depending on your settings). If you search resources other than the Bible, Verbum locates the results in the same article.

 

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AND Operator

BEFORE & AFTER Operator

EQUALS Operator

IN (a Milestone) Operator

IN (a Label) Operator

INTERSECTS Operator

NOT Operator

NOT EQUALS Operator

OR Operator

Proximity Search Operators

THEN Operator

WHERE Operator (Verbum 9 and earlier)

 

AND Operator

The AND operator is the ideal way to find multiple search terms within a range of text. For example, in 1 Cor. 13:13, Paul says that after all the spiritual gifts disappear, faith, hope, and love remain. Use the AND operator to find all the occurrences of faith, hope, and love within the same verse or article.

To use the AND operator:

  1. Open the Search panel.
    Select a Bible, Basic, Media, Clause, or Morph search.
  2. Enter your first search term followed by AND. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.
    For example: faith AND hope AND love

Note: The AND operator is not necessary between the second and subsequent terms.

Verbum returns results for verses (or articles) containing all of the search terms.

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

 

You can also accomplish this search using a Search template.

1. Open the Search template.

Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon .

2. Expand the Basic search heading and select Both Terms (for 2 terms) or All of the Terms (for 3 terms).

Enter your search terms in each box and click Search.

 

BEFORE & AFTER Operators

The BEFORE and AFTER operators are excellent options when you want to search for terms occurring in a particular order. For example, Jesus referred to the Old Testament as “the law and the prophets.” This type of operator allows you to find places where the terms occur in this order. You can also discover where they are used in the opposite order.

To use the BEFORE & AFTER operators:

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by BEFORE (or AFTER depending on your preference).

Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

For example: prophets BEFORE law

Perform the BEFORE search in Verbum. Perform the AFTER search in Verbum.

 

You can also accomplish this search using a Search template.

1. Open the Search template.

Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon .

2. Expand the Basic search heading and select This before That or This after That.

Enter your search terms in each box and click Search.

 

EQUALS Operator

Use the EQUALS Operator to locate places where two different kinds of data strictly overlap and so are present in exactly the same place in the resource.. For example, in John 1:1, John identifies Jesus as the Word. Using this operator, you can find other places in Scripture where Jesus is called the Word.

This search also works well to find a Speaker speaking to an Addressee as well as when a Speaker addresses a particular Subject.

To use the EQUALS operator:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by EQUALS. Type the additional search term and select the term from the dropdown list.

This allows you to find wherever both terms are present in exactly the same place in the resource.

For example: word EQUALS person:Jesus

Note: Learn more about labels and using them in searches.

3. Press Enter.

Perform this search in Verbum.

Note: There are numerous Search templates to assist you with similar searches. These templates use a slightly different search syntax but are a useful tool to help you build more complex searches. Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon to view available templates. (Learn more about Search templates.)

Changes introduced in Verbum 10

Verbum 10

Verbum 9 and before

EQUALS

EQUALS or ANDEQUALS

word EQUALS person:Jesus

word ANDEQUALS <Person Jesus>

 

IN (a Milestone) Operator

The IN operator combined with a Milestone helps you find places in a specific commentary section or lexicon entry where a word is discussed. (Learn more about Milestones). For example, you can use this search to find all the times where “light” is discussed in commentaries on John 1:1-14. You can also search lexicons to find places where Jesus is mentioned in relation to light.

To use the IN (a Milestone) operator:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select a Books search.

2. Enter your first search term followed by IN milestone:"Bible reference" 

For example: light IN milestone:"John 1:1-14"

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

Note: When you use a Bible reference in a Milestone search, many of the results are the passage itself. Sort your results By resource to see your commentaries or adjust your search limits by clicking All Resources and entering type:commentary.

Another example is searching for a particular Strong's number such as

Jesus IN milestone:strongs:G5457 (Note that the milestone keyword is not actually required here but shown for completeness. Jesus IN strongs:G5457 would produce the same results)

Note: An effective way to start a Milestone search using a Strong’s number is to right-click the word to open the Context menu and select the Strong’s Greek label. Click Books from the search options on the right-hand column. This opens the Search panel and pastes the Strong’s number into a search. Edit the search string by adding the additional information and press Enter.

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

Changes introduced in Verbum 10

Verbum 10

Verbum 9 and before

IN

WITHIN

light IN milestone:"John 1:1-14"

light WITHIN {Milestone <John 1:1-14>}

Jesus IN milestone:strongs:G5457

Jesus WITHIN {Milestone <GreekStrongs = G5457>}

 

IN (a Label) Operator

In Acts 2:38, Peter calls the crowd to repent and be baptized that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Use the IN (a Label) operator to find all the times where “spirit” occurs in verses related to the theme of baptism (even if baptism is not explicitly named in the text). The IN operator combined with a Label finds places in Scripture (or some resources) where a word is discussed in the context of thematic, propositional, or other labelled information. (Learn more about using Labels).

To use the IN (a Label) operator:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select a Bible or Books search.

2. Enter your search string and press Enter.

For example: spirit IN preachingTheme:Baptism

It is often helpful to begin with a location containing the kind of information you are looking for--in this case, Acts 2:38. Open the Context menu with a right-click and select the label corresponding to your desired information. Select Bible from the Search option in the right-hand column. Then you can edit the search string to refine your search. Press Enter to run the search.

 

Perform this search in Verbum

Changes introduced in Verbum 10

Verbum 10

Verbum 9 and before

IN

WITHIN

spirit IN preachingTheme:Baptism

spirit WITHIN {Section <PreachingTheme = Baptism>}

 

INTERSECTS Operator

The INTERSECTS search operator locates verses (articles) where search terms overlap, such as places where νόμος is translated law. For practical purposes, this is nearly identical to EQUALS. Because of the way terms are indexed in Verbum, INTERSECTS sometimes yields additional results for label searches or when a search term occurs in an idiomatic expression. (Learn more about labels in Verbum.)

To use the INTERSECTS operator:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by INTERSECTS. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

For example: lemma:νόμος INTERSECTS law

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

Changes introduced in Verbum 10

Verbum 10

Verbum 9 and before

lemma:νόμος INTERSECTS law

<Lemma ~ lbs/el/νόμος> INTERSECTS law

Note: Several Search templates utilize the INTERSECTS operator, such as Speakers and Addressees. Using the Search templates is a great way to start complex searches. Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon .

NOT Operator

The NOT operator is a great way to find occurrences of a search term that don’t include another term. For example, searching for faith includes verses where love is present. But how often is this the case? Using this operator locates verses (articles) where only faith is used.

To use the NOT operator:

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by NOT. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

For example: faith NOT love

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

 

You can also accomplish this search using a Search template.

 

1. Open the Search template.

Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon .

 

2. Expand the Basic search heading and select This but Not That.

Enter your search terms in each box and click Search.

Changes introduced in Verbum 10

Verbum 10

Verbum 9 and before

NOT

ANDNOT

faith NOT love

faith ANDNOT love


NOT EQUALS Operator

The Greek term λόγος (logos) is commonly translated as “word.” The NOT EQUALS search operator helps you locate all of the places where λόγος (logos) is not translated as “word” but as something else. The NOT EQUALS operator is a good way to locate any occurrences where search terms do not overlap.

To use the NOT EQUALS operator:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

 

2. Enter your first search term followed by NOT EQUALS. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

Note: To include an original language search term, type the transliteration of the term and then select your desired form from the dropdown list.

For example: Type g:logos (select λόγος from the dropdown list to populate the search bar) NOT EQUALS word. This produces the following search syntax: lemma.g:λόγος NOT EQUALS word

(Perform this search in Verbum.)

OR

word NOT EQUALS lemma.g:λόγος (Perform this search in Verbum.)

Changes introduced in Verbum 10

Verbum 10

Verbum 9 and before

lemma.g:λόγος NOT EQUALS word

<Lemma ~ lbs/el/λόγος> NOT EQUALS word

word NOT EQUALS lemma.g:λόγος

word NOT EQUALS <Lemma ~ lbs/el/λόγος>

Note: There is a similar search template (This but Not That), but it produces different results than the NOT EQUALS operator and is not a substitute for this search operator.

OR Operator

The OR operator is the ideal way to search for instances where any one of the search terms appears. For example, in John 1:14, Jesus is described as being full of grace and truth. The OR operator allows you to find all the instances of grace or truth in the Bible.

To use the OR operator:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by OR. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

For example: grace OR truth

Note: If you include more than two terms in your search, the OR operator is necessary between each of the subsequent terms.

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

 

You can also accomplish this search using a Search template.

 

1. Open the Search template.

Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon .

2. Expand the Basic search heading and select Either Term: This or That.

Enter your search terms in each box and click Search.

 

Proximity Search Operators

Proximity search operators allow you to locate the places where search terms are close to each other. For example, a search for law AND prophets yields results for all occurrences of these words in a single verse (or chapter depending on settings) in a Bible or article in a non-biblical resource, but in some cases the search terms occur with no apparent relationship to each other. Proximity search operators give you the ability to restrict a search for terms to a determined range. This eliminates irrelevant results and makes your searches more efficient.

The following operators can be used in Verbum (Click a link to perform that search in Verbum):

  • NEAR - locates occurrences of search terms that are close together (technically WITHIN 48 CHARS). This is useful when you want to narrow a search without overly restricting it, such as law NEAR prophets.
  • WITHIN [n] CHARS - allows you to search for terms that occur within a specified number of characters (CHARS), including spaces, such as law WITHIN 9 CHARS prophets. This is useful for searching for Hebrew morph segments, such as inseparable/prefixed prepositions. To specify a particular order, you can use BEFORE or AFTER in place of WITHIN, for example law BEFORE 9 CHARS prophets.

    Note: Using CHARS instead of WORDS helps you eliminate words. In this example, using CHARS eliminates results for verses containing the conjunction “and.”

  • WITHIN [n] WORDS - allows you to search for terms that occur within a specified number of words such as law WITHIN 4 WORDS prophets. To specify a particular order, you can use BEFORE or AFTER in place of WITHIN, for example law BEFORE 4 WORDS prophets.

     

To use these search operators:

 

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by one of the search operators above. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

For example: law NEAR prophets

Perform this search in Verbum.

You can also accomplish the NEAR search using a Search template.

 

1. Open the Search template.

Open the Search panel and click the Navigation drawer icon .

2. Expand the Basic search heading and select This near That.

Enter your search terms in each box and click Search.

 

THEN Operator

The THEN operator was introduced in Verbum 10 and enables you to find two words - one after the other - treating them as a single search term.

is a great way to find where one word directly follows another but they can't be treated as a phrase, such as is the case when conducting more complex services such as for original language lemmas.

To use the THEN operator:

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your first search term followed by THEN. Type the additional search term(s) and press Enter.

For example: lemma.g:Ἰησοῦς THEN lemma.g:Χριστός (to find all occurrences in a Greek New Testament where the name of Jesus is followed by the Greek term for Christ.)

 

Perform this search in Verbum.

 

WHERE Operator (Verbum 9 and earlier)

In Verbum 9, the WHERE operator is quite useful for locating information tagged with labels. In addition to the biblical text, this helps you efficiently search a variety of resources such as journal articles and sermons. (Learn more about using labels. To access detailed syntax information about labels in the Verbum Help file, click here)

So, for example:

  • the search string  {Label Journal Article WHERE Author ~ "Osborne"} would have found all articles in your library written by a person named Osborne, such Dr. Grant Osborne.
  • the search string {Label Sermon WHERE References ~ <Rom 3>} would have found all sermons in your library based on Romans 3.

In Verbum 10, this operator is no longer required and is replaced by syntax with the form: resourcetype:keyword:value. So, the Verbum 10 equivalents are:

  • journalarticle:author:osborne
  • sermon:references:"Romans 3"

To conduct these types of searches:

1. Open the Search panel.

Select the search type you want to use.

2. Enter your search string and press Enter.

For example: journalarticle:author:osborne locates all articles in your library written by a person named Osborne. (Perform this search in Verbum.)

 

Similarly sermon:references:"Romans 3" finds all sermons based on Romans 3.

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