How To Find a Bible Verse Fast

I was recently writing something about biblical archaeology, and it happened again, that thing that’s always happening to me in Bible study—does it happen to you? I was trying to find the location of a verse whose exact wording I was pretty sure I already knew. The phrase that was cemented in my head was, “declared to be the Son of God with power.”

I sometimes used to try searching a Bible website because it was easy to get to—since I’m often already in my browser. But I gave up, because most of the time I get either way too many hits or I got this:

“NO RESULTS COULD BE FOUND”

I tried it again, for old time’s sake, and sure enough, that’s what my search for “declared to be the son of God with power” got me.

Man! I know that phrase is in there! But where? And which Bible translation(s) is it in?

Two quick ways to search multiple Bibles

The best way to find out is to search multiple Bible translations at once. I know two quick ways to do this in Logos.

1. Make a shortcut to a Bible search

I set up a Bible search in Logos that searches All Bible Text in All Passages in Top Bibles.

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Then I dragged the “Search” tab into my menu bar, and it created an icon I can use to access my Top Bibles search (my most common search) any time I want.

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2. Search from the command box with keyboard shortcuts

I like my computer to obey me quickly, sweetly, and completely. Especially for my most common exegetical tasks, I want speed. There’s an even faster way to search your top Bibles for “declared to be the son of God in power,” a way that doesn’t involve using a mouse at all, and is therefore fast.

For the animated gif below, I used my mouse to show you what I was doing. But the mouse is not actually necessary. You can search your top Bibles with two keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Hit Alt+D in Windows or Option-Command-L (⌥⌘L) on Mac to bring the focus to the command box. (Now type the words you want to search for—in my case, “declared to be the son of God with power.”)
  2. Hit Ctrl+Enter (on both Mac and PC)

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A search window pops up that searches all the Bible translations I’ve chosen to be part of my “Top Bibles,” which for me is the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and HCSB.

Logos finds my verse and reveals to me why I wasn’t finding it in the online Bible: I missed one little word. I had the KJV in my head (I grew up with it), so searching just the ESV wasn’t going to find the statement I was looking for. Logos searches all the translations I’ve got mixed up in my head, and it finds what I need.

Search the Scriptures

When I was maybe 14 and my little sister 11, she challenged me the way little sisters do: “You don’t tie your shoes right! That way is slower!”

“Oh, yeah?!” I cleverly retorted.

“Yeah! Let’s race!”

“You’re on!”

She won.

I admit it. Her way is faster. But now, 21 years later, I still tie my shoes my way. I don’t care enough to change.

Don’t be 14-year-old me when it comes to keyboard shortcuts. The computing tasks you do repeatedly can almost certainly be accomplished more quickly with your keyboard (if you don’t use it already). Alt+D (or ⌥⌘L on Mac) and Ctrl+Enter will seem awkward and slow at first, but if you use these keyboard shortcuts at least five times a day for a week, they will become part of your muscle memory.

mark ward
Mark L. Ward, Jr. received his PhD from Bob Jones University in 2012; he now serves the church as a Logos Pro. He is the author of multiple high school Bible textbooks, including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.

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Written by
Mark Ward

Christian, husband, father, writer, ultimate frisbee player when possible.

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Written by Mark Ward