How To: Use Passage Lookup

What if you want to do a search for something a bit more complex than the basic Search bar allows? What if you want to see your search results in several different versions at the same time? What if you want to restrict your search to a particular part of the Bible? The answer to all of these questions is to do an advanced keyword search. Here's how it works.

First, click on Passage Lookup under the Bible section at the top of the page on Bible Gateway:

Link to passage lookup

Here, you can search Bible Gateway for specific passages just like in the Search—but here, you have some extra options available. In the Enter Passage box, you can enter the Bible passage you'd like to look up. If you click the "Lookup multiple passages" link, you can enter up to four additional passages at the same time. When you press the "Lookup Passage" button, all of the verses you entered will be displayed next to each other on the results page. Try entering more than one verse into the forms to see how it works, e.g. try Matthew 1:1, Mark 1:1, Luke 1:1, and John 1:1 and compare the opening verse of each of the four gospels.

Passage lookup

The second section on the Passage Lookup prompts you to Select Version(s). This form lets you choose which version or versions of the Bible you want to search in. Choose a Bible language and version from the drop-down list (if you don't choose one, it defaults to the English New International Version). You can specify more than one Bible version by clicking the "Lookup passage(s) in multiple versions" link.

Passage lookup version options

Lastly, the Options section lets you choose whether or not to hide footnotes and cross-references in your search results.


The last item notes whether or not you want to use only the languages you've chosen in your preferences. Visit the preferences page to change this option, either to open the search to all Bibles or to search Bibles only in the languages you've chosen.

Once you've made all of the choices you want, click the "Lookup Passage" button, and you'll see your search results. From there, you can further refine your search results or do a new search. You can always return here by clicking Passage Lookup under Bible at the top of the screen.

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