How Many Words Are In The King James Bible
According to a word count program that I wrote the King James Bible has 823,156 words. Other counts show the number of words as 783,137 so the ball park count is ~800k words.
This is based on a text file of the King James Bible I downloaded just to have a bunch of words around. I don’t know if it’s a completely accurate text file, but intuitively that number sounds about right.
Book Chap Verse Words
The Kjv Has Been Through Several Editions
Some King-James-Only Christians believe that the King James Bible perfectly preserved the Scriptures for all time. If this is the case there would have been no need for further edits. The current edition of the KJV is different from the original 1611 translation and several other early editions. The KJV Bible we use today is actually based primarily on the major revision completed in 1769, 158 years after the first edition.
Interestingly, the 1611 version, and all other editions of the KJV that were published for the next fifty years, contained the Apocrypha. Protestant Christians do not regard the apocryphal books as uniquely inspired and authoritative. The 1666 edition was the first edition of the KJV that did not include these extra books.
Criticisms Of Recent Bible Translations
One of the criticisms levelled at some modern English translations is that the New Testament was translated from the Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament. However, more recent translations, such as the 2011 edition of the New International Version , are based on the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland/ United Bible Societies Greek New Testament. This is a critical text that takes into consideration all known Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, as well as New Testament quotations from early church fathers and from ancient lectionaries. Any criticism of the Westcott and Hort text, or the men themselvesand much of the criticism has been misleading and outright slanderhas no relevance whatsoever to the latest edition of the New International Version and other recent translations.
Another criticism of newer translations is that some words and phrases, and even a few passages, that are included in the KJV, are absent in newer translations. These are not omissions. Rather, these words and phrases are additions in the Textus Receptus and in the KJV. These additions are absent in some of the more ancient Greek manuscripts. Most modern translations still acknowledge the traditional additions in some way: in margin notes, in footnotes, or they are printed in a different font, etc.
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The Kjv Translation Of The Nt Is Based On Relatively Recent Greek Manuscripts
As well as relying on previous English translations, the 1611 edition of the KJV relied on critically edited Greek texts that were for the most part based on about half a dozen very late manuscripts . These Greek texts included five printed editions of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus, as well as Robert Estiennes edition and Theodore Bezas edition . Michael Holmes writes more about the Greek texts behind English Bibles here.
Unfortunately, one of the manuscripts Estienne and Beza used for their Greek editions contained a few corrections that downplayed the importance of women in the church.
How Many Words In Each Book Of The Bible
This article follows on from our earlier article How Many Words in the Bible in which we discuss the total number of words in the Bible, and cite 20+ different sources, with different word counts for different versions of the Bible.
We thought you might find it interesting to also see some more facts and figures about the Bibles 66 different books. So immediately below is a sortable table, showing the number of chapters, verses and words in each book of the Bible. You can sort the table by clicking on any of the headings or search for words or word portions in the search box.
We have used the information from this site for the counts of chapters and verses, and the information here for the count of words. The word count 788,280 is based on the KJV and seems to be almost exactly as wed expect .
There are some variations between versions with included/excluded text and verses, however, for the purpose of establishing the relative lengths of each book, these counts are very helpful.
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The Kjv Was Not The First English Translation Of The Bible
A few King-James-Only Christians believe that the King James Bible was the first English translation of the Scriptures. This belief is incorrect. John Wycliffes Bible was translated from Latin into English and hand-copied in the 1400s. In 1526, almost 100 years before the KJV was first published, William Tyndales English translation of the Greek New Testament was printed. A decade or so later, full English Bibles began to be printed. First came the Coverdale Bible which used Tyndales NT, as did the Matthew Bible . Then came Richard Taverners Bible , closely followed by the Great Bible . The Geneva Bible was published by and for Calvinist Puritans. The Bishops Bible was based on the Great Bible and edited by Church of England bishops, partly, in response to the Geneva Bible. The Douay Rheims Bible was translated from the Latin Vulgate, rather than Hebrew and Greek, for the Roman Catholic Church.
Much of the KJV, which was first published in 1611, borrows heavily from earlier English translations, especially Tyndales New Testament and the Bishops Bible.
The Shortest Verses In The King James Version
The shortest verse in the Old Testament is 1 Chronicles 1:25, where 17 characters make “Eber, Peleg, Reu,”. The Old Testament contains many such rather dull listings with names. If we exclude them, the top 10 gets more interesting.
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How Many Words Are There In The Bible
When it comes to calculating the number of words in the Bible, its 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 youre actually referring to. That being said, if you are looking for a general answer, its probably best to use one of the most common versions, such as the King James Bible.
The Translators Of The Kjv 1611 Were Relatively Unfamiliar With Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the original language of the New Testament, but the KJV translators of the New Testament, who were accomplished scholars of Classical Greek, were relatively unfamiliar with Koine Greek. Koine Greek was not well-understood. Some people suggested it was a Judaic or Hebraic Greek. Some even believed it was a unique, Spirit-inspired dialect. It was not until the 1800s and early 1900s, when tens of thousands of papyrus documents were discovered, many written in Koine, that we began to understand the language more fully. Unlike the translators of the KJV, modern translators of the New Testament are scholars of Koine Greek. There are also some issues with the KJV translation of the Hebrew into English in the Old Testament.
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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, youd 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, youd find 3,294, but now that Ive 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.
Longest Verses In The Apocrypha:
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What Are Some English Words That Have Changed In Meaning Since The Translation Of The Kjv
King James VersiontheethouReplenishrace of humansmale’replenishre-replenishClosettameionclosetclosCompelanagkazoCompelledcompelledcompelConversationconversationderekanastropheconversationconversationconversationemCousinsuggenescousincousincousinAs You Like ItInductive study
Are The Counts Even Accurate
We hesitate to link to the sources for these word counts because our sense is that many of these claims are being recycled over and over, with the original source long since lost/forgotten, and so just because a particular website claims a certain number of words, that doesnt mean the web page writer personally counted and recounted the words themselves.
We also are generally never told how the words are counted. That might seem obvious, but what about, for example, italicised words in the KJV. These are words that were added by the original editors to make the text slightly clearer. Should they be included in the count or not? Another example some editors add section headings to help group parts of the Bible together. Should those words be counted or not? What about hyphenated words are they one word or two? What about even the names of the 66 books ? The word chapter that may sometimes precede each chapter . And so on.
Especially if the idea is to have comparative counts of different Bible versions, if the comparisons are to be meaningful, it is important they all use the same assumptions and methods for counting.
In addition, have the words actually truly been counted, or just estimated? If truly counted, was it counted by a computer program or by a real person, and was it double checked?
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Standard Text Of 1769
The 1611 and 1769 texts of the first three verses from I Corinthians 13 are given below.
1. Though I speake with the tongues of men & of Angels, and haue not charity, I am become as sounding brasse or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I haue the gift of prophesie, and vnderstand all mysteries and all knowledge: and though I haue all faith, so that I could remooue mountaines, and haue no charitie, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestowe all my goods to feede the poore, and though I giue my body to bee burned, and haue not charitie, it profiteth me nothing.
1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
There are a number of superficial edits in these three verses: 11 changes of spelling, 16 changes of typesetting , three changes of punctuation, and one variant textwhere “not charity” is substituted for “no charity” in verse two, in the erroneous belief that the original reading was a misprint.
A particular verse for which Blayney‘s 1769 text differs from Parris‘s 1760 version is Matthew 5:13, where Parris has
King James Authorised The New Translation For Political Reasons
King James believed that a single, authorised version was a political and social necessity. He hoped this book would hold together the warring factions of the Church of England and the Puritans that threatened to tear apart both church and country. Most of the translators were clergymen belonging to the Church of England, but at least some had Puritan sympathies.
King James issued over a dozen rules that the translators had to follow. He disliked the Geneva Bible, the Bible used by the Puritans, because he believed that some of the comments in the margin notes were seditious and did not show enough respect for kings. James new translation was to have no commentary in the margins.
King James favoured the hierarchical structure of the Church of England and wanted the new translation to use words that supported a bishop-led hierarchy. In keeping with his preferred views on church government, he specified, The old ecclesiastical words to be kept as the word church not to be translated congregation. King James also ruled that only his new Bible could be read in Englands churches. The political motives of King James had a direct influence on the translation of the KJV.
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A Translation For Unity
The King James bible was commissioned by King James 1 of England in 1611. Around 1536 it became permissible to commission a new translation of the bible without dying for it, and King James is not one of the oldest bibles, but it was founded on pure reasons.
King James wanted to unite the warring religious factions of his time by producing a bible that all would be fond of. While reading the King James bible, some have expressed its beautiful language as Shakespearean, poetic and clear.
However, for many, this language is too outdated and does not connect well with those who may want to evangelize to the nonbelievers. There has to be a solution.
Familiarity Reverence And Understanding
The problem often comes when the language has only moderately changed. We have a sense that we understand even when we are not really getting the point. Familiarity and sacred reverence further fuel this. Take, for example, some of the songs we sing. One of my favorite hymns of all time is Be Though My Vision. This song is a treasure of the church and is still sung across generations, cultures, and denominational lines. Yet, because the hymn is not only so familiar but also so hallowed and beloved, many who sing it have never even paused to realize that they do not understand all of the lines. Do you know, for example, what it means to say:
Naught be all else to me save that thou art?
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Longest Verses In The Old Testament:
Shortest And Longest Words
The shortest words in the KJV are a, I and O. They occur in all three parts of the Bible.
Longest word in the Old Testament:
- longest: Mahershalalhashbaz, 18 characters. Maher-shalal-hash-baz was a son of the prophet Isaiah. The name means “speed the spoil, hasten the plunder”, and was given at the moment that the king of Assyria was on his way and would soon rob the Syrians and the Israelites . Isaiah prophetised that that would happen before the boy Mahershalalhashbaz would be able to cry ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’ let alone pronounce his own name.
- longest words, not a name: evilfavouredness and lovingkindnesses, both with 16 characters.
Longest words in the New Testament:
- covenantbreakers, fellow-prisoners, and unprofitableness, all with 16 characters.
Longest word in the Apocrypha:
- a series of words with 15 characters: everlastingness, interpretations, notwithstanding, stumblingblocks, and unrighteousness.
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