Brand New Survey Reveals The World’s Most Popular Bible Verses

A brand-new digital survey by children’s charity World Vision reveals the world’s most popular Bible verses by country.

The global Christian charity is inspired by Jesus’ teaching to help children everywhere to have hope and a future. So, the people at World Vision know how the Bible brings inspiration, joy and peace to many.  They researched internet searches to find out which verses have the most impact on the modern world.

The findings revealed that globally, and in the UK, John 3:16: “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,” is the most popular verse, with over one million searches every month.

This verse is a summary of Christianity’s central tenets, highlighting God’s love for people, Jesus as the Father’s Son and the connection between becoming a Christian and everlasting life.

Richard Frost, Lay Minister, author and the writer of the blog Work Rest Pray says: “As I have reflected on these words over the years, I’ve moved into an understanding not just about God’s love for the world and everyone in it (including me) but what it meant for the first person who heard those words: Nicodemus.

“Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews. It’s possible that, throughout his life, he may have simply accepted all that was taught to him by the Jewish rabbis. But now, as he visits Jesus in the darkness (and afraid of his fellow Pharisees for doing so), Nicodemus encounters someone who challenges that received and perceived wisdom. It’s a time of confusion and Nicodemus realises that there was more to God than he had ever thought.”

Amy Boucher Pye, an author, speaker, spiritual director and blogger, says: “I heard a sermon recently about Nicodemus, the religious leader who came to Jesus at night-time so he wouldn’t be seen by others. His conversation with Jesus surprised him and ultimately changed his life forever. I had forgotten that this story is the context for the most popular verse of the Bible, John 3:16.”

Not only is the verse the most searched for on the web, but it’s also used across social media as people share updates on their lives and faith. On Instagram, the hashtag #John316 has been used on over 250,000 posts. On TikTok #John316 has been viewed over 55.9 million times.

Jeremiah 29:11 is the joint-second most searched Bible verse: “’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 a hope and a future.’” The other joint-second most searched Bible Verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” 

Meanwhile, the survey discovered that Central and South American countries favour verses from Genesis. One of their most popular searches was Genesis 1:26: “Then God said ‘let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”

Another was Genesis 1:27: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Filled with some of the most popular stories from the Bible, including that of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark and Jacob’s ladder, this book was far more popular in Central and South America than the rest of the world.

How was the survey carried out?

The study reviewed Google search data for the 100-most-read Bible verses at Bible Gateway on a country-by-country basis to uncover which were the most searched for from nation to nation. The Keyword Explorer Tool at ahrefs.com was used to find the average monthly Google search volume for 172 countries, excluding those where the search data was unavailable.

More information on the findings can be found on the World Vision UK website.

Written by: Jo Duckles 

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