Search Direction

View Bible book abbreviations

Advanced settings



The most powerful way to find an article is through our search engine. You can enter a simple search or a more complex search.

For a simple search, just type in the word or words you are looking for, and click Search. This will use the default options: all articles and book reviews will be searched; only the title, author and notes will be searched; only articles which contain all of the words you entered will be located. Up to 100 matching articles/book reviews will be returned, always sorted with newest matches first.

If you need more control, try setting some of the other search options. First, you can choose regarding words or phrases:

  • All words (the default). To be a match, an article or book review must contain all the words you entered. Sequence and proximity are disregarded. This is the best way to search for all articles and/or book reviews written by a particular person, including both those individually written and those cowritten (do not select the “Article text” option for such searches).
  • Any words. An article/book review will be identified if it contains any of the words you entered. Note that no preference is given to articles that match more than one word. For this reason, make sure you enter only necessary words, and avoid common words that would be found in many articles.
  • Exact phrase. This option allows you to choose a two-word (or longer) string, for example, “Anabaptist theology”. The words must be entered in the correct sequence. This feature is especially valuable for Bible references. You might search for all references to “Matthew 5” (“Matt. 5”, if in notes or parentheses), or “John 3:16”. See the list of Bible book abbreviations used in the journal. A period must be included at the end of the abbreviation: one must search for “Matt. 5” not “Matt 5”. Note that authors of articles, authors of reviewed books, and book reviewers are listed in Direction’s database last name first, unless they are a co-author or co-editor. To locate such persons as authors (or primary authors) using a phrase search, list as follows: “Toews, J. B.” But to find that person’s name in the text of an article or book review, or as a secondary author or editor, list in normal order: “J. B. Toews”.

Next, you can select what type of article information to search. By default, only the title and author fields will be searched (as well as the book author for book reviews). You can also check the box beside Article text to search the full text of all articles that match the rest of the criteria and are online. If you are looking for a specific author, clear all the check boxes in this section except for Author(s).

In the next box, you can limit your search to certain types of articles. If you are looking for a book review, or a Hearing the Word article, choose the appropriate options here. Similarly, the next-to-last box allows you to limit your search to articles assigned to a certain subject category. Keep in mind that book reviews are not assigned to any subject. The last box allows you to limit your search to a specific date range according to date of publication.

If the Search for box is left blank, a search will locate all articles of the type, subject category, or date range selected (up to the limit of 100).

After you have set all the options, click the Search button near the top of the page to find the results. As with the indexes, clicking an article in the results will take you to the full text of the article if it is online, and otherwise to the table of contents for the issue containing that article. When you have accessed a full-text article, you may jump to the word or words you were searching for by pressing Ctrl+F, typing the word(s), and pressing Enter.

Hopefully you will find what you are looking for! If not, you may want to contact us. We will do our best to help you find what you need.