Find passages in the bible

Edited by Godgirl77, Russell John, Charmed, Rose B and 2 others

This is a list of steps on how to search through God's word, also known as the Bible. The Christian Bible was written by God through men as a guide on how to live life, understand and communicate with God. The best way to understand the Bible properly is to read it with an open mind, heart, and spirit. If you read the bible with an agenda then generally (especially those who are not familiar with the bible) people will miss the true underlying message of the bible. Instead they will pull apart and twist words to try and fit their agenda. However, like any other book, the best way to read is with an open mind. Some Christians also believe that you must listen for God to direct you to the passages that you need to read in that particular phase or moment of your life. Though the bible is a book full of stories, poetic songs, laws, prophesies and promises. It is not always read from front to back. It is recommended that new readers begin in the book of Mathew or John. Now there are several ways to search for a verse and the steps below will explain how to find a passage in a more literal sense.

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The Bible consists of books by name, then chapter number, followed by a colon and the verse. The books are in order of accounts and words people were given at each date and time. Starting with the Old Testament which is followed by the New Testament.

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Lets give an example as if we were searching for a particular scripture, in order to give you a better understanding. (You may want to try finding the example in order to ensure that you have searched the right way).

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John 3:16-18 ( The book of John, Chapter three, verse 16 to verse 18)

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    The easiest way to find a passage when you don't have the order of bible books memorized (and assuming you don't want to flip through all of the pages!) is to go to the Table of Contents located at the beginning of the bible
    Or you can buy a bible with tabs that stick out and mark where the beginning of each book starts. Now in this case we are trying to find the book of John. So you would look in the Table of contents for the page number OR flip through book by book (in this case John is found after the book of Luke and before the book of Acts and it is in the New Testament)
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  2. 2
    Once you have found the book of John then you will look for Chapter 4
    The chapter numbers are much larger than the verse numbers and are placed like the large letter that often began old story books. It is sometimes easier to find chapters by looking in the top right hand corner. The chapter will be the first set of numbers before the colon in the right hand corner. You may notice that the passages stated at the top right hand corner are always chosen by the following rule. It is chosen by the verse that continues from the previous page, starts on that page, or continues on the next page. So don't panic or feel puzzled if your bible does not read out the common patter of 1, 2, 3, 4 of each chapter and verse at the top of the page as most books do today.
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  3. 3
    Now within the chapter there are verses which are indicated by smaller sub-numbers like a works cited page
    This is where you will find the exact words you are looking for. In this case it is 16 to 18 (16-18)
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    When you are trying to indicate or find a scripture you must write it in the same format as you see in the top right hand corner
    This is like your source on a works cite page. It is the way that people find information in the bible and your format of proof when quoting the bible. Here it is John 3:16-18. If you were only searching for one verse then you would just leave it at the end of the colon like so: John 3:16. If you are writing John 3:16-18 then you are sourcing all of the verses after 16, and before and including 18. If you are sourcing two different verses within a chapter then you must put a coma between the two verses (or however many verses) to indicate that the ones between it are not included. Like so, John 3:16,18 (This would mean we are leaving out verse 17).
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If you want people to know which bible version you are quoting from then you must put in brackets the short form. For example (NIV) or (ESV).

So after trying to find the example John 3:16-18 you should have in front of of you the following passage:

John 3:16-18 New International Version (NIV) 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

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What are the words on the top corner of each page in the Bible

The words that can be found at the top corner of each page in the Bible is the book and the particular passages or verses that can be found on that page. These books compose the Holy Bible. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

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As you can see on the photo, you can find the word "JOHN", along with the numbers, "4:38". John is the book or Gospel that is on that particular page, the number 4 is the chapter you are currently in, and 38 is the last verse found on that page. So if you try to look at the page, you will find the Chapter 4 and will end at verse 38.

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If you don't own a Bible and would like to try this, then I suggest you go to Bible Gateway ( You can search the entire Bible passage or even search by key words and switch versions.

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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Some Bibles contain Indexes of subjects, notes, or maps that may help when searching for specific verses or subject matter.
  • If you are finding it hard to understand your bible, the ESV or NIV may be easier to understand. If you are searching for a more mature children's bible then you may want to check out the Psalty Bible (includes audio CD's and explanations on subject matter between pages).
  • If you want to find books of the bible faster then you can invest in tabs and add them at the beginning or end of each book, or buy a Bible with tabs labeled and placed already. Some people also underline, highlight, or leave sticky notes near passages they want to come back to or find easily.

Questions and Answers

How do I know where a passage in the Bible starts and ends?

The start of each passage starts with a number, and ends before the next number. For example, in John 15:7, which means the Book of John, chapter 15, verse 7, this passage starts at the part where the number 7 appears, and ends at the part right before where the number 8 appears. In the case of multiple verses, like John 15:7-10, this means the Book of John, chapter 15, verses 7 through 10. This whole passage starts at the part where the number 7 appears and ends at the part right before the number 11 appears.

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Holy Bible

Recent edits by: Lynn, Rose B, Charmed

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