How to Identify a Passage’s Repeated Words in Seconds

repeated-wordsInductive Bible study consists of three phases: Observation, Interpretation, and Application. During Observation we’re encouraged to read the biblical text numerous times asking the journalistic questions Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Also, during this initial step of Bible study we’re supposed to identify any repeated words which may indicate an emphasis or theme.

For example in Luke 15 words like “lost,” “found,” and “rejoice” occur frequently and they do indeed point to the main point of the chapter.

To help identify repeating words in any Bible passage, Logos 7 uses the Corresponding Words Visual Filter which highlights words related to the one on which the cursor is hovering. While this filter can be used when reading any Logos resource, it’s most helpful in Bibles with the interlinear option.

Let’s take a look at a practical example of this new Logos 7 feature:

  • Open an English Bible with the interlinear option such as the ESV (A)
  • Navigate to Philippians 3:6 (B)


  • Click the Visual Filters icon on the resource’s toolbar (C)
  • Click the arrow to the left of the Resource box to expand the section revealing available Visual Filters (D)
  • Select the Resource box (which toggles on/off selected filters) (E)
  • Click the arrow to the left of the Corresponding Words box to expand the section revealing options available in this Bible (F)
  • Select the Corresponding Words box (which toggles on/off this one filter) (G)
  • Select Same lemma which will “highlight” the same dictionary form of the Hebrew/Greek word on which the cursor is hovering (H)


  • Click the Visual Filters icon again to close the menu
  • Rest the cursor on the word “persecutor” in Philippians 3:6 (I)
  • Notice the word “persecutor” is highlighted, but also the phrase “press on” in 3:12 and 3:14 (J) which means all of these are the same Greek lemma!


So here’s the takeaway: if I were studying Philippians 3, as a part of the Observation stage of inductive study, I would read this chapter several times in my English Bible. Almost certainly, however, I would never assume “persecutor” and “press on” are the same Greek lemma! This Visual Filter quickly shows me indeed they are.

This of course does not imply the lemma has the same meaning in each occurrence. It may very well mean something different in each instance. That’s the purpose of biblical interpretation—to discover specific, contextual meanings of words. This Visual Filter does help with better Observation, which in turn sets up better Interpretation.


Morris Proctor
is a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.


  1. The fourth element of revelation/understanding is “Correlation”.

    No proper Observation, no proper Interpretation, no proper Application . . . will contradict the rest of Scripture – properly understood. .

    An Observation/Interpretation/Application may be correct if the rest of Scripture is silent . . . though it is extremely rare that the rest of Scripture will actually be silent relative to a useful Observation/Interpretation/Correlation!

    Many an error has its logical beginning in failure to understand the importance of Correlation.

    (By the way, you are doing excellent work, Morris!)