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The Bible
The Bible

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History
Books
Shortest Books
The Gospels
Famous Lines
General

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The Bible

The rationale for inclusion in this page, as opposed to one of the other Bible pages, is fairly arcane.  Most of these are facts about the Bible itself, as opposed to the stories therein; but some are included here simply because it's not clear from the question whether it refers to the Old Testament or the New Testament.

History

King James or Authorised Version: published Click to show or hide the answer
Revised English Bible (New Testament) published Click to show or hide the answer
Revised English Bible (Old Testament) published Click to show or hide the answer
New English Bible published Click to show or hide the answer

Books

Books in the Old Testament Click to show or hide the answer
Books in the New Testament Click to show or hide the answer
First five books of the Old Testament (a.k.a. the Books of Moses, and in the Jewish religion as the Torah) Click to show or hide the answer
First eight books of the Old Testament Click to show or hide the answer
The eight books of the Octateuch Click to show or hide the answer
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Books 9 and 10: I and II Click to show or hide the answer
Books 11 and 12: I and II Click to show or hide the answer
Books 13 and 14: I and II Click to show or hide the answer
Books named after women Click to show or hide the answer
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Shortest book (one chapter, 21 verses) Click to show or hide the answer
Book with the shortest name Click to show or hide the answer
Last book of the Old Testament Click to show or hide the answer
Fifth book in the New Testament (after the four gospels) Click to show or hide the answer
Sixth book in the New Testament (after Acts) – the first of Paul' s epistles Click to show or hide the answer
Antepenultimate and shortest book in the New testament Click to show or hide the answer
Penultimate book in the New Testament Click to show or hide the answer
Last book in the New Testament Click to show or hide the answer
Recipient of two of St. Paul's epistles Click to show or hide the answer
Other individual addressees of Paul's epistles (as opposed to churches) Click to show or hide the answer
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Authors of epistles, other than Paul Click to show or hide the answer
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Shortest Books

It does depend whether you count the number of verses or the number of words. And if you count the number of words, it depends which version you're using. The following tables give word counts from two different sites: overviewbible.com and From the Kneehole Desk of Elsie K. Young. (Elsie was 104 in September 2016.)

The former site explains: "I got these word counts using Word Lists in Logos Bible Software. Again, these aren't listed by English word count: this is from the underlying Greek and Hebrew."

I feel bound to ask, "well ... was it the Greek, or was it the Hebrew?" I don't know the answer to this!

Elsie gives us no clue as to where her word count comes from; I'm guessing it's the King James version, but this is literally a guess.

The following are the only five books with just one chapter:

Testament Verses Words  
Original Elsie
New 14 219 299 Click to show or hide the answer
New 13 245 303 Click to show or hide the answer
New 25 335 445 Click to show or hide the answer
Old 21 440 670 Click to show or hide the answer
New 25 461 613 Click to show or hide the answer

The next shortest books in the Old Testament are:

Chapters Verses Words  
Original Elsie
3 47 855 1,131 Click to show or hide the answer
2 38 926 1,285 Click to show or hide the answer

The only difference in the order, between the two word counts, is that Obadiah and Jude are reversed.

There are two more books in the New Testament that are shorter than Nahum, by number of words: Titus (659 words in the original) and 2 Thessalonians (823 words). Nahum is the 8th shortest book in the Bible (on word count).

The tenth shortest book in the original version is Habbakuk (3 chapters, 56 verses, 1,011 words). In Elsie's version it's Jonah (4 chapters, 48 verses, 1321 words.) Jonah has 1,082 words in the original version; Elsie doesn't give us a word count for Habbakuk because it isn't one of the ten shortest (or ten longest) books.

Longest Books

Here the inconsistencies in the results, depending on which word count you use – the one from the original (Greek or Hebrew) version, or Elsie's (which I'm guessing is from the King James version) – are more pronounced.

The following table lists the five longest books according to the original word count, but it also gives Elsie's word count and rankings for those five. All five are in the Old Testament:

Chapters Verses Words Elsie's ranking  
Original Elsie
52 1,364 33,002 42,659 2 Click to show or hide the answer
Jeremiah
50 1,533 32,046 38,267 4 Click to show or hide the answer
Genesis
150 2,461 30,147 43,743 1 Click to show or hide the answer
Psalms
48 1,273 29,918 39,407 3 Click to show or hide the answer
Ezekiel
40 1,213 25,957 32,602 7 Click to show or hide the answer
Exodus

The three longest books in the New Testament, according to the number of words in the original version, are:

Ranking Chapters Verses Words  
Original Elsie Original Elsie
12 10 24 1,151 19,482 25,944 Click to show or hide the answer
The Gospel According to St. Luke
15   28 1,007 18,450   Click to show or hide the answer
The Acts of the Apostles
16   28 1,071 18,346   Click to show or hide the answer
The Gospel According to St. Matthew

(Luke is the only New Testament book that Elsie gives us any figures for, as she only gives the ten longest books in the Bible and Luke is the only one of them that's in the New Testament. But at least she agrees that it's the longest book in the New Testament.)

Please note that the verse counts are my own, and may be subject to errors!

The next four longest books in the New Testament, according to the number of words in the original version, are John's gospel (15,635 words), Mark's gospel (11,304), Revelation (9,851) and the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (7,111).

The Gospels

Tells the story of the Nativity (including the Annunciation, the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, and the angels' announcement to the shepherds) Click to show or hide the answer
Tells of the visit of the Magi, the flight into Egypt, and the murder of the Innocents; includes the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord's Prayer Click to show or hide the answer
Differs from the other three gospels (which are known as the synoptic gospels), and doesn't include much of the same information; seems to have been written after them; emphasises Jesus being the son of God; begins with the Creation; has a lot about Jesus's early ministry in Galilee, including the wedding at Cana and the raising of Lazarus Click to show or hide the answer

Famous lines

Opening verse (King James version) Click to show or hide the answer

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want: opening line of (King James Version) Click to show or hide the answer
In the beginning was the Word: opening words of Click to show or hide the answer

General

Year of the Creation (according to Archbishop James Ussher) Click to show or hide the answer
Longest psalm Click to show or hide the answer
Number of Psalms Click to show or hide the answer
The last word in the Bible (book of Revelation) Click to show or hide the answer
A declaration of affirmation, found in the Bible, and used in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worship as a concluding word or a response to prayers; said to be of Hebrew origin, but also has roots in Aramaic; typically translated as "so be it", or sometimes "verily" or "truly"
Tobit, Judith, Esther, Maccabeus 1 and 2: parts of the Click to show or hide the answer
Illustrated Latin manuscript of the Gospels: probably created in a Columban monastery in Ireland, c. 800; widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure; named after the monastery in Co. Meath where it was kept from at least 1007 until 1564, when it was sent to Dublin for safe keeping; presented to Trinity College in 1661, and now on permanent display in its library Click to show or hide the answer
The Psalms were written by Click to show or hide the answer
Qumran Texts (found at Qumran, Jordan, 1947–56) Click to show or hide the answer
The Ten Commandments appear in Click to show or hide the answer
The only miracle described in all four gospels Click to show or hide the answer
The word "gospel" comes from an Old English term meaning Click to show or hide the answer
The New Testament was originally written in Click to show or hide the answer
Lamentations: attributed to Click to show or hide the answer
Created the Vulgate Bible by translated from Greek and Hebrew into Latin (c. 347 – 420 AD) Click to show or hide the answer
The shortest verse in the bible (King James version, among others; John, 11:35; refers to the death of Lazarus before Jesus raised him) Click to show or hide the answer
History of Judah and Israel, from Solomon to the fall of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem Click to show or hide the answer
Oldest surviving Anglo–Saxon translations (950AD) Click to show or hide the answer
Gospel addressed to Theophilus Click to show or hide the answer
Gospel thought to be based on eye–witness information Click to show or hide the answer
The principal Greek version of the New Testament Click to show or hide the answer
The only two animals in the Bible that talk Click to show or hide the answer
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes: written by Click to show or hide the answer
Acts of the Apostles: written by Click to show or hide the answer
The first three Gospels Click to show or hide the answer
The Decalogue is another name for the Click to show or hide the answer
St. Jerome's Latin Bible, 5th century AD Click to show or hide the answer
The only witch in the Bible: appears in Samuel I, said to be the origin of the name of Samantha' s mother in Bewitched; also the Elves' name for Middle–Earth, in Tolkien Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2018