Proximity Searching

Today’s guest post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

If you enjoy small groups meeting in homes, you may like to find the places where Paul refers to a church in a house. To do so, execute a proximity search. Launch the Bible Speed Search or choose Search > Bible Search. Type this in the Search box: church within 7 words house. This search locates all the places where church and house occur within 7 words of each other. In the ESV, it turns up 5 results: Acts 8:3; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; and Philem 2. The proximity search is very helpful if you don’t know an exact phrase to look for. Give it a try.

For more tips like this, be sure to visit Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks blog or subscribe to the RSS feed.


  1. William Varner says:

    I did this a couple of times and it returned no results. It also told me to enclose within by quotes.

  2. Hmm. Bible Speed Search? Which Bible version? Try to paste these exact words without quotation marks: church within 7 words house

  3. Luuk Dondorp says:

    I tried this on the Mac Version: works fine!
    Thank you Phil, for this nice little explanation on this proximity searching feature!

  4. Hi William. It works fine for me. It returns 5 results. It also displays a message for me about enclosing in quotes: within is a search operator. To search for the word “within,” enclose it in double quotes: church “within” 7 word house.
    What this message is saying is that if you don’t enclose the word within, with quotes then it will assume you mean the search operator. If you really meant to find the word within in the biblical text then put it in qoutes.
    Eg if you were looking for the phrase within a year then if you enter the search text as: within a year no result will be returned and you will get an error saying the search text could not be parsed. This is because in the case within is being treated as a search operator and the arugments to the operator are missing.
    Instead to search for the phrase enter the search text as:
    “within” a year
    This will result in four verses being found.
    Where this applies is the word: in , try searching first for: in Jerusalem and then: “in” Jersualem. I hope this makes this clearer for you.