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How Many Book Are In The Bible

How many books are in the Bible? The answer depends on your definition, but it’s somewhere between 66 and 73.

The Old Testament is divided into 39 books, while the New Testament contains 27 books.

There are also three books that are commonly called apocrypha, but they’re not included in most Bibles.

What’s more important than how many books there are is what those books say.

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How Many Book Are In The Bible

Books of the Bible. Written under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit by laymen and scholars, commoners and nobility, the Bible is as unique as it is profound, containing 66 ancient books that have shaped laws, influenced culture and inspired billions to faith over three millennia.

The most read book of all time is the Bible, surpassing favorites such as The Lord of the Rings series, the Harry Potter series, and even classics like The Diary of Anne Frank and To Kill a Mockingbird. Business Insider reports that over the past 50 years, the Bible has sold 3.9 billion copies while the Harry Potter series has sold 400 million copies.

Complete List of Books in The Bible

Old Testament Books:

Pentateuch:

1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy

Historical Books:

6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Ruth
9. 1 Samuel
10. 2 Samuel
11. 1 Kings
12. 2 Kings
13. 1 Chronicles
14. 2 Chronicles
15. Ezra
16. Nehemiah
17. Esther

Wisdom Literature:

18. Job
19. Psalms
20. Proverbs
21. Ecclesiastes
22. Song of Solomon

Major Prophets:

23. Isaiah
24. Jeremiah
25. Lamentations
26. Ezekiel
27. Daniel

Minor Prophets:

28. Hosea
29. Joel
30. Amos
31. Obadiah
32. Jonah
33. Micah
34. Nahum
35. Habakkuk
36. Zephaniah
37. Haggai
38. Zechariah
39. Malachi

New Testament Books:

Gospels:

40. Matthew
41. Mark
42. Luke
43. John

Historical Book:

44. Acts

Pauline Epistles:

45. Romans
46. 1 Corinthians
47. 2 Corinthians
48. Galatians
49. Ephesians
50. Philippians
51. Colossians
52. 1 Thessalonians
53. 2 Thessalonians
54. 1 Timothy
55. 2 Timothy
56. Titus
57. Philemon

General Epistles:

58. Hebrews
59. James
60. 1 Peter
61. 2 Peter
62. 1 John
63. 2 John
64. 3 John
65. Jude

Apocalyptic:

66. Revelation



Old Testament New Testament
39 Books 27 Books

What is it about the Bible that has made it the book to “turn to” for the last half-century? It is a book that also has various translations to choose from and even different representations among the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths. The Book of Hebrews states it best when explaining why the Word of God is something everyone is drawn to:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, (Hebrews 4:12).

Let’s journey through the origins of the Bible, learning as we go of how the Bible has affected not only the lives of countless people but has also become the foundational building blocks for the leading faiths in our world today.

How Many Books In The Old And New Testament

To offer a brief overview, the current English Bible consists of 66 books with two distinct sections: The Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books). The two sections are arranged this way to highlight the birth of Jesus, with the Old Testament sharing the emerging prophecies of the Messiah and Jesus’ actual birth, death, and resurrection taking place at the start of the New Testament with the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

There are about 50 versions of the English Bible in circulation, with revised versions well into the hundreds. The most popular of the Bible translations is that of King James Version, which is also in the public domain and doesn’t require obtaining permission to reprint Scripture verses in published books. Bible Study Tools even has a list of the best-known versions and translations of the Bible for readers to peruse, with a brief explanation of each version.

What’s the Difference Between the Hebrew Bible and the Protestant Bible?

How the Bible was established to include what it does of stories and parables is part of the canonization process, which is, initially, a Christian communion performed by the Roman Catholic Church (as well as the Eastern Orthodox Church) to appoint selected deceased members of the church into the determined canon, or list, to be considered a saint in the church.

The same process was applied to determine what books of the Bible would be included, seen as to whether they were inspired by the Spirit or not, to be the authorized Word of God. It comes from the Greek word “kanon,” which means reed or measurement.

The Hebrew Bible consists of 24 books, believed to be determined by the councils of Jamnia in AD 90 and 118 as the list of books to be part of the Bible. There is still debate over what all the council selected to be canonized of the Bible, as this council has only been mentioned in ancient Hebrew writings and no confirmation has been found that this council existed or what they canonized. It is believed the Hebrew Bible was written between 1200 to 100 BC and has been in its current form since the second century BC.

The believed criteria used to determine what books were to be canonized, as the Word of God, may have included prophetic authorship (text written by an apostle or prophet), inner witnesses of the Holy Spirit, eyewitness testimonies, and then the final acceptance of the book by the people. Given that Jesus’ disciples were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ actions and words, they were the ones to authorize the New Testament and determine whether something was divinely inspired or not.

The Hebrew Bible and the Protestant Bible have the same content in the Old Testament, but the organization is different. For example, the Hebrew Bible has one book of Samuel while the Protestant Bible has two. Primarily for those of Jewish faith, especially Messianic Jews, the first five books of the Bible are the Torah (or Pentateuch) and the main asset of the Bible, detailing how God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations and established the Law (the Ten Commandments) as the way to live for God. The New Testament is seen as a commentary on the Torah/Old Testament.

What’s the Difference Between the Protestant Bible and the Catholic Bible?

The Protestant Bible comprises much of the Hebrew Bible but organizes the stories into a larger collection than its Jewish predecessor. While the Hebrew Bible was formed entirely from ancient scrolls (24 for each book), the Protestant Bible combines the Hebrew Bible with the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible written in the third and second centuries BC.

The Eastern/Greek Orthodox Church may use the New King James Version or other translations that allow more of the Greek translation to be used, coupled with their belief that the Bible’s New Testament, with the story of Jesus, is precedent over the Old Testament. The Catholic Bible consists of 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament (which is the same NT as the Protestant Bible).

The additional Old Testament sections in the Catholic Bible are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch (which includes the Letters of Jeremiah), I and II Maccabees, and additional sections for the books of Daniel and Esther. Catholics hold that the early church and the Synod of Rome council canonized what is in their Bible in AD 382.

Protestants made the decision to follow more of the Greek translations of the Bible during the Reformation, rather than the entire Hebrew Bible, which the Catholic Church had canonized and accepted in the original King James Bible, several years later.

Thus, the Apocrypha is present in the Catholic Bible as a collection of books not found in the Protestant Bible. They can be found in the original 1611 King James Bible but were pulled from the Bible in 1885 and named “deuterocanonical books.”

Other Bible Translations for Other Faiths

Jehovah’s Witnesses use their own version of the Bible, the New World Translation of Holy Scriptures, which they believe is more accurate, clearer, and has God’s name listed as they believe it should in the text. Before this version, Jehovah’s Witnesses heavily contended to the King James Bible.

For Mormons, there are four books they hold as the Word of God: The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (which have believed records of how God interacted with people of America from 2000 BC to 400 AD), the King James Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants (collection of declarations about the formation and regulation of the Church of Jesus Christ in the last days), and The Pearl of Great Price (writings from Mormon church founder Joseph Smith).

What Does This Mean?

One can see while learning the path toward the creation of the Bible that it is still open to interpretation as to which Bible relates most to God’s spoken word on paper. The debate over using canonized Scripture or more Greek translation-infused Scripture will continue as more people gravitate to reading and studying the Bible and the truth of the Holy Trinity.

What is hoped is that readers find a translation that allows their relationship with God to bloom and strengthens their awareness that Jesus lived and died for us so that we would be united with God for eternity.

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