Verses that talk about social and political themes are among the most searched Bible passages on Bible Gateway in 2020.
According to "the most visited Christian website," passages related to social issues were searched more than 100 times this year compared to last year. In fact, passages revolving around social issues are the most searched on Bible Gateway this year.
The jump occurred around the time of the controversial death of African American George Floyd in May. During that time, users of the website looked for keywords like justice, racism, oppression, and equality, Bible Gateway said in an article.
Proverbs 21:15 is an example of a popular verse that falls under this theme: "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."
Another example is Isaiah 1:17, which says, "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."
The second most searched passages on Bible Gateway are about themes involving sickness, disease, and plague and God's protection for His people from such things. Searches for these keywords rose when the lockdowns were put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Exodus 23:25 was one of the most read verses connected to this theme: "Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you."
The third most searched verses were about political themes, especially with 2020 being an election year in the U.S. The government's handling of the pandemic also drove Bible Gateway users to search for passages about government leaders.
The famous passage about praying for people in authority, found in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, was one of the most searched passages on this topic. In it, the apostle Paul tells the believers to pray for "for kings and all those in authority" so the people can have "peaceful and quiet lives" that are marked by holiness.
The fourth most searched verses involved those that talked about the end times, such as prophecies and signs pointing to the end times.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 was a key verse for this theme. It is about Paul describing the "terrible times in the last days." Matthew 24:36, where Jesus talked about how no one, except the Father, would know the day or hour He would return to earth, was also popular.
However, the overall most searched, read, and shared verse on Bible Gateway-John 3:16-did not belong to any of these four themes. It has been the most popular verse on the website for about a decade now. It is followed by another famous verse, Jeremiah 29:11.
The words "love" and "peace" were the top keyword searches last year, followed by "hope," which was only on the fifth spot in 2018 and 2019.
Last year, YouVersion reported an 80% increase in searches on its Bible app, saying the app saw "record-breaking" engagements from users.
YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald said this increase could have been brought about by the many challenges people faced last year.
The most read Bible passage on YouVersion in 2020 was Isaiah 41:10, which reads, "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
Like Bible Gateway, the most searched keywords on the Bible App included "love" and "peace." The words "healing" and "justice" were also frequently searched.