Bible Gateway, a searchable and sharable online Bible website, has unveiled its annual year-in-review, a report offering “a glimpse at how people engaged with the Bible in 2021.”
The site reported a stunning three million searches throughout each day among a diversity of people all over the globe, with the platform noticing some truly unique elements surrounding how people searched the Scriptures.
“The topics people search the Bible for on Bible Gateway are always interesting, but this year may be the most intriguing,” Bible Gateway content manager Jonathan Petersen wrote.
There were massive increases from 2020 to 2021 in searches surrounding sorcery, certainly a notable change. Other searches on issues such as “anger” and “love” also intensified.
“Searching Scripture using the words ‘sorceries’ and ‘sorcery’ increased from 2020 by 193%, followed by ‘slow to anger, abounding in love’ by 169%, and ‘in my father’s house are many rooms’ by 140%,” Peterson explained. “The increase in sorceries is related to heightened interest in the Greek word pharmakeia which, according to the Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament means, ’employment of drugs for any purpose; sorcery, magic, enchantment’ as used in Galatians 5:20.”
In light of America’s increased acceptance of marijuana — and patterns showing elevated interest in the occult and other related practices — this finding is quite fascinating.
Motivations for these searches are unclear, but the general increase is certainly worthy of noting and exploring, especially as people grapple with biblical and cultural questions.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there were decreases from 2020 to 2021 for terms about “pestilence” and “disease.”
Considering the COVID-19 chaos that unfolded in 2020 and some of the eased elements surrounding the pandemic in 2021, it’s understandable why this decrease unfolded.
As for the most popular Bible verse of the year, John 3:16 took the top prize as it has every year over at least the past decade. Read more about Bible engagement on Bible Gateway here — and see statistics from the report.
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