How many books are there in the Bible?

by Luke Wayne
1/26/2018

The Bible is a collection of 66 books. There 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. These books are as follows:

  Old Testament New Testament
1    Genesis Matthew
2 Exodus Mark
3 Leviticus Luke
4 Numbers John
5 Deuteronomy Acts
6 Joshua Romans
7 Judges 1 Corinthians
8 Ruth 2 Corinthians
9 1 Samuel Galatians
10 2 Samuel Ephesians
11 1 Kings Philippians
12 2 Kings Colossians
13 1 Chronicles 1 Thessalonians
14 2 Chronicles 2 Thessalonians
15 Ezra 1 Timothy
16 Nehemiah 2 Timothy
17 Esther Titus
18 Job Philemon
19 Psalms Hebrews
20 Proverbs James
21 Ecclesiastes 1 Peter
22 Song of Solomon 2 Peter
23 Isaiah 1 John
24 Jeremiah 2 John
25 Lamentations 3 John
26 Ezekiel Jude
27 Daniel Revelation
28 Hosea  
29 Joel  
30 Amos  
31 Obadiah  
32 Jonah  
33 Micah  
34 Nahum  
35 Habakkuk  
36 Zephaniah  
37 Haggai  
38 Zechariah  
39 Malachi  

 

Why do Jewish Bibles have Fewer Books than the Christian Old Testament?

The Jewish Scriptures are organized differently, but consist of the same books. The Jewish Bible lists only 24 books rather than the 39 we list in the Old Testament, but that is because some of the books that Christians list separately are combined into one book in the Jewish Canon. Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are each one book rather than two. Ezra and Nehemiah are also combined into one book. The prophets Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are grouped together as "The Twelve." Thus, though we number them differently, we are actually describing the same set of Scriptures, as can be seen in the chart below:

  Jewish Scriptures Old Testament  
1 Genesis Genesis 1
2 Exodus Exodus 2
3 Leviticus Leviticus 3
4 Numbers Numbers 4
5 Deuteronomy Deuteronomy 5
6 Joshua Joshua 6
7 Judges Judges 7
8 Ruth Ruth 8
9 Samuel 1 Samuel 9
    2 Samuel 10
10 Kings 1 Kings 11
    2 Kings 12
11 Chronicles 1 Chronicles 13
    2 Chronicles 14
12 Ezra/Nehemiah Ezra 15
    Nehemiah 16
13 Esther Esther 17
14 Job Job 18
15 Psalms Psalms 19
16 Proverbs Proverbs 20
17 Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes 21
18 Song of Solomon Song of Solomon 22
19 Isaiah Isaiah 23
20 Jeremiah Jeremiah 24
21 Lamentations Lamentations 25
22 Ezekiel Ezekiel 26
23 Daniel Daniel 27
24 The Twelve Hosea 28
    Joel 29
    Amos 30
    Obadiah 31
    Jonah 32
    Micah 33
    Nahum 34
    Habakkuk 35
    Zephaniah 36
    Haggai 37
    Zechariah 38
    Malachi 39

 

Why do Roman Catholic Bibles have More Books in the Old Testament?

Roman Catholic Bibles have 73 books rather than 66. This is because Roman Catholics have 7 additional books in their Old Testament: Tobit, Judith, 1-2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and Baruch. They also contain additional material that was added to the books of Daniel and Esther by later Greek interpreters. All of this together is what Catholics call "the Deuterocanonicals," and is more popularly known as the Apocrypha. Eastern Orthodox Bibles have even more Apocryphal books like 3 Maccabees, 2 Esdras, and the Prayer of Manasseh. The Ethiopian Orthodox utilize still others like Enoch and Jubilees. These are all ancient Jewish writings from well after the time of the Old Testament which the Jews never intented or accepted as Scripture but which some ancient Gentile Christians mistook for part of the Jewish Canon. While some of this material has historical and cultural value for researchers, the Apocrypha are not genuine, inspired Scripture and should not be included in the Bible. [See our articles on the Catholic Apocrypha HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE]