Verbum Tip 5a: Bible Search -- Introduction

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jan 24 2021 9:53 PM

Docx files for personal book: Verbum 9 part 1Verbum 9 part 2; Verbum 9 part 3How to use the Verbum Lectionary and MissalVerbum 8 tips 1-30Verbum 8 tips 31-49

Please be generous with your additional details, corrections, suggestions, and other feedback. This is being built in a .docx file for a PBB which will be shared periodically.

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Verbum 9 Tip 5: Bible search and Clause search

Introduction to the Bible Search

Search panel for Bible search

  1. Select the search type – in this case, Bible
  2. Note the option to chart the results in one of at least 20 styles and 4 data selections
  3. Don’t forget the three search options hidden in the panel menu
    1. Match case
    2. Match all word forms
    3. Match equivalent references
  4. Set the source fields searched
  5. Set the passage ranges searched
  6. Set the translations/editions searched
  7. Set a search argument built up from search terms and operators
  8. Save favorite searches
  9. Add translations/editions to the results
  10. Choose among four views:
    1. Grid – assumes multiple translations
    2. Verses
    3. Aligned
    4. Analysis – adds up to 45 additional pieces of data

        Review of basic search elements


        Searches the actual text to match search term

        “a phrase”

        A phrase is placed inside quotation marks; it searches the actual text to match search term.

        < >

        Marks a datatype; Verbum tagging is searched

        ( )

        Serves to control order in which operators are processed

        { }

        Marks a label or pseudo-label; Verbum tagging is searched

        <Person nnnn>

        Biblical person datatype

        {Speaker <Person nnnn>}

        Direct speech tagging in Verbum

        {Addressee <Person nnnn>}

        Direct speech tagging in Verbum

        Speaking to God label

        {Label Speech WHERE Content ~ "Complaint" AND Context ~ "Solitary" AND Distance ~ "Remote" AND Mode ~ "Prayer" AND Type ~ "Dialogue"}

        AND (or a space)

        Logical “and” operator

        OR (or a comma)

        Logical “or” operator


        Search terms overlap i.e. both refer to a common portion of text


        Search 1: Build a search to find everywhere that Elijah speaks to or listens to God.

        Our two Biblical people can be converted to their datatype form by:

        • Typing their name into the search box
        • Then selecting from the options presented

        This yields:

        • <Person Elijah (prophet)>
        • <Person God>

        For direct speech, wrap them in speaker/addressee tags:

        • {Speaker <Person Elijah (prophet)>}
        • {Addressee <Person Elijah (prophet)>}
        • {Speaker <Person God>}
        • {Addressee <Person God>}

         We want instances where Elijah is the speaker and God is the addressee for a piece of direct speech. We also want cases where God is the speaker and Elijah is the addressee for a piece of direct speech. INTERSECTS is the logical operator that handles these relationships so we build:

        • {Speaker <Person Elijah (prophet)>} INTERSECTS {Addressee <Person God>}
        • {Speaker <Person God>} INTERSECTS {Addressee <Person Elijah (prophet)>}

        To check that there are no mistakes, run the first search argument above:

        There are few enough results that one can easily verify that they all meet the criteria as intended. But do we have them all? In this case, we can easily check based on the Speaking to God data.

        We still need:

        • {Speaker <Person Elijah (prophet)>}

        But to verify that it is directed towards God, we use a simple label:

        • {Label Speech}

        Connect with INTERSECTS

        • {Speaker <Person Elijah (prophet)>} INTERSECTS {Label Speech}

        Run the test again:

        Now we have verified the first half of our search argument against an alternative method. We should have confidence that the entire search will be correct.  Take the two search arguments, put them in parenthesis ( ), and add an OR between them:

        • ({Speaker <Person Elijah (prophet)>} INTERSECTS {Addressee <Person God>}) OR ({Speaker <Person God>} INTERSECTS {Addressee <Person Elijah (prophet)>})

        Run the search:

        Note the two colors of shading correspond to the two search arguments separated by the OR.

        The long search argument is built out of multiple small but understandable units. When building a search build it one part at a time, even when it seems tedious. You will find that your searches start working rather than almost working.

        Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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