Have you watched our video showcasing some of the statistical highlights from Bible Gateway in 2011? One of the more interesting bits of data noted briefly in the video is a list of the five most popular Bible passages on Bible Gateway. I thought it might be useful to list out those five passages here on the blog as well.
In descending order of popularity, here are the top five Bible passages of 2011:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
2. John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight. (CEB)
5. Romans 8:28
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. (HCSB)
We run these numbers every year, and it’s always interesting to compare and contrast the most popular verses in different years. For the most part, the same Bible verses make the top-five list each year; they shift around in order but in general the list always looks familiar. Does the enduring popularity of certain verses—or the presence or absence of particular verses in the list—say anything about the tenor of the times?
For comparison, here are the top five passages in 2010:
Top Five Bible Verses in 2010
(Be sure to also read Collin Hansen’s reflections on what’s missing from that 2010 list.)
Are you surprised to see any of these verses on the list? Are you surprised to not see any particular passages? What does this list say about Bible readers today?