The Bible is full of wisdom, but it is often misquoted and misunderstood. The same goes for Jesus’ words. While the teachings of Jesus only lasted around three years prior to His death, in that short amount of time a tremendous world of truth, myth, legend and superstition was built around Him. Even though Christians share a certain set of beliefs that they hold as essential to their faith, there are a wide range of interpretations and opinions when studying the Bible. Today, readers and carriers of the message often hear particular verses and passages in ways they were not intended to be heard. While the Bible is often quoted, it is just as often misquoted. The problem comes when people turn God’s word into a collection of quotes and one-liners and don’t pay attention to the context of the verse, or the history behind the text. It’s important to know facts about this religious text, particularly if you are living by the Word and professing it to others. It’s also important to know these facts to understand why this text is so incredible. Here are seven Bible facts every Christian should know and believe.

The Bible was written over a 1,500 year period.

One of the most fascinating facts about the Bible is that it was written over a 1,500 year period and had 40 different authors. This is not to say that it took 1,500 years to write the Bible, only that it took that long for the complete canon of Scripture to be penned as God progressively revealed His Word. The oldest book of the Bible, according to most scholars, is wither Genesis or Job, both thought to have been written by Moses and completed around 1400 BC, about 3,400 years ago. The newest book, Revelation, was written around 90 AD. While there are a number of religious books, the Bible is unlike any other. Isn’t it amazing how 40 unrelated authors over a 1,500 year period could create a book about God’s love for humanity, with a consistent voice and message? Author Tim Chaffey in the article “Unity of the Bible: Seven Compelling Evidences” writes it perfectly, explaining “[the Bible’s] words point unerringly to Christ, who works on the cross was ordained by God – the true author of the Bible – before the world began.” God worked through each of these authors from different walks of life to create one of the most beautiful books ever written.

The Book of Isaiah was one of Jesus’ favorite books.

The Book of Isaiah was a favorite of Jesus and He quoted it often because it was all about Him. An interesting thing about the Book of Isaiah is that there are 66 chapters in it, just like the Bible. There are 39 chapters about the Law and there are there 39 chapters in the Old Testament. There are 27 chapters about grace and there are 27 books in the New Testament. The Law came before Christ but Christ is the fulfillment of grace. The Law revealed our separation from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 7:7-25) but Jesus revealed “grace and truth” (John 1:14). Even the chapters of Isaiah are divided. First is God’s judgment and coming last, grace. This is in direct proportion to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. How amazing is that?

The shortest book of the Bible is 3 John.

You can read this book in about one minute. It is only 219 words long. The book right before it, 2 John, is the second-shortest book of the Bible. This book is only 245 words long. Other short books in the Bible include Philemon (335 words), Obadiah (440 words) and Jude (461 words).

The longest book of the Bible is Jeremiah.

The prophet has a lot to say. He even wrote in the twentieth chapter of his book. But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word or speak anymore in His name,’ His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9). Granted, Jeremiah is the longest book based on how we currently arrange the books of the Bible. If we took the old school approach, the two part book of Kings would be the longest book. And if we really went old school, the five-part Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) would diminish all other contenders. This megabook alone makes up about one fifth of the whole Bible.

The Bible was written by people from diverse occupational backgrounds.

Parts of the Bible were written by kings. Half of the Psalms, a good portion of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes seem to be penned by royalty. But other parts of the Bible are written by farmers, fisherman, a tentmaker, homeless prophets, a doctor, a professional scribe, vocational musicians, pastors, etc. If that isn’t occupational diversity, I don’t what is!

The Bible was written on three continents.

Most of the Bible was written in what is modern-day Israel (Asia). But some passages of Jeremiah were written in Egypt (Africa) and several New Testament epistles were written from cities in Europe. The authors of the various books also wrote in different places, such as the wilderness (Moses), prison (Paul, exile on the Isle of Patmos (John).

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