The other day someone posted an interesting question on our user forums:
How would I find in which version of the Bible is "endurance" used in Hebrews 12:1?
In this age of multiple translations, this kind of question is becoming increasingly common. We may have heard a well-known verse in one translation growing up. Then we may attend a congregation which uses a different version of the Bible. We might also learn a worship song that sets that verse to music using yet another translation. The end result of all this is that we become unsure which Bible to consult for a particular wording of a familiar verse. We may even find that the wording we have in our heads is a conflation of two of more different translations.
So how can we search all our English Bibles to find the rendering of a familiar verse which matches the wording inside our heads?
We could enter a key word like "endurance" in the Search All field of the Toolbar, but that would search every verse of every Bible for the word endurance. How then can we narrow the search to a particular verse? Here's the solution a couple of our forum gurus came up with:
First, type the word "endurance" into the Search All field. Then choose the AND command from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu (or use the keyboard shortcut shift-command-A). Next choose the RANGE command from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu (or use the keyboard shortcut shift-command-R). Now, replace the selected question mark inside the Range command with Hebrews 12:1. Finally, click the magnifying glass icon inside the Search All field and choose [All Texts] from the menu that appears. This will limit the search to just your Bible texts so that your Tool modules are not searched.
When you hit Return, Accordance will find every Bible which uses the word "endurance" in Hebrews 12:1. These include the HCSB, ESV, NAS95, NKJV, and NLT. You can then compare all those versions to see which has the wording you had in mind.
You would think that having seen Accordance developed since 1.0, having written and narrated the first Accordance training videos (in the days before Dr. J's excellent podcasts), and having taught more Accordance seminars than I can count, I would know everything there is to know about Accordance. But Accordance is so deep and powerful that I still discover things I never realized it was capable of. Such was the case this morning when I read this post to our user forums:
I know I can search for a set of verses by typing in the reference. However, is there a way to search for a starting verse and to the end of the chapter. For example, let's say I want to look for the verses in John 1, starting from verse 18 to the end of the chapter. If I don't know off hand what the last verse is, am I able to use some type of symbol or key sequence to perform this search?
The answer, of course, is Yes You Can! Several Accordance users were quick to answer that you can add "f" to the end of a reference to display one additional verse, or "ff" to display all the following verses up to the end of a chapter. If you're not aware of these useful symbols, be sure to check out the forum thread for several helpful explanations.
While I already knew about the "f" and "ff" symbols, something about this forum thread got me wondering if you could use them inside the Range command. The Range command can be used when doing a word search to limit the books, chapters, and verses in which your search is performed. For example love <AND> [RANGE John 21] would search for all occurrences of "love" in John 21. You can define more permanent ranges within the Range pop-up menu of the Search window, but the Range command gives you a quick way to define a temporary range. Since the Range command accepts any standard verse notation, I decided to see if it would accept the "f" and "ff" notation.
Obviously, my experiment worked or else I wouldn't be writing a blog post about it. Entering Moses <AND> [RANGE Ex 20ff] gave me every place Moses is mentioned from Exodus 20 through the end of the book. It's a little thing, but you never know when using this shorthand in a word search might come in handy.
After more than a decade and a half with Accordance, I'm still learning new tricks to speed up my workflow. Hopefully this one will be of use to some of you as well.