I found some pretty neat stats as I was studying through the Bible to write the articles on this site. I also found the answers to a lot of questions:
- How long is the Bible compared to other major works?
- What’s the longest book of the Bible?
- What’s the shortest book of the Bible?
- Which biblical authors wrote the most?
- How long should it take to read the Bible?
And I’ve been itching to make an infographic for some time, so I put all these answers (and more) here!
If you like the Bible and you’re a numbers geek, you’ll want to read and share this infographic. I used Logos Bible Software to get these numbers—if you’re a Bible geek like me, you’d probably benefit from using Logos, too.
In case you’re wondering, this infographic assumes traditional authorship. Therefore, Ezra is credited with the Chronicles, Moses with the Pentateuch, and Paul with all Pauline epistles. The reality of how we got these books is a bit more nuanced, of course.
Want to use this infographic?
Every once in a while someone will ask me if it’s OK to use this infographic in a sermon, or Bible study, or as a resource on a church website.
My answer: Go right ahead.
(All I ask is that you cite this article with a link.)
- Logos Bible Software (no way I could have done this without it!)
- The Lexham Hebrew Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012.
- Nestle, Eberhard, Erwin Nestle, Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger. The Greek New Testament. 27th ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993.
- The Holy Bible: King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.
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Nice read and insight into the actual length of the Bible by books. Also, now i can tell my girls that it’s possible to read the Bible 3x a year with just half hour a day in Scripture
Hello and well done. I really appreciate the simplicity of your writings/explanations. Such is what the lesser developed country’s aspiring teachers and preachers need.
Question, do you ever consult non KJV translations. If so, which. If not, why?
Again, you have made my life easier. I have included some of your work in the first part of a hermeneutics course I am sending to Kenya (May 22nd.. whew !). Mostly, I appreciated your overview of 2 Peter. Your face will be, hopefully, all over Kenya !!! :)
I’m confused by your calculation for Ezra. How did you come to that number?
A good deal of tradition suggests Ezra also wrote Chronicles. Can’t really be sure (biblical authorship can be pretty tricky), but seemed worth mentioning.
Ok. However, tradition is not unequivocal about that. Conservative scholars these days generally seem to want to separate 1-2 Chronicles from Ezra-Nehemiah as the content and purpose of the two seem quite distinct (in some ways Ezra-Nehemiah flows on more naturally from 1-2 Kings). Of course Ezra is about Ezra, and not necessarily by Ezra, apart from the few chapters of Autobiography in Ezra (note that Nehemiah, which is integrally part of the twofold book of Ezra-Nehemiah, also contains an even longer autobiography by Nehemiah). I’d be very cautious about attributing Ezra-Nehemiah to Ezra, and would think that the likelihood of 1-2 Chronicles coming from the pen of the author of Ezra-Nehemiah as being almost 0%.
Jeff, that’s excellent work. Unfortunately you are missing 7 books and some chapters which actually make it longer in word count and content. I would find it interesting where these books fit in your really excellent work. These are historical facts, regardless of disagreements between Luther (& his progeny) and the Catholic Church of which Luther was an Augustinian monk and priest.
Thanks for the kind words, Andy! There’s a good deal of work yet to be done beyond the Protestant Bible, which I might take on one day (even though I’m not Catholic). ;-)
I really appreciate and enjoyed sharing these facts with my family. The Bible is fascinating, and I think it Biblical illiteracy is one of the biggest problems today. People are too busy to make time to read and pray because they don’t make it a priority. I don’t know why they think it’s not relevant.
Lol and I thought that I’d want to put this on my library. I don’t have a big enough place in the fiction section to have 66 books when they’re that thick! It’d be an interesting read though, maybe I’ll just read it in pdfs
Thanks for this article, I really appreciate it. Also would like to ask if you could send me something to help me along in my Bible study. I’m in Acts 23. I would truly be honored. Thank you again
Thanks. I enjoyed reading this. I may have missed this, but how did you define “word” for your word count: as each complete word or as a certain number of characters? Again, forgive me if you explained this and I missed it.
Ah, Never mind. I found your great explanation. Thanks, again.
You bet, David!
In you word count, you have the number “598,518” in column F – what does it stand for?
1 Jer 33,002 Jeremiah Prophecy 5.51% 598,518 OT
Good catch! Column F is supposed to represent the Bible’s word count total. I’d left that count from a while ago (before adding the Aramaic portions).
Your comment also lead me to catch handful of minor errors in the sheet: I just corrected them and updated the infographic.
Thanks so much for pointing that out, Jan!
The Math Geek in me is going nuts!! LOVE THIS!!!
So glad you enjoyed it, Sarah—thanks!
Nice graphics. Thanks for sharing. Incredible work!
Thanks! Glad you like it. I’ll cook another one up here pretty soon.