The e-Church community was left baffled today as the Church of England’s Heavenly Quantifiers (CEHQ) Online Biblical Tracking Division announced a surprising finding: an unprecedented, geographically-limited spike in interest for an obscure Bible passage from the University of Bristol campus.
Speaking to The Whip on the condition of anonymity, a source within the department revealed that the religious body kept close tabs on the most popular verses from every administrative district, and that the passage in question had never made it into the top 20.
They were unable to explain the 4000% increase in interest over the last seven days.
“Despite the best efforts of our biblical scholars and data analysts we can find no discernible reason for this extremely atypical surge,” said Archbishop of Cantebury Justin Welby in a statement “but whatever the reason, we’re always delighted to have more people reading the good word of the Lord, however they chose to access it.”
He went on to reassure the public that their online Bible sites and IRL churches would never introduce surge pricing and were indeed free.
The passage, which reads: “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it'” refers to an early portion of the story of Job, who was tested as part of a competition between God and Satan.
Whilst many theories have been discussed online, none have emerged that can plausibly explain both the verse and the geographical locality of the searches.
The only other clue which has emerged is an accompanying spike in searches asking: “Does getting a 2:2 qualify me as meek?” Academics have speculated that this may be related to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount but have not yet come to any hard conclusions.
The mystery continues.