How did that verse go?

Yesterday on Blogos, Sean Boisen wrote about the difficulty he had finding the verse containing the phrase “you will know them by their words”. He was looking for Matthew 7:16 and 20, and tried using “know” and “words” as search terms in Bible software.

Of course the verse says fruits, not words, and in some versions it says recognize, not know.
This is exactly what we created the Fuzzy Search for: finding things that you don’t remember exactly, or remember from a different translation.

Fuzzy Search was a feature in Logos Bible Software v1.0, back in December, 1991. It got lost along the way, disappearing from updates to the LLS and Libronix DLS, but was restored as part of the Power Tools Addin a few years ago. It lives on the Tools > Power Tools menu, but moves to the Search menu in the upcoming v3.0.

I wanted to see if Fuzzy Search could meet this real world test case. In Logos Bible Software I opened a few Bibles and chose Fuzzy Search from the Search menu. I copied the phrase “you will know them by their words” into the Search box and chose “All Open Resources” from the search target dropdown. A click on the green Go button brought back Matthew 7:20 in the NRSV as a 90% confidence hit, followed by Matthew 7:16, with 87% confidence.

Pretty cool!


(I should also point out that it found “Ye shall know them by their fruits” in the KJV, 74%, and “you will recognize them by their fruits” in the ESV, 72%.)

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2 Responses to “How did that verse go?”

  1. Richard L March 23, 2006 at 2:35 pm #

    I had a similar case the other day (posted on the General newsgroup). I was trying to find “The Lord inhabits the praises of his people”.
    My Fuzzy search didn’t find it in the end – I think the search terms were just too far away from the actual “The Lord sits enthroned on the praises of Israel” for it to find.
    Interesting though!

  2. Mike March 23, 2006 at 9:57 pm #

    The Fuzzy Search is a great tool. I use so many different translations, I often have a hard time remembering key words in a verse in a particular version.