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Bible Exploration Help


This section is a fast moving one page introduction to every search feature the Bible Explorium has. If you are familiar with search systems and just want to know how this one works then keep reading. If you are an extremely hard-core search expert you may wish to skip to here.

If you would rather have a gentler introduction then start with the tutorial.

The Bible Search tool allows you to search the scriptures for particular words or combinations of words. To get started you can simply type words into the search box and press search. This will find all of those verses of scripture that contain all of the words that you typed in (although they do not have to be in any particular sequence).

Thus if you search for

Love of God

you should get back a list of 43 verses; all of which contain the three words 'Love of God'

If you want to find the 13 verses where those words are in sequence then you need to put the search query into inverted commas

"Love of God"

In addition to normal phrase searching you can leave a 'space' in your phrase by placing a ? character where the word will go. The system will then find those verses that fit that pattern and will provide you a statistical breakdown of the words that would go where the ? was. Thus

"The love of ?"

will return all verses containing "The love of" and will show which words fill in the blank. You can specify that a verse must have at least two different version of a pattern using the DIFFERENT syntax. The following finds verses with a least 2 different cases of "God of ?'

DIFFERENT("God of ?",2)

If there are two or more ? in a phrase then only one of them has to be different for the phrase to be considered different.

If you wish to leave a space of more than one word in a phrase use the ?*n syntax. Thus

"Jesus ?*2 Christ"

returns all verses containing Jesus and Christ two words apart. If you simply wish to insist that the word Christ follows the word Jesus use:

"Jesus ?* Christ"

You can introduce alternatives using OR (which has to be in UPPER CASE). Or can be between phrases or normal words; thus you can find all verses containing the words Holy and Spirit OR the phrase Holy Ghost using the following

Holy Spirit OR "Holy Ghost"

you should get back 105 results.

Much more complex expression can be entered using parenthesis to group questions together. Thus the following finds those verses that contain Lord or Jesus or Christ and Love or Loveth

( Lord OR Jesus OR Christ ) (Love OR Loveth )

You should find 92 results.

You can also search for verses in which a given word or phrase occurs multiple times using the * operator. For example this finds all of the verses in which 'holy' occurs 3 or more times

Holy * 3

It is possible to enforce that all of the words in a particular expression are 'close together' without forcing them to be in a particular sequence. For example

WITHIN(lord jesus christ,4)

returns those verses in which the three words Lord, Jesus and Christ occur within a span of at most four words (ie with one 'extra' word in the expression somewhere).

If you have a list of words in an OR condition it is possible to specify that some number of them (rather than just one) have to match. Thus

DIFFERENT( Lord OR Jesus OR Christ, 2 )

will find all verses containing 2 of 'Lord', 'Jesus' and 'Christ'.

If you wish to prevent a word or expression being in the selected verses use '!'. Thus to find all of the verses with the words 'Lord' and 'Jesus' but not 'Christ' you would use

Lord Jesus !Christ

The 'not operator' (!) can also be used inside a phrase. Inside a phrase it means that a word must exist in that place but NOT the specified word. Thus "Lord and !saviour Jesus Christ" would find all of those phrases with "Lord and <something> Jesus Christ" where the <something> was not the word 'saviour'.

Usually searches are case insensitive; that is to say you can type in 'jesus', 'Jesus' or 'JESUS' and the same words will be found. If you only wish to find those words in the Bible which are EXACTLY what you type in; the enclose them in CASE. Thus

CASE(God) CASE(god)

will find those verses with God with a leading capital AND God all in lower case.

It is also possible to search for Strong's numbers in the verse (but not inside phrases). A Strong's number is denoted by either an 'H' or 'G' followed by the Strong's number inside angle braces. Thus


finds all of those verses containing the Hebrew Strong's number 6299. The rest of the search syntax is the same; thus you could use

redeem <H6299>

to show all of those verses that contain the English word 'redeem' as well as the Hebrew Strong's number H6299. Note that that particular syntax only guarantees that both the Hebrew and English word are in the same verse; it doesn't imply that one is related to the other. If you wish to search for those verses in which a particular original word is translated by a particular English word you need to use a double leading angle bracket on the Strong's number. Thus to find all of those verses in which H6299 is translated 'redeem' you would use

redeem <<H6299>

You may discover which original words were translated redeem using:

redeem <<?>

If the above has confused you then you may wish to go to the tutorial. If you want to see the nitty-gritty of what the exact search syntax is then the next section shows you.

Search Syntax

In the below XX* means 0 or more XX in a row. Everything following the --- is a comment on the beginning of the line.

SearchExpression := AndExpression1 OR AndExpression2  --- Returns verses in AND expression 1 or 2

ConjunctiveExpression := SearchTerm SearchTerm* --- Returns that occur in all of the search terms listed

SearchTerm := WORD    --- Returns all verses that contain that word

          <StrongsNumber> --- Returns all verses containing that Strong's number

          ! SearchTerm --- Returns all verses in which the SearchTerm does NOT occur

          SearchPhrase --- Returns all verses in which the Search Phrase occurs

          CASE(SearchTerm) - Returns all verses matching SearchTerm in the same CaSe.

          WITHIN( SearchExpression, Number) -- returns all verses in which the SearchExpression exists within a space of Number words

          DIFFERENT( SearchExpression, Number ) -- At least NUMBER of the different ORd expressions have to match or at least NUMBER different words have to fill in the ? in a phrase expression.

          SearchTerm <<StrongsNumber> --- Returns all verses in which the SearchTerm is a translation of the Strong's number

          SearchTerm * n --- Returns all verses in which 'Search Terms' occurs at least N times.

SearchPhrase := " PhraseElement PhraseElement* " -- The elements of a search phrase must occur immediately after each other in the verse.

PhraseElement := WORD        -- Indicates that the word must occur in this position in the phrase

                                !WORD        -- Indicates that anything other than this word must occur at this position in a phrase

                                ?                    -- Indicates that any word may occur at this position in a phrase

                                ?*                   -- Indicates 0 or more words may occur at this position

                                ?*n                  -- Indicates N words must occur at this position in the phrase

English Word Analysis

It is possible to perform a Word Study using the Bible Explorium. In the box marked "English Word to Study" you simply enter the word that you wish to study. There is then an option 'With Original Language Links' - if it is checked the resulting page explains the Greek or Hebrew words that were translated as the English word you chose.

This will bring up a page containing many useful bits of information including:

With Original Language Links Unchecked

With Original Language Links Checked

Throughout the page many hyperlinks will occur; following these will lead to other parts of the Bible Explorium.

Original Word Analysis

To perform an analysis upon a Strong's number you first need to enter the number into the box entitled 'Hebrew/Greek word to study'. The Strong's number is an H or G followed by the number with no spaces. For example H6299. You are also given a check-box asking if you wish to Ignore the English translation. If left unchecked you will get a page showing how the given original word is translated. If checked you get a page showing how the given original word relates to other original words in the text.

Ignore English Left Unchecked

The Strong's number analysis page is designed to provide detailed Biblical information about a single word from the original Hebrew or Greek. Under the title 'Lexicon Entries' will be a description of the word as stated in certain common public domain lexicon's. Presently the Lexicon's used are Thayer's, Brown-Driver-Briggs and Strong's. These Lexicon entries may mention other verses or other Strong's numbers; if they do they will be hyperlinks which can be followed to the corresponding Original Word Analysis or Verse Analysis page.

Under the title 'Breakdown by phrase' is some data that is entirely automatically generated the from Strong's encoded Bible itself. Unless the word is very simple or very rare it will be broken down into sections (generically called 'tenses'). The section has a tense name (which is hyperlinked to a lexical description of the tense) and a count of the number of times the word occurs in that tense. Sometimes another Strong's number appears in the tense line; this indicates that it is the pair of Strong's numbers that were translated as a unit. There will then be one or more lines listing every English word or phrase that is a rendering of the given original word in that tense. Note: this is the most technically detailed part of the page; if it is overwhelming keep looking down - the later tables are easier!

'Full breakdown by word' ignores all the niceties of tense and extra words; it also ignores some of the common words such as 'of', 'but', 'and', 'are' etc and simply produces a list of the major words which are a translation of the given word in the original. This gives an excellent picture of the scope of meaning that a given original word has.

Finally 'breakdown by book'; this simply lists all of the books in which the original word occurs in the order in which they occur.

Ignore English Checked

With 'Ignore English' checked a page appears which gives information relating solely to the words of the original language. The features are:

Many of the entries will be hyperlinks which lead to other parts of the Bible Explorium

Verse Analysis

The verse analysis page is designed to provide detailed information about a given Bible verse. The centerpiece is the verse itself either in pure English or with Strong's numbers interspersed. Below the main verse are a list of other verses which are 'textually related'; that means with a lot of similar words in them. Then will be the remainder of the chapter in which the verse occurs.

It is possible to read the whole of a chapter; this can be done either by leaving the verse number blank when selecting the passage to read or by selecting the 'read whole chapter' hyperlink.

If any articles on this website reference the selected verse (or anywhere in the chapter if the whole chapter is being displayed) this these will appear in a list. Beside the title will be a number in parenthesis; this number is the number of times that the verse is mentioned in that document. Usually more frequent citation indicate that the document is 'really about' that verse rather than just mentioning it in passing.

When available the page will also display the related entry from the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary.

When Strong's numbers are displayed they will be hyperlinks; clicking on the hyperlink will bring up the Original Word Analysis page for that Strong's number. For those Strong's numbers which are verbs if you move the mouse cursor over the number the tense of the verb will be given as a tooltip.

Word Cross Reference Table

This is one of those tools you will love or hate. It finds relationships between words in the Bible based purely upon mathematics. There is now an essay upon Animal Symbolism within Revelation that demonstrates how this tool can be used. If you have any feedback then please use the forums from the link at the top of the page.

This table is designed do show which words of the Bible are textually associated with each other. By textually associated I mean that where one word turns up another tends to. If two words tend to turn up a lot together then probably there is some kind of a relationship between them. At its very simplest this tool simply shows those people that are related to others and the main events they are related too. When I do a deep Bible study I will often look up interesting words in a verse and see where else they appear in the Bible. This allows me to see what emphasis the Bible places upon a particular word. This is particularly useful when picking apart imagery as in Revelation. The problem is simply that this is a ton of work. This tool does all of that work for you. Look up any word and it will tell you which other words turns up in a way that is statistically significant.

The data on these pages is entirely automatically generated using mathematics and computer horsepower. Note that no theology is implied. Look at the results and judge for yourself. I consider this a feature. This tool is turning up RAW data it has not been bent to anyone's opinion.

Associations for MOSES


Word Number of Co-occurrences Number of verses jointly occurring in Statistical Significance
JETHRO 14 8 184
AARON 164 149 119
SHONE 7 3 97
SINAI 22 18 91
COMMANDED 152 131 86
HOBAB 3 2 82
BRED 2 1 69
RAGUEL 2 1 69
SPAKE 159 155 68
CHIDE 4 2 69
NUN 13 9 57
ELEAZAR 26 22 57
BUSH 6 5 48
WAVED 4 2 46
PLAINS 10 9 46
PHARAOH 56 51 41

Which can be read as :-

Jethro is the closest linked word (Moses' father-in-law). The two words have 14 links between them in a total of 8 verses and the linkage has a significance of 184. The next closest is Aaron. This has 164 links in 149 verses but is only significant at 119 because Aaron also turns up independent of Moses. As the list progresses the significance of the links reduces further. The scores are proportional so a score of 50 is 2x as likely to be 'pure chance' than a score of 100. Anything over 100 is an extremely strong link. For less frequent words far weaker links still provide interesting insight.


Ok, all I'm seeing is a list of words, what does it all mean?

Ok ... it was working but maybe it isn't clear what its' doing. It is designed to do word associations in the Bible.

Have you ever played the game where someone says a word and you have to say the first word that comes into your head? eg someone might say Eve and you might say 'Adam' or possibly 'Apple' (although in the latter case you would be wrong :).

Well, this is a scientific version of that. For any word in the KJV it shows you the other words that appear with it in a way that is 'out of the ordinary'.

In the case of Barnabus there are two links to Cyprus and Antioch (which is of course where Barnabus was). The references to 'dissension' and 'disputation' are interesting. Not what you'd expect from the 'son of encouragement'. The tool also throws up the known link with Paul.

I tell you how I have used it and it might spark an interest or simply show you that it isn't something you want to do:

When I am trying to really understand a verse, particularly a difficult one, I want to know what the words mean. Not just the Oxford definition but how the Bible uses it. A good measure of how the Bible uses a word can be gleaned from this tool as it shows the 'associations' with other words. For people it will show what they are (or should be) 'famous' for. For verbs it may give linked verbs or sometimes situations where the verb is heavily used.


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