Top Google suggestion: “Bible is fake” (@andersorsander)

“The Bible is fake”. That’s the top suggestion from Google UK, the following being “b******t”, “not relevant today” and finally “the Word of God”. I find this relevant to anyone interested in online ministry. The auto suggest from Google is based on search activity run through an algorithm serving you the suggestions deemed to be the most popular and relevant (plus other not disclosed factors). 3 out of 4 are negative in this case.

Google UK

Google UK suggestions

The Google auto suggestions are served to a lot of people, so I would argue it’s relvant to look at them. To see what they stand for gives us insights to better bring the Bible to people in a way they can understand, relate to and apply in their lives. I took a look at the search results for each of these four suggestions.

“The Bible is fake”/”The Bible is b******t”

This resulted in a lot of atheist and humanist pages. I think they are so active in denying the Bible because of one big difference between them and people of another faith than Christianity.  When it comes to people with other faiths we can most of the time agree to disagree and respect our different beliefs. When it comes to atheism it’s a different situation.

It’s not just a matter of Christians claiming “You believe differently, but we believe we are right”. Since they deny the existence of God, by extent we are saying “You atheists are outright wrong” when we say that God exists. By trying to discredit the Bible and write it off as a fake they are saying that we are the ones who got it wrong.

“The Bible is not relevant today”

Here is an expression for a failure, or definitely a shortcoming, on behalf of the Christians and the church. Why would people engage with a book they find irrelevant? As Christians we must be much better at showing the relevance of the Bible today. The Bible is not just a book about past events in Biblical times, it’s the living Word of God speaking to us and our lives today.

The search results shows a mix of Christian and atheist pages, speaking for and against the relevance of the Bible. Taking a look at Google Trends shows that the Bible gets most searches in Africa and some countries in Southeast Asia, while the Western world is significantly lower. The same search on Google South Africa and Google Philippines gives a very different result.

Google South Africa

Google South Africa suggestions

Google Philippines

Google Philippines suggestions

“The Bible is the Word of God”

This search results in pages debating, proclaiming or denying that the Bible is the Word of God. Maybe the most important lesson here is to define what we mean by the Bible being the Word of God. I think this reflects back on the importance of relevance and everyday application. By finding the relevance of the Bible in your life today, I’m sure the relationship with God will develop and grow. And it’s through the relationship with God we also understand how the Bible is His Word.

Tips

  • Put Bible verses into context. One of the most common ways to make the Bible say what you like it to say is by breaking a single verse out of context so it says what you wish it to say.
  • Look at current trends (trending topics, hashtags, Quora…) and use them to show how the Bible is relevant today.
  • Refer to general historical fact to point at the parts of the Bible that speak of these facts.
  • Have a practical approach to show how Scripture is applied in everyday life.

What are your thoughts on this? What are your suggestions? Do you have examples to show? Please share in a comment.

About andersorsander

Digital Marketing Officer for United Bible Societies. Living in Sweden in a Swedish-Filipino family.