The bible. We know it’s that thick book that you can purchase in many different sizes and colors, that they tell you to bring to church with you every Sunday. And we also know it was written a long long time ago.
But is that all? I mean really, what is the bible? What makes it so special, relevant and vital? Why is it different from any other book ever produced in history?
Let’s take a look at some fun, yet true, bible facts to give us more insight.
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Important Things to Know About the Bible:
- It is a collection of 66 books, divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament
- It was written over a period of 1600 years (from about 1500 BC to AD 100)
- It was written by approximately 40 different authors (kings, prophets, leaders, and followers of God)
Uniqueness of the Bible:
- First and foremost, the bible is the very Word of God! (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20-21)
- The bible is the ultimate authority on any subject matter. (Isaiah 55:11)
- The bible is alive and powerful. (John 6:63, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 33:6)
- The bible is flawless and cannot be improved upon. (Psalms 30:5-6, Deuteronomy 4:2)
- The bible is timeless and eternal. (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35)
- It has been translated into approximately 3,300 languages.
- It is not only the best-selling book of all time, but the best-selling book of the year, every year!
- It is sold, given away or distributed in the U.S. more than 160,000 times daily!
Fun Facts About the Bible You Never Knew:
- First word in the bible: “In” (Genesis 1:1)
- Last word in the bible: “Amen” (Revelation 22:21)
- Longest word in the bible: Mahershalalhashbaz (18 characters - Isaiah 8:1)
- Surprising words you won’t find in the bible: trinity, rapture, evangelism
- Shortest chapter: Psalm 117 (2 verses, 33 words)
- Longest book: Psalms (150 chapters)
- Longest chapter: Psalm 119 (176 verses)
- Number of predictions/prophecies: more than 8,000
- Number of questions: 3,294
- It has 1,189 chapters and 31,101 verses
- It has 783,137 to 788,280 words (depending on what version you’re reading)
- It has approximately 1,260 promises
- It has approximately 6,468 commands
The 5 longest verses in the Bible (KJV):
- Esther 8:9 (90 words)
- Jeremiah 21:7 (83 words)
- Joshua 8:33 (80 words)
- Ezekiel 48:21 (80 words)
- Jeremiah 44:12 (80 words)
The 5 shortest verses in the Bible (KJV):
- John 11:35: “Jesus wept”.
- I Thessalonians 5:16: “Rejoice evermore”.
- Luke 17:32: “Remember Lot’s wife”.
- I Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing”.
- I Thessalonians 5:20: “Despise not prophesyings.”
10 Biblical Names/Titles for the Bible:
- Word of God (Luke 11:28)
- Word of Life (Philippians 2:16)
- Word of Christ (Colossians 3:16)
- The Book (Psalm 40:7)
- Book of the Law (Deuteronomy 31:26)
- Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2)
- Lively Oracles (Acts 7:38)
- Scriptures (John 5:39)
- Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)
- Good Word of God (Hebrews 6:5)
FREE BIBLE READING CHART
Believe it or not, the bible contains excitement, action, drama, and even comedy! It has plenty of characters with whom you can relate to, and guidance for any situation in life. All you have to do is read it to find it all.
Get your free download HERE!
History of How We Got the Written Bible:
The Old Testament (OT) consists of 39 books, written between the period of approximately 1500 - 400 BC. It was written mainly in Hebrew, with some parts written in Aramaic. The original manuscripts were written on clay, stone, and even pieces of leather.
The New Testament (NT) consists of 27 books, written approximately between AD 45-100. It was originally written in Greek. The oldest original manuscripts of the NT were written on papyrus, which is an ancient Egyptian plant that had stems that were used for writing material. 2000 years ago papyrus was actually the most popular writing material in the world, and even today it is still used for some specialty writings by artists and calligraphers.
History tells us, the individual writings were recognized as inspired, divine, sacred authority, by councils of rabbis and church leaders based on careful spiritual guidelines. Then they were collected and arranged accordingly.
It was then that scrolls of leather and papyrus were used to make copies of the Scriptures to distribute to the masses. After AD 100, a papyrus codex (which is a bound volume of folded papyrus sheets sewn together) began to be used more than scrolls for mass production.
As the bible was carried to other countries, it was translated into the common language of the people by biblical scholars who wanted others to know God’s Word and to ensure that the message reached the world.
By AD 200, the bible was translated into seven languages. Between approximately AD 300 and 1400, fine quality animal skins were used to make copies of the bible. By AD 1400, it had been translated into 28 languages.
The Bible was copied by hand, in many cases by special scribes. They developed intricate methods of counting words and letters to insure that no errors had been made as they made copies of Scripture.
John Wycliffe, who was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, priest and seminary professor, was one of the first to translate the bible into English. The Wycliffe Bibles were inscribed by hand on vellum during the 1300s and 1400s. Some copies took ten months to two years to produce and cost a year’s wage.
Finally, in 1455, the bible was actually the first book put into print with Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. It was printed in Latin.
Apart from translating the bible into various languages, over time, different “versions” of the bible were also published. They are typically divided into three broad types: word for word (literal translations), meaning to meaning (dynamic equivalent translations) or paraphrased (free translations). Currently there are more than 60 English language versions of the Bible. Most bibles will usually explain on its introductory pages, which approach was used in preparing it.
Thanks be to God not just for inspiring men and women to write the bible, but also for the rabbis and scholars He put in place over the years who have translated it into various languages so that even you and I can read and learn it today! Not to mention the fact, that today the bible is also available in audio format, electronically online, and via various bible apps as well.
The Word of God is more accessible today than any point in history, yet still very underutilized and undervalued.
** All facts and figures in this post were taken from the resources listed below:
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