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 Post subject: Search the Bible with Regular Expression
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:24 pm
Posts: 4
Search the Bible with Regular Expression

"Regular Expression" is a way to find information in computer science. Using its standard patterns, it is easy to retrieve the required bible verses.
The following examples (for King James Version) illustrate the use of Regular Expression.
Single Word or words

Example 1:

To search the bible verses about a person or a place, just enter the name. For example, input the word "Stephen" and it displays 7 verses within a second.

Example 2:

In a Bible Study Fellowship we discussed the "8 blessings". I entered "blessed are" and it displays 30 verses. In addition to the Beatitudes, the Bible also proposes a variety of blessings.

Example 3:

In an ordination ceremony the senior pastor encouraged the new pastor by quoting a verse in "2 Timothy", saying something like "Study...", but I could not hear clearly which chapter and verse. I immediately used my cell phone to connect to Internet ( At "2 Timothy" I entered "study". It displayed one verses as below:
"2Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Example 4:

I have a favorite bible verse I can remember that it is in Chapter 42 Verse 3, but cannot remember which book. Enter "42:3" and it displays 16 verses. The one I want is:
"Isa 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench."

Multiple words of similar or opposite meaning (OR)

Example 5:

To prepare a sermon regarding "stupid", "foolish", and "ignorance", enter "stupid|foolish|ignorance" and it displays 100 verses about this topic. This is because the symbol "|" represents "OR" in Regular Expression. All the verses containing either one of the words connected by "|" are searched out.

Example 6:

There are many places containing the words like "with all thy heart", "with all thy soul", "with all thy strength", and "with all thy mind". The verses are similar but not exactly the same. When the New Testament quotes the Old Testament, does it add or lose something? Enter "with all thy heart|with all thy soul|with all thy strength|with all thy mind", and it displays 10 verses. You can also choose dozens of bible versions and languages like Greek and Hebrew for comparison.

Unconnected words in the same verse (AND)

Example 7:

The Bible mentions seven lamps, seven lampstands, and seven golden lampstands in various places. Enter "seven.*lamps" and will get 5 verses. This is because in Regular Expression "." represents any character, and "*" represents any number (including 0) of the previous character.

Example 8:

To get all the verses which contain "prophet" and "fulfilled" with some other words between these two words, just enter "prophet.*fulfilled" and it displays 4 verses.

AND/OR Combination

Example 9:

To get all the verses containing both "spirit" and "god", or containing "holy ghost", enter "spirit.*god|holy ghost". It displays 172 verses.

Example 10:

To use ".*" to connect two words, it retrieves all the verses with the first word followed by the second word. If you want to have all the verses that contain both words in any order, the Regular Expression provides several methods. One of them is to use the OR operator "|" to connect. For example, "prophet.*fulfilled|fulfilled.*prophet" will retrieve all the 16 verses which contains both words "prophet" and "fulfilled" in any order.

The above 10 examples show the very simple applications. Regular Expression is a very good tool for the believers, preachers and biblical scholars to search the bible. You can follow the reference material for further practice.

Reference material

1) Bible tools with input methods:

2) Bible Search method:

3) Regular Expression details:

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