Simple Search Syntax
If you want to search for a single word, just type it in and press ENTER (e.g. love).
If you type two words, Logos will search for articles (Basic search) or bible verses (Bible search) that contain both of these words (e.g. love neighbor).
Logos supports the wildcards * and ?.
- A * stands for any number of characters in a word. So s*n would find son, sin, seven, Solomon, seen, spoken, etc. ‘Any number of characters’ can mean zero, so love* would find love, loved, lover, lovely, love’s and lovers.
- A ? stands for one character in a word. So s?n would find sin, son and sun. It cannot mean zero characters, so neighbo?r would find neighbour, but not neighbor.
Note: a wildcard will not match punctuation nor spaces e.g. Lord?Christ will not match “Lord Christ” but will try to find a match like “LordaChrist”, if it exists!
A wildcard can stand for a whole word, but this makes the search very slow. Proximity Operators are a better method for whole words (so instead of “the * day” you would have the BEFORE 2-2 WORDS day).
If you want to search for a phrase, put quotation marks (”) around the phrase (e.g. “love your neighbor”).
Note: you can use wildcards in a phrase e.g. “love your neighbo?r” will match “love your neighbour”
Searching in Greek and Hebrew
If you just want to restrict your search to a particular language, you can use a language field. For example german:die, or latin:deo.
If you need to type characters in a different alphabet (e.g. Greek, Hebrew, or another language), you can do one of the following:
- Use transliteration: This enables you to use English characters to type Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words. It is a quick and easy way to search. To use this type g: for Greek, h: for Hebrew, or a: for Aramaic and then the transliterated version of your word. For example, if you wanted to search for ἀγάπη you would type g:agape. If you wanted to search for חסד you would type h:hesed. You’ll be able to choose precisely the word you want from a dropdown menu.
- Use another Windows keyboard: You can install multiple keyboards in Windows, and switch between them with a single keypress (usually LeftAlt+Shift). This allows you to type directly in Greek/Hebrew, though you’ll need to learn which characters on your keyboard produce which Greek/Hebrew characters. The keyboards Logos supplied for use with Logos 3, still work with Logos. This method supports Coptic and Syriac as well as Greek and Hebrew.
- Use a ‘soft-keyboard’: A soft-keyboard is a computer program that looks like a keyboard. You choose your language, then click characters with your mouse, or type them using the on-screen keyboard as a guide. Logos has its own soft-keyboard called Shibboleth (it’s free), though there are also several other soft-keyboards that could be useful for Biblical studies. Biblical Greek lists most of them.
There are two things to note:
- First, when searching the Bible for Greek and Hebrew, only the surface text will be searched (not footnotes, nor the interlinear parts). If you want to force the Bible search to search the interlinear, you have to use the lemma datatype.
- Second, mixing Hebrew (which is right-to-left) with left-to-right languages, in the same sentence or search string can be a problem, as it gets a bit confusing with your cursor moving in unexpected directions! If you get this problem you may find it easier to enter all your left-to right text first, then go back and add the right-to-left text afterwards.
Using Boolean Operators
Logos supports the boolean operators AND, OR, and ANDNOT. (It doesn’t support NOT however.) Operators should always be typed in capital letters.
- love AND neighbor searches for articles that contain both or these words. As noted above, AND is assumed if you don’t specify an operator, so this search is the same as love neighbor.
- love OR neighbor searches for articles that contain either of these words.
- love ANDNOT neighbor searches for articles that contain ‘love’, but do not contain ‘neighbor’. You can also use a minus sign as a shortcut: love -neighbor.
There is more information below about two additional operators, ANDEQUALS and NOTEQUALS, which are mainly used for searching interlinears.
As noted above, using boolean operators means that you’re trying to find (or NOT find) two search terms in the same article. ‘Article’ means different things in different contexts. In a Bible or Morph search, an article is a single verse. In a Basic search, an article is usually the amount of text that comes under a single heading or sub-heading that shows up in the Table of Contents bar. That means in a Bible in a Basic search, an article is a single chapter, not a single verse.
UPDATE from Bradley Grainger (Admin, Logos Bible Software) · January 16, 2017
The first two examples below were not previously accepted by the Logos search engine. Starting in Logos 6.14, all three ways will be equivalent.
1. (Arius OR arianism) WITHIN 5 WORDS (writing* OR manuscript* OR literature)
2. (Arius WITHIN 5 WORDS (writing* OR manuscript* OR literature)) OR (arianism WITHIN 5 WORDS (writing* OR manuscript* OR literature))
3. (Arius, arianism) WITHIN 5 WORDS (writing*, manuscript*, literature)
Sometimes you may want more control than AND. Logos also offers proximity operators BEFORE, AFTER, WITHIN xx WORDS, and NEAR. They are mostly self-explanatory and are used like this:
- Christ BEFORE Jesus – search for articles (Basic search) or bible verses (Bible search) that contain the word ‘Christ’ before the word ‘Jesus’.
- Jesus AFTER Christ – a different way of expressing the same search.
- Jesus BEFORE 2 WORDS Christ – search for articles (Basic search) or bible verses (Bible search) that contain the word ‘Jesus’ one or two words before the word ‘Christ’. It will return “Jesus Christ” (one word before) or “Jesus the Christ” (two words before). It would not return “Jesus is the Christ”, because that is three words before.
- Christ AFTER 2 WORDS Jesus – a different way of expressing the same search.
- Jesus BEFORE 3-5 WORDS Christ – search for articles/verses that contain the word Jesus three, four, or five words before the word Christ. It would find “Jesus was the Christ” (3 words before), and “Jesus who is called Christ” (4 words before), but not “Jesus the Christ” (2 words before). If you want a search for words an EXACT number of words before/after another one, you should do something like this: the BEFORE 2-2 WORDS day, which would find “the first day”, “the last day”, etc., but not “the day” or “the very next day”.
- Jesus WITHIN 5 WORDS love – searches for the word Jesus within five words of the word ‘love’. In this case it doesn’t matter whether ‘Jesus’ comes after ‘love’, or before ‘love’. All that matters is that there are no more than four words between them (so they are therefore within 5 words).
- Jesus WITHIN 20 CHARS love – searches for the word Jesus within 20 characters of the word ‘love’. AFTER and BEFORE can also be used with CHARS.
- Jesus NEAR love – NEAR means “within 48 characters” (which is about 10 words). In Basic search NEAR also searches nearby footnotes (unlike BEFORE, AFTER or WITHIN).
Proximity operators use the same article sizes as boolean operators, above.
Note: Boolean operators (AND,OR,NOT) don’t work inside of proximity clauses. I.E. This won’t work: (Jesus OR God) WITHIN 5 WORDS love. Use the list operator (a comma) instead of OR in those situations. See Using lists below.
Two special proximity operators ANDEQUALS and NOTEQUALS are described below. ANDEQUALS is equivalent to WITHIN 0 WORDS, NOTEQUALS is its opposite. They are both especially useful in interlinears.
The ANDEQUALS and NOTEQUALS Operators
Using the ANDEQUALS operator is easier to demonstrate than explain. Suppose you want to do a search for all the times the word γλῶσσα was translated as ‘language’. You would perform a bible search for <Lemma = lbs/el/γλῶσσα> ANDEQUALS language. (Don’t worry about the lemma syntax. That’s explained below.) On the other hand, perhaps you want to find all this instances where γλῶσσα was translated as something other than ‘language’. You would perform a bible search for <Lemma = lbs/el/γλῶσσα> NOTEQUALS language.
The ANDEQUALS operator is different from the AND operator because the match has to be in precisely the exact same location — the same word in the case of an interlinear — not just somewhere in the same verse.
Please note: ANDEQUALS and NOTEQUALS do not work in morphological searches if you use the @sign. If you are searching for lemmas you may not need to use ANDEQUALS, as you can use the lemma field instead (e.g. lemma:γλῶσσα@NGSF). For other searches you can use one of three workarounds:
- Place parentheses around the morph part of the search: e.g. instead of searching for @NGSF ANDEQUALS tongue, search for (@NGSF) ANDEQUALS tongue
- Use the LogosMorph reference: e.g. <LogosMorph = NGSF> ANDEQUALS tongue.
- Use WITHIN 0 WORDS: e.g. for @NGSF WITHIN 0 WORDS tongue.
Sometimes you’ll need to use parentheses to specify the order in which Logos carries out your search. Take the search neighbour OR neighbor AND love. You might think that this would search for articles where the word ‘love’ AND either the words ‘neighbour’ or ‘neighbor’. But Logos (like all search engines) processes AND operators before OR operators (just like most calculators process multiplication/division before addition/subtraction). So first it searches for love and neighbor then it takes that result and searches for neighbour OR[result]. You end up with all the articles that contain ‘love’ and neighbor, combined with every article that contains the word ‘neighbour’. Just like in Math, putting parentheses around your search term forces Logos to evaluate that term first.
- In the example above, we really want to search for love AND (neighbor OR neighbour). This means neighbor OR neighbour is evaluated first, then love AND [result].
- You can nest brackets, as deep as you wish, e.g. ((love AND (neighbor OR neighbour)) OR “golden rule”) OR (love AND God)
Please note: Be careful using proximity operators when you have brackets in your search. If you do, make sure you use proximity operators only in the outer terms of your search. (master OR neighbor) NEAR (love OR serve) will produce an invalid result. Because NEAR can’t be used in this context, Logos wrongly assumes you want to look for the word ‘near’. The correct syntax would be (master NEAR love) OR (master NEAR serve) OR (neighbor NEAR love) OR (neighbor NEAR serve). Thankfully, however, Logos does provide a shortcut in the form of lists which avoids typing this out in full (see below).
Lists are a very useful feature which provide shortcuts in a number of searches. A list is written like this: (term1, term2, term3, etc.). When Logos encounters a list, it performs the search using just term1. Then it repeats the search using just term2, then with just term3, etc. Once it has finished, it then ORs the results. Here are some examples:
- (Jesus, Christ) is equivalent to Jesus OR Christ
- (Jesus, Christ) AND love is equivalent to (Jesus AND love) OR (Christ AND love)
- (“My God”, “My Lord”) is equivalent to “My God” OR “My Lord”, showing that phrases can be used in a list.
Lists are most useful when used with fields (see below), or when trying to ensure proximity operators are only used in the outer terms of your search. For example:
- The search described earlier (master NEAR love) OR (master NEAR serve) OR (neighbor NEAR love) OR (neighbor NEAR serve) can be simplified to (master, neighbor) NEAR (love, serve). Logos treats the two lists separately, iterating through them until every combination as been reached, like this:
- master NEAR love
- master NEAR serve
- neighbor NEAR love
- neighbor NEAR serve
Please note: Some people get confused as they equate the list with the OR command. They are not the same, even though in a very basic search they will perform in the same way. Remember, Logos iterates through lists, then ORs the results.
(The two searches produce exactly the same results, despite the small differences in counting. With the longer search string if a verse (e.g.) has master NEAR love, and master NEAR serve in the same verse, then it will be counted as two results. With the shorter search string it will be counted as one result.)
Searching for images
You can search for all the images in your library by using the special search term #image. If you want to search for all of the images with a particular caption, you should use the ANDEQUALS operator. So, to search for all the maps, use #image ANDEQUALS map. Or to search for all your vases, #image ANDEQUALS vase.
NOTE: Logos v5.1 introduced Image Search (not shown in screenshot) so you can search for maps from a drop down list and use vase, vases in the Find box.
Searching for Bible Verses and other References
In basic search, Logos supports searching for many different types of references. A reference is a link from one resource to another. So a commentary, for example, would link to Bible verses, but perhaps also to Josephus or TDNT. You can search for these references, and therefore find every resource that linked to John 3:16, or Volume 5 page 42 of TDNT, etc. Note: Not all links are references. References are a special kind of link, usually to a commonly-used resource with a standard referencing system. They are normally not links to a specific resource, but could (in theory at least) open in a number of different resources depending on what resource you own, and have prioritised. A link to a Strong’s number, for example, might open in one of several Greek lexicons. If a resource could open with a particular datatype, that datatype will be listed in the Indexes section of the resources information panel. (There is no official list of datatypes, but users have collected a partial list of datatypes).
The basic syntax is as follows (the example is for bible verses):
- <datatype = value> (e.g. <bible = John 3:16>)
There are literally hundreds of datatypes, and the main ones are listed below:
- Bible Verses: <bible = John 3:16> or <bible = John 3:1-20>
- Strong’s Numbers: <GreekStrongs = #1345> or <HebrewStrongs = #3124>
- Louw-Nida Domains: <LouwNida = 13.21> or <LouwNida subset 13-15>
- Other resources with books with standard reference systems:
- Apostolic Fathers: <ApostolicFathers = II Clement 11.2> or <af = II Clement 11.2>
- Josephus: <JosephusLoeb = Against Apion 1.34–36>
- Pseudepigrapha: <Pseudepigrapha = Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah 3.21–31>
- TDNT: <TheologicalDictionaryNT ~ 5:42>
A very important datatype is Lemma. Trying to create a Lemma search from scratch can be slightly tricky as the syntax is a bit more complicated than some of the others. It looks like this: <Lemma = lbs/el/ἀγάπη>. The lbs is the morphology database (Logos Greek Morphology in this case). The el is the language (Greek). You can achieve the same result with a Morph search more easily (in a morph search the syntax is just lemma:ἀγάπη because the language and morphology database are set with a dropdown menu). You can also create a search by manually finding the word in a morphologically tagged Bible, then right-clicking on it, choosing lemma from the right-hand menu and clicking ‘Search this resource’.
If you want to find out the syntax for any of the other datatypes, find a hyperlink to that datatype in your library. For example, if you want to find the Philo datatype, find a resource that links to Philo (it doesn’t matter where in Philo it links to). Right-click on that link, make sure the datatype is selected in the righthand menu, the choose “Search this resource”. A search window will pop up with the correct syntax. You can then modify the syntax to search for the exact reference you want.
There is no official list of datatypes, but users have collected a partial list of datatypes.
Using Operators with References
With most datatypes, you can also search for ranges, as the bible example above shows. But if you want more control over the range, you can also change the operator (the equals sign). The following operators are available (listed in order, from the most exact at the top to the broadest at the bottom):
||The exact value
||<bible = Jn 3:16-17>
||Any reference wholly included in the search value
||<bible subset Jn 3:16-17>
||Any reference that includes the whole search value
||<bible superset Jn 3:16-17>
||An intersection with the search value that doesn’t cross chapter boundaries
||<bible ~ Jn 3:16-17>
||Any intersection with the search value
||<bible intersect Jn 3:16-17>
Examples of the above:
Note that the abbreviation <Luke 2:7> is shorthand for <bible ~ Luke 2:7> not <bible = Luke 2:7>.
Shorthand methods for bible datatype references:
- You can leave off the “bible” datatype label in reference search patterns, because it is assumed by default: <= Gen 12:1-20> is equivalent to <bible = Gen 12:1-20>, and <~ Gen 12:1-20> is equivalent to <bible ~ Gen 12:1-20>, etc
- You can leave off the operator, and the tilde operator is assumed: <Gen 12:1-20> is the same as <~ Gen 12:1-20>
- You can leave off the angle brackets in most cases too, and Logos will automatically recognize it as a bible reference and not plain text: Gen 12:1-20 is interpreted as <Gen 12:1-20>
Therefore: <bible ~ Gen 12:1-20>, <~Gen 12:1-20>, <Gen 12:1-20>, and Gen 12:1-20 are all the same search.
Most resources in Logos have several fields in them. The ESV Bible, for example, has the following fields: surface, footnote, bible, later-addition, words-of-christ, heading. Please note that fieldnames are case-sensitive. In the resource information panel, they are called search fields.
You can restrict your search to a specific field like this: fieldname:value. So if we wanted to search for every time Jesus mentioned fish, we would search for words-of-christ:fish. You can also use lists in a field search, like this words-of-christ:(give, receive)
Search fields can be accessed on the drop-down menu that normally read ‘All text’ or ‘All Bible text’. You can find out which fields are available in any resource by bringing up the Resource Information panel, by clicking the (i) at the top-right of any open resource, or by restricting your search to just that resource and then looking at the drop-down menu. You can also view an almost complete list of search fields.
Limiting your search to part of your library
You can limit your search to one resource, open resources, a series, or a Collection. Just select from the dropdown menu.
Limiting your search to part of the Bible
In Bible searches you can also limit your search to part of the Bible. To do so, just select a range from the drop-down menu. Some ranges are built in (e.g. Old Testament), but you can also create your own. Just type in the reference range (e.g. Gen-Deut or Isaiah 1-39 or even John, 1 John – 3 John, Revelation), add a title if you wish (e.g. Pentateuch or Proto-Isaiah or Johannine Literature) and click Save. If you want to make your search even more precise, you can also limit it to a passage list.
Using recent searches again
At the end of the search box is a small drop-down arrow. If you click that arrow, you’ll get a list of your most recent searches, which can save a lot of re-typing.
Matching Case or All Word Forms
Normally when you’re searching, you won’t want to match case. You probably will want a search for ‘fish’ to find ‘Fish’ and even ‘FISH’. But if you’re searching for ‘God’ or ‘Spirit’, case might matter. If you want to Match case it’s on the main dropdown menu in a search tab. Note: It will stay selected, so make sure you turn it off when you’re done!
Match All Word Forms is also useful. It means you don’t need to use wildcards every time you want to search for different forms of the same word. The drop-down menu on a search tab allows you to turn Match all word forms on. Logos will then use some built in logic to try and search for all forms of the word. So searching for love, with ‘match all word forms’ turned on will return find love, loved, loves, lovely, loving and love’s. Note that the logic isn’t perfect. In this case, lover wouldn’t be found. If you search needs to be precise, think about using lists, below.
Changing the sort order
In basic searches, you can change the sort order between Ranked, By count and By title. Ranked displays those articles which Logos believes are most relevant to the search – that is they contain the highest concentration of search hits. So short articles with lots of hits appear at the top, long articles with few hits at the bottom. By title simply shows all the articles in the order they appear, grouped by resource, and with the resources displaying in alphabetical order. By count shows the results similar to By title except that books with the most hits appear at the top.
Changing the type of Bible search
In bible searches you have a choice of four different types of search: Grid, Verses, Aligned and Analysis. All but grid are also available in a morph search.
- Grid is especially useful if you are searching multiple versions. It displays a list of all the hits in all the versions in a convenient grid form. The colored boxes indicate that there is a hit in that particular version (a hollow box means there is no hit), and you can hover over the colored box to read the version in that version.
- Verses shows a simple list of all the hits in an easy to read list. It’s most useful when you’re just search one version of the Bible and you want to be able to read the whole verse, not just a snippet.
- Aligned also shows a simple list of all the hits. But rather than show the whole verse, it just shows a snippet of the verse, centred around the keyword you searched on. It’s most useful when you’re only searching one version, and want to be able to very quickly scan through all the results.
- Analysis is described below.
Bible search analysis
Search analysis is a very powerful feature that allows you to perform an analysis on your search results. It’s probably most useful in morph searches, but you can use it on bible searches too. Your search results are presented in a tabular form. You can choose the columns by right clicking anywhere on the column headings. You can change the order of the columns by dragging them. And you can sort the results by clicking on the column headings. But the most useful feature is that you can group your search results. (In the screenshot below, the search result on the left is grouped by lemma.) To do this, simply drag the lemma column heading to the space above the headings. You’ll see then that all the results are grouped by lemma, in order of the number of hits. You can collapse any of the lemmas by just click on their separator bars. You can use sub-groups as well, just by dragging up more fields. On the right I’ve grouped by part of speech, and then by Bible book. Other useful groups are tense, mood, and number, but you can use any of the fields to group.
When you do a Bible or Morph search the Graph results button will appear above the toolbar. If you click on it Logos will open the Graph Bible Search Results window. In it you will find 4 different graphs that you can select from. They show you details on the frequency and location of where your search term was found in your Bible(s). See the wiki page Graph Bible Search Results for more details.
When you do a Basic or Bible or Morph search the Make filter button will appear. If you click on it Logos will create a new Visual Filter using your search term and which books you were searching through. See the wiki page Visual Filter for more details.