Limiting Greek Searches to “Q” in BW and Accordance

Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Comparative | 9 comments

Browsing BibleWorks User Forums I found this thread where Mark Vitalis was talking about creating a custom search range with all Q-texts (those pericopes in Matthew and Luke that are not found in Mark’s gospel). The task was not an easy one, due to the large number of references from Matthew and Luke, so I decided to do a screencast showing how that might be accomplished in BibleWorks and Accordance. I had to split the video in two parts to make it more manageable. I think it makes more sense to watch the one on BW first, but since they both deal with the same issue, you may prefer to go straight to the program you are most familiar with.



Both applications get the job done, but they do so in widely different ways. Thus, BW uses a text-driven, verse list approach (with references only), and requires a graphical search engine in order to reuse the list of verses, whereas Accordance’s approach is more visual, more Mac-like, displaying references and content, and can run the searches straight from the main search window (although graphical construct windows can be easily used too). Both programs can map the verses to a different Bible version and save them to a file for later use. Finally, only Accordance can use highlighting to both identify biblical passages and include the highlighting style as part of the search argument.

The full list of Q texts has been derived from Robert J. Miller’s edition of The Complete Gospels.

Please notice that these are the first screencasts made available here on BSR, and that they are far from perfect. Hopefully, though, they will be of use to some of you. Comments and feedback are particularly welcome, since I hope to be making many more of these. Thanks!

Update (December 1): Less than 24 hours after I posted my screencast, BibleWorks has already increased the size of custom search limit ranges so that it is now possible to paste the whole list of references into the Range text box and set a search range for all of Q. Is this great customer service or what?!

Note to self: I should do screencasts more often and take the opportunity to hint at some areas for improvement. This seems to encourage developers to actually implement nice enhancements… ;-)

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  1. Helpful tutorial. Thank you for your effort.
    It appears that the results from your search for kurios in the Bibleworks video did not include the hits from Matthew.
    I got 57 hits in 51 verses from both Matthew and Luke whereas you got 27 hits in 25 verses.
    Did one of us miss something?

  2. Just noticed that your results in the Accordance video matched my results so I’m pretty sure that something went awry in the Bibleworks demonstration.

  3. The custom search range in BibleWorks was limited to 1024 characters. The combined Q search exceeded that limit, causing the program to crash. The latest exe update has a limit of 4096 characters in a custom search limit, so now the Q search range can be set.

    Actually, in BibleWorks 8 you do not have to use the Graphical Search Engine to search when using a Verse List as a search limit. If you open the verse list within the Verse List Manager, you can export the list to the Search Window, then right-click on the Command Line and select “Checkbox Search Filter” and set the search limits to “limit search to checked verses”. This is a new feature in BibleWorks 8 that was not in BibleWorks 7.

    Thank you, Ruben, for taking the time to create these videos!

  4. Thanks for your comments, Russ. The discrepancy you spotted is due to the fact that I had not removed the “Qluk” limit when I ran the GSE search (see status bar at the bottom of the main program window around 05:14). It was very late when I recorded the screencast, and I forgot to clear the search limits after building the second verse list from Luke’s Gospel.

  5. Hi Glenn,

    Thank you very much for such a quick response. You are right, of course, about the fact that the search can be run from the Command Line. Actually, had I known that such long ranges would be implemented, I would have saved myself working well into the night hours ;-)

  6. Hi Rubén,

    You are very welcome. Video can take a lot of time to do well. And it becomes outdated too quickly. It can be an effective teaching tool, though sometimes text is more effective. I often don’t want to take the time to watch a video, though I might scan/read text. And a Google search won’t find hits in a video, but it will find text.

  7. Hi Rubén,
    Mark Vitalis Hoffman here. Since Glenn Weaver provided the BW update, I also updated the Q texts needed for the search limits.
    The txt file and directions for making it work in BW8 are now posted at:

  8. BTW, with the new Q verse limits, it is possible to run the searches directly from the command line without needing to use the Graphical Search Engine. One can also apply coloring to the Q texts. I’ll have to try to run a little video on my site… Thanks for showing how this works!

  9. You are welcome, Mark. One thing I’d like to point out is that it is not necessary to edit the limlist.udb at all. Simply copy the list of references and copy them into the Range text box when you create the Q range. As for coloring the text, it can be done but, as I said, it cannot be used as part of the search argument.

    Thanks for your comments. Look forward to watching that video!

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