kemptonproject.org

Searching the Scriptures

Searches are done by verse (not by word). That means you can search for sequences of words as well as individual words. Searches will not match from one verse into another.

The search strings may include any characters, such as punctuation and spaces, as well as letters and digits.

For the purposes of searching, each verse starts with the verse number and ends with a space.

Case sensitive

If this box is checked on the search form, the case of letters must match the search string. Searching for “And” will not match “and” or “AND”.

Full word match

If this box is checked on the search form, the search string must match at the beginning and end of a word. Searching for “and” will not match “hand” and “hand” will not match “handle”. However, if you use wildcards, “*and” will match “and”, “hand”, and “stand”. The search string “*and*” will also match “sandal”, “commandments”, and “Andrew”. For this matching, underscore is a word character but hyphen is not.

PLAIN STRING

If you ask for a plain string search, the search string must be found exactly, except for case, in the text. It may be preceeded and followed by anything else. It does not have to match a whole word unless the Full word match is checked. If Case sensitive is checked, the case must also match.

STRING WITH WILDCARDS

If you ask for a wildcard search, the following characters have special meanings:

*A star (asterisk) matches a sequence of letters and hyphens (zero or more).
%A percent sign matches a sequence of any characters other than letters and hyphens (at least one). any%thing will match “many  things” but not “anything”.
?A question mark matches exactly one of any character.

REGULAR EXPRESSION

Regular expressions are a simple language for describing a sequence of symbols. They are widely used in computing. They provide a powerful method of expressing patterns for searching. They take a little too much learning for use in most web search engines, however, if you do a lot of searching, they are well worth the effort of learning how to use them.

A regular expression is a pattern that describes a set of strings. Regular expressions are constructed analogously to arithmetic expressions, by using various operators to combine smaller expressions.

The fundamental building blocks are the regular expressions that match a single character. Most characters, including all letters and digits, are regular expressions that match themselves. Any metacharacter with special meaning may be quoted by preceding it with a backslash.

A bracket expression is a list of characters enclosed by [ and ]. It matches any single character in that list; if the first character of the list is the caret ^ then it matches any character not in the list. For example, the regular expression [0123456789] matches any single digit.

Within a bracket expression, a range expression consists of two characters separated by a hyphen. It matches any single character that sorts between the two characters, inclusive, using the locale's collating sequence and character set. For example, in the default C locale, [a-d] is equivalent to [abcd]. Many locales sort characters in dictionary order, and in these locales [a-d] is typically not equivalent to [abcd]; it might be equivalent to [aBbCcDd], for example. To obtain the traditional interpretation of bracket expressions, you can use the C locale by setting the LC_ALL environment variable to the value C.

Finally, certain named classes of characters are predefined within bracket expressions, as follows. Their names are self explanatory, and they are [:alnum:], [:alpha:], [:cntrl:], [:digit:], [:graph:], [:lower:], [:print:], [:punct:], [:space:], [:upper:], and [:xdigit:]. For example, [[:alnum:]] means [0-9A-Za-z], except the latter form depends upon the C locale and the ASCII character encoding, whereas the former is independent of locale and character set. (Note that the brackets in these class names are part of the symbolic names, and must be included in addition to the brackets delimiting the bracket list.) Most metacharacters lose their special meaning inside lists. To include a literal ] place it first in the list. Similarly, to include a literal ^ place it anywhere but first. Finally, to include a literal - place it last.

The period . matches any single character. The symbol \w is a synonym for [[:alnum:]] and \W is a synonym for [^[:alnum:]].

The caret ^ and the dollar sign $ are metacharacters that respectively match the empty string at the beginning and end of a line. The symbols \< and \> respectively match the empty string at the beginning and end of a word. The symbol \b matches the empty string at the edge of a word, and \B matches the empty string provided it's not at the edge of a word.

A regular expression may be followed by one of several repetition operators: ..
? The preceding item is optional and matched at most once.
* The preceding item will be matched zero or more times.
+ The preceding item will be matched one or more times.
{n} The preceding item is matched exactly n times.
{n,} The preceding item is matched n or more times.
{n,m} The preceding item is matched at least n times, but not more than m times.

Two regular expressions may be concatenated; the resulting regular expression matches any string formed by concatenating two substrings that respectively match the concatenated subexpressions.

Two regular expressions may be joined by the infix operator |; the resulting regular expression matches any string matching either subexpression.

Repetition takes precedence over concatenation, which in turn takes precedence over alternation. A whole subexpression may be enclosed in parentheses to override these precedence rules.

The backreference \n, where n is a single digit, matches the substring previously matched by the nth parenthesized subexpression of the regular expression.

In regular expressions the metacharacters ?, +, {, |, (, and ) have special meaning; to match these characters use the backslashed versions \?, \+, \{, \|, \(, and \).

The search assumes that { is not special if it would be the start of an invalid interval specification. For example, searching for {1 will find the two-character string {1 instead of reporting a syntax error in the regular expression.