In the last post, I introduced BibleWorks (BW) as a whole and how it can enhance your study of the Scripture. In this post, we look at the Search Window (SW), which is the first of three main windows in BW and located on the left. The SW provides a user interface that is used for performing searches on the various Bible versions in BW.
The SW is composed of two main parts. The first part is the Command Line, which is a text input box located at the top. It is where one enters words, phrases, morphology searches, or verses to look up. The number of different search options varies from a simple search for a word or phrase to searches that are more complex. For example, you can do a linear phrase search, specify verse context limits, or specify word context limits for lexical phrase searches. There is much more you can do in the Command Line.
The second part of the SW is the Results Verse List Box. It is a list box under the Command Line that displays the text of the verses resulting from the search. The verse list contains check boxes for each verse reference that enable further processing on selected verse results. For example, you can repeat last copy command, copy selected results list verse, or invert verse list.
What is unique about the SW is that biblical scholars can perform complex lexical and morphological searches that otherwise would take hours, if not days, to do them manually. Accuracy in results and speed in search performance are two key components that set BW apart as a Bible software program. Let us look at an example of complex search in Hebrew and Greek.
Hebrew: To search for any piel OR hithpael form of the stem כפר AND any form of the stem עון OR חטא you simply type (/כפר@vp* כפר@vt*).(/עון חטא) in the Command Line with the WTM (Westminster Hebrew OT Morphology) selected as the search version.
Greek: To search for the word καλoς followed by a form of the word εργον within five words, with the two words agreeing in gender, case, and number all you have to do is to type ‘καλoς =gcn *5 εργον in the Command Line with the BNM (NA28 BibleWorks Greek NT Morphology) selected as the search version.
These are just examples of a lot more complex searches one can perform in the SW of BW. One can search the entire Bible or limit the search to an arbitrary collection of passages or books. Once searching is done, BW gives detailed statistics with options to transfer texts, verses, parallel passages from different versions, entire Bibles, and lexicon entries to one’s favorite word processor.
In sum, the SW is a key part of BW that opens many doors to close analysis of the text for further exegesis and intertextual studies. The SW is where you start your journey of understanding the biblical text through BW.
Rev. Dr. Sherif L. Gendy