T H E   B I B L E

The Bible is the written representation of God.  The Bible itself tells us that Jesus is the Word of God, that the Word of God is Jesus, and that Jesus is God (John 1:1-11).  The first step in getting to know God is by reading the Bible.

The Bible was written over a 1,500-year period; from 1,400 B.C. to 100 A.D.  It was hand written by over 40 authors inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).  When the author (a man of God) did not write himself, a scribe would write for him.  Moses wrote the first 5 books known as “The Pentateuch.”  Those books are:   Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and, of course,  Deuteronomy.

The authors wrote at different times, in 10 different countries, in 3 different continents (Asia, Africa, Europe), and in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek).  All Bibles were hand copied until 1456 when the Gutenberg Press published the first printed Bible in Latin.  Later on it was translated into other languages.

The first attempts to translate the Bible took place in the 7th century.  The translations were not very precise.  The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were written at the end of the 14th century by John Wycliffe.  Miles Coverdale published the first English translation in 1535.  Then under the orders of King James of England, the first King James Bible in English was translated and printed in 1611.  Currently the Bible has been translated and printed in more than 1,200 languages and dialects.

The whole Bible has 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,071 verses, and 773, 792 words.  The longest verse is Esther 8:9,  the longest chapter is Psalm 119 with 176 verses and the longest book is Psalms with 150 chapters.  The shortest verse is John 11:35, the shortest chapter is Psalm 117, and the shortest book is 2 John.  The very middle of the Bible is Psalm 118:8.

The Bible is divided into 2 parts; The Old Testament and The New Testament.  The word testament means covenant or contract. Those contracts include the promises that God has for us. The Old Testament has 39 books, 17 of which are historical:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.  Seventeen books are prophetic:  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.  Five books are poetic:  Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.  It is believed that the oldest book in the entire Bible is the Book of Job.

The Old Testament covers history from the beginning of time until about 400 years before Jesus was born. There was a space of about 400 years between the Old and New Testaments.  Because Israel had moved away from God, God did not provide any prophets for them during that period of silence. The New Testament covers from just a little before Jesus was born until almost one hundred years after His death and resurrection.

The Old Testament has 929 chapters, 23,2l4 verses, and 592,439 words.  It was mostly written in Hebrew and Aramaic by prophets and servants of God.  Those were the languages spoken at that time by the Jewish people.  The Bible was divided into chapters between the years 1234 and 1242 A.D. by the theologian Stephen Langhton, a Bishop in Canterbury, England.

The New Testament was written mostly in Greek.  It has 27 books, 4 of which are gospels:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 21 of them are epistles or letters:  Romans, I Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.  The two books, which are not gospels nor epistles are:  The Book of Acts and The Book of Revelation.

The New Testament has 260 chapters,  7,959 verses, and 181,253 words.  It is believed that the oldest book in the New Testament is the Book of James written in 45 A.D.  James, of course, was Jesus’ brother.  The newest book, or the last one to be written, is Revelation written by the Apostle John in the year 95 A.D. in the Island of Patmos.