Strict Search Options

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Branyon May | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jul 2 2015 2:19 PM

I was using the Biblia API to help visualize word distribution in the Old and New Testaments. I found that while many searches return expected partial matches like "Faith" returns verses with "Faithful" as well.

However, when searching the word "Affection" the results include "Affected", "Affects", and "Affect." I specified the mode=verse, assuming that this would provide a precise match or precise partial match. These results seem very imprecise and not following usual standards. When using the Biblia.com interface, the same results happen.

Is there a way to specify an exact match for a single word search? I may have to quit developing with this API, if this level of precision is not available.

Logos/Faithlife offer so many great tools, I hope I can continue to use them.

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LogosEmployee
David Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 13 2015 11:17 AM

The Biblia API uses a common stemming algorithm (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stemming) that attempts to retrieve results based on their root word.

Disabling this feature and requiring a literal match may be considered for a future version of the API, but it is not presently available.

David Mitchell
Development Lead
Faithlife

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Branyon May | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 13 2015 12:22 PM

David, thanks for the response, and again I appreciate the tools that Logos/Biblia have. The stemming algorithm method seems to offer interesting broader-scale searches. From a technical perspective it is really a more complex process, so I am surprised that the basic term search (partial or exact) is not available.

I would like to add my vote to this option becoming available. As a teaching point, I have often heard or read the statement, "The Bible uses the word {insert term} __ number of times." This type of concrete statement does not seem to be accessible through Biblia's API or frontend Bible web app. If I wanted to know how many times the word "Affection" is used, I would have to check every reference to make sure that the words "Affect or Affected" (which have very different meanings) were not included. Even the words "Faith" and "Faithfully" can have unique applications and so could be important not to be in the same results list.

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