I’ve been wanting to do this exercise for some time. It’s hard to find anyone, at least among churchgoers, who cannot quote, or at least recognize, John 3:16, which in my memory runs as follows: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. It’s a bit interesting, though, to go through other books of the Bible and pick out the sixteenth verse of the third chapter. I’ll save the Old Testament results for later, but here’s what the list looks like in the New Testament. All verses here are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). It gives a surprisingly well-rounded mini-overview of New Testament teaching.
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending on him like a dove and alighting upon him.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy.
John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
…ruin and misery are in their paths,
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
2 Corinthians 3:16
…but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, ”And to offsprings,“ as of many; but it says ”And to your offspring,“ that is, to one person, who is Christ.
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,
Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.
1 Thessalonians [chapter 3 has only eleven verses]
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.
1 Timothy 3:16
Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great:
He was revealed in flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the Gentiles,
taken up in glory.
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Titus [chapter 3 has only fifteen verses]
Philemon has only one chapter, but as a bonus here is verse 16:
…no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother —especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses?
For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.
1 Peter 3:16
…yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.
2 Peter 3:16
…speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
1 John 3:16
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us — and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
2 John contains just 13 verses.
3 John contains just 15 verses.
Jude consists of just one chapter. Here is verse 16:
These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. (Jude 1:16 ESV)
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.