Google has nearly 5.2 million digitized books now. Recently, they came out with a database called Google Books Ngram Viewer, which is a ‘digital storehouse, which comprises words and short phrases as well as a year-by-year count of how often they appear…(it) consists of the 500 billion words contained in books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Russian.’ It really is a fascinating thing, and someone can easily waste hours searching and comparing words and phrases off all kinds. Of course, if that sort of thing interests you.
I thought I would take a crack at it and search for four key words: Jesus, Christ, God, Christian. I searched between 1800 and 2008 and the results were very telling…
From the early 1800’s, books that mentioned God (out of the four words searched) ranked the highest. Christ came in second, Christian came in third and Jesus, oddly enough, came in fourth.
But, by the late 1800’s, you begin to see a drop in the use of all of these words. By 1900 the use of those 4 words in books had dropped more than 60% in 100 years. The lowest seems to hit Continue reading