Did You Know?

by Ed Urzi

OK, it’s time to engage in a little Bible trivia. Yes, now you too can test your knowledge, amaze your friends and annoy your enemies by seeing how many of the following Bible questions you can answer! Everyone ready? All right- let’s get right to our first big question…

How Many Human Authors Were Involved In Producing The Bible?

Would you believe that the correct answer is over 40? Not only that, the Biblical writers didn’t come off of some identical cookie-cutter assembly line- they came from all sorts of different backgrounds and occupations.

For example, one was a king (Solomon), while others were shepherds (David, Hosea and Amos), military leaders (Joshua), or fishermen (Peter and John). One Biblical writer was a tax collector (Matthew), another was a doctor (Luke), some were young (Jeremiah), others were old (Paul). So it seems that God was pleased to use a variety of people from all walks of life to communicate His Word in written form.

How Long Did It Take To Write The Bible?

The total time that it took to complete all the books of the Bible is believed to be about 1500 years. For example, the books of Moses (which make up the first five books of the Bible) are thought to have been written around 1400 BC. The last books of the Bible (1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, Revelation) are thought to have been written around 90 AD.

To get an idea of how much time this represents, just imagine reading a book with the first chapter having been written in 500 AD and the last chapter having been completed yesterday. That’s about the same time span that occurred between Genesis and Revelation! Yet because God Himself was behind the writing of Scripture as it’s Ultimate Author, the Bible shows an incredible continuity despite having been written by so many people over such an extremely long period.

How Many Individual Books Make Up The Bible?

The Bible is a single book that actually consists of 66 individual books- 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament. Not only that, did you know that a Bible contains…

  • 773,000 words
  • 3.5 million letters
  • 929 Old Testament chapters and 260 New Testament chapters, which add up to 1189 total chapters.
  • 23,214 Old Testament verses and 7959 New Testament verses which make up a grand total of 31,173 verses in The Bible!

Which Biblical Character Had No Parents?

How many of you answered Adam or Eve? Wrong! The correct answer is found in Exodus 33:11. It’s Joshua, the son of Nun.  (that’s a joke- get it?)

Where Was The Bible Written?

Did you know that portions of The Bible were written on 3 continents: Europe, Africa, and Asia? In addition, parts of the Bible were also written in three different languages. Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew although some was written in Aramaic, a common language until around the time of Alexander the Great (6-4th Century BC). The New Testament was written in common (or “Koine”) Greek, a widely used language during the time of Jesus.

How Did The Bible Get Written?

Unfortunately, the Biblical writers like Moses, Isaiah and Paul didn’t enjoy the luxury of communicating through word processors, fax machines, and e-mail as we do today. Instead, a variety of materials were used to enable the Biblical writers to get the Word out in written form. These materials included stone or clay tablets (Habakkuk 2:2), gold (Exodus 39:30), paper-like materials (Isaiah 30:8), and animal skins, also known as Vellum or parchment (see 2 Timothy 4:13).

One thing to remember is that the individual “books” of the Old and New Testaments were a lot different than what we recognize as books today. For example, a “book” in Biblical times was more accurately called a “scroll” which was a common form of written communication in those days.

A scroll was actually just a long roll of parchment or papyrus. Scrolls were made by sewing or gluing sheets of parchment together, and then winding those sheets around a wooden stick. To read the scroll, the reader would simply unroll one end and roll up the other as he went along. A really long book such as the 66 chapter book of Isaiah produced a scroll with a length of 20 feet (6.33 meters). The individually paged form of book that we are familiar with today did not come into general use until the second century A.D.

Now writing on stone, clay and animal skins might sound really primitive to those of us who are used to more modern forms of communication but the important thing to keep in mind is that it worked very well- God’s Word was accurately preserved for future generations to read and follow. In fact, it worked so well that archaeologists have found that the Biblical writings located among the Dead Sea Scrolls (a group of Old Testament and other writings dating back to around 100 BC), read substantially the same as those written over a thousand years later.

Where Does The Word “Bible” Appear In The Bible?

Did you get caught by this trick question? You didn’t? Good for you. Believe it or not, the word “bible” does not appear anywhere in The Bible. The name “Bible” is taken from the Greek word “biblos” which means “book”. Because the Scriptures were altogether known as “The Book” it was natural to begin to speak of God’s Word as “The Bible”. It was sometime during the 2nd century AD that Christians began using the word “Bible” to refer to the Word of God.

So, how many questions could you answer? Hey don’t feel bad if you couldn’t answer some (or any) of those questions. After all, there are a lot more important things in life than knowing that there are 3.5 million letters in The Bible. Actually, there is only one question that you really have to answer correctly. You’ll find that question and it’s answer in Acts 16:30-31…

“He then brought them out and asked them, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved- you and your household'” (NIV).