Bible SuperSearch

Version 4.0

User’s Guide

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.
John 5:39


Bible SuperSearch is a free, easy-to-use, web based Bible search and passage retrieval program. It includes a powerful search engine, which can search the entire Bible, or at your option, search only the requested book(s), chapter(s) or passage reference(s). Bible SuperSearch can also look up multiple passage references at once, including complex references.

Bible SuperSearch is open source software, and is freely available.   It can be run entirely on your website.   If you would like to install Bible SuperSearch on your website, please check out the official Bible SuperSearch website for downloading information. 

Table of Contents


Basic Search
Search Type
Parallel Search
Whole Words Only


Looking up Passages

Basic Retrevial
Parallel Bibles
Multiple Verses & Verse Ranges
Multiple Books or Chapters
Multiple Passages


Limiting your Searches


Special Features

Easy Copy
Strong’s Numbers and Definitions
Seeing results in context

Boolean Searches

Phrases and Regular Expressions
Operator Aliases
Wildcard Searches
With Proximity Search

Advanced Search

Custom Proximity Range
Power Search

Searches [top]

Basic Searches [top]

Enter a word or words into the “Search” text box, and click “search”. The search is equivalent to an exhaustive concordance; it will return ALL verses with the given word(s).

Search Options  [top]

Search Type  [top]

The search type is selected by the radio buttons or drop down menu, if applicable, on the form:

All Words

(Default) Searches for verses containing ALL of the keywords entered.

Any Word

Searches for verses containing ANY of the keywords entered

Exact Phrase

Searches for.verses containing the exact phrase entered.

One Word

Searches for verses containing only ONE of the keywords entered.

Two or More Words

Searches for verses containing at least TWO of the keywords entered.

Words Within 5 Verses

Finds all words, not necessarily in the same verse. Word2 within 5 verses of word1, word3 within 5 verses of word2… See Advanced Search below for more proximity search options.
Words within Same Chapter Finds all the words, within the same chapter.
Regular Expression
Searches for the specified regular expression. See http://www.regular-expressions.infofor details on using regular expressions.

Boolean Expression

Boolean expression search with parentheses support.  Allows you to specify advanced search queries using operators and parentheses.  See below for details.

Parallel Bible Versions [top]

You may search up to four Bibles at a time. Just select the versions you desire from the Bible lists. Please note: For parallel searches, all Bibles selected must be of the SAME LANGUAGE. If only one Bible version is installed, you will see the name of the installed version in place of the “Bible” drop down menu.

Whole Words Only [top]

Check “Whole words only” check box for searches for the exact word(s) only. For example: Searching for work does not return workedworksworker or working.

Unchecking “Whole Words Only” will result in searches returning verses with words CONTAINING the requested words. For example: Searching for one returns onebonestone, alone, among other things. “Whole Words Only” is selected by default.

Wildcard Searches [top]

You may specify wildcard characters in your searches using the following characters.

% –  Unlimited characters

_ – Single character

The unlimited characters wildcard allows for any amount of characters, while the single character wildcard only takes the place of one character.

Example: stand% returns stand, standing, standeth, standard
Example: %stand returns stand, understand.

Looking Up Passages  [top]

Basic Passage Retrieval  [top]

Enter the reference into the “passage” or “lookup” box, and click the “go” or “lookup” button. You may enter either the full name of the book, or any common abbreviation of it. You may also request whole chapters and books.

Example: Romans 8:2
Example: Rom 8:2
Example: Rom. 8:2 (with period)
Example: Ro. 8:2
Example: Jas 1:8 (James 1:8)
Example: James 3
Example: 2 Tim 2
Example: 2Tim
Example: Rev

Parallel Bibles  [top]

You may look up references in multiple Bibles, to be displayed side-by-side. Choose the Bibles you desire in the separate Bible menus. You may view up to four Bibles in parallel format.

Multiple verses & Verse Ranges [top]

You may request multiple verses from a chapter using commas and hyphens.


Example: Jas 1:1,2, 3 Example: Rom 1:2, 5:8
Example: Matt 1:1-3 Example: Rom 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9,13;
Example: Jn 1:1-3, 5,6, 8-10 (Chapter 1, verses 1-3, 5 and 6, and 8-10)

Note: You may include spaces with your commas and hyphens, but they are not required.

You may also request multiple verses from the same book:

Example: Rom 5:2, 6:, 8:6, 9:3-10:2, 6 (Chapter 5, verses 2, chapter 6 (entire), chapter 8, verse 6, chapter 9 verse three through chapter 10, verse 2, and chapter 10, verse six. (Please note, that chapter 6 is denoted as “6:” If the colon is ommitted, it is interpreted as chapter 5, verse 6.)

Multiple books or chapters [top]

You may also request multiple chapters and books in the same way. However, you may only request multiple books in conjunction with a search. (See Custom Search Limitation below.)

Example: Rom 1, 3 (Chapters 1 and 3)
Example: Acts 2, 5-7 (Chapters 2 and 5 through 7)

Example: Mark – John
Example: Dan; Rev

Indefinite Ranges [top]

You may request retrieval to the end of a chapter without knowing the number of the last verse by inserting a hyphen after the starting verse, but omitting the final verse.

Example: Phil 3:5- (Chapter 3, verses 5 through the end of the chapter)
Example: Titus 2:-10 (Chapter 2, verses 1 through 10)

Cross Chapter Lookup [top]

You may look up verses across multiple chapters in the following manner:

Example: 1 Cor 4:8 – 5:2 (Chapter 4, verse 8 through chapter 5, verse 2)

Example: Dan 6:5 – 10:10 (Chapter 6, verse 5 through chapter 10, verse 10)

Starting and ending with a whole chapter.

If you want to start or end your request with a complete chapter, simply enter it with a colon but no verse reference like this:

Example: Rom 1: – 2:5 (Chapter 1, verse 1 through chapter 2, verse 5)
Example: Acts 4:12 – 6: (Chapter 4, verse 12 through the end of chapter 6)

Whole chapter to whole chapter references:

Simply omit the verse reference and colon

Example: Mark 2 – 5

See also the “Multiple books or chapters” Section under “Commas and Ranges”

For convenience, the following entry methods will also work in the way they are noted below:

Example: Lk. 12-14:3 (Chapter 12, verse 1 through chapter 14, verse 3)
Example: Eph 1:8-3:- (Chapter 1, verse 8 through the end of chapter 3)

Note the following will NOT work as cross-chapter references:
Example: Gal 1:3-2 (interpreted as chapter 1, verses 3 through 2, will give error message)
Example: Ps 3:2-4 (will return chapter 3, verses 2-4)

Multiple Passages [top]

To look up multiple passages, enter the separate references with a semicolon (“;”) between them. You may add as few or as many spaces (before or after the semicolon) as you want.

Bible SuperSearch can handle complex requests with any combination of references in the forms listed above.

Example: 1 Tim 5:2; Rom. 5:8
Example: Romans 1:16;Acts 4:12; Ps 119:11; Rom 8:5-7
Example: Rom 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9,13; Eph 2:8,9; Acts 4:12; Jn 8:31-32,36

Limiting Your Searches  [top]

Your searches can be limited to certain, predefined sections of the Bible by entering the following keywords in the “Look-up” textbox, or selecting them from the drop-down menu, if applicable. You may use either the name or any of the aliases. If one or more of the below limiters are not available in the drop-down menu, you may still use it by entering it into the look-up box.

(Note: submitting most of these shortcuts without a search will result in an error message because looking up multiple books at once will overload this server. Therefore, Bible SuperSearch will give an error. You must enter the EXACT WORD OR PHRASE as listed below.)

Name Alias 1 Alias 2 Reference
Old Testament OT Old Genesis – Malachi
New Testament NT New Matthew – Revelation
Law OT Law Torah Genesis – Deuteronomy
History History Joshua – Esther
Wisdom & Poetry Wisdom Poetry Job – Song of Solomon
Prophets Prophets All Prophets Isaiah – Malachi
Major Prophets Major Major_Prophets Isaiah – Daniel
Minor Prophets Minor Minor_Prophets Hosea – Malachi
Gospels Gospel Passion Matthew – John
Epistles Doctrine NT Epistles Romans – Jude
Pauline Epistles Paul Pauline Romans – Hebrews
General Epistles General General_Epistles James – Jude
End Times Prophecy Last Days End Rev; Daniel; Matt 24

Custom Search Limitation  [top]

You may search any selection of Bible passages using the custom search limitation feature. To use, simply enter the passage references to be searched in the “look up” box, and your search terms in the “search” box, and click the “look up” or “search” button. You may enter any reference as given above.


look up: Heb 11, search: faith

look up: 1 Cor 15, search: resurrection

look up: Rom 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-13; Jn 3:15-; Acts 4:12-25, search: saved

Special Features [top]

Easy Copy

If you want the text to display in an easy-to-copy format, click on the Easy Copy icon. To revert to the nicer formatting, click Easy Copy again. This allows you to copy and paste Bible text easily into your favorite word processor while requiring minimal editing and formatting.

Strong’s Number Searches and Definitions  [top]

To use the Strong’s features, you must first select a Bible that supports it. Currently, the only one is ‘KJV with Strongs’.   With a Strongs enabled Bible, you can search for Strong’s numbers as a keyword in any search, just like any other keyword search. When your search contains Strong’s numbers, the definitions will appear above your search results.

You can also hover over any Strong’s number in the text to see it’s definition, and click on it to search for it.

Seeing Results in Context  [top]

You can easily see your search results in context by clicking on the VERSE reference for a particular verse. This will show the entire verse, plus two verses before it and two verses after it (in the same chapter.) Clicking on the Book and Chapter reference will show you the entire chapter for this verse.

Example, for Acts 4:12, clicking on “12” will give Acts 4:10-14; while clicking on “Acts 12” will give Acts chapter 12.

Advanced Features

Boolean Searches [top]

The Boolean search allows you to specify advanced search queries using operators AND, OR, and NOT.  It also allows grouping of terms with parentheses ( ).

A search term is defined as a word or phrase that is part of the search query.

  • AND  – returns verses with both words
  • OR – returns verses with either word
  • XOR  (exclusive OR) – returns verses with only ONE of the words
  • NOT – returns verses without the word (to be used only in conjunction with other search terms)
  • PROX(N) – searches for both words within N verses (in the same chapter).
  • CHAP – searches for both words within the same chapter.

The operators work similar to mathematical operators. Order of operations is followed. Operations are preformed starting at the innermost set of parentheses, progressing to the outermost set, then NOT, then AND, then OR, then PROX() and CHAP (see below).

Example: ‘Jesus AND Lord OR Christ’

Returns verses with BOTH ‘Jesus’ AND ‘Lord’, and verses with ‘Christ’, and verses containing all three words, ‘Jesus,’ ‘Lord,’ and ‘Christ’

Example:’Jesus6 OR Lord NOT Christ’

Returns verses with either ‘Jesus’ or ‘Lord’ or both ‘Jesus’ and ‘Lord’, but only those that do not contain the word ‘Christ’

Phrases and Regular Expressions [top]

You can also search for phrases and regular expressions, enclosed with double quotations (“”) with the Boolean search.

Example: “Lord Jesus” OR Christ

Returns verses with either “Lord Jesus” (exact phrase) or ‘Christ’ or both the phrase “Lord Jesus” and the word ‘Christ’ (not in any particular order.)

Parentheses [top]

Search terms can be grouped using parentheses. You may also use brackets [ ] { }.

Example: ‘(Lord OR Christ) AND Jesus’

Returns verses with ‘Jesus’ and ‘Lord or ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ or ‘Lord’ and ‘Christ’ and ‘Jesus’

More examples:

‘(preserved OR stand) AND (word OR truth)’

‘((Lord OR Christ) AND Jesus OR God) AND disciples

Implied AND [top]

If an operator is not specified between terms, Bible SuperSearch interprets the query as if there was an AND between the terms.

Example: ‘Jesus Lord OR Christ’ interpreted as ‘Jesus AND Lord OR Christ’
Example: ‘(Lord OR Christ) Jesus’ interpreted as ‘(Lord OR Christ) AND Jesus’
Example: ‘Jesus Lord Christ’ interpreted as ‘Jesus AND Lord AND Christ’

Operator Aliases [top]

To make the Boolean search quicker to use, the following operator aliases have been developed. Any of these can be used in place of the operator, for the same results.



Alias #1

Alias #2

AND * &
OR + |
NOT !=
XOR ^ ^^
PROX(N) ~P(N) ~

Proximity Searches* [top]

You may specify a proximity search within a Boolean search, using the PROX(N) operator. N is the proximity range.

For example, ‘preserve PROX(4) words|truth’

Proximity searches are interpreted as follows: for term1 PROX(4) term2 prox(20) term3, term2 must be found within 4 verses of term1, and term3 must be found within 20 verses of term 2.

Note: due to system limitation, the PROX() operator may not be enclosed within parentheses or brackets.

For a detailed description of Boolean searches, please visit this link:

This is an article on Internet Boolean searches, but the concept is the same. Please note that while the Bible SuperSearch Boolean search performs similarly to the searches described here, it may not function exactly as described.

Advanced Search  [top]

For advanced search options, click the “Advanced Search” icon. The advanced search gives these additional features:


All of these words Verses containing ALL the words entered.
Any of these words Verses containing ANY the words entered.
Only one of these words Verses with exactly ONE of the words entered.
The exact phrase Verses containing the exact phrase entered.
None of these words Verses containing NONE of the words entered.

You can combine these to produce advanced searches. For example, entering “Jesus God” into the “All” box and “Peter John” into the “Any” box results in a search for verses containing both “Jesus” AND “God,” and either “Peter” OR “John.”

Search Limitation  [top]

You may limit all advanced searches by making a selection from the “restrict search to” menu, or entering a reference into the “Passage limitation” box.

Custom Proximity Search [top]

You can specify a custom range for a proximity search using the drop down menu and special search box. For example, if you want to find the words within 10 verses, select “± 10 verses.” Be sure to enter your keywords into the “proximity” search box.

Please note that when using the proximity search, all entries into other search related boxes will be ignored. However, your search restrictions will be applied.

Power Search  [top]

Power users will like these extra large boxes for entering long passage and boolean search queries.



Help support the Bible SuperSearch project, and download the latest version –