Many of us have read parts of the Bible. If you haven’t, then you’ve at least navigated through its many books, chapters, and verses. While going through the pages, one must wonder how many chapters the Bible has? For the most part, all Bibles have the same number of books, though some include additional books. Still, there are a fixed number of chapters across all books, though some new translations have fewer or missing chapters.
When the books of the Bible were originally written, there were no chapters or verses. Each book was recorded without any divisions from the beginning to the end. The chapter and verse divisions were done for convenience. Thus, there is no inspirational basis for the breaks.
The divisions of books of the Bible into smaller sections started in the fourth century A.D. Codex Vaticanus, a fourth-century Greek manuscript, used paragraph divisions. And in the fifth century, Jerome divided Scripture into short passages, called pericopes.
The person responsible for dividing the Bible into chapters and verses is Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions.
The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi named Nathan in A.D. 1448. Robert Estienne, also called Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses in 1555
Stephanus used Nathan’s verse divisions for the Old Testament. Stephanus’s chapter and verse divisions have been manipulated into almost all the different Bible versions starting with the Geneva Bible.
How many chapters are in the KJV Bible?
- In the King James Version of the Bible or KJV, there are 1,189 chapters, with 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 in the New Testament.
- The Bible is also divided into 31,102 verses, with 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 2,957 in the New Testament.
- The Bible has more than three-quarters of a million words (783,137), with 602,585 in the Old Testament and 180,552 in the New Testament.
The book with the most chapters is Psalms at 150 chapters, followed by Isaiah at 66 chapters. The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117, with only two verses which would also place it as the middle chapter of the Bible. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, with 176 verses. If you divide the Old Testament in two, you will see the middle chapter being Job 29 and the middle chapter of the New Testament is Romans 13. Five books of the Bible have 1 chapter, including Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. The most chapters in the New Testament books would go to Matthew and Acts, both at 28. The middle verse in the Bible is Psalm 118:8, which, interestingly enough states, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
How to read the Bible in a year.
Whether you’re reading for devotional, cultural, or personal reasons, a year is a reasonable amount of time in which to read the Bible. Before you begin, take some time to consider how you would like to approach your task. You can read alone, or in a group. You can read one translation of the Bible or several. You can read the Bible with or without commentary or context. Pace yourself, and track your progress.
Choose a one-year Bible reading plan.
The first step is to choose your plan. Remember to keep your purpose in mind while you decide. If you want to read the books of the Bible in chronological order, then the chronological plan may be the best for you. This plan can help you better understand the history of the Old Testament.
Using a chronological reading plan is the best option for understanding the historical context of the Old Testament. For example, the book of Proverbs comes right after reading about King Solomon because he wrote most of Proverbs. The Psalms are also interspersed with historical events, like Psalms that David wrote at specific points in his life.
Also, a chronological plan is beneficial when you get to the Old Testament history books. So in this plan, 1 and 2 Kings are intermingled with 1 and 2 Chronicles because they cover the same periods and events in history. This plan also inserts the major and minor prophets at the right time while reading those history books.
Create a 12-month Bible reading tracker.
Now it’s time to break out your journal and start getting creative. To begin, you’ll want to make a 12-month tracker to mark your progress over the year. With this tracker, you can check off the weeks as you finish the readings. If you’d like, you can also track each day that you read by highlighting the days in a different color or marking them off with an “x.”
Write the Bible readings weekly or monthly.
After you set up your one-year tracker, you’ll need a way to keep track of what to read every day. One option is to print out the plan, stick it in your Bible, and mark off the readings on the printout. You could also track the Bible readings in your journal if you’d like
There are two ways you could write the readings: weekly or monthly. You can incorporate them into your regular weekly journal spreads if you write them weekly. It can be a bit time-consuming to write out the readings one month at a time, but it can also be very relaxing. If you don’t want to write out the readings every week or every month, you can always print out your Bible reading plan, cut up the weeks, and paste it into your Bullet Journal bit by bit.
Check off days and weeks of readings as you go.
By now, you should have your reading system fully set up, and the only thing left to do is to open up your Bible and read it. As you go, you can mark off the days and weeks on your 12-month Bible reading tracker. You can also check off each chapter of reading. Each daily reading can take about 20-30 minutes, but it depends on how fast or slow you read. There may also be times when you have questions and want to do some research, which could slow up your reading time. So, it’s best to keep the timing in mind when you’re planning your Bible reading time into your daily schedule.
What happens if you fall behind with your reading plan.
So, you set everything up, wrote things down, and started checking things off. But then, life happened, and you got a few days behind on your Bible reading plan. First, understand that there’s no shame in that. Give yourself grace. Your Bible reading plan isn’t about being legalistic and following rules; this is about absorbing God’s Word and getting to know Him better. I don’t think there’s a command in the Bible saying, “Thou shalt read all of these 1,334 densely packed pages in 365 days.” Still, what should you do if you’ve missed a few days or even a few weeks? There are two different options. You could either make a plan to catch up or update your plan by bumping the readings forward.
The Bible has numerous chapters filled with stories and lessons of the days when Jesus walked the earth. When the Bible was initially written, it wasn’t broken into chapters or verses. Imagine trying to find a scripture in that Bible. However, it was eventually broken down into the Bible we know today. Most Bibles follow the same model, but the King James Version of the Bible has 1,189 chapters. That might seem like a lot to read within a year, but it’s possible if you pace yourself and try not to be too rigid with expectations or deadlines.