By Aaron Earls
In 2018, Bible readers seem more concerned that God has a good plan for their lives, than knowing how Jesus fits into it.
Using close to 1 billion searches at Bible Gateway, the most popular Bible verse in 2018 was Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
In 2016, John 3:16 topped the list with Jeremiah 29:11 coming in second. This year, they flipped places.
Earlier this month, YouVersion announced the most shared, bookmarked, and highlighted verse of 2018 on the Bible app was Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold you with my righteous right hand.”
That verse was ranked 13th on Bible Gateway’s 2018 list.
Bible Gateway’s top 10 include:
- Jeremiah 29:11
- John 3:16
- Philippians 4:13
- Romans 8:28
- Psalm 23:4
- Romans 12:2
- Psalm 23:6
- Psalm 23:1
- Psalm 23:5
- Matthew 6:33
Several verses on Bible Gateway’s list were the most popular verse in other countries on YouVersion.
Jeremiah 29:11 was the top verse in Australia, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.
Readers in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Turkey favored John 3:16.
Romans 8:28 topped Ukraine, while Matthew 6:33 was most popular in Thailand and Vietnam.
The most searched for passages at Bible Gateway this year:
- Psalm 91
- Psalm 23
- Genesis 1
- Romans 8
- Matthew 6
- 1 Corinthians 13
- Matthew 5
- John 1
- Ephesians 4
- Romans 1
Bible Gateway also tracks the most popular keywords used when searching for a Bible verse on their site.
In 2018, Bible readers were searching for:
- Love (also no. 1 in 2016)
- Peace (no. 3 in 2016)
- Faith (no. 2 in 2016)
- Joy (no. 5 in 2016)
- Hope (no. 4 in 2016)
- Heart (no. 16 in 2016)
- Pray (no. 18 in 2016)
- Holy Spirit (no. 7 in 2016)
- Prayer (no. 6 in 2016)
- Spirit (not in the top 25 in 2016)
After ranking in the top 10 in 2016, grace and wisdom dropped this year. While grace landed at no. 11, wisdom was no longer one of the 25 most searched terms.
Earlier this year, BibleGateway.com, the most visited Christian website according to HaperCollins, celebrated their 25 anniversary and announced their website has been viewed more than 14 billion times.
In 2018, 44 percent of the site’s users were from outside of the United States—coming from 241 countries or territories, including China, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea.
The nations with the most Bible Gateway visitors this year were the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Philippines, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Peru.
Aaron is the senior writer at Lifeway Research.