How to Search Your Highlights inside Logos

You can search for just about anything inside—or near or not near or intersecting or before or within four words of—just about anything else in Logos. You can even search particular highlighting styles.

I’m becoming a broken broken record record record, but Logos is for people who don’t just read their libraries but use use use them. And searching highlights is a good example of why I keep harping on this. I stumbled into a simple highlighting system many years ago, and for about the last ten years I’ve been consistently using Logos highlights as part of that system. Because Logos makes it so easy, I added just a few little refinements to it—extra colors and symbols like a bright red highlighting style that includes three question marks.

I call the highlighting style “Question Marks,” and I use it, as I explained in a recent post, for the important scholarly purpose of scrawling my disapproving emotions all over things I don’t like:

(I also use this style for marking something I’m simply not sure I agree with, or something I don’t quite understand.)

I was using my Logos library to write—graciously, delicately, and fairly, I hope—about a few things I disagree with among the writings of fellow Christians. I did not and do not buy books only by those who think agree with me in every detail. In order to find examples, I turned to the searching power of Logos. I searched for all my red highlights with question marks. Like this:

{Highlight Question Marks}

In one moment I gathered together specific results from thousands of hours of reading over the course of a decade. Apparently I’ve questioned 38 statements in my Logos library in 20 different resources, and I found precisely the examples I needed.

Preaching and rhetoric

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, and though on the authority of the Bible I refuse to trust in rhetoric to persuade people (2:1–5), I also on the authority of that same Bible make sure to give thought to the rhetorical shape of my written or preached words. The very Paul who insisted that he didn’t use “lofty speech” or “eloquence” has become one of the most persuasive writers of all time in part because of his rhetoric—especially his passionate logic. He just didn’t look to the rhetorical shape of his words to persuade others but to the power of the God about whom he was writing.

So I feel not just free but bound, out of service to the sheep I shepherd when I teach the Bible, to be on a never-ending mission to gather illustrative material, one essential aspect of real-life rhetoric. I could gather all that material together into topical illustration files—as so helpfully does if you subscribe. But I read so much stuff all the time that topical filing would be burdensome. Instead I save illustrations in notes tied to individual Bible passages—and I carefully highlight anything I think will prove useful to me.

Like I’ve shown you in this post.

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

Mark Ward (PhD, Bob Jones University) is an editor in the book division at Crossway. He is the author of several books and textbooks including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption (BJU Press, 2016), Basics for a Biblical Worldview (BJU Press, 2021), and Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible (Lexham Press, 2018). He is an active YouTuber.

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Written by Mark Ward
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