How Many Chapters Are in the Bible?


Christians believe that God inspired the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Both testaments and all 66 books are the results of the Holy Spirit working through human authors to deliver God’s message to people. Because of the Bible’s importance, people want to know a lot about it. One of the questions people ask is how many chapters it has.

The Bible has 1,189 chapters. There are 929 in the Old Testament and 260 in the New. Chapter sizes vary in length. Some have over one hundred verses. Others have just a few. This is because the Bible’s authors didn’t divide their books into chapters. Instead, like verses, they were later insertions.

Who added chapters to the Bible if not the original authors? What book has the most chapters? What book has the least? What is the longest chapter in the Bible? What is the shortest? What is the centermost chapter in the Bible? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Bible chapters
What is the longest chapter in the Bible? See below

7 Facts about Chapters in the Bible

Fact #1: The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. It contains 176 verses. The chapter contains about 2,500 words and covers multiple two-column pages depending on the English translation. Psalm 119 is larger than several books of the Bible in their entirety.

Fact #2: Occurring two chapters before Psalm 119, Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible. It contains two verses. They read: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (ESV)

Fact #3: There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament. The book of Psalms has the most, with 150 chapters. Isaiah is second with 66. Obadiah has the least, with one chapter. Commonly, in one-chapter books, the number “1” isn’t listed in the text. Haggai is the second shortest, with two.

Fact #4: There are 260 chapters in the New Testament. Acts and Matthew each have the most, with 28 chapters. Luke is second with 24. Philemon, 2 and 3 John, and Jude have the least, with one chapter. 2 Thessalonians, Titus, and 2 Peter are second with three chapters each.

Fact #5: With 1,189 total chapters and 66 books, the average amount of chapters per book is 18. With 929 chapters and 39 books, the average amount of chapters per book is 23. With 260 chapters and 27 books, the average amount of chapters per New Testament book is nine.

Fact #6: The centermost chapter of the Bible is Psalm 117. It is the 595th chapter. As stated above, Psalm 117 is also the shortest chapter in the Bible.

Fact #7: Stephen Langton (1150-1228 A.D.), a Roman Catholic clergyman in 13th-century England, is credited with dividing the Bible into the chapters and verses in use today. Many people before Langton created unique chapter and verse divisions, which were complex and challenging.

Most scholars and theologians don’t believe God inspired Langton’s chapter and verse divisions. Because of this, the system is helpful but not perfect.

An example that English readers may find unusual is when a chapter starts with a word like “therefore.” For example, Romans 5:1 reads, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (ESV).

Bible total chapters
Does Genesis or Isaiah have more chapters? See below

Chapters in the Old Testament

Pentateuch: 187 Chapters
Genesis – 50 chapters
Exodus – 40 chapters
Leviticus – 27 chapters
Numbers – 36 chapters
Deuteronomy – 34 chapters
History Books: 249 Chapters
Joshua – 24 chapters
Judges – 21 chapters
Ruth – 4 chapters
1 Samuel – 31 chapters
2 Samuel – 24 chapters
1 Kings – 22 chapters
2 Kings – 25 chapters
1 Chronicles – 29 chapters
2 Chronicles – 36 chapters
Ezra – 10 chapters
Nehemiah – 13 chapters
Esther – 10 chapters
Wisdom Literature: 243 Chapters
Job – 42 chapters
Psalms – 150 chapters
Proverbs – 31 chapters
Ecclesiastes – 12 chapters
Song of Solomon – 8 chapters
Prophetic Literature (Major): 183 Chapters
Isaiah – 66 chapters
Jeremiah – 52 chapters
Lamentations – 5 chapters
Ezekiel – 48 chapters
Daniel – 12 chapters

2 Peter 1:21 reads, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (ESV).

Prophetic Literature (Minor): 69 Chapters
Hosea – 14 chapters
Joel – 4 chapters
Amos – 9 chapters
Obadiah – 1 chapter
Jonah – 4 chapters
Micah – 7 chapters
Nahum -3 chapters
Habakkuk – 3 chapters
Zephaniah – 3 chapters
Haggai – 2 chapters
Zechariah -14 chapters
Malachi – 5 chapters
total chapters in the Bible
Are Paul’s letters arranged according to size? See below

Chapters in the New Testament

Matthew 4:4 reads, “But he answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”‘” (ESV).

The Gospels: 89 Chapters
Matthew – 28 chapters
Mark – 16 chapters
Luke – 24 chapters
John – 21 chapters
Acts
Acts – 28 chapters
The Letters of Paul: 87 Chapters
Romans – 16 chapters
1 Corinthians – 16 chapters
2 Corinthians – 13 chapters
Galatians – 6 chapters
Ephesians – 6 chapters
Philippians – 4 chapters
Colossians – 4 chapters
1 Thessalonians – 5 chapters
2 Thessalonians – 3 chapters
1 Timothy – 6 chapters
2 Timothy – 4 chapters
Titus – 3 chapters
Philemon – 1 chapter
General Epistles: 34 Chapters
Hebrews – 13 chapters
James – 5 chapters
1 Peter – 5 chapters
2 Peter – 3 chapters
1 John – 5 chapters
2 John – 1 chapter
3 John – 1 chapter
Jude – 1 chapter
Revelation
Revelation – 22 chapters

Michael Lawrence writes, “The Bible is not just a collection of inspired books written by various prophets and apostles, but that it’s a single story, a coherent narrative of the redemptive acts of God. The single story has God as its author, its primary actor, and its center, and the climax of this story is the glory of God in salvation through judgment.” [3]

References:
[1] How We Got the Bible by Neil Lightfoot.
[2] The Origin of the Bible by F.F. Bruce.
[3] Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence. p. 37.

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

Recent Posts

error: This content is copyrighted.