In 2009, we launched a search for the worst verse in the Bible.
I don’t think any Christians had thought of doing this before, and while there’s probably a good reason for that, we thought it would be an excellent and counterintuitive way to get people talking about the text of the Bible.
We launched by asking our readers: ‘What for you is the worst verse in the Bible? It could be a verse which is irredeemably naff, mind-numbingly boring, or a verse which you find offensive or cruel.’
We received 173 nominations for the worst verse, mostly from the Old Testament, covering genocide, infanticide, execution, dismemberment, rape, human sacrifice and sexism. Twenty-two of the most promising were then posted on the Chapter & Worse bulletin board, which invited people to vote and debate the issues.
The final Top 10, with the worst verse of all (by St Paul) in the number one slot, was unveiled at a special show at the Greenbelt Festival in August 2009.