Using Magnet Verses In The Williams Bible Links™ Unabridged Version

Rodger Williams
March 21, 2023

Williams Bible Links™ uses concepts rather than specific wording in Bible verses to link verses together. This gives it unique strengths as a tool for Bible research.

Although the system is mostly used for casual Bible inquiries, it can also be used for serious research where you expect to put in substantial effort to get detailed results. I explain below a strategy which I use to find verses on particular topics.

Note that you may end up with incomplete results. I have been unable to find a key verse for a topic where I know from my memory that the particular verse exists.

This may happen because none of the system's 70 source commentaries happened to provide that link. Or you may fail to find a link that is, in fact, in the system. It is not humanly possible to follow all links in the system's vast network of verses to gain complete coverage. I lay out a process below where there is a tradeoff between thoroughness and the amount of effort expended.

Magnet Verses

When Bible commentators list verses for a topic, they will normally make sure to include the well-known verses on that topic in their list plus other verses they know about. For example, the various commentators' lists on the general topic of God's love will usually include John 3:16.

The system ties all of the verses in those topic lists to John 3:16, which becomes a Magnet Verse for other verses on God's love. Therefore, a good starting lookup verse to use for the general topic of God's love is John 3:16. Level 1-4 includes verses on these aspects of God's love: salvation for us, loves the Son, keeping in the love of God, redeemed Israel, example to us, reason to love your brother, why we love God, indestructible bond.

An organizing tendency for commentators' topical verse lists has turned into Magnet Verses we can use to get a more complete list of references for our topic. When we have to choose between a well-known Magnet Verse and a relatively unknown verse on a topic, we should choose the well-known verse link to follow.

This is called a Heuristic. The strategy of utilizing Magnet Verses simplifies our decisions on which links to follow. Otherwise, the problem of finding related verses is too complex and time consuming.

The heuristic is not guaranteed to find all verses on a topic that exist in the system's network of verses. But it enables you to find most of them. You will see that it does a pretty good job.

Level 1-4 and level 5

These two levels in the unabridged version are tools for serious research on Bible topics. Level 1-4 (one combined level) contains cross-references with two or more citations in the sources. Most of the references in this level are readily seen to be related to topics in the lookup verse.

Level 5 contains those cross-references with just one citation. Most of these references do not appear to be particularly related to the lookup verse on first inspection. So there is a low ratio of useful information to effort expended in Level 5.

But sometimes Level 5 provides a verse which is exactly what you are looking for. For example, I was discussing the fact that God has a different perspective on death than we do. I remembered there is a verse in Isaiah which says that when the righteous perishes he is escaping from the evil to come. But I did not know where it was.

I knew a well-known verse which deals with that general topic. It is in Revelation where the souls under the alter ask how long before the people that killed them on earth would be punished. The answer was, Wait until they have killed the rest of the Christians who are to be killed as you were.

I looked up Revelation 6:11 in the unabridged version. Level 1-4 did not have the reference I was looking for. But Level 5 did! Isaiah 57:1.

A strategy I use to find verses about a topic

The goal is to find the main verses on a topic without becoming overwhelmed by the effort required.

Step #1: Look up a well-known Magnet Verse on your topic in the unabridged version. Go to the Level 1-4 list of references.

Step #2: Examine those references looking for verses on your topic. Note that the lookup verse likely has more than one topic. The system tries to separate the reference list into the corresponding topics. This should help by reducing the number of references you need to concentrate on. But since the topic divisions are not perfect, some relevant verses may be listed apart from the rest of your topic's verses. Record the on-topic verses you find.

Step #3: You may want to do a more thorough search for topic verses. In that case, you will label any well-known verse in your recorded list as a Magnet Verse. You may also want to label any verse which sums up your topic as a Magnet Verse, even if it is not well-known. For each Magnet Verse, repeat #1 through #3.

Step #4: You can repeat the cycle using any new Magnet Verses you discover. You would stop when you run out of Magnet Verses or when your reservoir of energy for the project has been drained.

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