Americans say Jesus was real, but they’re less sure he’s God.
Sandwiched between March Madness and the start of the baseball season was Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. Here are a few surprising things you may have missed this weekend while searching for Easter eggs, watching the big game, or celebrating the Resurrection in surprisingly crowded church pews.
Smartphones Rule, Even with the Bible
Holy Week smartphone Scripture reading surged in South Sudan (86%), Palestine (83%), Myanmar (72%), and others unlikely places, according to data from the YouVersion Bible app. Smartphones outsell personal computers worldwide four to one, and nearly half of the world’s adult population owns a smartphone, reported The Economist earlier this year. These numbers seemed primed to grow: In just 5 years, 8 out of 10 adults will possess a pocket-sized device capable of letting them read the Resurrection story.
John 3:16 Continues to Slide
The once-ubiquitous John 3:16 Scripture verse has continued to lose market share, at least according to digital metrics. Romans 5:8 was YouVersion’s most-shared verse during Holy Week. Other top verses were John 11:25–26, Romans 8:11, Isaiah 53:5, and Matthew 20:28. (In recent years, neither Romans 5:8 nor John 3:16 has made it to the list of YouVersion’s most-shared verses.)
The Bible Still Makes Good TV
Nearly 10 million Americans tuned in to watch the first installment of NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues on Sunday. The numbers failed to hit the record-setting 13 million viewers who caught the History Channel’s The Bible 2 years ago, but that’s likely the fault of a rival biblical epic—The Ten Commandments—that aired on Sunday on ABC. The Charlton Heston classic grabbed 6.9 million …