The NT Books’ Popularity

This post belongs to my “Web Popularity of Bible Books” series.  In this graph, I removed the outliers (Revelation and Acts) — see my previous post for reasons) and then I sorted the NT books by their popularity. Here are my thoughts on the most popular books.

  • John :  Wow, look at how low the other gospels fall in this line-up.  Does this reveal another problem with my “research method”?  Perhaps “the Gospel of John” is the premier gospel — but more on that in my Gospel Popularity post.
  • Romans:  Well, this just shows how much Christianity is really “Paulism”.
  • James: Maybe this illustrates the tension between James’ Christianity of works vs. Paul’s Christianity of faith.
I am not a Bible scholar, so you who are more knowledgable please let me know your ideas.  Is my data just pathetically faulty, or can we see important ideas here?


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

6 responses to “The NT Books’ Popularity

  1. That is fascinating about James! I knew there was tension, but I never would have guess that James rivals Romans in popularity.

    Another fascinating thing to me is that, as I’ve long suspected, this data suggests that the words of Jesus play second fiddle to the theology of the church fathers. (The book of John, of course, is rather suspect in its veracity regarding Jesus. But even including it, to have four epistles favored over the next Gospel in line is pretty remarkable.)

  2. What happened to Revelation? Perhaps its missing because nobody much reads it – I know I don’t – WAYYYY too weird and confusing!!

  3. @ TWF:
    Yeah, I was surprised at how popular theology is over the teachings of Jesus. But then, did Jesus come here to teach or to die? Why did he need to do both. As I wrote before (and you commented wisely) “Why not sacrifice baby Jesus“? His teachings are really nothing special. But “dieing for your sins” seemed to be a new selling point, not to mention supplanting Judaism.

    @ Kerry:
    As the post states, Revelations was an outlier — you have to read my first two posts to find out why it is not in this graph.

  4. I don’t understand why you’re doing this analysis series. What’s the point?

  5. @ Fester,
    They are exploring how the Bible attracts the religious mind. I like exploring patterns. If one is not interested in the Bible, nor in patterns, these posts would be a complete waste of time, I’d imagine.

    Hope that answers your question — unless you had something else to say.

  6. That answers my question, thank you. It would seem that there are polar attractions: the calming and supportive words of the Psalms and the apocalyptic exterminations of Revelation. Rather schizophrenic.

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