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The Bible
Bible Statistics and History
Old Testament

How many books are there in the Bible?

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September 07, 2014 8:24PM

The proper answer to this question depends on whose Bible one considers.

Jewish Bible: traditionally 24 books, divided into the Torah (five books), Prophets (eight books), and Writings (eleven books).

Christian Bibles are divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

"Protestant" Bible: There are 66 books. The Old Testament has the same books as the Jewish Bible, but numbered and arranged differently, to yield 39 Old Testament books. New Testaments contain 27 books. in the Protestant Canon of the Bible.

Roman Catholic Bible: 73 books. Roman Catholic Old Testaments follow an ancient Christian Old Testament called the Septuagint, which includes all the same books as the Jewish Bible, plus seven more. Thus, Roman Catholic Old Testaments have 46 books, including Tobit; Judith, Wisdom; Ecclesiasticus, The Wisdom of Joshua the Son of Sirach; Baruch; First Maccabees; Second Maccabees; and additions to the books or Daniel and Esther.

Greek/Eastern Orthodox: 78 total. Old Testaments are slightly longer than Roman Catholic Old Testaments. Syriac Old Testaments often have additional material in an appendix. The Greek Orthodox Canon adds 5 more books: First Esdras, Second Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Third Maccabees, Fourth Maccabees, and also a 151st chapter to the book of Psalms. The Greek Orthodox also have named a few of the books differently.

Ethiopian Orthodox: 81 total. Old Testaments are the longest in any branch of Christianity. The Ethiopian Orthodox "Narrow Canon" has the same 27 New Testament books as other branches of Christianity, but the Ethiopian Orthodox "Broad Canon" includes several additional books.

Mormon/LDS Church: 65 total. Despite having canonized the 1769 edition of the King James Bible, Joseph Smith Jr. said that the Song of Solomon was not inspired, and considered Apocrypha. The Community of Christ a offshoot of the Latter Day Saint church, has canonized the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) and have excluded the Song of Solomon/Songs.