What's the most common word in Scripture? Five facts you might not know about the Bible

Bluefield College

Even Bible nerds need to kick back every now and again. But in case you're looking for some new trivia to use over the Easter weekend, here are some fun facts about the Bible, courtesy of Bluefield College, Virginia.

Andrew Lawrence, an associate vice president for online and distance education, has researched a number of trends in Bible usage, words and popularity.

He used a combination of data from Google Analytics, Pew Research and the Bible tool YouVersion to compile the statistics, as well as information from denominational conferences.

So for those of you who really can't get enough of God's Word, here are five fun facts to tickle your scriptural tastebuds.

1. The King James Bible has more words than any other English translation.

The KJV comes in with a whopping 789,712 words, beating the American Standard Version which has 768,874.

Bluefield College

The New International Version (NIV), which was designed to reproduce common English language, trails in third place with 717,810 words.

2. The KJV remains the most popular translation across denominations in the USA.

Baptists, Pentecostals, Episcopalians and Presbyterians all commonly use the 17th century translation in many of their major statements and conferences, according to Lawrence.

His research suggests Baptists and Pentecostals commonly use the NIV, while Lutherans mostly use the English Standard Version (ESV). This latest version was published in 2001 by evangelical scholars and is considered by theologians such as NT Wright to be more accurate than the NIV.

3. 'Lord' is the most common word in the Bible.

If you disregard words that are articles, conjunctions and prepositions such as "the", "and", "a" etc, the most common is "Lord". It occurs somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 times depending on the translation.

Bluefield College

Other words such as "God" and "Israel" also score highly. However, words such as "city", "hand" and "day" are more surprising entries to the top 20 most common words in the Bible.

4. The most cited portions of the Bible are...

According to Lawrence's research, the verses which have been referred to most commonly over the last six years are Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:6.

Both passages address anxiety at their heart. In Jeremiah the verse reads: "'For surely I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord, 'plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope'." The author of Philippians writes: "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

5. John 3:16 has gone out of fashion.

One of the most famous verses in the Bible is no longer one of the most cited. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" is one of most well-known evangelistic phrases in Scripture.

Between 2010 and 2012 it was one of most cited portions of the Bible. However since then it has dropped off the chart with other passages such as Joshua 1:9, Romans 12:12, and Isaiah 40:31 emerging instead.

Bluefield College