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How Many Pages Is The Bible?

How Many Pages Is The Bible? Exploring Its Length

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Have you ever considered the monumental number of pages that make up the holy Bible, as well as its length and content?

A book written over 1500 years by 40 authors on different continents? It is God’s word, and it tells one integrated message. It is God-inspired.

It carries an intriguing composition of manuscripts. To this day, it still stands as a spiritual cornerstone that profoundly impacts cultures and individuals. 

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

The Protestant bible and Catholic Bible are not the same.

PROTESTANT BIBLE 

BOOKS

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

PAGES

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

TRANSLATIONS

There are different bible versions and translations. The English bible translations in a standard font contain the following number of pages:

King James Version (KJV) – 1,200 number of pages

New International Version (NIV) – 1,281 number of pages

English Standard Version (ESV) – 1,244 number of 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 silent reading speed for an adult is 238 words per minute for nonfiction, according to an analysis of 190 studies on reading speed. Thus, a simple calculation tells us avid Bible readers will take about 55 hours to read the Bible in one sitting, cover to cover.

ADD ONS

Extensive commentary, cross references, and supplementary materials like maps and footnotes added will add to the page count. Study Bibles have more pages, and large print editions produce more pages.

CATHOLIC BIBLE 

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

A Catholic bible’s overall page count is higher than a standard bible’s.  

#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.

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

The Jewish Bible is identical to the Protestant Bible, though the books are in different order. The Catholic Bible contains more books.

GREEK

The New Testament 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.

Furthermore, the Jews translated the Old Testament into Greek, which we know 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.

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.

A general rule is to use many translations for increased understanding. Check out biblehub.com to read translations side-by-side. It is an excellent source and free to us.

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

BEGINNER OR SCHOLAR?

If you are a beginner, choosing an easy-to-read Bible version is recommended. The New King James Version (NKJ), New Living Translation (NLT), English Standard Version (ESV) or the New International Version (NIV) are the most readable while still literal in their 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

OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT

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

It is often said the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. 

THE NARRATIVE

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

SETTING

Genesis starts with God’s creation as the setting.

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

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 the resurrection of Jesus, 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 solve 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, Jesus Christ has restored 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, which was the backbone of integrity, has 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 in 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 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.

The “1-Year Plan” divides the entire Bible into 365 pieces, one for every day of a calendar year.

#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. Still, 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

How many pages is the Bible? Different versions make for a different number of pages.

THE END

 
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