The verse reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The globe study reviewed data from the Keyword Explorer Tool at ahrefs.com to find the average monthly Google search volume for 172 countries.
It also took into consideration country-by-country Google search data for the 100 most-read Bible verses at the popular Bible reading website, Bible Gateway.
Richard Frost, lay minister and blogger at Work Rest Pray said: “As I have reflected on these words over the years, I’ve moved into an understanding not just about God’s love for the world and everyone in it (including me) but what it meant for the first person who heard those words: Nicodemus.
“Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews. It’s possible that, throughout his life, he may have simply accepted all that was taught to him by the Jewish rabbis. But now, as he visits Jesus in the darkness (and afraid of his fellow Pharisees for doing so), Nicodemus encounters someone who challenges that received and perceived wisdom. It’s a time of confusion and Nicodemus realises that there was more to God than he had ever thought.”
Amy Boucher Pye, an author, speaker, spiritual director and blogger, said: “I heard a sermon recently about Nicodemus, the religious leader who came to Jesus at night-time so he wouldn’t be seen by others. His conversation with Jesus surprised him and ultimately changed his life forever. I had forgotten that this story is the context for the most popular verse of the Bible, John 3:16.”
Broken down by country, John 3:16 was the Bible verse of choice in the US, UK, France, Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, the Philippines, Somalia and Ethiopia.
In South American countries, people were most likely to search Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
“Described in 1961 by author of The Gospel of John: A New Commentary, Paul T. Butler as ‘the golden test of the Bible’, it’s long been used by Christian leaders and through the media, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the most searched of all Bible verses,” said World Vision.
“Not only is the verse the most searched on the web, but it’s also used across social media as people share updates on their lives and faith. It’s no wonder it’s being shared so frequently as so many people feel it strongly represents the Christian faith.”
The top 10 most popular Bible verses in the world:
- John 3:16 – 2,100,000 monthly searches
- Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:13 – 82,000 monthly searches
- John 10:10 – 73,000 monthly searches
- Proverbs 3:5 – 58,000 monthly searches
- Matthew 28:19 – 50,000 monthly searches
- Philippians 4:8 – 42,000 monthly searches
- Philippians 4:6 – 37,000 monthly searches
- Romans 8:28 and James 1:3 – 33,000 monthly searches
- Proverbs 3:6 and Ephesians 2:8 – 32,000 monthly searches
- Romans 3:23 – 27,000 monthly searches
The top 10 most popular Bible verses in the UK:
- 6" class="scriptRef">John 3:16 – 6,500 monthly searches
- Jeremiah 29:11 – 2,000 monthly searches
- 14.6" class="scriptRef">John 14:6 – 1,900 monthly searches
- 1.9" class="scriptRef">Joshua 1:9 – 1,800 monthly searches
- Genesis 1:1 – 1,600 monthly searches
- Isaiah 41:10 and John 10:10 – 1,500 monthly searches
- 1.27" class="scriptRef">Genesis 1:27 – 1,100 monthly searches
- John 16:33 – 700 monthly searches
- Isaiah 40:31 and Philippians 4:13 – 600 monthly searches
- Genesis 1:26 – 500 monthly searches
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