How is the Bible Organized?

From "The Bible in 7 Pieces"

From “The Bible in 7 Pieces”

The Bible has two major sections — The Old Testament and New Testament.  The Old Testament was written by Jews before the birth of Jesus, and it is the primary religious text of Judaism, although it is not called “Old Testament” by the Jews.  The New Testament was written by Jews and non-Jews after the birth of Jesus, and it is the primary religious text for Christians.  Although the Bible was written by approximately 40 men inspired by God, over a period of about 1,500 years, all of the pieces are interconnected like a puzzle and represent the inspired Word of God (2Timothy 3:16-17).

The word “Bible” comes from the Latin word “biblia” which means books.  The books of the Holy Bible, including their order and contents, differ slightly between religious groups due to differing opinions about which writings are authoritative as scripture, also known as Biblical Canon1.   The Bible is generally laid out as follows:

  • Testaments – Old (Before Christ) & New (After Christ)
  • Books – 66 Books; 39 Old Testament & 27 New Testament
  • Chapters – 1,189 (King James Version)2
  • Verses – 30,000+ (King James Version)2 

The typical Christian Bible has about 1,500 pages, depending on text and page size, and has more than 30,000 verses or scriptures.  The original scriptures were not divided into chapters and verses, but most modern translations do this for easier reference.   For example, Genesis 3:1-4 indicates the scripture is from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 3, Verses 1-4.  The book names are often abbreviated.  For example, the book of Matthew may be abbreviated as Matt or Mt.  If there is more than one book with the same name, such as Kings, the books are distinguished by numbers before the book name (e.g. 1Kings, 2Kings or I Kings, II Kings). 



Bible Bookmarks:

Let’s Pray:  Thank You Lord for giving us Your Word via the books of the Holy Bible.  I pray that we will be as inspired to read Your Word as the writers were to record Your Word.  

QUESTION:  Has the size of the Bible kept you from reading it?  Use the comment form to share your thoughts.

Have a Victorious Day!
Marianne Clements


  • Ann Musico

    Before I was born again although I did go to church as a child, I really didn’t understand much. Somehow the belief that I could never understand the Bible was in me and until I was in my late 20′s I just assumed that to be true and never attempted to read it! So it wasn’t the size of the bible it was my own false belief! Thank God a friend encouraged me to begin reading a simple translation and I have never stopped since then!

    • Marianne Clements

      Thanks for sharing your experience about false beliefs stopping you from reading the Bible. I’m glad that God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word.
      I was never a reader, so the size definitely was intimidating to me. However, I just never had a desire to read it from cover to cover until I made Jesus my Lord & Savior.
      Have a Victorious Day!

  • Caroline Gavin

    Marianne, thank you very much for this sharing this clear-cut layout of the Bible. The more we understand Scriptures, from the depth of their content to the structure of their organization, the more we can draw from the glorious Word of God…and make it alive in our lives! Truly you do simplify a long and complex Book. May God continue to bless and inspire you!

    • Marianne Clements

      Organization of information helps me be able to understand it better, but it’s the content of these books that are most valuable. The goal is to help people make it alive in their lives as you have said. God Bless You too!
      Have a Victorious Day!

      • Caroline Gavin

        May the rich content of God’s Word shine radiantly in our lives! Thank you so much, dear sister in Christ, for your faithfulness to God’s Word and Kingdom!

        His abundant blessings always to you!