How to Combine Person, Phrase, and Proximity in a Bible Search

man at coffee shop uses Logos Bible Software on laptop

An idea for a power searching tip comes in an answer to a fellow Logos user’s question:

In Acts 11:30 the phrase “Barnabas and Saul” appears, whereas “Paul and Barnabas” occurs in Acts 13:43. Is there a way to find when Barnabas appears before Paul in verses and vice versa?

Questions like this really showcase the power of Logos searching, so I encourage you to give these steps a try:

screenshot of search in Logos
  • Click the Search icon to open the Search panel (A)
  • Select Bible as the search type (B)
  • Set the verse range to Acts (C)
  • Select a Bible containing the interlinear option such as NASB, KJV, NKJV, ESV, LEB, etc. (D)
  • Copy/Paste this query into the Search box: “<Person Barnabas> and” BEFORE 1 word  <Person Paul> (E)
  • Press the Enter/Return key to generate the results (F)

screenshot showing search terms in Logos search bar
  • Open a second Search panel and use this query in it: “<Person Paul> and” BEFORE 1 word  <Person Barnabas> (G)
screenshot showing search results in Logos
  • Compare the results between the two searches (H)

Here is a brief explanation of the queries:

The first query is looking for a phrase beginning with any word referencing the person Barnabas followed by the word “and.” This phrase must then occur in a verse in Acts one word before any word referencing the person Paul.

The second query of course just places Paul before Barnabas.

There may be a couple of “false positives,” but primarily we have exactly what the questioner desired!

For more detailed instructions about searching inside Logos, please consider a subscription to where you’ll find 1000’s of videos to help you become proficient in both the desktop and mobile formats of Logos Bible Software.

Written by
Morris Proctor

Morris Proctor (1961–2023) was a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software and founder of MP Seminars. Morris trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, and his team continues to provide many training materials.

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Written by Morris Proctor