Verbum 9 Tip 9f: (Preaching) themes - reference form

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jun 13 2021 8:49 PM

Docx files for personal book: Verbum 9 part 1Verbum 9 part 2Verbum 9 part 3Verbum 9 part 4Verbum 9 part 5Verbum 9 part 6Verbum 9 part 7;  How to use the Verbum Lectionary and MissalVerbum 8 tips 1-30Verbum 8 tips 31-49

Reading lists: Catholic Bible Interpretation

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.

Previous post: Tip 9e Next post: Tip 9g 


From Verbum Help:

Theme Section

When run on a passage, this section lists preaching themes that have been tagged to that passage (at the pericope level). Click a theme to open the Sermon Starter Guide on that theme.

In the Sermon Starter Guide, the Theme section lists details about the guide key’s theme.[1]


Prerequisite reading: Husser, Lydia. Preaching Themes: Dataset Documentation. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2016.

Section heading bar

The section heading bar menu is identical to that for Cultural Concepts. The preview of the Verbum Help section is:

P6-1 Preview


The contents of the Theme guide is very basic:

  • Theme name
  • Theme description taken from the dataset documentation as shown in the screen shot
  • Links to the Sermon Starter Guide with a number of related themes, the source of these related themes is unknown to me.

All Themes tagged in the passage under study will be shown.

P6-2 Contents

The description fails to acknowledge the three epiphanies that are clebrated on the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. The three epiphanies are: From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.212 In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation.[2]

Note that the dataset documentation includes scope as well as the description. The scope is very useful in understanding the boundaries of the theme.

Interactions on the data


Data element




Theme name


Popup description of on click action (1)



Opens a Sermon Starter Guide in topic mode (2)


Right click

Opens a limited Context Menu (3) which includes a Factbook link (3)



Opens a Sermon Starter Guide in topic mode  in the pane to which it was dragged(2)


Theme description


If the description is incomplete due to space, the full description is shown in a single line (4)





Right click






Sermon Starter Guide topics


Popup description of on click action (1)



Opens a Sermon Starter Guide in topic mode (2)


Right click

Opens a limited Context Menu (3) which includes a Factbook link (3)



Opens a Sermon Starter Guide in topic mode  in the pane to which it was dragged(2)


(1) Popup action description

P6-3 Popup

(2) Sermon Start Guide in topic mode

P6-4 SSG

(3) Context menu with Factbook link

P6-5 Context Menu

(4) Full theme description

P6-6 Mouse Complete


There is no way to search for all themes in a particular passage. The searches provided by the Guide may be modified or entered manual as an inline search, a command line search, or a search panel search.

Supplemental materials

The Factbook entry is the only additional resource with the Theme as its focus. However, many of the resources of type:”Bible Concordance” represent similar data. A few of these are shown below.


The factbook entry for a Cultural concept contains:

  • Standard Factbook header
  • Media section
  • Key passages
  • Sermons
  • Preaching resources
  • Bookstore
  • See also
    • Topics
    • Guides (link)
    • Workflows (link)
    • Search

P6-7 Factbook

Search on Bible Concordances

Run a basic search on the passage (Mark 1:1-11) on resources of type Bible Concordances to get a sense of the inclusion of your passage in other thematic classification schemes.

Dictionary of BibleP6-8 Search Schemes

Source (short canon): Manser, Martin H. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 2009.

From search:

P6-9 Search 1


The Moral Concordances of Saint Anthony of Padua

Source (limited topics):  Saint Anthony of Padua. The Moral Concordances of Saint Anthony of Padua. Translated by J. M. Neale. Second Edition. London: J. T. Hayes, 1867.

From search:

P6-10 Search 2

From text:

P6-11 Text 2

Nelson’s Topical Bible Index

Source (short canon): Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson’s Quick Reference Topical Bible Index. Nelson’s Quick Reference. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.

From search:

P6-12 Search 3

From text:

P6-13 Text 3

New Nave’s Topical Bible

Source (short canon): Swanson, James, and Orville Nave. New Nave’s Topical Bible. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1994.

From search:

P6-14 Search 4

From text:

P6-15 Text 4

New Topical Textbook

Source (short canon): Torrey, R. A. The New Topical Text Book: A Scripture Text Book for the Use of Ministers, Teachers, and All Christian Workers. New, revised and enlarged edition. Chicago; New York; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell, 1897.

From search:

P6-16 Search 5

The Thematic Bible: Topical Analysis

Source (short canon): McCordic, Charles W. The Thematic Bible: Topical Analysis. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2007.

From search:

P6-17 Search 6

The Catholic Topical Index is omitted from the list above because it has it’s own guide section which will be discussed with the other bibliographic sections.

[1] Verbum Help (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2018).

212 Mt 2:1; cf. LH, Epiphany, Evening Prayer II, Antiphon at the Canticle of Mary.

[2] Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997), 133.

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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