This post belongs to my “Web Popularity of Bible Books” series. Below are two graphs showing the popularity of the books of both the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) as found on the web.
The first thing to notice in these graphs is the outliers: In the Old Testament they are Genesis & Daniel. In the New Testament they are Acts and Revelations. In my next posts I will remove these outliers to reveal patterns which they obscure. But for now, let’s think about the outliers. In statistics, outliers are handled in many different ways and can tell us a lot. So let me speculate on these outliers.
Genesis is an outlier because it is the Origin Myth of the Hebrews and thus widely read. Acts is merely an accident of my search method: I searched using the phrase “book of ______” and “Acts”, in English, is actually called the “book of Acts” so I imagine that pages containing that exact phrase were disproportionately more common. What do you think?
But two outliers, the Old Testament Daniel and the New Testament Revelation, are both end-time prophecy texts. I was surprised to find these by-far the most popular Bible pages on the web. This illustrates one of the negative aspects of Christian ideology: fixation on apocalyptic catastrophe and judgement predominates Bible web pages.
Question to readers: Is it just Christians web-writers that are obsessed with the end times, or does this accurately reflect most Christian obsession?