. Specialize Your Searches with the Bible Sense Lexicon

Specialize Your Searches with the Bible Sense Lexicon

Some nets are specialized for catching specific kinds of fish. You wouldn’t want to try to catch a guppie with a net that has large holes in it. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to try to catch salmon with the same net you use to get your pet goldfish out of its bowl.

Like a specialized net, the Bible Sense Lexicon allows you to capture only the meanings you’re searching for. Consider the problem of English homonyms: “When he said he went to lie down he told a lie.” “Tennis players love to keep their opponents at love.” “The girl in the band was wearing a band around her head.” The same word can have very different meanings. What we may fail to realize, though, is that this can wreak havoc on our Bible searches.

Imagine that you want to preach about lying (that is, “saying something false” as opposed to “lying on a horizontal surface”) in your next sermon. You’ll want to find places where the Bible speaks about “lies,” like Revelation 14:5: “and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.” Let’s see what happens when you do a traditional English search for “lie.”

  • Open a Bible search and enter “lie” in the search box.

BSL 1.jpg

This search of the Lexham English Bible turns up 298 results, many of them from the verb “lie,” as in “to lie down” or “to lie with.” For sermon preparation, that isn’t terribly useful! Now look what happens when we search for “lie” with the Bible Sense Lexicon:

  • First, open the Bible Sense Lexicon in Logos 5.


  • Next, type “lie” in the Bible Sense Lexicon’s search box, and click the matching result.


  • That will take to you to the nominal sense of “lie” (as in “he told a lie”):


  • We can see that this is the exact sense we’re searching for by looking at the definition: “a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth.”


  • Finally, mouse over the verse references in the Bible Sense Lexicon panel, or click them to see the verses in context.


The Bible Sense Lexicon takes you to only those occurrences of “lie” that you want! Now you don’t need to sort through 298 search results, most of which aren’t useful for your sermon prep. We’ve done the sorting for you. You also know exactly what kind of “lie” you’re looking at, because you have a definition and can look at its relationships to other concepts.

So don’t waste your time sorting through hits that may or may not be useful. Cast your net more wisely with the Bible Sense Lexicon. You can get the Bible Sense Lexicon by purchasing or upgrading to Gold or higher—get Logos 5 today!

Written by
Jeremy Thompson
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  • Excellent example.
    – Also, there appears to be a few improvements to the Bible Sense Lexicon since this example was generated. (1) The Biblical references (citations) are now separated as a discrete list by Lemma, (2) there is now a count of Biblical references (citations) by Lemma, (3) and now a graphic sprite chart of occurrences by Biblical book.
    – This tool takes the user (disciple) to a whole new level of Bible Word Study proficiency and productivity since it is based on the underlying original Bible languages and maps many original language words (in lemma form) to the one meaning viewed in English or another user language.
    – This is the type of Bible Study analysis capability which sets LOGOS apart from the world at large!

  • Dennis, as someone who has worked on the Hebrew material in this tool we appreciate the positive feedback! You are right that we have continued to make improvements to the tool since this post was queued and hope to continue to get interaction here and in places like the forums to make sure that we can continue to improve it. We believe as you've said that it is a very powerful tool for Bible study.

  • This is a good tool, I will allow that. But this post is slightly unclear. From the Bible Sense Lexicon, you selected the nominal “lie.” But in addition to finding verse references that use the nominal (i.e., noun) form, what if I also want to locate occurrences of the verb form of “lie” as in to tell untruth? In other words, what if I want to locate all forms (nominal + verbal) of “lie” with reference to telling untruth? Grateful for an answer.

    • Right now the only way to accomplish that would be search “to lie (deceive)” in the tool’s search box separately. If you just enter “lie,” many of the different options associated with lying show up from which you can select the one you want. So, there’s a bit more work to get both the noun and the verb, but still the benefit of not needing to look through verses that may not be applicable.

Written by Jeremy Thompson