How Many Books are in the Bible?

Jonathan Gheorghica
February 13, 2023
min read

Have you ever wondered how many books are in the Bible? Are there more books we do not know about? How are the books split up? Is it only New Testament and Old Testament?

For centuries, it has intrigued readers across differing cultures and religions. It can seem like a large task to undertake, but each book serves an important purpose in both Biblical history and to the Christian faith

Its stories have inspired millions over many generations, leaving them with timeless lessons for generations to come. It has paved the way for christians to live and find hope. So the next time you pick up your Bible, what are the books in the Bible? How many are there?

Open bible on table

How many Testament books are There?

There are 66 books of the Bible. The Bible is split up into Old Testament and New Testament. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

The 39 Old Testament Books

The Old Testament reveals to believers the truth of God from the beginning of time to 400 years before Jesus stepped foot on the earth.

It educates us on the creation of the earth. It tells us about the promised land God wanted his people to inhabit. It has shown us the ten commandments, stories of the babylonian exile, the songs of David, and the wisdom of Solomon.

There is an abundance of information and revelation about God within the Old Testament.

The books are...

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges,

Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

5 Main Categories of the Old Testament

The Old Testament canon can be sorted into five main categories: the Pentateuch, History Books, Poetry and Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets.

The Pentateuch

The Pentateuch contains the first five books:

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy

The Historical Books

These books chronicle the events of Israel's history. These books are:

  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1-2 Samuel
  • 1-2 Kings
  • 1-2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther.

Poetry and Wisdom Books

These books describes wisdom in terms of practical knowledge. These books are:

  • Job
  • Psalms
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon.

The Major Prophets

These books emphasize the relationship between God and His chosen people Israel. These books are:

  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel

The Minor Prophets

These books emphasize the relationship between God and His chosen people Israel. These books are:

  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi.

Combined, these categories cover almost all of the historical events before Jesus' life and ministry on Earth.

Authors of the Old Testament

The authors of these books are written by some big names, some of the traditionally accepted authors include King David, who was said to have composed many of the psalms; Moses is also credited with writing the first five books.

Various prophets from both the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern kingdom of Judah, like Amos, Hosea and Micah have written books in the Old Testament as well.

These authors wrote over hundreds of years about their own experiences and about God's direction for them and for other people. As a result, their writings form an essential part of Christian theology today.

The 27 New Testament Books

The New Testament has revealed Jesus in the flesh to us. We learn in the book of John that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

God is revealed in a new light to his people and that is as a father. In the New Testament we see the children of God (often called christians) which are now Jew and Gentile receive the Holy Spirit.

There have been many Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus within the New Testament.

These books of the Bible were written during the time of the Roman Empire.

The books are...

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1

Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.

4 Main Categories of the New Testament

The New Testament Canon can be sorted into four main categories:

  • The gospels
  • The acts of the apostles
  • The epistles
  • The book of Revelation.

The Four Gospels

There are four books that make up the Gospels. The four books are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each of these books shares Jesus’ ministry, life, and give a different perspective on events that occurred.

These books were eyewitness testimonies of the life of Jesus Christ.

The Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of the Apostles is one book written by the apostle Luke that follows right after the gospels. It gives an account of the growth and spread of the early church.

The Epistles

There are a total of 21 epistles (this word means "letter") in the New Testament. These are epistles or letters written primarily by the apostle Paul. 14 of the epistles are written by the apostle Paul.

Each of these letters Paul writes have had an impact on the body whether it has influenced culture in an area or has been an encouraging letter to another believer.

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation is a book at the end of the New Testament written by the apostle John. The book was written through prophetic visions that John received about the return of Jesus Christ and the end times.

Protestant Bible vs. Roman Catholic Bible vs. Hebrew Bible

The Protestant Bible, Roman Catholic Bible, and the Hebrew Bible although are very similar, they are contrasting as well. They all contain some of the same books.

The Protestant Bible

The Protestant Bible is a compilation of 66 books, consisting of the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is often referred to as the Christian Bible in today's time.

The term "protestant" comes from Martin Luther's break from the Catholic church. Around 1517, Luther authored texts which outlined some of his disagreements with Catholic doctrine; these became known as the '95 Theses'. Through Luther, we now have the christian denominations we know today.

The Protestant Bible contains the books of the Bible we are familiar with today.

The Roman Catholic Bible

The Catholic Bible is very similar to the Protestant Bible, but there are distinct differences between the two variations.

The Roman Catholic Church continues to include seven more books in the Old Testament, such as Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, as well as additions to the books of Daniel and Esther.

These books are called the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. They are all apart of the Apocrypha.

While the Catholics consider these ancient texts to be holy scriptures, the protestant churches does not.

The Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible is a collection of texts integral to the religion of Judaism.

The Jewish Bibles contains a total of 24 books.

It is divided into three sections: the Torah (Pentateuch), Nevi’im, and Ketuvim.

Within these divisions can be found narratives of Hebrew history, laws, prophecies, poetry and more which comprise the core belief system of Judaism.

The Hebrew bible is also known as the Tanakh, an acronym formed from the beginning letters of each section in hebrew.

There are similarities between the Hebrew scriptures and the christian Old Testament scriptures.

In the Jewish faith, the Torah is very important because they believe it is how God has commanded them to live.

Other books

There is another bible put together by a group of people called the Syriac Bible.

The Syriac Bible is one of the oldest translations of the Bible, originally written in Aramaic, a language spoken by many ancient Middle Eastern communities. It comprises of several books from both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, including various portions of works from the Old Testament as well as some non-canonical texts.

How the Books Came Together to Create the Bible

For many years after the death of Jesus' apostles, several scrolls were passed around independently from one another until eventually various church councils began to come together around 320 A.D. to determine which books were authentic and had divine inspiration behind them.

In 325 AD, the first council of Nicaea was convened by Emperor Constantine in modern-day Turkey. This is where the Bible is believed to have been created and

As a result of these councils, the Old Testament was ultimately established by 395 A.D., while the New Testament was canonized within five years.


As one of the oldest and most important texts in the world, the Bible is a source of revered wisdom and instruction for many people.

With 66 books spanning both Old and New Testaments, it's an awe-inspiring expression of faith, culture, history, and values that continues to influence our lives today.

The Bible remains relevant no matter what time period or culture we may find ourselves in - from centuries-old biblical stories to scriptures followed by more than 2 billion Christians across the world today - proving itself to be an enduring testament of Jesus Christ.

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Jonathan Gheorghica
February 13, 2023
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