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Searching English Bibles With Google vs Accordance


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#1 Matt Fredenburg

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:18 PM

Hello,

  At the present time, when I want to find a particular verse that I am not sure of the wording, I use Google. I simply type in a few words and voila! almost every time the verse that I was looking for appears in the Google search results. I then take what I've learned from Google and look up the verses in Accordance to drill down into them. It seems to me, that considering the wealth of resources I own in Accordance, that I should be able to find verses simply within it, but thus far, have been somewhat frustrated, which I am going to ascribe to a lack of knowledge on my part, not a shortcoming on the part of Accordance. An example should illustrate:

 

 

Let us say that I wanted to find the Scripture that relates the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Let us further say that I knew that the dialogue occurred at a well, but that I had my prepositions mixed up, and I typed the following into Google search:

 

the woman in the well

 

 

When I do that, all of the results on the first page of search results, point me to John 4, which is exactly where I wanted to be!

 

Now, let us turn to solutions in Accordance.

  1. I have set up a User Group folder which contains ~10 English Bibles.
  2. If I simply attempt to search the user group using the same text which I used as the input into Google, I get some results, but nothing even remotely close to John 4.

 

What I want to avoid is that every time I want to find a particular Scripture where my memory is hazy, is having to type in some complex Accordance syntax search. I know I can use FUZZY, but experimenting with that didn't pan out very well, and when searching a User Group, it doesn't seem that Flex searching is supported, so, I'm here, asking for the Accordance experts opinion:

 

Should I stick with Google to do my initial Bible searches of this sort, or, as is quite likely, I'm missing some power or feature of Accordance?

 

 

Thanks,

 

Matt


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#2 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:41 PM

Matt, part of the issue with your example is that you are not searching for a phrase in the text but for a commonly-used title.  "The woman at the well" is not a phrase that occurs in Scripture.  That's why Google gets you there, but Accordance doesn't.

 

If you are just searching one Biblical text and not search all, you can specify a Flex Search by clicking on the magnifying glass icon to the left of the Words/Verses drop-down.  A Search All tab (where you search a group of texts) uses the settings in Preferences>Search Tabs.  (On WIndows I think it's called Options, not Preferences, but I don't have access to a Windows machine at the moment to check). 

 

If you use a flex search, and search simply for "women well" without the quotes, the John passage will show up as one of the hits.  In other words, one way to get what you want is to use Flex search, and only include the key words, not prepositions, articles, etc. 


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iOS 7 (iPad)
Windows Vista Home Premium


#3 Matt Fredenburg

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:06 AM

Matt, part of the issue with your example is that you are not searching for a phrase in the text but for a commonly-used title.  "The woman at the well" is not a phrase that occurs in Scripture.  That's why Google gets you there, but Accordance doesn't.

 

If you are just searching one Biblical text and not search all, you can specify a Flex Search by clicking on the magnifying glass icon to the left of the Words/Verses drop-down.  A Search All tab (where you search a group of texts) uses the settings in Preferences>Search Tabs.  (On WIndows I think it's called Options, not Preferences, but I don't have access to a Windows machine at the moment to check). 

 

If you use a flex search, and search simply for "women well" without the quotes, the John passage will show up as one of the hits.  In other words, one way to get what you want is to use Flex search, and only include the key words, not prepositions, articles, etc. 

Hi Lorinda, thanks for your thoughts and you're absolutely correct, but the point still remains that Google gets me exactly where I want to be very simply because I'm not looking for the exact phrase but the Scripture related to that phrase.

 

I looked in the preferences you mentioned, but I modified some of them and they didn't seem to reflect in my 'search all' queries. Perhaps this is a difference between the Mac version and PC? Also, as I stated, I created the English Bible group so that I could do 'hazy' searches in multiple English versions to have the best possibility of getting a relevant hit because the way in which I remember certain Scriptures can be tied to a particular English version that I was using at one time versus another.

 

Matt


Specs:
  • Windows 7 SP1 x64
  • Accordance 10.3.4.2
  • Quad Xeon 2.83 GHz x2
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Nvidia 580 GTX 2GB VRAM

#4 Helen Brown

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:22 AM

If you select a phrase in a text or tool pane and press the shift key as you amplify to a Search All group, it will do a fuzzy search (which drops or adds the number of words specified in the command). This might help in some circumstances.

 

You can also search the Notes and Cross-references that come with different Bibles, since that's where we put the titles of the passages that the translators inserted into the text.


Helen Brown
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#5 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:07 PM

I looked in the preferences you mentioned, but I modified some of them and they didn't seem to reflect in my 'search all' queries. Perhaps this is a difference between the Mac version and PC? Also, as I stated, I created the English Bible group so that I could do 'hazy' searches in multiple English versions to have the best possibility of getting a relevant hit because the way in which I remember certain Scriptures can be tied to a particular English version that I was using at one time versus another.

 

Matt

 

Matt:  I just checked on the Windows machine at work, and if my "Find Results Using" Preference (Edit>Preferences>Search Tabs is the path on Windows), is set for "Flex," then a Search All for "woman well" (without the quotes) pulls up at two verses from John 4.   Does that not happen for you?

 

"woman in the well" does not find what you want, even on flex search because none of the verses in John 4 contain all 4 of those words; that's why I suggested using a flex search and limiting the search to key words.   Adding Fuzzy to "woman in the well" doesn't work because Fuzzy seems to turn off flex search; it performs an exact search modified by the fuzzy parameters.  Since "woman" and "well" aren't part of the same phrase in either place where they occur in the same verse in John 4, a Fuzzy search doesn't find it either.


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iOS 7 (iPad)
Windows Vista Home Premium


#6 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:10 PM

As a side note, when you're looking for pericopes by their traditional titles/names, you might try searching the "Outlines" module.  A flex search for "woman well" (no quotes) pulls up the Woman at the Well; no sifting through English bible results needed.  Unfortunately, Fuzzy searches can't be used in tools, apparently.  If they could, I think a fuzzy search for  "woman in the well" would have found it in Outlines.


Edited by Lorinda H. M. Hoover, 03 February 2014 - 02:11 PM.

Running Accordance on:
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#7 Daniel Semler

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:45 PM

Hi Matt,

 

  This provided an interesting example to try AutoIt out. The following code snippet when compiled to an exe, a shortcut made for the exe, and a shortcut key created for the shortcut allows a quick search string pre-processor to be inserted before your search is run. Ctrl - Alt - F in my case, pops up a dialog box asking for the search string. You then enter "the woman in the well". It then inserts a "[FUZZY 3] " before it and passes this to the foremost Accordance window. The HowFuzzy function could be made arbitrarily complex to exclude common words, as for example BibleGateway does, or use certain words to influence the FUZZY count, and of course it should double check the max value of the FUZZY arg which can only be n - 2 or less, where n is the number of words in the entered string.

 

----------------------------

 

#cs
Accordance fuzzy query preprocessor

Daniel Semler 3rd Feb 2014
#ce
; Prompt the user for InputBox
Local $defltSearch = "the woman at the well"
Local $searchStr = InputBox("Accordance fuzzifier", "Enter the search string : ", $defltSearch)

; modify the query to prefix it with a fuzzy
$searchStr = HowFuzzy($searchStr)

; Activate the Accordance window
AutoItSetOption("WinTitleMatchMode", 2)
WinActivate("[TITLE:- Accordance; REGEXPCLASS:Accord*]")

; run query
send("^a")
send("{BACKSPACE}")
sleep(1000)
send($searchStr)  ;enter search
send("{ENTER}")   ; run it

; Produce an appropriate [FUZZY n] prefixed query string
Func HowFuzzy($str)
   #cs
   This function could be modified to count the number of words
   and perhaps even remove very common words.
   It should limit the FUZZY parameter to be n - 2 at most where
   n is the number of words in $str.
   #ce
   return "[FUZZY 3] " & $str
EndFunc

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

  Be careful with this - its not robust - merely demonstrating what can be done - but it does actually work - mostly :)

  I should also mention that the script expects that the last used Accordance window is an English text search tab.
That's the window it will cause to come to the fore.

 

Thx
D


Edited by Daniel Semler, 04 February 2014 - 12:05 AM.

Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM
      Accordance 11.0.1                       Accordance 11.0.1
      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1





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