How Many Words Are There in the Bible?

How many words in the bible?
When it comes to calculating the number of words in the Bible, it’s not as straightforward as it might first appear. The problem is there are hundreds of different translations of the Bible, and each one has a different number of words, so the answer depends on which bible you’re actually referring to. That being said, if you are looking for a general answer, it’s probably best to use one of the most common versions, such as the King James Bible.

How many words are there in the Bible?

The King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words. How many words is that? If you can type at 60 words a minute, it would take you just over 217 and a half hours to retype the entire Bible. Can you imagine how long type-setting must have taken in the early days of printing?

As for the number of letter characters in the Bible, the total count is a staggering 3,116,480. Small wonder that in the days of movable type a lot of printing errors were made. In the notorious “Wicked Bible'” the word “not” was accidentally omitted from the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Three little letters can make a huge difference in meaning.

While 783,137 words and 3,116,480 may seem to be a lot, there are others with even more. The Catholic Bible has an even higher word count because it has seven books more than the protestant Bible. Are you wondering why?

Martin Luther felt that seven of the books accepted as part of the Old Testament at the time were not quite up to scratch since the 90 AD Jewish Council of Jamnia had rejected them. Luther reasoned that the Old Testament was Jewish, and, therefore, shouldn’t include anything that Jews didn’t accept.

Chapters and verses: finding your way around

There are 66 books in the Bible, and before the 12th century, they weren’t divided into chapters. This innovation was brought about by a man named Stephen Langton, and it made finding your way around a lot easier. All in all, the Bible has 1,189 chapters, but it was still quite difficult to get “on the same page” when studying the Bible. So in 1551, Robert Estienne came up with the idea of numbering verses. There are 31,102 of them, and the shortest one is John 11:35 “Jesus wept,” while the longest is in the book of Esther and consists of 78 words.

What’s in a name?

A lot of the names we give to children have biblical origins. How many people named “Mark” or “John” do you know? Now think of all the “Marys” you’ve met in your time. Of course, some names have fallen out of grace for good reasons. Being called “Judas” would be a bad start in life for any boy. “Mahershalalhashbaz” is the longest name in the Bible, and fortunately for us, it has fallen out of fashion.

Some more wordy facts for fun

There are, of course, only 10 commandments which Jesus neatly summed up into two really comprehensive ones, but if you count commands instead of commandments, you’d come up with a total of 6,468. Is anyone in the mood for checking this fact? There are even more predictions – 8,000 of them – and a sum total of 1,260 promises.

Questions are certainly asked. If you were to flip through your Bible counting question marks, you’d find 3,294, but now that I’ve told you how many there are, you can save yourself the trouble.

The Bible has one Central Character, who is referred to as “God” 4,094 times and as “Lord” 6,781 times.

Looking for the longest book in the Bible? Look no further than Psalms, a book that also includes the longest chapter in the Bible: Psalm 119, which has more words than any other chapter. For those who are looking for a lot of information in a very short book, 3 John is recommended reading; it has the lowest word count of all the books in the Bible.

So who wrote all this in the first place?

Christians believe that the Bible was inspired by God, but if you would like to find out how many human authors were involved, you will find that there is some debate as to who actually wrote what. In general, authorities believe that the Bible was written by 80 authors.

How many copies of the Bible have been printed?

Nobody really knows the answer to this question, but the Bible Society estimates that since 1812, over 5 billion Bibles have been printed. Other experts differ, but one thing is for certain, saying that “a lot” of bibles have been printed over the years would be an understatement.

Would you like to guess which country prints the most bibles? China comes in at number 1. There’s only one publishing house that’s allowed to print them, and in 2012, its 100 millionth Bible rolled off the presses.

A remarkable book

No other book in history has been as influential as the Bible. From its fascinating history to the debates around biblical matters that rage today. Whatever your opinions, one thing is absolutely certain: the King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words.

(Photo courtesy of Robert)

84 comments

  1. Every word is God’s Word! I hope that everyone reads the Bible and learns how beautiful and wonderful God is. And if you don’t, you’re going to go to Hell.

    1. If every word is the word of God, then why do different bibles have different word counts? Shouldn’t they all be the exact same?

      1. Because it’s a translation. 🙂 The original books were written in Hebrew and Greek; so, it’s been translated differently to meet different needs. Some are word for word translations and some are phrase by phrase and some are a paraphrase. You should be mindful of how your Bible is translated. I don’t know any Hebrew but I know a smidgen of Spanish, so here’s an example: “Tu erres mi amore” = “You are my Love” or “I love you”. Both from what I understand are good translations. One is word for word and one is more of a translation of how we express the same thing in common English. 🙂

        1. Well, if someone has translated it then it is no longer the word of God. It’s a translation (someone’s interpretation of the words meaning in their own language) of the words of God that may or not be accurate since nobody knows what God really meant by those words. Just saying…

          1. When I read your comment I must interpret it. That is true about everything you read and hear. Understanding is not automatic. So does that mean you written comments here are not your words?

        2. The number of words will depend on the language it is written in and the version of the bible you have. Every language has different versions and then also there might be comments so this will be a very hard question to answer.

        3. Don’t forget that they were also written in Aramaic and probably Egyptian and also potentially in the languages of those that have conquered the Jews over the years.

    2. What does wanting to know how many words there in the bible have anything to do with going to hell? You shouldn’t judge. It give all Christians a bad name.

    3. Spoken like a true Christian. Just because someone doesn’t believe in your religion doesn’t mean your God who supposedly loves everyone is sending them straight to hell. I love you! Now be tortured for all eternity. How about instead of spreading your prejudice and judgement, you spread compassion, peace and humanity. I think we could use a little more of that these days.

  2. Thank you for providing the word count for the bible. This was a question I had for my homework and I didn’t want to count all the words by hand. You made it so I had time to do other things over Christmas vacation!

  3. Everyone should have to read the bible as part of their schooling. Young people would have a lot more morals if the facts like the bible were taught in school instead of theories like evolution. As a Christian Nation, we should be teaching our kids Christian values.

    1. No they shouldn’t kids don’t learn from books they learn by example and if your a different religion you don’t really care about the catholic/Christian God

    2. No, they shouldn’t. If you want to read the Bible, go to church. That’s what church is for. School is not for promoting your religious beliefs. How would you feel if Islam, Judaism and Scientology were all taught in schools? If you would object to these being taught, then you should also object to the Bible being taught as they are one in the same.

      1. Lillian,
        You obviously don’t know your history or what’s going on now for that matter. Islam is being taught in many of our public schools in the name of understanding and diversity.
        And by the way, the first public schools in this nation were started by Christian churches.

        1. There is a reason there is a separation between state and religion. The US is founded on freedom of religion, not “you must learn my religion.” Teaching the Bible in school is against the Constitution of the US. The only way you’d advocate that is if you believe the Constitution is wrong.

      2. Lil
        It would be alright to teach anything in school or any where else, if it cannot be proven wrong. The trouble with teaching Islam or other religions is they can and have been proven not from God. The Christian bible is the only bible that has not been proven wrong or destroyed. It cannot be destroyed because God said it would be here until the end of time. It is the only book that tells us where we came from and where we are going and how to get there. No other book comes close to answering all the questions of man concerning salvation of our soul. The books of old are never pick up anymore and never tries to teach us how to get to heaven or any where else. Only the bible of the Christians does that. Two options are in the bible. Heaven or hell. My choice. al

        1. Al,

          Prove to me how your particular God exists and I use the same reasoning to “prove” the existence of any other God. We are all atheists — you just happen to believe in one more God (out of the thousands of choices) than I do.

          1. The proof is in prophecy, which can be historically verified that the predictions made were made before the events occur. Please reference the Septuigent (Greek translation) as a good ‘it existed in black and white by this date” and see the pinpoint accurate prophecies of the nations that would rise, the directs they would come from, the nature of them, the very day the messiah would come in as king (about 500 year prediction to the day accurate), how the messiah would die, who he would die with, how he would be tried, etc.

            But none of that will sway anyone, it’s never evidence that people reject the bible, it’s because they don’t want to worship God and admit their need for his free salvation he provided on the cross.

    3. It’s a complete falsehood that we are a Christian nation. We are a nation that accepts all religious freedom, whether that comes from the Bible, the Koran, or any other religious book.

      1. David
        When someone say we are a Christian nation, does not mean the government is Christian. It means most people believe in God and the bible way of morals and commands and laws. If you will check the Christian bible, our government was patterned after the form of government the people of God lived under. Now that has to mean something. The majority of people still believe in that form of government. Most people want the same thing the people of God wanted. The bible presents the best form of Government known to man. All else has failed, and Miserably. Why? They left God and His way of governing. Now if that dont mean we are a Christian Nation, then it certainly does’nt mean we are a Devil nation. You have to be one or the other, for there is no other kind of Government. God’s way or the devil’s way. Which are we??? You answer that one. I know which we are. But, there are sign we are going away from God and His way. Someday we just might be a devil’s government. It happen in the past and can happen again. Remember the world wide flood. Remember Sodom and them other cities. we can become an anti-God government. Elect more demon-crats and liberals, and we will be that devil government and incur the wrath of the God of Heaven and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. al

    4. Wrong. The Bible does NOT teach morality. It teaches judgement and punishment. No child should be subjected to that until they enter the age of reason where they can make their own choices. If we waited to brainwash our children the number of religious people would absolutely plummet to near zero. Also evolution is a proven thing. See, if evolution was NOT proven it would be called the Evolutionary Hypothesis. A theory is something that has been proven to an extent, but we don’t have all the facts yet, but we have enough to understand that it works on most levels. So let’s not teach our children lies, thank you.

    1. There are hundreds of different bible editions and each has a different word count. If you need to know for a specific bible version, go to your library and find the bible.

    1. the number of words in the old testament can be found in numbers 1:46. KJV 603,550. counting the words
      starting with the first word in Genesis to the last word in Malachi a total of 602,582 add this to the number
      of books 39 and verses 929 total is the same as the number in numbers 1:46, 603,550.
      the total number of words in the old and new testament can be calculated from genesis 6:3. it is 100%
      correct.

      1. How did you come to this conclusion? What calculation are you referring to in Genesis 6:3 KJV And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for the he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

    2. Because God is a God of numbers…Jesus said even the hairs of your head are all numbered…also there’s a”book of the Bible called “Numbers”…also what did God say to Abraham…If you can count(emphases added)the stars of heaven or the sand of the seashore…also even in the Book of Revelation the Spirit of God said”I heard the number of them(emphases added again)…numbers point to Jesus Christ because He is the creator of “all things”(including numbers(emphases added)…

  4. You stated under wordy facts for fun that Psalm 117 was the longest chapter in the Bible but actually it is the shortest. Psalm 119 is the longest. You also stated that the Gospel of John is has the lowest word count on any book in the Bible, but I am sure you meant 3 John. I enjoyed the article though. Have a blessed day!

    1. in speaking of the word count in the book of john, i thought you might find this interesting.
      KJV. THE BOOK OF MATTHEW, 23684 WORDS,1071 VERSES.
      23684 % 1071 = 22.
      MARK, 15171 WORDS, 678 VERSES,
      15171 % 678 = 22.
      LUKE, 25944 WORDS, 1151 VERSES, 25944 % 1151 = 22.
      IS THIS A COINCIDENCE ? NO.

      1. Also there are 879 verses in the Gospel of John.There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament.922-879=50…so you can start at John 1vs 1 and it parallels all the way up to Malachi 4vs6 with John21 vs25.Now why is Genesis excluded because The Gospel of John was written to the church (and it’s all about who Jesus really is)…and if your in the church(the true church)we already know that Christ is the Creator.Also that’s why you read John…If you come away reading John and you don’t come to the conclusion that Christ is the Creator you missed the point of why John was written in the first place and John emphases this in the Book of John itself.

      2. 23684 / 1071 = 22.1139122316 (rounded off as 22.)

        15171 / 678 = 22.3761061947 (rounded off as 22.)

        25944 / 1151 = 22.5403996525 (rounded off as 23.)

        These numbers aren’t the same. One wouldn’t even be rounded off as 22, like is said in your comment, but I suppose sometimes facts need to be twisted to make a point, when the point you’re making isn’t factual.
        And them being in the same vicinity makes total sense, considering a verse probably has an average amount of words to begin with and so dividing the amount of words by the verses would come to a similar number anyway.

        So yes, coincidence.

  5. I command you not to worry about how many words are in the Bible, but to love your fellow man. As men, you can not into meaning of the words my Father wrote because you are fallible. When y try to interpret the words, you corrupt them with your own sins. You must love everyone, even those who you thin you hate (if you hate anyone, you don’t know word of God). The Bible’s words are God’s words, but the meaning behind these words can only be known to God…

  6. I came here because I’m looking for information as to whether the different word counts of the bible change the meanings from bible to bible, and to what extent. Does anyone have information on this issue? I would guess that having a different number of words would change the meaning of each bible a little at a minimum. Have there been any studies that show how much the meaning of the words in the bible change depending on the number of words in each bible?

    1. THE BIBLE IS A CALENDAR OF THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
      TO PROVE THIS, LETS PUT A DATE ON THE 79TH CHAPTER OF PSALMS, THE DATE 1343, THIS WAS THE DATE OF THE BLACK PLAGUE, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DIED, SO FAST THEY COULD NOT
      BURY THEM,
      FROM THE BIBLE ITSELF A DATE CAN BE FIXED TO EVERY CHAPTER.
      THE BIRTH OF AMERICA, 1776, JEREMIAH 38.

  7. You write: “The King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words.”
    I wonder, does this include the Apocrypha?

      1. Does this include the titles of books, chapter, verse and headings of psalms or just simply the text? How did you come to this conclusion?

    1. THE KJV HAS 743040 WORDS, IT STATES IN THE BIBLE THE NUMBER
      OF WORDS. ONE ONLY HAS TO WHERE TO LOOK. E- MAIL ME I WILL
      SHOW WHERE IT IS.

  8. I wrote this on another article about the number of pages in the bible, but it makes sense to post it here too. Why do Christians that bibles that have different numbers of words are the word of god? It’s obvious that humans have influenced what is written in these books or they would all be the same number of words. Since they don’t, it’s apparent that the bible isn’t the word of god, but the words of people.

    1. Jack the original old testament Hebrew and the new testament greek are the original languages of the BIBLE. The word count remains constant in the original languages. Now if want to read the Bible in English, French, Spanish, German, or any other tongue than Hebrew or Greek their will be different amount of words for each language. It’s called TRANSLATION. A former post explained this. Some languages have masculine and feminine tenses. English is not the only language in the world. Being ignorant is one thing, but being obtuse is another.

      1. Your argument might hold weight if the number of words in each different language had the same number of words, but this is not the case. In English, every major bible version has a different number of words. Even worse, different editions of the same version have different number of words — basically people changing the words as new additions come out. since it isn’t God changing them. before you begin name calling you might want to look in the mirror to see who is the one being ignorant and obtuse.

      2. TRANSLATIONS CANNOT BE TRUSTED, THERE ARE TO MANY.
        THE KJV IS RELIABLE, IN THE SENSE THE NUMBER OF WORDS
        ARE CONSISTENT, THE NUMBER OF WORDS MUST WORK
        IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE TIMELINE.
        EVERY CHAPTER NUMBER HAS A TIME ELEMENT.
        EXAMPLE: THE LAST YEAR OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
        1657 % 17 = PSALMS 97, JEREMIAH 31.

    2. If someone else repeats what you wrote, are they still your words? Just because the language changes or it is written in a different style does not make the words any less yours. But you are correct in one sense, they are not the words of god, they are the words of God.

      1. “I’m going to make a point.” could be interpreted as “I am making a point out of a substance.” or “I am indicating something with the words I’m using to make a point.”

        Tell me again how a translation can’t change the meaning or even erase the meaning of what you intended to say? How can they still be ‘your words’ when the meaning has been misinterpretation by someone trying to translate them?

        And even if most words have a counterpart in different languages, some do not. And even the ones that do, often have a slightly different semantic meaning or connotation from one language to the next. So saying the same sentence in one language can provoke a completely different response than it does in another and would likely have been said with different words if it had been originally said in that language. So…

        They’re not the ‘Words of God’ or the words of god.

  9. “In God We Trust” are the only words that matter in the Bible. If you believe and trust in God, then everything will be fine and you will get to go to Heaven. That’s why our money has God’s word on it.

    1. @holly

      You do realize that the words “In God We Trust” aren’t written anywhere in the Bible, don’t you? I think you may need to do a little more reading of the book before you start making comments about what’s in it and not in it. “In God We Trust” is written on US currency, not in the Bible.

      1. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You should read the bible and you’ll see it’s there. Where to you think we got the phrase In God We Trust? It didn’t just come out of thin air. It came from God so we would TRUST Him.

        1. You might want to reread your Bible. Maybe you should read it for the first time since your statement makes it sound like you have never opened the Book. “In God We trust” is nowhere in the Bible. You shouldn’t make arguments when you don’t have your facts correct.

    2. When I see comments like this I wonder if the people who say they’re so much into God and the Bible actually have ever read what they claim to know so much about. Anyone who thinks that the words “In God We Trust” is written in the Bible has obviously never read the Bible. To go around preaching how great God and the Bible is without ever actually reading the book is pretty damn hypocritical.

      1. You’re the one who hasn’t read the Bible. Where else would that come from? Only God. He wants us to TRUST Him so he made it the national motto of the US. It could only come from the Bible because it’s what God wants.

        1. Holly,
          The concept of trusting God is certainly in the Bible. But what these other people are telling you is that the phrase “In God We Trust” is our national motto and printed on all US money but that phrase itself does not appear anywhere in the Bible.
          If you disagree, all you have to do is give book, chapter, and verse (please include the Bible translation you use) in your reply.
          Have a blessed day.

        2. Wrong. Eisenhower added “Under God” to the pledge because he was super religious and wanted to separate the United States from the unholy image of the Nazis. The country’s original pledge has nothing to do with God whatsoever and it was never mentioned in the constitution. Seems like a silly thing for your little God to do anyway.

  10. 1Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

    The enemy wants us to argue over the details and differences in each others interpretation. Divide and conquer.

    Jesus wants us to LOVE each other, as he loves us, we are to love one another. 🙂

    So regardless how many words each version or translation has. For all who seek to follow Jesus the word is LOVE. Love God, Love your neighbour, love your enemy… love everyone. Wow – so simple. If all people loved Jesus and all other people we would have heaven on earth today.

    Let’s do it! Let’s spread the love 🙂

    1. You can do this without the bible. Why not do it because it’s the right thing to do and not because a book tells you to do it? I agree we should all do it, but we should do it because we know it’s the right thing to do, not because a book tells us to.

    2. How about we just love each other and treat each other with respect without the threat of eternity damnation and torture to urge us to do so. Do it because you want to, because you love your fellow man not because you are scared of your religion’s punishment. If you only do something because you’re scared of the consequence then it isn’t something you truly believe. You want the incentive you hypocritical ass.

  11. I was going to sit down and count all the words in the Bible, but now I don’t have to. But maybe I should to make sure your number is correct. Should I trust your number?

  12. How does one actually go about counting the words in the Bible? I know someone didn’t sit down with a Bible in front of them and count each word individually. So, how did this number get found?

  13. People, this is an estimate. There will be a lot to look at that will change the number, but if you take one version of the bible it is quite possible to get an accurate word count for it. Stop complaining and take the information for what it is.

  14. I can’t believe all the religious crap that gets spewed for an article about how many words there are in the Bible. It’s a simple question incomes with the simple answer. Nobody cares about what your religious beliefs are when they come to this article. They’re just interested in learning how many words there are in the Bible. Keep your opinions about what religious means to yourself and focus on the question being asked.

  15. All these comments make me feel bad for this country. The fact that so many people feel that it is appropriate to tell others how they should live and what they should believe when this country was founded on freedom of believing whatever you wanted and not what others told you to shows how many people don’t understand why those who were religiously persecuted King here in the first place. Now those who were persecuted are doing the same to those who don’t believe the same things they don’t or happen not to believe that all. And all because somebody wrote an article about how many words there are in the Bible. It’s shameful.

  16. I would have guessed that the Bible had over 1 million words. I’m a little surprised that it only has 783,137 words. Still, that’s a lot. And because of the way it’s written, it takes a lot longer to read than a normal book.

    1. Wow, I never knew the Bible had this much verses ..Although I thought it would be like a million words, 783,137 words are still a lot.

  17. I bet most people have never read the entire Bible. Seriously, who wants to read 3/4 of a million words on anything? Maybe if the Bible was a bit shorter, more people would actually read it.

  18. Great to see information about the bible that is useful. People should know more about the Bible and how it pertains to their lives.

  19. I was raised catholic and was an altar boy just like my older brothers.
    What an honor to serve in the house of the Lord.
    I kept God in my heart always. I knew good from evil and what was pleasing to God and what wasn’t.
    It was when I stopped fellowshipping with God that the conviction didn’t have the influence over me as much.
    God is a perfect gentleman and when we wonder off He let’s us know
    That He is always there for us. When we come back He welcomes us back with open arms.
    While we wonder off we are subject to attack and losses.
    I wondered most of my younger wild days and I still loved God but I did what pleased me not Him.
    One day I met a Christian woman and I married her.
    She took me to a well grounded church and I walked out saying
    Wow what is all this Holy Spirit stuff. Yep God brought me back.
    I began to read, ask 1000 questions, anything to know God.
    Then one day God impressed upon my heart to turn on am radio.
    Wait a minute I am a rock n roller, FM radio all the way.
    I listened to God and there t was wlvj family value station Boca Florida
    All day long. Preacher after preacher learning, learning, learning.
    God knows just how to feed us.
    At 3pm everyday there was a prophet in ft Lauderdale on and he put on the service from the night before and what I heard was from heaven
    I listened everyday and my faith and curiosity grew
    I said to my wife one day let’s go there.
    After we worshipped the prophet walked the isles and God healed and spoke to those in need of a word.
    Wow I was jumping out of my seat, my wife said I was imbarrasing her.
    But when the prophet said does anyone need prayer I would have jumped over the chairs to get there.
    I just got a cast off my foot and couldn’t climb ladders for weeks so I lost money in painting.
    He called my wife to be by my side and told me her name, yep I freaked out. He looked at me and said ‘God says you are having financial trouble, you get a check then you don’t get a check for a week or two.
    He asked what is wrong and I told him.
    Here comes the blessing, he said to my wife hang onto your husband cause the blessing will go into you and then into her.
    He said “God says you go home and pray and in three weeks God will give you the work that you need. He laid hands on me but I didn’t feel anything but my wife hit the floor and began to speak in toungues.
    She was bouncing all over the floor under the power of the holy spirit.
    Ready for my reaction the catholic turned christian.
    First I backed up in FEAR and shouted ‘What did you do to my wife’
    I was scared’ I never saw this before.
    Three weeks to the day when I got home from work I went to the answering machine and there was five jobs on it.
    From the start I got to see miracles and I kepted seeking God.
    After twenty five years I can say that the God of Israel, the God of the holy bible is the one and only true God.
    No other faith can prove the power of any other gods.
    It is the one that works, that’s the faith,
    Some faiths say that there faith has the same god but why does some faiths say to kill the Jews and Christians. Why would God say to do that
    To his children.
    Read the bible and quit arguing about it.
    It is Gods love letter to all of mankind.
    You can learn as much as you want about God but he first tells us to accept Jesus Christ his son and his forgiveness. God will put in you his spirit to live in you and he will lead you into all truth.
    As you study his word and pray God’s Holy Spirit will help you to understand what you are reading. See how smart God is, He has it all set up just trust him.
    Say Lord Jesus I want to know you
    I am a sinner and want to be forgiven,
    I believe you died for me and rose again for my sins to be forgiven
    Be my Lord and Savior and put your Holy Spirit in me
    Now help me to grow and live the life you offer and thank you for eternal life. God is love so love everyone. God loves purity so stay pure

    1. I’ve never believed in God and most people would consider that I’ve lived a charmed life. Love comes from within you, not from some non existent external force. If you can learn that, then you can give love unconditionally without fear.

Leave a Reply to or Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *