2013 Bible Gateway

While searching the Bible on my favourite online reference, I came across Bible Gateway's 2013 year in review.

The top 10 Bible verses searched for on BibleGateway.com in 2013 were:
  1. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
  2. Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  3. Philippians 4:13 : I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
  4. Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
  5. Psalm 23: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures...
  6. Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
  7. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  8. Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  9. Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be make known to God.
  10. Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
In 2013, the top 10 topical keyword searches on BibleGateway.com were:
  1. love
  2. peace
  3. faith
  4. children
  5. heart
  6. hope
  7. joy
  8. prayer
  9. strength
  10. pray
Before making comments on these results, I should mention I have been watching shows featuring Sherlock Holmes. If I get carried away in my deductions, you will know why! These results stood out for me for the following 10 reasons:
  1. Jesus is not the top search term.
  2. Only one of the verses is related to the gospel. The main purpose of Christians is to spread the gospel. It is rather surprising that it is not more popular. Thankfully the one verse is at the top.
  3. Almost every verse is related to encouragement. These are the verses that you write on cards and say at weddings. 
  4. 6 out of the 10 verses are from the New Testament. I am actually surprised that this number is as low as it is. I was expecting that 90% of the verses would be from the New Testament. On the other hand, I don't think that is because more people are reading the Old Testament. It is most likely because most of these verses are being read out of context. In other words, people are not trying to understand these things for themselves.
  5. There are no verses regarding suffering, discipline, or wrath. It is pretty obvious that we don't like to think about these things, but considering that suffering is a mark of Christians and the world is headed for the wrath of God, it would be good if we looked into it more.
  6. Children is a search term, but wife, husband, and marriage are not. There is no doubt that children are the prize of every parent, but given the state of marriages I would have hoped more people would be interested in it.
  7. A general lack of people in the search terms. In the same way that Jesus is not a search term, nobody else is either. It is the stories of people that really bring home God's character.
  8. There is barely a mention of the after life in both the verses and the search terms. Shouldn't we be more concerned about eternity then the here and now?
  9. Money is not mentioned. I wish this was because no Christians are greedy, but it is most likely because we don't want to know what God really thinks about all of the money we spend on ourselves.
  10. Evolution, homosexuality, and abortion topics are not identifiable in the search terms or verses. Given that they are the hot topics of our today, it is surprising that more people are not going to the Bible to see what God has to say about it.

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