Friday, October 26, 2012

Finding a specific word in a verse in any Bible: BibleWorks and Logos

An Accordance user recently asked David Lang on the Accordance Blog this question:
How would I find in which version of the Bible is "endurance" used in Hebrews 12:1?
The issue here is that some English versions use "endurance," but others use "patience" or "perseverance" or perhaps some more 'dynamic' rendering. Lang provided a nice means for getting the answer in Accordance. I'll provide here what I think are the best ways to do so in BibleWorks and Logos.


There are a few ways to conduct such a search, but I think the easiest is as follows. (If you can think of a better way, let us know.)
  1. We want to search all the English version Bibles we have installed, so first get those all displayed by using the following command: d c english   ENTER
    (d=display; c=clear all versions; english=display all English versions)
  2. (A shortcut way to the results now is simply to go to Hebrews 12:1 and scan all these versions. To conduct the search in a more generally automated way and have the results highlighted, continue with the following steps.)
  3. Now we want to do a "cross-version search." To access this, right click anywhere in the command box, choose "Cross Version Search Mode" and select "Search All Display Versions." Note in the graphic above that when you do this, the second button in the green bar below the command line turns yellow to remind you that you have this mode activated.
  4. Now we want to limit our search to the one particular verse, in this case, Hebrews 12:1. In the command line: l heb 12.1   ENTER
    Note that the first button in the green bar turns yellow to remind you  that limits are set. (The limit set is also visible at the bottom of the BW window.)
  5. We are now ready to run the search. In the command line: .endurance   ENTER
  6. The results appear in a popup window. (see below)

You usually don't want to use the cross-version search, so be sure to reset it  back to "Search only current version."


I think this is the best way, but someone may know of a better way.

  1. The first thing I did is to create a "collection" of all my English Bibles. The graphic above shows how to use Tools > Library > Collections and then create a new collection. I named my collection "English Bibles" and dragged/dropped all the Bibles I wanted from the (lengthy) list that appeared. Note that you only have to create this collection once, and it is a handy one to have later on for other searches.
  2. (A shortcut way that requires some manual scanning now is to use Tools > Text Comparison and look up Hebrews 12:1 in the English Bibles collection you just made. To conduct the search in a more generally automated way and have the results highlighted, continue with the following steps.)
  3. The graphic below shows how I ran my search:
    • Click on the search magnifier icon
    • Choose Bible as your type of search
    • Search "All Bible Text"
    • To limit your range, click on the range after the first "in" and, in this case, define the new range of Hebrews 12:1
    • Click on the spot after the second "in" and choose that collection of English Bibles you just created and hit ENTER
  4. Your results should look something like the graphic below. The easiest way to see the results you want is to click on the Result column and order them alphabetically.

There you go! If you know of better ways, please share them in the comments.

UPDATE 2012.10.26: Be sure to read the solution proposed by Brenda in the comments! Here's an instance where a Google search  may be the quickest way to go. A few additional things I can add to Brenda's suggestion:
  • I added a parenthetical step 2 for both BibleWorks and Logos above which basically reproduces Brenda's suggestion within each program. You simply are displaying all the English versions and scanning for results.
  • Brenda suggests using the Online Parallel Bible tool in 18 English versions are available on that site: NIV84, NLT, ESV, NASB, KJV, ISV, Aramaic Bible in Plain English, God's Word, KJ2000, AKJ, ASV, Douay-Rheims, Darby, ERV, Webster's, and Weymouth. Another good option is to use the Net Bible Study Environment and click on the Parallel tab where 10 English versions are available: NET, NIV84, NASB, ESV, NLT, Message, BBE, NKJV, NRSV, and KJV. With either of these, and whether you are using IE or Firefox, note that you can quickly find the word you are looking for by searching for it (CTRL-F) on the page and using the option to highlight all occurences.


  1. Googling is also an option. A simple google search on the internet with "Hebrews 12:1 endurance" leads to the website, which gives parallel texts (and then you search (ctrl-f) through the page for every occurrence of endurance. The website doesn't have every English Bible, but then neither does every user of a Bible software program have access to every text. also allows you to show parallels, although this takes a bit more time (you have to manually click on all the parallels).
    For a simple search like this one - both the word and the verse are known - internet is probably faster and easier than Bible software programs.

  2. Thanks, Brenda! You will see that I updated my post in light of your suggestion.

  3. Hi Mark,

    There's a couple of things you can do in Logos to make life easier. First, the collection you created has 930 resources according to your screenshot (all resources that mention 'bible'), and you're getting hits from Bibles you don't want (including Greek NTs). Your method of creating a collection would work if you deleted the text 'bible' from the collection start with box after your drag and drop, but you don't need to drag and drop to create a collection of English Bibles. Just use the string type:bible lang:english. You could use type:bible lang:english rating:>3 if you just wanted to use Bibles you rated highly.

    If you want to avoid creating a collection (although I agree it's definitely worth doing for future use, and a collection makes the search quicker too), you can use the built in collection "All Bibles", but use surface:endurance as your search string. This restricts the search to those words appearing on the 'surface' of the Bible text, and therefore Greek NTs would be excluded. (Normally in Logos, most Greek NTs return results when searching for English words, because they have the English glosses embedded in them. These glosses are not on the 'surface' however, so wouldn't get returned in a surface search.)

    It might also be worth mentioning that Logos would also be able to provide results if you wanted to be more precise with regard to the Greek text, i.e. "all versions where ὑπομονῆς is translated as 'endurance'". I know in this case it doesn't matter, but sometimes you may want to know the answer to the question in a verse where the English word you're interested in is also used elsewhere in the verse to translate a different Greek/Hebrew word, and that could skew the results. The initial part of the method is exactly the same, but the search string would become ὑπομονῆς ANDEQUALS surface:endurance instead of just endurance. You can use the lemma form instead of the manuscript form if you prefer, ANDEQUALS surface:endurance. These two strings will only Bibles that have a reverse interlinear.