BibleGateway.com, a popular search engine for the Bible, crunched the numbers from 2013 and came up with a few top 10 lists, including popularity by city (controlling for population). Texas has four cities in the Top 10.
Dallas / Fort Worth, TX
Washington, DC / Hagerstown, MD
Raleigh / Durham / Fayetteville, NC
Waco / Temple / Bryan, TX
San Antonio, TX
Houston ranks 10th.
So KTRH News asked two of Houston’s spiritual leaders what scripture they might recommend.
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of the Galveston Houston Archdiocese, recommends the Book of John.
“John 1 through 18: it’s a great hymn at the beginning of the Gospel of John called the Prologue. The opening line is ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ a beautiful evoking of the God who at the beginning of creation through His Word makes all. Also through His Words comes down among us and He becomes flesh and saves us. So I think John I and the verses that follow are a wonderful passage of scripture.”
Cardinal DiNardo says he chose that passage because it gives an over-arching view of the world and God’s involvement in it, and therefore His involvement with each of us.
Bishop Mike Rinehart of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church says his favorite Bible passage is from Matthew 22: 36-37 where Jesus is confronted and is asked, in effect, what his favorite verse is.
“In a sense He is asked, ‘what is the most important Commandment?’ There are 613 commandments in the Torah, and there are the Ten Commandments, and so it’s like asking who your favorite child is. It’s a tough question. Jesus doesn’t hesitate. He immediately responds with the Shema, probably the first Bible passage as a young Jewish child He would have memorized: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.’ And He says this is the first and greatest Commandment, and the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. And so the most important thing is loving God, and then your neighbor, and He defines neighbors as even including your enemies. And then he says something astounding. He says on these two rest all of the laws of the prophets. In other words if you want to understand what the whole Bible is about, it really boils down to this: Love God, and love your neighbor.”
Bishop Rinehart says he uses BibleGateway often, and says its search features have changed the way people study the Bible. “You can search by words or phrases and can easily jump back and forth between different translations to see how these translators have chosen to render these ancient texts with very complex words. I think it’s a fantastic tool and I’m grateful that we have it.”
The following is a list of Top 5 searches by city:
§ Psalm 23 shows up in the top five passages for every city but Singapore.
§ Only eight books of the Bible are represented on the list.
§ Singapore and Makati City in the Philippines are the only non-Western cities in the top ten.
Here’s the same data in a table for reference: