The Bible is a book of deep value for individuals who follow the Christian faith. The Bible, often known as God’s Word, is a rich book full of lessons and insights on what it means to live one’s life as God intended. It is made up of numerous works that blend a wide range of literary types such as historical events, tales, letters, and poetry to produce a cohesive whole.
Many people think the Bible is one, single book, but that is not the case. How many books are in the Christian Bible, then? This blog will list down the number of books the Bible contains, and the two major sections these books are divided into.
How Many Books are in the Christian Bible?
There are two major parts of the Bible, The Old Testament, which has 39 books, and the New Testament, which has 27 books. In total, the Bible consists of 66 books.
Part 1: The Old Testament
From the beginning of time till the birth of Jesus, the Old Testament records everything. Its 39 volumes recount Israel’s ancient history and serve as the Jews and Christian faiths’ moral teachings and foundation.
The Old Testament is the most important section of the Christian biblical canon, and it’s based mostly on the 24 books of Tanakh (the old Bible), an out-of-date classification of the Israelites’ purely Hebrew literature. The New Testament, penned in common Greek, is the second section of the Christian Bible.
Many distinct volumes produced by various authors over the centuries make up the Old Testament. The Pentateuch (first five books related to Jewish law) tell the back story of the Israelites, from their accomplishments in Canaan to their surrender and alienation in Babylon. The books enforce investigations about right and wrong around the globe in a different structure, and the manuscript of the biblical prophets, alerting and reminding everyone of the repercussions of rejection and the wrath of God.
The books that makeup Old Testament groups and their prerequisites and names differ depending on which denomination you belong to, in Christianity. There are up to 49 books in the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Ordinances, 46 books in the Catholic denomination, and 39 books in the most well-known and common Protestant denomination.
Although Catholicism has 46 books in the old testament, they have similar 39 books to Protestantism, just the order of the books is different, as well as the text in some places.
The Old Testament also contains some Deuterocanonical. Deuterocanonical are the books that weren’t a part of the original Canon of Hebrew but do have Jewish backgrounds and roots. Usually, Protestants do not include these scriptures in their Bible, but some denominations of the Protestants, like Lutherans and Anglicans, tend to place them in a separate section and do include them.
Part 2: The New Testament
The New Testament is the Bible’s second major portion, and it spans the time period following the Old Testament. It is thought to have been penned between 50 and 100 AD. This part contains 27 books.
The second section of the Christian scriptural canon is called the New Testament. It discusses Jesus’ teachings and personal lessons, exactly as it did in first-century Christianity. The perspective that the New Testament brings, coupled with the biggest component of the Christian Bible known, the Old Testament to bring in the Hebrew origins and roots, is considered sacred by every denomination of Christianity.
The New Testament is a collection of Christian literature written in ancient Greek by multiple authors at different points in time. While Old Testament standards are debatable according to different Christian denominations, the New Testament, comprising of a 27-book canon, has been followed by all Christian denominations since the period of late Antiquity, at the least.
The New Testament is made up of 27 books that are used in practically all Christian practices today, be it any denomination. Out of these 27 books, 4 are stories giving a piece of good news, that is, John, Mathew, Luke, and mark. The rest of the books include the seven letters, stories of the lives of apostles, and the revelations.
There is no unanimous decision by the researchers on how recent the latest scriptures of the second section of the Bible were composed. Every book of the New Testament section was dated to be written prior to AD 70, according to multiple famous researchers like William Albright and Dan Wallace. Many scholars and researchers date some New Testament passages much later than this as well, placing the dates on which the books might have been composed, in the mid-to-late second century, about the time the core New Testament canon was published. Two of the researchers who say this are Richard Pervo and David Trobisch.
According to the New Edition of the Bible published by Oxford with annotations, researchers and historians agree that the Gospels were written between 40–60 years after Jesus’ death. They are not eyewitness accounts to Jesus’ life and education, nor are they any records of it.
Our Final Thoughts
Knowing which part of the Bible contains what books and chapters will help you understand the messages and commands in it in a better way. It’s also important for new learners, or people exploring the religion, to know what part of the Bible offers what message, and the relevant books if they want to look up specific teachings or rulings from the Bible. We hope this blog on how many books are in the Christian Bible, as well as the additional recommended books for your better understanding and comprehension, help you understand the messages of the Scripture with ease.