The following list is a list of facts about the Bible not designed to discuss doctrine, or provide in-depth teaching. It is merely a resource center for factual information on the Bible. Many of these questions have been addressed in various locations throughout our website; however, as many people do not have the time to comb through the entire website to find the answers they are looking for, we have compiled the following list. Please submit further questions (of this sort) to BibleResources. We will not be able to answer you directly, but will continue to develop this site, as we receive additional questions about the Bible. Don’t forget to read our teaching on Bible History, for a more in-depth study.
Universal Truths & Facts About the Bible
1. How many books are in the Bible? The Bible contains 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments.
2. How many books are in the Old Testament? There are 39 books in the Old Testament.
3. How many books are in the New Testament? There are 27 books in the New Testament.
4. What does “testament” mean? Testament means “covenant” or “contract.”
5. Who wrote the Bible? The Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book.
6. Which single author contributed the most books to the Old Testament? Moses. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch; the foundation of the Bible.
7. Which single author contributed the most books to the New Testament? The Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books (over half) of the New Testament.
8. When was the Bible written? It was written over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 B.C. (the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D. (following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).
9. What is the oldest book in the Old Testament? Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C.
10. What is the youngest book in the Old Testament? The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C.
11. What is the oldest book of the New Testament? Probably the book of James, written as early as A.D. 45.
12. What is the youngest book in the New Testament? The Book of Revelation is the youngest book of the New Testament, written about 95 A.D.
13. What languages was the Bible written in? The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.
14. When was the Bible canonized? The entire New Testament as we know it today, was canonized before the year 375 A.D. The Old Testament had previously been canonized long before the advent of Christ.
15. What does “canon” mean? “Canon” is derived front the Greek word “Kanon,” signifying a measuring rod. Thus, to have the Bible “canonized” meant that it had been measured by the standard or test of divine inspiration and authority. It became the collection of books or writings accepted by the apostles and leadership of the early Christian church as a basis for Christian belief. It is the standard by which all Christians throughout the ages live and worship.
16. When was the first translation of the Bible made into English? 1382 A.D., by John Wycliffe.
17. When was the Bible printed? The Bible was printed in 1454 A.D. by Johannes Gutenberg who invented the “type mold” for the printing press. It was the first book ever printed.
18. What is the oldest almost-complete manuscript of the Bible now in existence? The Codex Vaticanus, which dates from the first half of the fourth Century. It is located in the library of the Vatican in Rome. There are older fragments of the Bible that are still preserved however– the oldest being a tiny scrap of the Gospel of John was found in Egypt, dating back to the beginning of the second century. (It is currently in the Rayland’s Library in Manchester, England).
19. What is the longest book in the Bible? The book of Psalms.
20. What is the shortest book in the Bible? 2 John.
21. What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119
22. What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 117
23. What is the longest verse in the Bible? Esther 8:9
24. What is the shortest verse in the Bible? John 11:35
25. Which book in the Bible does not mention the word “God?” The book of Esther.
26. Who was the oldest man that ever lived? Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).
27. Who were the two men in the Bible who never died but were caught up to heaven? Enoch, who walked with God and was no more (Genesis 5:22-24). Elijah, who was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven (II Kings 2:11).
28. Who does the Bible say was the meekest man in the Bible (not including Jesus)? Moses (Numbers 12:3).
29. How many languages has the Bible been translated into? The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages, with countless more partial translations, and audio translations (for unwritten languages). (This is an enormous amount of translations. In comparison, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into 50 languages.)
30. Is the Bible still the best-selling book in the world? Yes, indeed!
American Bible Society, 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Halley, Henry H. Halley’s Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1927, 1965).
Maxwell, Arthur. Your Bible And You (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1959).
Mickelson, A. Berkley and Alvera. Understanding Scripture (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1982, 1992).
Unger, Merrill F. TH.D., PH.D. Unger’s Bible Handbook (Chicago: Moody Press, 1967)
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