Field Searching: Searching OT Quotes in the Greek NT

Did you know that you can limit your searches in the Greek New Testament to the portions that are considered by the editors to be quotations from the Old Testament? In the Logos editions of the NA27 and UBS4, we’ve added special tagging for all the text that appears in the print editions as quotations from the OT. In the NA27, these quotations are designated by italics, in UBS4 by bold.

Simply put the search term OTQuote: in front of the word or phrase you want to search for (e.g., OTQuote:κυριος). Libronix will limit the search to just the OT quotation text. A search in the NA27 for OTQuote:θεος, for example, yields 69 occurrences (compared to 1317 in the entire NT).

Another interesting thing you can do is find all of the OT quotations. Just run the search OTQuote:*. It yields 4662 hits in the NA27. Keep in mind that this is the number of Greek words, not the number of quotations. If we graph these results by number of hits per book, we get this.

So Acts, Matthew, Hebrews, and Romans are the top four. If we graph the results by percentage, we get these results.

The top four by percentage are Hebrews, 1 Peter, Romans, and Galatians.

By the way, there are two other fields that you can search within: DisputedPassage and LaterAddition (e.g., DisputedPassage:κυριος or LaterAddition:κυριος). Disputed passages are indicated by [single square brackets] (e.g., Gal 1:6). Portions of text that the editors consider to be later additions are wrapped in [[double square brackets]] (e.g., John 7:53-8:11).


  1. Thanks for the informative post, Phil. Thanks!

  2. Phil,
    This is great! I add my thanks to Mitch’s.
    Now, “if only we could have” the First Testament quotes identified by Book/chapter/verse as they are in the outside margins of NA27.
    Steve “Not so much never satisfied as forever suggesting”:)

  3. Phil,
    Thanks for a great post!
    do you know of a way to keep this stuff in my head? I’m 48 and I’m almost ready to forget what I read now!

  4. Thanks for the feedback, guys.
    Steve, good suggestion. I’ll pass that along.
    Bob, I’ve found that the best way to get this stuff to stick is to put it into practice right away and to do more digging. That’s how this little series started. I didn’t really know much about field searching until I stumbled across the preface in our UBS4 text, which talks about the three fields I mentioned in this post. That led me to start playing around with it and do some digging in to what other fields are available for searching, which resulted in the post on the WordsOfChrist field and a couple others that will be coming next week.

  5. Jarred Edgecombe says:

    I tried the searches and was able to perform the (OTQuote:??????) search, but was not able to perform the (OTQuote:*.) search. Any suggestions?

  6. The OTQuote:* search may take a couple of minutes. Does it act like it’s working?

  7. I was able to get the search results, but how do I get the graph?

  8. In the search results window, click “Graph Bible Search Results.” Note: you will only see this option if you run your search in the Bible Search rather than in the Basic Search.