B. C. Goodpasture
About forty men were engaged in the writing of the Bible during a period of about sixteen hundred years—that is from 1500 B.C. to the first century, A.D.. These men wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them (2 Pet. 1:21). They wrote not in words of human wisdom, but in words divinely taught (1 Cor. 2:13).
The Bible contains 3,566,480 letters, 773,746 words, 31,102 verses, 1,189 chapters and 66 books. The Old Testament contains 39 books; the New Testament, 27 books. In point of length, the average word of the Bible contains fewer than five letters. What a lesson for the fellow who has a mania for big words! The word Jehovah occurs 6,855 times. The word Lord occurs 1,853 times. The word and occurs 46,277 times, and the word reverend but once (Psa. 111:9). The book of Esther contains ten chapters, but neither the word Lord nor God is to be found in it.
The middle chapter and the shortest are Psalm 117. It contains only two verses. The middle verse of the Bible is Psalm 118:8. The middle book of the Old Testament is Proverbs. The middle chapter of the Old Testament is Job 29. The middle verse of the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 20:13. The shortest verse in the Old Testament is 1 Chronicles 1:25.
The middle book of the New Testament is 2 Thessalonians. The middle chapter in the New Testament is between Romans 13 and 14. The middle verse in the New Testament is Acts 17:17. The shortest verse in the New Testament, in English, is John 11;35, in Greek, 1 Thessalonians 5:16. The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9; it contains ninety words. The longest word in the Bible is found in Isaiah 8:1. All of the letters of the alphabet, except “j”, are in Ezra 7:21. The nineteenth chapter of 2 Kings and thirty-seventh chapter of Isaiah are nearly identical.
The Old Testament was translated into Greek in Alexandria, Egypt, about 270 B.C. The Bible holds the distinction of being the first printed book; it was first reprinted in 1450. The first Bible printed in this country was in the Indian language in 1663. John Eliot, the so-called “Apostle to the Indians,” made and published this translation. This is the earliest example of the whole Bible translated and printed in a new language for evangelization. The first English Bible printed in this country was in 1782. The first translation of the Bible made in America was printed in 1808. It was the work of Charles Thomson. Alexander Campbell printed the first translation of the New Testament published in America in 1826. It first appeared under the title, Sacred Writings; later, Living Oracles. It was largely a compilation of the works of Doddridge, Macknight, and George Campbell. It is not generally known that Noah Webster, author of the famous Webster’s Dictionary and the Blue-Back Speller, made a translation of the Bible, which he published in 1833. The King James Version of the Bible was published in 1611. The Revised Version of the whole Bible was issued in 1885. The American Standard edition was published in 1901.
Cardinal Hugo divided the Bible into chapters in 1250. Sir Robert Stephens divided the New Testament into verses in 1551. The whole Bible, divided into chapters and verses, first appeared in 1560 in what we know as the Geneva Bible. It was so called because the Reformers in Geneva prepared it. It is also called the Breeches Bible, because Genesis 3:7 is translated: “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves breeches.” The Bible is the most translated book in the world. It has been translated into more different languages and dialects than any other book that has been written. The Bible continues to be the best seller in the world.
The Bible is the best book in the world. It is the only book that reveals the origin, mission, and destiny of man. It is a textbook on salvation. There is no conflict between the Bible and the facts of science. There may be many conflicts between the Bible and the theories of so-called scientists, and between the facts of science and the theories of so-called “Bible scholars.” Above all things, the Bible should be studied and obeyed and taught.