Introduction to Search

One of the most tangible benefits of a digital library is the ability to quickly search and find whatever you need. With Verbum, you can quickly search any book or your entire library using several search techniques. And Verbum 10 provides a simpler search syntax along with a streamlined user interface making searches quicker and more intuitive, opening up the power of Verbum Search to everyone.


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Note: In addition to the Bible Browser and the four search methods listed, many of your Verbum tools help you locate items in your books. For instance, Guides surface relevant books.


Bible Browser

The easiest way to conduct precise searches in the Bible is with the Bible Browser, which lets you find verses that match any combination of filters.

  1. Open the Bible Browser.
    Expand the Tools menu, scroll down to the Reference section, and select Bible Browser.
  2. Add any combination of filters.
    Select your Bible version in the top left and begin adding filters from the left-hand panel. You can search for filters as well. Any selected filters show across the top bar above your results. Click the corresponding X to remove a filter.

Note: Learn more about using the Bible Browser in Verbum.

Search Methods in Verbum

In Verbum, there are four primary search methods:

  1. Selection Menu: Select any word or phrase then click Search.
  2. Inline Search: Open an inline search while in any book to examine its contents.
  3. Context Menu: Right-click any word or phrase to examine your tools and search options.
  4. Search Tool: Open the full search tool to conduct basic and advanced searches on any book or on your entire library.

As a general rule, each method provides increasing complexity. Learn the basics of search in Verbum below.


1. Selection Menu

Select any word or phrase in any book to view the selection menu. Click Search to run a search on your selection.

Note: If the Selection menu does not show, open the Program Settings (Tools > Utilities > Program Settings) and toggle Show Selection Menu to Yes.

Depending on your book and selection, searching from the selection menu will perform different default actions.

  • Searching a single word in any Bible runs a Morph search on the original language lemma.
  • Searching a selection of multiple words in any Bible runs a Bible search.
  • In a non-biblical book, any search from the selection menu runs a Books search for the selected text.


To open Inline Search, click the search icon in the toolbar of your active book.

Inline search provides several customization options.


Search Type

Depending on the active book, choose between Book, Bible, or Morph search from the Search Type menu on the left.


Search Parameters

Set the parameters of your search. Choose to search all text, specific search fields, or highlighters.


If your book is based on the biblical text, you can further narrow your search results by Bible passage.


Display Range

On the right, choose to display your results by Verse, Paragraph or Pericope in a Bible or Sentence, Paragraph, or Article in a non-biblical book. Each option displays increasingly more context.


Enter a search in the Inline Search box. As you type, Verbum will provide a drop-down list of suggested queries. When you’ve finished entering your search, press Enter on your keyboard. The active book displays your search results. Click the X or the back arrow to remove the search.

Note: Learn more about Inline Search.


3. Context Menu

Searching from the Context menu gives you access to powerful search results without requiring you to know the exact syntax. Right-click any word or selected phrase to open the Context menu.


The menu reads left to right. Choose an option on the left to reveal search options on the right (under the subheading “Search”).

Verbum divides the options on the left into categories. Each context label features an icon to distinguish it from the rest. The topmost section brings up commands for the selection and reference, but the second section features original language commands including:

  • : tools to examine the form of the word presented in the Manuscript itself.
  • : tools to dig into the Lemma of the selected word.
  • : tools for language study on the Root of the selected word.
  • : displays morphological information about the word and tools to dive in deeper.
  • : quick access to the Strong’s and Louw-Nida data for the selected word.
  • : tools to explore the word’s Sense.

Depending on your book and selection, the search options will vary on the right.

Note: Learn more about using the Context menu.


4. Search Tool

To view and use all search tools available to you in Verbum, open the Search tool by clicking the search tool icon in the top left-hand corner of the application - the exact position of the icon will depend on whether your toolbar is at the top or on the left. In Verbum 9, the search icon was just to the left of the command box.

Note: You can control the behavior and appearance of your search by using the Search Panel menu. One of the benefits in Verbum 10 is moving some of the search options directly to the search panel - options such as that to specify whether or not the search should take case into account and whether it should match all word forms or just the specific term entered.

Learn more.

Depending on your Verbum package, as many as twelve search options display:

  • All: search your entire library as well as get results from a range of Verbum books and tools
  • Bible: find words, phrases, and more within the Bibles in your Verbum library.
  • Books: searches all books in your Verbum library. 
  • Factbook: finds all Factbook entries that match your search term.
  • Morph: find specific morphological constructions in any morphologically-tagged book in your Verbum library (requires at least the Bronze base package).
  • Media: find useful media (slides, photos, diagrams, videos, collections and art, audio tracks, interactive media, web images, etc.) from your Verbum library as well as from the Verbum Media Service and the internet.
  • Docs: finds every appearance of the search term in your documents.
  • Maps: finds wherever the place searched for appears in the Atlas Tool or your books.
  • Factbook Tags: finds all books where the specified Factbook Tag has been added.
  • Bookstore: returns results where the search term appears in books you don't own but that are available in the Verbum catalog.
  • Clause: search every sentence clause in the Bible for terms acting in specific grammatical or semantic roles (requires at least the Bronze base package).
  • Syntax: search the grammatical structure of the Hebrew Bible, Greek New Testament, or Septuagint (requires at least the Silver base package). 

Each search type provides different search capabilities to facilitate focused searching.


All Search

All Search searches your entire library and ranks results according to relevancy. In addition, various cards are shown within the results showing “specialized results” such as those from the Factbook, the Atlas, Your Documents, and more. Click the More button in any of these cards, to see a more focused search.


Bible Search

The Bible search searches for words, phrases, tagged elements, concepts, and more within the Bibles in your Library.

One of the enhancements in Verbum 10 is having the option to specify case matching or matching on all word forms and more in the search panel itself (as opposed to in the panel menu). 

Searching for the word Hope returns 167 results (it will vary slightly with Bible translation)


Allowing all forms matching increases the number of results to 191:


Adding in case matching restricts the search to just three results:


The search syntax is also simplified. And the major simplification to search syntax in Verbum 10 is that there is no longer a requirement to use angle brackets and curly braces but to use a much simpler keyword:value syntax.

For example, in Verbum 9 to find every place where Jesus is reported as speaking you would need to use the search term {Speaker <Person Jesus>}. In Verbum 10, this is simply speaker:Jesus. (Note that keywords are not case sensitive but values are).

And one of the really helpful features of Verbum 10 is that if try to run a Verbum 9 formatted search, it will suggest appropriate options for you with a simple click option to generate the search.


Running the search finds all places where Jesus is tagged as speaking:


Another significant simplification in the syntax relates to labels with the introduction of the ANY label. In Verbum 9, to find every miracle that had something to do with Peter would require the following search string:

Label Miracle WHERE Agent ~ <Person Peter>} OR {Label Miracle WHERE Beneficiary ~ <Person Peter>} OR {Label Miracle WHERE Audience ~ <Person Peter>} OR {Label Miracle WHERE Patient ~ <Person Peter>}

In Verbum 10, this is simply miracle:any:Peter.


Books Search

The Books search replaces the Verbum 9 Basic Search option and searches for a word or phrase in your entire Verbum Library, or in specific fields within specific tools or sets of books. One very helpful capability in Verbum 9 was the ability to search for discussions of words or phrases within commentaries focusing on a specific passage. So, for example, the Verbum 9 search string (grace NEAR truth) WITHIN {Milestone <John 1:17>} would find where the words grace and truth are "near" each other (within 48 characters) and being discussed in books that either contain or are discussing John 1:17.

In Verbum 10, this can be simplified to (grace NEAR truth) IN milestone:"John 1:17"


Factbook Search

The Factbook Search provides an easy way to find Factbook articles. Enter a search term to find all matching Factbook articles - then click one to open the Factbook to that place.


Morph Search

Note: Available in packages Bronze and above.

The Morph Search finds specific morphological constructions in any morphologically-tagged book in your Verbum library.

For example, the search below shows every occurrence of the noun λόγος in the singular, masculine form:


Media Search

The Media Search finds useful media (slides, photos, diagrams, videos, collections and art, audio tracks, interactive media, web images, etc.) from your Verbum library as well as from the Verbum Media Service and the internet. Again, this benefits from the simplified search syntax so instead of specifying, for example, <Person:Jesus> to find all media assets tagged as relating to Jesus, we can simply use person:Jesus.


Docs Search

The Docs Search looks through documents – such as Homilies, Clippings, and Passage Lists – you have created for words or phrases. You can click a search result to open the associated document.


Maps Search

The Maps Search finds places in either the Atlas Tool or your books. You can click a result to open either the Atlas Tool to the associated map or one of your books to the appropriate place. You can also search for people, or other biblical entities, to find maps about places or events where they were involved.


Factbook Tags Search

The Factbook Tags Search finds all your books that contain the specific Factbook Tag.

Note: An actual tag, such as place:Jerusalem, needs to be used for the search term as opposed to a simple text string, such as Jerusalem.


Bookstore Search

The Bookstore Search looks through books in the Verbum catalog that you don't own to find occurrences of the specified search term(s). The results show where the search terms appear in the books and provide options to preview or purchase the book  when you click one of the search results.


Clause Search

Note: Available in packages Bronze and above.

The Clause Search searches every sentence clause in the Bible for terms acting in specific grammatical or semantic roles.

For example, the search below shows where Jesus is the subject of a particular Greek verb:


Syntax Search

Note: Available in packages Silver and above.

The Syntax Search searches the grammatical structure of the Hebrew Bible, Greek New Testament, or Septuagint. 

For example, the search below finds every place where the noun λόγος appears as an Indirect Object. And it is possible to construct very detailed grammatical searches using this option.


Additional Search Techniques

Insert Search Term

The "+" in the search box provides the ability to insert search keywords and can be very useful for building searches.

Click it to see a list of potential datatypes that can be searched for:


or start to enter a datatype name to filter on those values:


Once you have selected a datatype, you can then choose from its instances to construct (the start of) a search:


Once you have constructed the search, you can execute it to get the results:


Search Templates

A great way to learn how to search with the Search tool is to use search templates. Click the Navigation Drawer icon to expand the search templates panel.


Select any template from the panel and enter search terms in the prompt. When you click Search, Verbum will provide the required syntax in the search panel for you. Once you understand the search syntax, you can build your own powerful searches.

Note: Learn more about using search templates to build a search.

Graph Search Results

Did you know? You can graph your search results visually from any Bible or Morph search.

Learn more.

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