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Thread: Searching for the Questions of Jesus

  1. #1

    Default Searching for the Questions of Jesus

    I just conducted a search, using Logos 7 to find the questions Jesus asked in the New Testament. Is such a search possible using BibleWorks? If so, how?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    I believe it is possible to search for question marks using the Graphical Search Engine (not the Command Line), but someone else will have to tell you how. The more difficult thing might be to limit the search to sentences spoken by Jesus. Obviously not every verse in the Gospels in which he begins speaking has his name in it (e.g., Luke 13:2). It might be easiest to find all the questions in the Gospels and then manually filter out the ones not asked by Jesus.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  3. #3


    As DavidR noted, it is possible to use the Graphical Search to look for specific punctuation marks. So, yes, you can find all the questions in any given version.
    • You would have to sort out who the speaker of each question is to find questions by Jesus.
    • Remember that punctuation is, in many instances, an editorial decision. (E.g., in Mark 4.40, Jesus says to the disciples: "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" The first question is indeed a question with the use of τί. The second, however, is likely intended as a question, but it could also be a statement: "Why are you afraid? You still don't have faith."

    Logos has tagged everything with "speaker" labels, so that's how they can pull out only passages spoken by Jesus, but it still is limited by the editors of any given version on whether something is actually a question or not.
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies
    United Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg & Philadelphia -
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold6 View Post
    I just conducted a search, using Logos 7 to find the questions Jesus asked in the New Testament. Is such a search possible using BibleWorks? If so, how?
    I see that while I was working up this reply Mark responded. His comments on the judgment calls of editors certainly applies to what follows here.

    If you want to do your search in the KJV, you can do a more specific search. Note that the following process makes two assumptions:
    1) that KJV has question marks where they should be (the same assumption would apply to a search against a Greek version - you are trusting whoever supplied the punctuation), and
    2) that the person deciding which words were Jesus' words got it right.

    The BibleWorks Blog offers a colour file "christ red kjv.clr" created by Scott Jones that you can download here:
    This will colour all the words red that someone has decided are the words of Jesus.
    Copy this file into the BibleWorks 10/databases directory on your computer.

    Make KJV your search version.
    Main menu / Tools / Viewing the Text / Apply Colors to Selected Text
    If the "Apply colors to Selected Text" window that pops up does not list "christ red kjv" click on the KJV verse in your browse window.
    Click on "christ red kjv" to highlight it, then click on the "Export" button to put the list of verses with red colouring in the search window. Make sure that the square box beside "christ red kjv" is ticked so that verses in the browse window will be coloured.

    Open the Verse List Manager (VLM) Main Menu / Tools / Analyzing the Text / Verse List Manager
    In VLM window, Main Menu / Import / Entire Search Window Verse List
    Then save this Verse List: VLM Main Menu / File / Save As
    This by default will/should save it in BibleWorks 10/ase

    On the command line of the main BW window type (without the quotation marks) "L vlsname.vls" and enter, where vlsname is the name you gave your verse list when you saved it. L can be upper or lower case. This will restrict your search to verses that contain red colouring.

    On the command line type (without the quotation marks): "~\?" and enter.
    ~ means this is a "regular expression search", \ means treat the following character as data rather than as a control character.

    When I ran this, I found 2026 verses with red colouring, and 317 of those contained a question mark. Note that not all of the ?'s were red. For example,
    KJV Acts 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
    BW does its searches by verse, and Acts 26:15 includes both a question mark and red text.

    It is necessary to create and save a verse list, because finding punctuation in an English version requires a regular expression search, and BW doesn't seem to recognize a request to use the Checkbox Search Filter when doing such searches.

    Once you have this verse list you can use it whenever you want to do a search on KJV limited to the verses containing the words of Jesus (bearing in mind that 1) someone decided which words were spoken by Jesus, and 2) that some verses contain both black and red words).

    Last edited by Jim Wert; 12-29-2017 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Corrected words wrongly coloured red.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default I'm Amazed!!!

    Jim Wert,

    Your attention to detail, your thought process, and the manner in which you communicated and illustrated such a complex answer has left me in awe.

    Thank you.
    נֹתֵ֣ן לֶ֭חֶם לְכָל־בָּשָׂ֑ר כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ׃

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