Bible Searching Tips using PocketBible

Posted on: August 28th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 6 Comments

A printed Bible limits you to the concordance in the back of the Bible (or your memory) for finding verses but PocketBible lets you search the Scriptures by any word, phrase or combination thereof. How does that work? – keep reading…

Let’s say you want to find every verse in the Bible where Jesus spoke. You could start your search with the phrase “Jesus said.” Depending on what platform you are using PocketBible on, tap or click on the Find icon in PocketBible (or choose Find from the menu) and type Jesus said in the search box. Hit the Search button. The results will list all verses containing the phrase “Jesus said” but only when the words appear in exactly that order. That means you won’t get every verse where Jesus said something. For example, you’d miss Matthew 12:48 where it says, “Jesus didn’t respond directly, but said…”, because the words Jesus and said are not together. To get this additional verse and others like it, modify your search to jesus AND said. AND is one of several Boolean operators you can use to enhance your searching in PocketBible. You can read about using Boolean operators for more effective searches in the program Help File (tap on the ? in any version of PocketBible). Below is a video that explains this concept as well:

If you are using PocketBible on an Android device or Mac, you don’t need Boolean operators. In addition to exact matches for “Jesus said,” your search results will include verses that contain all words in your search. You’ll automatically see verses where the words are there, even when not in the exact order.

Another way PocketBible can help is when you are trying to find a verse but can’t remember the reference (i.e. Book/Chapter/Verse) for it. For example, you want to find the verse where Jesus miraculously feeds the large crowds. PocketBible will let you narrow your search to just the Gospels (since you know the verse is somewhere in those books). Then search for loaves OR fish (or in the Android/Mac versions – loaves fish).

In addition to picking specific books or sections of the Bible, PocketBible will also let you narrow your search to look only in verses you’ve highlighted or bookmarked. Just be careful to clear these options out after you are done with your search or you may end up getting “No verse found” on your next search (when you know there is a verse that contains what you are looking for).

Do you have any questions or tips about searching in PocketBible? Please share them in the comments.

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6 Responses

  1. oudeis says:

    two words….Regular Expressions….80)

    • In my experience, full regular expression support is unnecessary for searching the Bible. First, it’s too complex for 99% of our customers (I’m being generous so as not to insult our customers — it’s actually too complex for all but a half dozen of our customers). Second, it’s of questionable value. Who wants to sit through a sermon entitled “All the occurrences of (?])(()?([w]+?://(?:[w\x80-\xff#%~/?@[]-]|[‘*(+.,;:!=&$](?![b)]|())?([s]|$))|(?(1))(?![s<.,;:]|$)|)))+) in the Gospel of John"? PocketBible actually supports more types of searches than we document. For example, I think PocketBible for iOS supports [PS]aul to find "Paul" or "Saul", $Paul to find words that sound like "Paul" and @faithful to find words that have the root word as "faithful". The first (character alternatives/character ranges) was accidental. The second and third are features that will be exposed with a better user interface in future versions.

  2. Bill says:

    I would like to set the default range for searching to Gen-Rev to always exclude the front matter. Is there a way to do that?

    Could that be the default in a future release? I am not sure why anyone would normally want to search the front matter. It changes the count of occurrences in the Bible which are sometimes of interest by themselves.


  3. Bill says:

    Forget my question about front matter. I see that it retains the last search range.

  4. Kevin says:

    Is there any way to perform an Englishman’s search in Laridian’s product?

    For example, if I an reviewing a word in the original language (i.e.; Strong’s is enabled and I’ve linked to my dictionary of choice to review the meaning of that word), I’d like to be able to find all occurrences for that specific Hebrew / Greek Aramaic word throughout the bible.

    Is that do-able?

    • Craig Rairdin says:


      Yes. Search for G26 to find all occurrences of Strong’s Greek word 26. Search for love:G26 to find all occurrences of Greek word 26 that are translated “love” in English. Search for -love:G26 to find all occurrences of Greek word 26 that are NOT translated “love” in English. Search for love:-G26 to find all occurrences of the English word “love” that are not translated from Greek word 26.

      You don’t say whether you own PocketBible already or not, and you don’t mention which platform you’re running on, but if you have PocketBible for Windows desktop or iOS, I know this is described in detail in the extensive help that’s built into those products.

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