The most popular scriptures have been revealed after an internet survey of 37 million Bible references. The survey results rank every Bible verse by popularity and are published on the TopVerses.com website.
A new search was created from the rankings to find Bible verses more quickly. Instead of starting from Genesis, the ranked search shows popular verses first. 87 of the top 100 verses are in the New Testament, and these can now be found without looking through the Old Testament first.
Top Verses ran the survey in August 2007 by counting how often every Bible verse is referenced in web pages across the internet. The 31,101 verses were ranked by the results. As well as listing top verses overall, the site uses the results to rank Bible books and chapters. The most popular verse was John 3:16, with over twice the score of its nearest rival, John 1:1. Although John was the most popular Gospel, it was only sixth overall, with Ephesians taking first place. Shorter books scored better, and Malachi was the first Old Testament book at 19th, with 5 verses in the top 1,000.
The benefit of a ranked search is demonstrated by typing “world” to find John 3:16. Starting from Genesis, 96 verses match before John 3:16. Simply ranking the results places John 3:16 first, and saves 9 pages of wrong hits.
Church leaders have already praised the new site. Pastor Jason Hubbart from Every Nation Church, Sydney said, “Top Verses will be my new search engine when preparing sermons and for my own personal Bible study. You no longer have to search through a hundred verses to find the one you have in mind. Most of the time, I find it on the first page.”
The man behind the not-for-profit site, Peter B. Chapman, spoke of the impact it was having on the internet community. “Putting the most popular verses first makes the Bible much more accessible. All sorts of people are visiting the site and seeing the Bible in a new way. I love finding old favorites in Psalms”.