How Many Chapters and Verses Are There in the Bible?

The Bible is the best-selling, most shared, and spiritually critical source ever created. If you have ever wondered how many chapters and verses there are in each book of the Bible, you have come to the right place.

The Bible is the cornerstone of truth and guidance for millions of Christians around the globe. Here are the counts of chapters and verses in the bible plus some other interesting facts to initiate your journey through the whole Bible.

Table of Contents

When it comes to learning Scripture, we start at the very beginning. Let’s get a handle on how many books and chapters are in the entire Bible.

How Many Books and Chapters in the Old Testament?

It is important to know that the Bible’s verse numbers and chapter divisions we see in Bibles today did not exist in the original languages. These counts also vary depending on the Bible version you use.

That being said, there are 39 books and 929 chapters in Old Testament. I must confess that I used to skip right over the Old Testament collection of writings in the first Bible I ever owned. 

As a new Christian in my early twenties, I was confused about the minor prophets, prophetic books, historical books, and deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. Consequently, it took me a while to “warm up” to studying the Old Testament. It is EPIC!

From the shortest verse to the longest verse, each chapter in the Bible is a blessing. A Bible reading plan offers an excellent way to ensure you read through each Bible book. Here are several free Bible reading plans to choose from.

How Many Books and Chapters in the New Testament?

The Books of the New Testament total 27. The total number of chapters of the Bible in the New Testament equals 260 chapters. 

The Gospels focus on the first-hand account of Jesus and His first disciples. If you are new to the Bible I highly recommend reading John’s Gospel first. 

These counts may vary between the New Living Translation, New Century Bible, New International Version Bible, and the New American Standard Bible.

Since the word count differs greatly (especially between the Protestant Bible and the Catholic Bible), it would be best to use your own Bible to figure out the total number of words.

Total Number of Books and Chapters in the Bible

When we add up the New Testament books (Greek words) of 27, plus the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) of 39, there are a total of 66 books in the entire Bible

When we add up the chapter counts from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, there are 1,189 total chapters in the entire Bible. 

I did not drill down to add up the different number of verses in the Bible. The count differs greatly, especially between the first English Bible and the King James Bible), it would be best to use your own Bible to figure out the total number of verses.

The following table gives the total number of the Bible’s books and chapters by book name. (Download Free)

The Difference Between the Old and New Testaments

The Bible is divided into two distinct parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Books written before the time of Jesus make up the Old Testament.

Books written after Jesus’ ministry on earth comprise the New Testament.

The New Testament contains the four Gospels, which record the words and ministry of Jesus while He walked the earth.

What is the Longest Chapter in the Bible?

Although you likely won’t face a quiz about how many chapters and verses are in the bible, here are some other interesting facts. First, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in God’s Word. 

Conversely, the shortest chapter in the holy Bible is Psalm 117. Many believe that it is either 2 John or 3 John. Even though those Greek New Testament books contain only one chapter, there are several verses. Psalm 117 only contains two verses.

Psalm 117 is also the shortest psalm out of the 150 psalms. Some Hebrew scholars join Psalm 117 with Psalm 118 to make one psalm without verse divisions.

Utilizing the original Hebrew or Greek languages makes a slight difference. However, they do not knock out these two psalms as the longest and shortest. 

reading and journaling

Which Books Have a Single Chapter?

Several books in the Bible contain only a single chapter.

In the Old Testament, only the book of Obadiah contains a single chapter.

However, in the New Testament, four books contain a single chapter: Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.

Also, the book of Haggai in the Old Testament contains only two chapters. 

How Are the Books in the Old Testament Divided?

The Old Testament contains four main divisions: (1) Books of Moses (the Law), (2) Historical books, (3) Poetry and Wisdom books, and (4) Major and Minor Prophets.

Aside from the chapters and verses in the bible, lets look at how the Old Testament is divided.

1. The Books of Moses (the Law)

​This first section of the Old Testament is sometimes referred to as the Pentateuch. It contains five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Scholars agree that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. They contain the Law handed down by God, extensive history, a few speeches, and a few songs. 

These Books of Moses contain the account of creation, the fall, the flood, Babel, the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Mount Sinai, and the 40-year wilderness wandering.

I have written an entire Bible study on the account of Joseph in Genesis called “Meant for Good” that you will find helpful.

2. Historical Books

The books in the Old Testament classified as historical begin where the Books of the Law (Pentateuch) end. 

They begin with the conquest of Canaan (the Promised Land). Then they move through the period of the Judges, the united kingdom, the divided kingdom, the Babylonian exile, and the return from exile.

There are twelve historical books, which include: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

I have written an entire Bible study on the Book of Esther called “Chosen” that you will find helpful.

3. Poetry and Wisdom Books

There are five books in the Old Testament classified as poetry or wisdom books. They include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

Three-fifths of all usage of the biblical term “wisdom” occurs most often in Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. In a nutshell, wisdom literature teaches us how to live the way God intended.

The two Books of Poetry, Psalms and Song of Solomon, were written in Hebrew poetry rather than narrative. They use parallel words, thoughts, sounds, and forms of grammar to convey a message.


4. The Major and Minor Prophets

The first question to answer is how the Bible classifies a prophet. A prophet is someone who is a spokesman, interpreter, or mediator of God’s will. There are many prophets throughout Scripture, including Moses, who do not appear in this category.

There are seventeen Old Testament books in this category. The delineation between major and minor prophets centers on the length of the book, not the importance of the prophet.

The five books of the Major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

The twelve books of the Minor Prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.


Where to Start Reading the Bible

It is nice to know chapters and verses in the bible. But if you are new to the Bible, here is a solid list of where to start.

  1. The Gospel of John: This contains the story of Jesus’ life, which is amazing for new believers.
  2. The Book of Romans: This book contains essential Christian doctrine and beliefs.
  3. The Book of Proverbs: These 31 proverbs show how to live a good, God-honoring life.
  4. Ephesians: How to live a holy life.
  5. Psalms: Shows how to praise the Lord and pray authentically.
  6. Philippians: How to have joy during trials.
  7. Ecclesiastes: Godly wisdom for believers.
  8. Genesis: Learn about creation and the beginning.

Studying the Bible and knowing Jesus through His Word is a life-changing, healing adventure. Journaling as you go is a powerful tool. The Holy Spirit in you will guide you. God’s blessings as you dive in!

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About the Author
Although Donna is a sought-after Bible teacher, her path from being unchurched to becoming passionate about sharing Jesus was not easy. Go here to read her God-breathed journey, “From Unchurched to Becoming a Multi-Published Author and Sought-After Speaker.” If you want to send Donna a quick message, then visit here.

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