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How Many Pages Is The Bible?

How Many Pages Is The Bible? Exploring Its Length

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

How many pages is the Bible? A book that spans over 1500 years and was written by 40 authors from different continents. Yet, it carries a single, integrated message. This is the Bible, a testament to its divine inspiration. 

How do you fathom the length of such a monumental work that endured through millennia yet maintained coherence and unity across centuries and cultures? 

It’s not just a book but a spiritual cornerstone that has shaped cultures and profoundly influenced individuals for centuries. It stands as a testament to its enduring impact.

40 Different Bible Authors Wrote One Integrated Message
40 Different Bible Authors Wrote One Integrated Message

 #1 THE AVERAGE PAGE COUNTS OF DIFFERENT BIBLE TRANSLATIONS

While sharing a common foundation, the Protestant and Catholic Bibles also have distinct differences worth exploring.

PROTESTANT BIBLE

books

The Protestant Bible is a standard Christian Bible that comprises 66 books, 39 of which are in the Old Testament and 27 of which are in the New Testament.

pages

How many pages are in the Protestant Christian Bible? A standard printed Bible typically contains 1,200 to 1,500 pages and 31,173 verses.

The English bible translations in a standard font contain the following number of pages:

King James Version (KJV) — 1,200 pages

New International Version (NIV) — 1,281 pages

English Standard Version (ESV) — 1,244 pages

word count and reading time

How many words are there in a standard bible? Most Bibles have 783,137 word counts.

According to wordsrated.com, the average adult silent reading speed for nonfiction is 238 words per minute. Thus, a simple calculation tells us avid Bible readers will take about 55 hours to read the Bible in one sitting, cover to cover. 

This estimate can help readers plan their reading schedule and set realistic goals.

Add-ons

Study Bibles often include extensive commentary, cross-references, and supplementary materials like maps and footnotes. These ”add-ons” can significantly increase the page count and reading time. 

CATHOLIC BIBLE

The Catholic Bible refers to a publication according to the prescriptions of Catholic Canon Law. It comprises 73 books: 46 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

The overall page count of a Catholic bible is higher than that of a standard bible.

#2 ORIGINAL LANGUAGES OF THE BIBLE

HEBREW

The Old Testament Jewish authors wrote in Hebrew, with a minor exception of Aramaic in the Book of Daniel.

Ancient Hebrew is not the same as modern Hebrew; much like old English, it differs from modern English. Understanding this distinction can help readers appreciate the Bible’s historical and cultural context.

The Hebrew Bible is the basis for Christian Bibles. The first five books are the Torah or the Books of Moses. Most Rabbinic Jews study and memorize these.

The Jewish Bible is identical to the Protestant Bible’s Old Testament, though the 39 books are in different order. The Catholic Old Testament contains more books.

GREEK

The New Testament, a crucial part of the Bible, was originally written in Greek by its Jewish authors.

The 400 years from the end of the Old Testament to the beginning of the New Testament are known as the intertestamental period. During this time, Alexander the Great conquered the world, and Greek became the official language.

This is why the Jews translated the Old Testament into Greek, known as the Septuagint, abbreviated as LXX. When Jesus got up in the Temple to read the book of Isaiah 61 on a scroll, He used the Septuagint.

MORE LANGUAGES

All these intact Hebrew and Greek manuscripts comprised the Bible. The original compilation was done by the early Church fathers long before the sitting of the infamous council of Nicea in 300 AD.

It involved careful selection and interpretation of various texts, leading to the creation of the Bible as we know it today.

All other world translations came later, including Latin, German, Spanish, French, etc. They were translations from the original Hebrew and Greek.

The University of Glasgow wrote in an article:

“Translations of the Reformers” Martin Luther (1483-1546) made the vernacular translation breakthrough with his German New Testament of 1522, which was directly from Erasmus’s Greek New Testament.” 

#3 DIFFERENT MODERN TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE: WHICH ONE IS FOR YOU

RELIABLE OR READABLE?

Scholars developing English translations of the Bible are balancing reliability and readability. The goal is to stay faithful to the original manuscripts’ wording and provide an understandable reading experience.

BEGINNER OR SCHOLAR?

A general rule for you and me is to use many translations for increased understanding. Check out biblehub.com to read translations side-by-side.

For beginners, it is empowering to choose an easy-to-read Bible version. The New King James Version (NKJ), New Living Translation (NLT), English Standard Version (ESV), or the New International Version (NIV) are not only readable but also maintain the literal translation, providing a comprehensive understanding.

For memorization, pick your favorite and stick to one main translation.

Bible scholars tend to go with the King James Version (KJV), which is excellent for in-depth study.

Beginner or Scholar? Which Translation To Use
Beginner or Scholar? Which Translation To Use

#4 UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE’S COMPOSITION

The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testament — sixty-six books, not disconnected accounts but part of one grand and unified story.

The Old Testament contains the religious writings of ancient Israel. The New Testament focuses on the life, teachings, and impact of Jesus Christ and the early Christian community.

The intricate relationship between the Old and New Testaments profoundly reflects divine wisdom. The New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament, while the Old Testament is unveiled in the New Testament.

In the ultimate revelation of the Book of Revelation, we witness the culmination of God’s grand design, echoing the divine purpose established from the very beginning.

THE NARRATIVE

Storytelling has been a primary means of communication and education and a reliable way to preserve knowledge in virtually every culture throughout the ages, and Hebrew culture was no exception.

The Bible’s narrative structure, with its rich characters, vivid settings, and compelling plotlines, is a testament to the power of storytelling in conveying a message.

setting

Genesis starts with God’s creation as the setting.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

initial conflict

The serpent visited the Garden of Eden and lured man into sin, causing the great fall.

Until then, humanity had lived free from difficulty, fear, and death. But they sank into sin, a travesty. And the question arose: Is this disaster fixable? Is God able to make things right again?

rising action

The next few chapters drive the problem of sin home; Cain killed his brother Abel in Genesis 4. And two chapters later, in the days of Noah, we read:

Genesis 6:5 “Every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”

the climax

Jesus came to earth, 100% God and 100% man, and worthy to represent us. He came to pull us up and out of this pit of hell. As the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders of the Jews grew and came to a head, the tension became unbearable.

But the grave could not hold Him, and at Jesus’s resurrection, the rising action reached its climax.

Jesus Death and Resurrection
Jesus Death and Resurrection

THE RESOLUTION

Primarily through the epistles/letters of Paul, God explains how Jesus’ death and resurrection solved the problem.

But, there is still the question of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. Will God keep the promises He made to Israel?

THE EPILOGUE

When we arrive at the last book of the Bible, Revelation, John vividly describes his vision, seeing Jesus Christ restoring everything that went wrong at the beginning.

#5 TIPS FOR READING THE BIBLE

GUIDANCE FROM ABOVE

Since we are fallen beings, sin clouds and distorts our understanding of the Bible, asking God, the One behind it, for His guidance is the best thing you can do when you attempt to read and understand it.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me if you seek Me with all your heart.”

THE BACKGROUND MATTERS

Recognize the culture and traditions in which the Bible was written. For example, shepherds in 1800 B.C. in the Middle East do not make much sense to computer geeks in the 21st century. Covenant language, the backbone of integrity, has also been replaced with contracts. See more here: A Biblical Covenant is a Promise Written in Blood.

LEARNING BY DOING

The Bible is not a maths book where you can’t move on to B if you don’t understand A. It is much better to approach it the way you approach your mobile phone: ”Learning by doing.”

The Holy Spirit will weave it together in time for you.

LET IT SPEAK FOR ITSELF

Let it speak for itself. Don’t bend it to your liking, and don’t attempt to improve it. Eventually, it will all fall into place even when you don’t get it the first time. Trust the process.

CONTEXT MATTERS

Context is everything. Never take a verse out of its context

ZOOM OUT

Many people feel overwhelmed by it. Do this: zoom out before you zoom in.

Looking at the overall composition, as in reading this article, is a good start.

#6 A READING PLAN

What reading plan is best for those who want to read the Bible?

BEGINNERS

If you open the Bible for the first time, you might start with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Then, Psalms and Proverbs before you dive deeper.

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

If you want to know and understand the Bible, I’d like to introduce you to the chronological order.

The books of the Bible are not in chronological order. Generally speaking, the Old Testament is arranged according to the genres of literature, and the New Testament from the longest to the shortest book.

There is a constructive chronological order to read the Bible in a  “1-Year Plan” on blueletterbible.org. The readings are compiled according to the historical order in which the events occurred. It is a marvellous way to follow the storytelling narrative.

#7 THE BIBLE’S IMPACT AND IMPORTANCE

THE CASE FOR CHRIST

For his book The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel launched a full-fledged investigation into the facts surrounding the case for Christianity and the legitimacy of the Bible. As an atheist, he wanted to find out if there was any credible evidence to back up what the Bible says.

Lee, a Yale Law School graduate and former Chicago Tribune legal affairs reporter, applied what he learned as an investigative journalist and lawyer in his search for the truth. He approached the history of Jesus Christ as though it were a story he was reporting on.

He once thought the gospels were legends written by biased authors. But, he found nothing but the markings of trustworthy eyewitness accounts.

Furthermore, he found explicit and essential references to Jesus in non-Christian sources, such as those of historians Josephus and Tacitus.

"Ah, but let's consider Communion for a moment," he replied. "What's odd is that these early followers of Jesus didn't get together to celebrate his teachings or how wonderful he was. They came together regularly to have a celebration meal for one reason: to remember that Jesus had been publicly slaughtered in a grotesque and humiliating way. "Think about this in modern terms. If a group of people loved John F. Kennedy, they might meet regularly to remember his confrontation with Russia, his promotion of civil rights, and his charismatic personality. But they're not going to celebrate the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered him!" 

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Case for ... Series)      Paperback – September 6, 2016

A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

THE CASE FOR CHRIST

BOOK

CONCLUSION

In wrapping up, the Bible’s remarkable journey through history leaves us in awe of its divine inspiration. With over 1500 years of authorship by 40 individuals across various continents, its vastness, coherence, and lasting influence are undeniable.

Let us cherish the Bible’s timeless truths and recognize its transformative power for generations to come. It is not merely a relic of the past but a guiding beacon for the future, a light that continues shining brightly in an ever-changing world.

THE END

 
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