Olive Tree’s Bible Study App offers powerful advanced search syntax.

Here’s how it works and along with some examples. advanced search

The words for which one is searching are not case-sensitive. In the case of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, the searches are not final form-sensitive.

One can search for words using “*” as a wildcard signaling 0 or more characters and “?” signaling precisely 1 character. They may appear in any word and be combined in any way.

One can do OR searches and AND searches.

For OR searches, one puts any of the following between the words: “OR”, “Or”, or “|”. Note that “or” will be interpreted as a search for the word “or”.

For AND searches, one need not put anything between the words. This is as Google does it. However, if one finds it easier to include a symbol, one may use any of the following: “AND”, “ANd”, “And”, or “&”. However, “and” will be interpreted as a search for the word “and”.

One can combine multiple OR and/or AND searches. The order of precedence is left-to-right. Parentheses may be used to change the order of precedence.

For an exact phrase search, one uses double quotation marks around the words.

If one wishes to specify the order in an AND search, then one uses double quotation marks but places an “*” in the place(s) where the extra word(s) may be. This use of “*” is following Google.

Examples:
Note: Actual searchs are within the brackets.
[moses]: This finds all occurrences of “Moses”.

[abra*m]: This finds all occurrences of “Abram” and “Abraham”.

[god*]: This finds “god”, “gods”, “godly”, etc.

[*help*]: This finds “help”, “helps”, “helped”, “helpful”, “unhelpful”, etc.

[abraham isaac]: This finds “Abraham” and “Isaac” in any order within the default proximity. The default proximity is the same verse for Bibles and other versified material and within 20 words for non-versified material.

[abraham AND isaac]: This is identical to [abraham isaac].

[abraham & isaac]: This is identical to [abraham isaac].

[abraham isaac 2v]: This finds “Abraham” and “Isaac” in any order at most two verses apart.

[abraham isaac 50w]: This finds “Abraham” and “Isaac” in any order at most fifty words apart.

[abra*m isaac 50w]: This finds “Isaac” at most fifty words from “Abraham” or “Abram” in any order.

[abraham OR isaac]: This finds all occurrences of “Abraham” or “Isaac”.

[abraham | isaac]: This is identical to [abraham OR isaac].

[isaac OR jacob abraham]: This finds “Abraham” within the default proximity of “Isaac” or “Jacob”.

[isaac OR jacob AND abraham]: This is identical to [isaac OR jacob abraham].

[(isaac OR jacob) AND abraham]: This is identical to [isaac OR jacob abraham].

[isaac OR (jacob AND abraham)]: This finds occurrences of “Isaac” or occurrences of “Jacob” and “Abraham” within the default proximity of one another.

[(isaac OR jacob) abraham 1v]: This finds “Abraham” at most one verse apart from “Isaac” or “Jacob”.

[abraham isaac (jacob OR israel)]: This finds “Abraham”, “Isaac”, and either “Jacob” or “Israel” all within the default proximity of one another.

["abraham isaac"]: This finds the exact phrase except that there may be punctuation separating the two words.

["abraham isaac and jacob"]: This finds the exact phrase, except that there may be punctuation separating the words.

["abraham * isaac"]: This finds “Abraham” followed by “Isaac” within the default proximity. Note that this and other searches in quotation marks are ordered searches. This search will not find “Isaac” followed by “Abraham”.

["abraham * isaac" 3w]: This finds “Abraham” followed by “Isaac” at most 3 words later.

["abraham * isaac * (jacob OR israel)"]: This finds “Abraham” followed by “Isaac” followed by either “Jacob” or “Israel”, with the first and last words within the default proximity.

["abraham * isaac * (jacob OR israel)" 2v]: This finds “Abraham” followed by “Isaac” followed by either “Jacob” or “Israel”, with the first and last words at most 2 verses apart.

["abraham isaac" * (jacob OR israel)"]: This finds “Abraham” immediately followed by “Isaac” (save possible punctuation), then followed by either “Jacob” or “Israel” within the default proximity.

["abra*m isaac" * (jacob OR israel)" 5w]: This finds “Abram” or “Abraham” immediately followed by “Isaac” (save possible punctuation), then followed by either “Jacob” or “Israel,” with the first and last words at most 5 words apart.

[(israel OR joseph OR manasseh OR ephraim) (judah OR benjamin OR jerusalem)]: This finds any of four north-oriented terms within the default proximity of any of three south-oriented terms.

["("("abraham * isaac" 3w) * (jacob OR israel)" 5w) (reuben OR simeon OR levi OR judah OR issachar OR zebulun OR joseph OR benjamin OR dan OR naphtali OR gad OR asher)" 10w]: This finds “Abraham” followed by “Isaac” at most three words thereafter, then followed by either “Jacob” or “Israel” at most 5 words after “Abraham”, then followed by one of the sons of Jacob at most 10 words after “Abraham”.

["(abraham isaac (jacob OR israel) 5w) (reuben OR simeon OR levi OR judah OR issachar OR zebulun OR joseph OR benjamin OR dan OR naphtali OR gad OR asher)"]: This finds “Abraham”, “Isaac”, and either “Jacob” or “Israel” in any order with at most 5 words separating the first and last word, with the last of these words immediately followed by one of the sons of Jacob.

["(abraham isaac (jacob OR israel) 5w) * (reuben OR simeon OR levi OR judah OR issachar OR zebulun OR joseph OR benjamin OR dan OR naphtali OR gad OR asher)" 10w]: This finds “Abraham”, “Isaac”, and either “Jacob” or “Israel” in any order with at most 5 words separating the first and last word, followed by one of the sons of Jacob at most 10 words after the first word.