By Aaron Earls
Visitors to BibleGateway.com were searching the pages of Scripture for love, whether they spoke English, Spanish, or even emoji.
“Love” was the most popular English keyword search at the Bible reading website in 2016. “Amor” topped the Spanish list. The heart emoji was the second most searched for emoji at BibleGateway.
The word “heart” ranked 16th in English, while the Spanish word “corazon” was 8th. “Love one another” finished the year as the 17th most popular English keyword search.
The top 10 English keyword searches this year were:
- Holy Spirit
The only significant change to the list from last year is the frequency of searches for “marriage.” In 2015, marriage was the 6th most-searched term, likely due to the same-sex marriage ruling that year. This year, the word marriage fell to 11th.
While many words were popular among English and Spanish speakers—the top three were the same in both languages—some differences were present.
Spanish speakers were more likely to search for words like: misericordia (mercy), diezmo (tithe), ofrenda (offering), pecado (sin), and obediencia (obedience).
On the English side, healing, marriage, strength, fear, children, trust, forgive, salvation, and worship were among the terms that did not make the Spanish top 25.
In all, 13 terms were unique to the English or Spanish list.
But words were not the only thing Bible readers could search for on BibleGateway.com.
2016 marked the first year emojis, small digital images or icons frequently included on smartphone keyboards, could be used to find related Bible verses.
These were the most frequently searched for emojis in 2016 at BibleGateway:
- 🙏 Folded Hands
- ❤ Heart
- 🙌 Hands Raised in Celebration
- 😇 Smiling Face With Halo
- 😂 Face With Tears of Joy
- ⛅ Sun Behind Cloud
- 😍 Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes
- 😁 Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes
- 😀 Grinning Face
- 😭 Loudly Crying Face
While an emoji Bible does exist, many of the emoji searches at BibleGateway bring up ordinary text verses containing the word corresponding to the emoji.
AARON EARLS (Aaron.Earls@Lifeway.com) is online editor of Facts & Trends.