The Bible has 66 books, divided into 1,189 chapters consisting of 31,173 verses. The Bible was divided into chapters by Stephen Langton at about 1228. The Old Testament was divided into verses by R. Nathan in 1448 and the New Testament by Robert Stephanus in 1551. The first printed Bible divided into verses was an Old Testament Latin edition by Pagninus, printed in 1528. The first complete English version of the Bible divided into verses was the Geneva Bible, printed in 1560.
The Bible – in its complete form or portions of it – is available in more than 2200 languages – according to the Scripture Language Report issued by the United Bible Societies. And although never quoted in best-seller lists, the Bible has been the world’s best-selling book for decades.
The first Bible Society was founded 1804 – named the British and Foreign Bible Society Mission. The United Bible Societies was founded in 1946 at conference in Haywards Heath – England. It 127 member Bible Societies work in more than 200 countries and territories. They are currently involved in projects in 685 languages – in which a part of the Bible is being translated for the first time in 468 languages; there are some 2700 languages spoken in the world.
During 1998 worldwide distribution through National Societies totaled 20.8 million complete Bibles – 20.1 million New Testaments – 19.4 million Portions (at least one book of the Bible) – 16.5 million New Reader Portions – 35.5 million New Reader Selections – and an amazing 472.7 million Selections (less than one book of the Bible). Distribution in China rose to almost 2.4 million Bibles. Distribution in the Middle East also saw an increase. In all, Bible Societies around the world distributed almost 600 million pieces of Scripture annually. No, that is not a typo: that is almost 600 million pieces of Scripture every year.
The above figures represent distribution by Bible Societies and Bible Society Offices that together form the United Bible Societies – they do not include distribution by other publishers.