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Logos features many powerful search capabilities that empower you to find what you need within your library. Where search essentials are covered in the Introduction to Search article, this article explores additional options that allow you to hone your searches even further.


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Searching for Plain Text Words

Searching for a Phrase

Choosing Auto Complete Options

Using Reference Matching

Generating the Search from the Context Menu

Searching for Multiple Terms

Using Labels


Searching for Plain Text Words

The starting point in Logos Search is the ability to search for everyday words in either your entire library or a subset of books or documents.

For example, a search for the word anoint in a Bible will find all its occurrences.


But even for a simple search like this, there are some options that can be applied.

Enabling the option to match all forms returns related results - such as anointed or anointing.


While enabling the option to match case means that only words that exactly match the case of the search term are included - so, in this instance, it doesn't include the occurrence in Exodus 30:30


There is one more modifier on the toolbar - related to Reference Matching - and we'll look at that below.


Searching for a Phrase

You can also search for a complete phrase instead of an individual word - and this is done by enclosing the search terms in quotation marks.

So if you wanted to find where the words follow me appear together, all you need to do is to enclose them in quotation marks.


Choosing Auto Complete Options

Going back to the single-word search, you're not limited to searching for plain text words. You can also take advantage of the extensive tagging available in Logos. One of the easiest ways to access this is via the autocomplete menu that appears as you type in the search box.

Enter the word anoint to see a wide range of options presented in the autocomplete dropdown – including the ability to search for references to the Topic of Anointing, events where anointing takes place, different senses that relate to anointing, and much more.


Scrolling down the menu provides options for further searches. These allow a wide range of searches that make use of the extensive datasets in Logos and encompass a variety of options.

Searching for the topic Anoint finds all places in the Bible where this topic is mentioned.


Searching for the Event God tells Samuel to anoint Saul returns just two verses.


While searching for the Sense to anoint finds all the places where that sense appears even if the word itself isn't used.


Searching for the Person Anointed One in Psalms finds those specific tagged references.


Searching for the Biblical Thing Anointing horn returns verses where this was used.


Two additional options

Searching for a person (or place or biblical thing) provides the option to search for specific text or the actual entity. When you choose the latter, results include those places where the entity is tagged even if not mentioned by name.


You can search for an original language term by entering a language indicator (h: for Hebrew, a: for Aramaic, g: for Greek) followed by the transliterated form of the word. Then, select the manuscript or lemma from the dropdown menu.


Using Reference Matching

When searching for things such as Topics, you can specify how "exact" you want the matching to be. This allows you to focus on exactly what you're looking for, or to see an expanded amount of related information. You can control this through the Reference Matching dropdown, which provides three options:

  1. Narrow
  2. Default
  3. Broad

For example, running a search on the Topic Sabbath returns:

  1. 13 results in Narrow mode
  2. 80 results in Default mode
  3. 576 results in Broad mode


The first set only returns the verses tagged with that particular topic. Default includes the results from the Narrow set plus key verses associated with the Preaching Theme Sabbath and Rest (in which the same term is present but in a separate dataset). Broad expands the results to include similar-sounding words such as rest or sleep

Similarly, running a search on the Cultural Concept Blessings returns:

  1. 335 results in Narrow mode
  2. 346 results in Default mode
  3. 532 results in Broad mode


The first set only returns the verses tagged with that particular topic. Default includes the results from the Narrow set plus key verses associated with the Preaching Theme Blessing and Cursing (in which, again, the same term is present but in a separate dataset). Broad adds more results including for the word bless (or blessing) itself or the word woe - so picking up the opposite sense for comparison. 

Different Reference Matching settings also affects results when searching for a Bible Verse. With Reference Matching set to Narrow, running a Bible Search for a verse - such as John 3:16 - returns all occurrences of cross-references to that verse (left of picture below). When it is set to Default it also returns the actual verse itself (middle of picture below). And if you want to keep your Search panel set to Default searching and just get the cross-references, you can add reference: to the beginning of the search term (right of picture below).


Generating a Search from the Context Menu

While a lot of search options can be constructed easily from within the search panel itself, sometimes it is helpful to construct them from the book text itself. To do this: select a word, right-click to open the context menu, and select an option on the left side. Once you've selected an option, choose a search type on the right.

This empowers you to mine all of the rich tagging that has been applied to that particular word in Logos. The two examples below show very different searches both generated from the same word. The first shows where the underlying Greek term appears:


The second shows where the same figurative language term appears:


Searching for Multiple Terms

Every example so far has involved searching for single terms (even in the case of searching for a phrase since the entire phrase is treated as a single term). But this can be extended by combining search terms with search operators in a variety of ways.

For an introduction to these operators and how to use them, please see How do I use Search Operators in Logos?

As these operators are described there, this article will simply work through a range of examples exploring different aspects of what it means for Jesus to be described as The Light. Jesus says this of himself in John 8:12, and by combining multiple search terms you can find where else this concept appears. As above, using the context menu to generate these search terms can be really helpful.

In that verse, Jesus doesn't only speak about light but about life as well. You can easily find where both words appear together by using the AND operator. And it's fascinating to see where these terms appear together.

Note: AND is the default operator, so you don't actually need to specify it.


To find where else Jesus speaks about light, you can run a search for wherever Jesus uses the word. Sometimes these searches return results you might not have expected – in this case, there's a result in Acts 26:18 where Paul quotes the words of Jesus.


You can run a search to find wherever the word for light used in John 8:12 is also tagged with the person of Jesus. You will see that John 8:12 does not appear in the results since the word light isn't actually tagged with the person of Jesus, but the results from elsewhere are interesting.


Instead of using the Greek noun, you could use the Sense of the word instead.


Note that the results are not identical, due to different tagging with a focus on different things. So, it's important to reflect on these results for yourself to ensure you understand what you're seeing.

In John 8:12, Jesus makes a clear statement about who he is, so this is tagged as a Pronouncement. Searching for wherever the word light appears in a pronouncement returns some positive and powerful statements about light, how it will be perceived, and its impact.


Jesus seems to be contrasting the light that he brings into the world with the darkness that was already there. Again, it's interesting to see where light and darkness are discussed together.


If you expand this to find where light appears in either the context of darkness or light, you can add that additional search term.


Using Labels

The examples using figurativeLanguageTerm above demonstrate using Labels in searching. Labels are tags that have been applied to portions of text to indicate it belongs to a particular class of information (such as a Command, a Sermon, or a Miracle). Each label has a Class Name and Multiple Attributes.

Labels and examples of how to use them are cataloged in the Logos Help File. In this article, we'll look at a few of them to see how they can add further insights to the words of Jesus in John 8:12.

Note that some of these examples search across all the books in your library, so we'll be using a Books Search.

You can find sermons on this passage in your library by using the Sermon label.


Or if you're looking for some help preparing a sermon, you can search for sermon outlines on this passage using the SermonOutline label.


To see Old Testament links to this verse you can use the Intertext label. Just one result is returned, but it's worth exploring the context around it to see what the prophet is saying about God's servant and what he will do.


This passage in John is tagged with the literary genre of Story. It's interesting to see where the word light appears in such stories throughout the Bible, and how the words of Jesus fit into those stories and add to them. You can do this using the longacreGenre label.


Earlier we saw that Jesus uses the word light 39 times. But it can sometimes be helpful to think about the type of sentence in which the word appears to get a deeper sense of what the speaker intended. You can search for this using the speechAct label. When searching for occurrences in the same sentence type, we get 32 results so it's worth focusing on these when looking for any similarities or common themes.

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