Bible Gateway has revealed the four main themes that people engaged with on its site this year.
The US site allows users to read, search, study, compare, and share the Bible in more than 200 versions and more than 70 languages.
In 2020, it found that people were searching for topics relating to the unpredictable year that 2020 was.
Bible Gateway said searches in each of the four areas occurred at least ten times more in 2020 than last year.
Societal-related searches soared in May after the death of George Floyd. Anti-racism protests sparked across the world demanding justice after a video showed a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Bible search terms included such subjects as racism, justice, equality, and oppression.
Notable Bible verse results included Proverbs 21:15: “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers” and Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow”.
The coronavirus pandemic sparked several concerns and questions about pandemics. It was the second most searched theme on Bible Gateway. Key topics associated with it include disease, pestilence, and plague. More than 1.7 million people around the world have died so far from the virus.
Notable verse results included Exodus 23:25: “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you” and Jeremiah 33:6: “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security”.
The US presidential election caused people to search political themes in 2020. The election between now President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump was full of controversy, even after the results were announced. Main topics people searched for included praying for government and obeying government authority.
Bible verse results included Timothy 2:1-2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” and Romans 13:1: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”.
4. End times
Bible Gateway said all the tumultuous events linked to 2020 triggered more interest in the end times. People were curious about how current events related to Bible prophecies. For example, many Christians discussed whether the Covid-19 vaccine could be the mark of the beast. Key search topics included signs of the end times and end of the world.
Key verse results included 2 Timothy 3:1-5 : “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” and Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”.