The Basic Facts about the Bible

Bible – Words, Facts, Figures, Statistics, Numbers, Versions, Translations, History and Languages of the Bible

by The Judeo-Christian Tradition on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 at 20:48
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

– John 1:1

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Books, Chapters, Verses, and Words of the Bible

Authors: over 40 individuals

Translations: over 1,200 languages

Books: 66 in Protestant Bible, 73 in Catholic Bible, 81 in Eastern Orhodox Bible

Chapters:1,189

Verses: 31,071

Words: 783,137

Letters: 3,566,480

Longest Book: Psalms (150 chapters)

Longest Chapter: Psalm 119 (176 verses)

Longest Verse: Esther 8:9 (78 words)

Shortest Book: 3 John

Shortest Chapter (by number of words): Psalm 117 (by number of words)

Shortest Verse: John 11:35 is 2 words- ‘Jesus wept’

Middle Books: Micah and Nahum

Middle Chapter: Psalm 117

Middle Verse: Psalm 118:8

The word ‘God’: appears 3,358 times

The word ‘LORD’: appears: 7,736 times

Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.

– St. Jerome, Author of the Latin Vulgate Bible

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Facts and Figures of the Bible

~ The Bible was compiled over the course of some 1,500 years (from 1400 B.C to A.D. 100), spanning 40 generations, and includes the writings of over 40 different individual authors.

~ In terms of exact numbers, the Bible represents the work at least 40 different authors, in about 20 occupations, living in 10 countries spanning about 6,000 miles.

~ In terms of content, the Bible features ‘a cast of 2,930 different characters,’ while the number of different locations include at least ‘1,551 geographical sites mentioned as scenes of the action.’

~ The Bible contains every conceivable subject included in every literary form (poetry, prose, romance, mystery, biography, science, history, etc).

~ One source summarizes the Biblical authors as a group of God-fearing men ‘from many walks of life (kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars), in different places (wilderness, dungeon, palaces), at different times (war, peace), in different moods (heights of joy, depths of despair), on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe), in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek)’

~ The Bible has been translated into at least 1,000 languages, along with many more partial translations.

~ The English translation of the Bible contains around 3,566,480 letters, 773,746 words, 31,102 verses 1,189 chapters, and 66 books.

~ The contents of the Bible has remained basically unchanged since the earliest days of the Christian Church. The Old Testameny continues to be based upon the older version of Scriptures, called the Hebrew Bible, which has been used by Judaism for over 4,000 years.  Here are the exact words of one of the earliest Church councils naming the exact contents of the Biblical Old Testament by name:

(It has been decided) that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon, two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach), twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees.

* The Council of Carthage, III, canon 47 (A.D. 397)

~ Other Ancient Church Lists of the same 46 Old Testament Books and Additions include: Augustine, Christian Instruction 2:8:13 (A.D. 397),  Pope Innocent I, Letters 7 (A.D. 408), The African Code, canon 24 (A.D. 419) and the Council of Hippo, canon 36 (A.D. 33)

~ In addition, the Christian New Testament contains the exact same number of books (27) and contents (4 Gospels, 2 Books, and 21 Letters) regardless of Christian denomination.

The Bible is more than a Book. It is a living being with an action, a power which invades everything that opposes its extension.

– Napoleon Bonaparte

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Numbers and Statistics of the Bible

~ Starting somewhere aroud 1,400 B.C., it took over 40 individuals writing over the course of 40 different generations (1,500 years) to complete the Bible.

~ The standard Judeo-Christian Old Testament contains 17 books of history, 5 books of poetry, and 17 books of prophecy.

~ In the original languages which they were written, the Judeo-Christian Bible uses over 8,674 different Hebrew words and 5,624 different Greek words.

~ The basic 66 books of the Judeo-Christian Bible contain 1189 chapters composed of 31,071 different verses with a total of 783,137 words.

~ The most popular English-language version of the Judeo-Christian Bible, known as the King James Version, contains 12,143 different English words

~ The Judeo-Christian Bible has been translated into over 2,000 languages

~ The longest Book is the Book of Psalms (Old Testament) and the shortest is 2 John (New Testament)

~ The longest Biblical verse is Esther 8:9 and the shortest is John 11:35

~ The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 and the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35

~ The longest Biblical chapter is Psalm 119 and the shortest is Psalm 117

~ The Judeo-Christian Bible has over 1,189 chapters with 929 Old Testament Chapters and 260 New Testament chapters

~ The word ‘God’ is mentioned 3,358 different times, while the word ‘LORD’ is used on 7,736 separate occasions

~ It has been estimated that the Judeo-Christian Bible can be read out loud in just 70 hours time.

~ The Bible was the first book to ever be printed in the year 1454

~ Miles Coverdale published the first English translation of the entire Bible in 1535

~ Neither the Book of Solomon or the Book is Esther contains a single reference to either God or the LORD God

The Bible is a Book in comparison with which all others in my eyes are of minor importance; and in all my perplexities and distresses has never failed to give me light and strength.

– Robert E. Lee

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Versions and Translations of the Bible

~ The Bible is the most translated book in the world. It has been translated into more different languages and dialects than any other book that has been written.

~ There are now more than 80,000 versions of the Bible. New versions of the Bible continue to be added or updated.

~ The Bible, in whole or in part, is now available in more than 1,100 different languages and dialects.

~ The first attempted translations of the Bible took place in the 7th Century. The translations weren’t precise, more paraphrases of the original texts.

~ Translations such as the King James Version are derived from existing copies of ancient manuscripts such as the Hebrew Masoretic Text (Old Testament) and the Greek Textus Receptus (New Testament), and are not translations of texts translated from other interpretations.

~ Bible translations have been made into 2,454 languages, with various portions of the Bible in 848 languages, one of the two Testaments in 1,168 languages, and the full Bible in 438 languages

~ According to a recent U.B.S. report, Bible portions are available in 2,123 languages, the complete Bible, in 349 languages, and the New Testament in 841 languages. In 1995, they distributed 565 million Bibles and Bible portions to 200 countries.

~ The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages, with countless more partial translations, and audio translations (for unwritten languages).

~ How many Versions of the Bible are there? There are more than 80,000 versions of the Bible. New versions of the Bible continue to be added or updated. Popular English versions include the American Standard, Jerusalem and King James versions.

It’s impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.

– George Washington, Former President of the United States (1789-1797)

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Publishing and Sales of the Bible

~ The Bible is the worlds best seller ever, and the most widely distributed book in the world. Its influence on history and culture, including literature and the other arts, is incalculable.

~ The estimated number of total Bibles ever sold equal 2.5 Billion to 6 Billion copies

~ The Bible is the best-selling book of all time. The United Bible Societies (UBS) estimate they have distributed nearly 9 billion Bibles, whole or in part, since 1947.

~ The Bible is not only the best selling book of all time but the best selling book each year.

~ About 50 Bibles are sold every minute.

~ The record for the world’s slowest selling book belongs to David Wilkin’s translation of the New Testament into Coptic. Since it was first published in 1791 it has never sold more than 2 copies a year.

~ In 1989, the American Bible Societies (ABS) distributed more than 106,387,551 Scripture portions in the United States alone. During the same year, a worldwide partnership of Bible Societies distributed well over 650 million Scripture portions and about 15.5 million Bibles.

~ According to a recent U.B.S. report, Bible portions are available in 2,123 languages, the complete Bible, in 349 languages, and the New Testament in 841 languages. In 1995, they distributed 565 million Bibles and Bible portions to 200 countries.

~ The Bible is, some calculate, a $200 million-a-year retail market in the United States. According to a recent national survey concluded in US, the average American home had four bibles and almost all U.S. homes had at least one or more. Most Americans still prefer the King James Version (KJV).

~ According to statistics gathered from Wycliffe International, the Society of Gideons, and the International Bible Society, the number of new Bibles that are sold, given away, or otherwise distributed in the United States is about 168,000 per day.

Believe me, Sir, never a night goes by be I ever so tired but I read the word of God before I go to bed.

– Gen. Douglas MacArthur

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History and Language of the Bible

~ The Vulgate Bible, the Latin Bible for the Catholic Church, is an early 5th-century Latin version of the Bible, largely the result of the labors of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of old Latin translations. It became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church for many centuries.

~ Some common Catholic translations, which are still read and published even today, are the Douay-Rheims, Catholic Confraternity Version, New American and Revised Standard Version Bibles. Of these, the Douay-Rheims is the earliest, translated from Latin in 1609. Each type also has one or more editions.

~ The first attempted translations of the Bible took place in the 7th Century. The translations weren’t precise, more paraphrases of the original texts. The copies were known as ‘Manuscript Bibles’ and few have survived. It wasn’t until the 13th Century, that John Wycliffe first translated the Bible more accurately into easy English.

~ The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380’s by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor and theologian. Wycliffe, with the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, managed to produce dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river.

~ The Bible was the world’s first printed book, and was first reprinted in 1450.

~ The Gutenberg Bible is the official name of the first book that Johannes Gutenberg printed in 1454. It is thought that he printed about 180 copies, known as the 42-line Bible, of which significant parts of 48 copies still survive. Gutenberg did not make any printing errors.

~ One English translator of the Bible named Tyndale was actually strangled and burned at the stake in 1536 by order of the Catholic Church. The authorities opposed the translation of the Bible because they feared loss of power but also because they thought that ordinary people would not be able to cope with the apparent contradictions.

~ The ‘Placemakers’ Bible was the second edition of the Geneva Bible, published in 1562. It has been given the name the ‘Placemakers’ Bible because it printed: ‘Blessed are the placemakers’ instead of ‘peacemakers’ in Matthew 5:9.

~ In the year 1603, James IV of Scotland then became King James I of England. He initiated a series of  procedures aimed at creating peace between the hostile English religious faction. One of them was to commission the creation of a high-quality English language Bible.

~ The King James Version of the Bible was first published in 1611. Even today, it is considered to be the best Bible avoilable in the English language.

~ The ‘Wicked’ Bible refers to a 1631 edition of the King James Bible. In Exodus 20 verse 14, the word ‘not’ was left out. This changed the 7th commandment to read, ‘Thou shalt commit adultery.’ Most of the copies were recalled immediately and destroyed on the orders of Charles I. But there are 11 copies still remaining. They are known as the ‘Wicked’ Bible. The Bible museum in Branson, Missouri, has one copy of the ‘Wicked Bible. Needless to say, the printer was fined heavily for his mistake.

~ In 1663, the first Bible was printed in North America, even though it happened to be written in a native Algonquin Indian Language which had been specially translated and published by John Eliot, the ‘Apostle to the Indians’.

~ The Thumb Bible, printed in 1670, was one inch square and half an inch thick. It could be read only with a magnifying glass.

~ The ‘Sin On’ Bible refers to a famous mistake in the 1716 King James Version. Apparently, John 8:11 should have read: ‘Go, and sin no more.’ However, the printer accidentally inverted the “n’ and the ‘o’ in the word ‘on,’ so it read, ‘Go and sin on more.’

~ The ‘Fool’ Bible is a term for a mistake in the printing of the 1763 King James Version. The publisher responsible for the error was ordered to pay £3,000 for his inadvertent printer’s mistake which he made in Psalm 14:1. There he printed: ‘the fool hath said in his heart there is a God,’ instead of: ‘the fool hath said in his heart there is no God.’ As soon as this error was spotted all copies of this Bible were suppressed.

~ The first English language Bible printed in the United States occurred in 1782.

~ The record for the world’s slowest selling book belongs to David Wilkin’s translation of the New Testament into Coptic. Since it was first published in 1791 it has never sold more than 2 copies a year.

~ The first translation of the Bible created in America was printed in 1808 by a man name Charles Thomson.

~ Little known to most people, Noah Webster. famous author and editor of ‘Webster’s Dictionary’ and the ‘Blue-Back Speller’ also wrote a translation of the Bible first published in 1833.

~ The Revised Version of the whole Bible was issued in 1885.

~ The American Standard Version was first published in 1901.

The Bible is the word of God. It is the most valuable gift God ever given to mankind. The Bible is my best friend and my best partner.

– Mother Theresa

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Some Interesting Facts about the Bible

~ No other book in the world has been attacked more frequently and more fiercely than the Bible, yet no other book has printed more copies, in more languages, and endured for so long, with great popularity, than the Bible.

~ The Bible has been translated in whole or in part into more than 2,000 language.

~ The Bible contains 773,746 words, 31,173 verses, 1,189 chapters and 66 books.

~ In terms of length, the average word of the Bible contains fewer than five letters.

~ The longest book in the Bible is Psalms and the shortest is 2 John, while the Longest Biblical name is spelled Mahershalalhashbaz (Isaiah 8:1)

~ In total, the Bible describes 1,260 promises being made, 6,468 commands being given, and 3,294 questions being asked.

~ The Bible lists over 8,000 predictions, with 3,268 verses of fulfilled prophecies and 3,140 verses of unfulfilled prophecies.

~ The system of chapters was introduced in A.D. 1238 by Cardinal Hugo de S. Caro, while the verse numberings were added in 1551 by Robertus Stephanus, after the invention of modern printing.

~ The Bible was formally divided into chapters by Cardinal Hugo in 1250. The New Testament was divided into verses by Sir Robert Stephens in 1551.

~ In the earliest days of English Christianity the only Bible available for study was the Latin Vulgate, written by Jerome between 383 and 405 A.D. Because it was written in Latin, rather than English, this version of the Bible could only be read by the Catholic clergy.

~ The first copy of the Guttenberg Bible (printed on a printing press) took 3 years of constant printing to produce, being finished in 1445. Printed in 2 volumes, and totalling 1,284 pages, the final results included Nearly 200 originals being completely printed and remarkably perfect. 48 of these original printings still exist today.

~ The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages…In comparison, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into 50 languages.

~ The Bible has been recorded with at least 10 different media from papyrus to rocks, pen to chisel, leather to clay.

~ The average person can read the entire Bible in about seventy hours reading time. If one reads three chapters per day and five on Sundays, they will finish the whole Bible in about one year. About fourteen chapters per day will usually result in reading the entire Bible in three months.

~ The average time it takes to read the following books is as follows: Revelation = 34 minutes, Luke = 85 minutes and Philemon = just 1 minute.

~ The Bible is the number one shoplifted book in America.

~ The longest intercontinental telegram ever sent was the entire text of the New International Version of the Bible which was sent from Geneva, Switzerland, where it was translated, to New York for printing.

~ A Bible located at the University of Gottingen is written on 2,470 palm leaves.

~ In 1988, on the 1,000th anniversary of the baptism of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, the Soviet Union, in an agreement with the UBS (United Bible Society), received hundreds of thousands of Bibles.

Until people see the Bible as a practical guidebook for their everyday existence, it will probably continue to remain on the shelf.

– George Barna

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May the LORD God bless you in the name of the Judeo-Christian Tradition

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