Verse Proximity Search: Finding words near each other.

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You're sure you've seen a few words on the same page in your printed Bible, but you just can't remember exactly where. A typical Bible verse search or concordance isn't going to help, because those tools only look at words on a verse-by-verse basis.

That's when you use the Proximity Search. Proximity search finds words near each other even when they are separated by verse.

Let's use an example: I remember reading somewhere about "faith" and "sufferings." So, I do a normal Bible search for both words, but find no results, because there are no verses in Scripture that have both words. But I am sure I saw both of these words near each other.

I select Search Bible from the Search menu in SwordSearcher (or press F2). Then, I click the Proximity Search tab (1):

Verse Proximity Search window

Under Search Text (2), I tell SwordSearcher to find faith within 5 verses of sufferings.

Then I click Do Search, and the results appear:

Results for Proximity search for FAITH and SUFFERINGS

As you can see, the search results display ranges of verses which match.

The Proximity Search is very versatile. Note the section for Chapter Boundaries:

Bible Chapter Boundaries

In the search I performed, I used the default setting "Find within N verses in same chapter." Normally, as you recall words from memory that you want to find in SwordSearcher, you'll use this setting. It makes sure that the range (in this case, five verses) is restricted to the same chapter.

However, I could also have selected Find within same chapter. This would have removed the "5 verses" setting and simply found chapters containing the words I indicated.

Finally, there is also the Ignore chapter boundaries option. This type of proximity search only uses the "number of verses" option and will even return a matching range than spans multiple chapters.

Also, the Proximity Search window lets me search for "all word forms." This is very helpful if I can't remember the exact word. For example, I might have only remembered seeing "suffering" when I really meant to find sufferings. If I select the Find All Word Forms option, the distinction is irrelevant and I would still find what I am looking for.

In addition to simple words, I could also type multiple words, phrases, boolean expressions, and more into the search text boxes. (See the Search Features page for more ideas.)

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