Religion fast facts
About 50 Bibles are sold every minute. It is the world’s best-selling book. Some 1 billion copies of Bibles have been sold.
Christianity is the world’s most widespread religion (2.1 billion Christians – see list of largest religions).
There are about 34,000 Christian denominations in the world.
The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.
The Slavonic Orthodox Church has twice as many adherents as the Baptist Church.
The 12 disciples were not were not allowed to carry food, money, or extra clothing.
John was the only apostle who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus.
There are more than 10,000 distinct religious groups in the world.
Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible, and lions 55 times, but domestic cats are not mentioned at all.
The Bible is the world’s most shoplifted book.
The oldest almost-complete manuscript of the Bible still existing is the Codex Vaticanus, dating from the first half of the 4th century, now held in the Vatican library.
The word “Christian” appears only three times in the Bible: Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16.
There are 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
The 66 books of the Bible is divided into 1,189 chapters consisting of 31,102 verses. The Old Testament has 929 chapters, the New Testament 260 (King James version).
The King James Old Testament consist of 592,439 words consisting of 2,728,100 letters and the New Testament 181,253 words consisting of 838,380 letter (total 3,566,480 letters).
The longest line in the Bible is Esther 8:9 – 89 words, 425 letters.
The longest word in the Bible is Maher-shalal-hash-baz: Isaiah 8:1.
The shortest verse in the NIV Bible is John 11:35: “Jesus wept.”
The longest book chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, the shortest is Psalm 117.
There are 594 chapters before Psalm 117 and 594 chapters after it (King James Version), making it the center chapter in the Bible.
Psalm 113:1-2 are the center verses of the Bible (King James Version) – two verses because there are an equal number of total verses: 31,102.
Obadiah, with 21 verses consisting of 602 words, is the shortest book in the Old Testament, and the third shortest in the Bible.
II John has the fewest number of verses (13) of any book in the Bible – it is the shortest book (by verse) in the Bible, consisting of 298 words.
III John has the fewest number of words of any book in the Bible; 294 words in 14 verses.
Job is the oldest book written in the Bible – it was written by an unknown Israelite around 1500 BC.
Malachi, written about 400 BC, is the youngest book in the Old Testament.
James, written around 45 AD, is the oldest book in the New Testament.
Revelation, written about 95 AD, is the youngest book in the New Testament.
The chapter in the exact middle of the Bible is Psalm 117; there are 594 chapters before Psalm 117 and 594 chapters after Psalm 117.
St Paul wrote 14 (of the 27) books of the New Testament.
The covering for the tabernacle was made out of ram skins and sea cow hides: Exodus 36:19.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say there were three wise men – Matthew 2:1 only says: “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem” and later they present three gifts.
The word “Lord” appears 1855 times in the Bible.
The word “God” appears in every book except Esther and Song of Solomon.
The word “grandmother” appears in the Bible only once: 2 Timothy 1:5.
The word “eternity” is mentioned only once: Isaiah 57:15.
Seven suicides are recorded in the Bible.
In Old Testament times the Mediterranean Sea was called the Great Sea.
There are 7 different Jeremiahs in the Bible: 1 Chronicles 5:24; 12:4, 10, 13; 2 Kings 23:30; Jeremiah 1:1; 35:3.
Delilah was given a few thousand pieces of silver to deceive Samson into revealing the secret of his strength. (NKJV) Judges 16:4-5: “And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, ‘Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may over power him….and every one of us will give you 1100 pieces of silver.’ ”
The 7 Fathers of the Church: St Athanasius, St Gregory of Nazianzus, St John Chrysostom, St John of Damascus, St Basil of Caesarea, St Gregory of Nyssa, St Cyril of Alexandria.
In a 1631 edition of the King James Bible – in Exodus 20 verse 14 – the word “not” was left out, changing the 7th commandment to read – “Thou shalt commit adultery.” See: Printing errors in the Bible
The raven is the first bird mention in the Bible. It appears in Genesis 8:7, when it is sent out from the ark by Noah to see if the flood waters have abated. The second bird was a dove, in verse 8.
Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible.
A chariot imported from Egypt cost around 600 shekels of silver (1 Kings 10:29). That would be about $77,000. One shekel was 4 days wages.
The word “trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible.
Methuselah is the oldest man on record: 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).
Of the 1.5 billion Islam followers, 1 billion follow Sunni Islam. Shi’ite Muslims number approximately 125 million.
Some 200 mosques in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, point the wrong way for prayers.
The only government-authorized ideology in North Korea is Juche, which began in the 1950s.
The word agnostic was coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1860 – although the agnostic concept is centuries old.
The word Islam means “submission,” derived from the Arab word for peace, salaam.
Hinduism, the world’s third largest religion, is the oldest organized religion.
Zoroastrianism is known as the world’s oldest prophetic religion. It was started by Zarathustra some 8 000 years ago. At first a dualistic religion, it is considered by some to later have become the first monotheist religion. Others consider the pharaoh Ikhnaton (Anibgiteo IV, rule 1353 BC – 1336 BC) – aka Akhenaten – the first monotheist when he claimed his god, Aton, as the only god; that was 700 years before the Jews became total monotheists and 1 300 years before the time of Jesus.
During the 6th Century, it was customary to congratulate people who sneezed because it was thought that they were expelling evil from their bodies. During the great plague of Europe, the Pope passed a law to say “God bless you” to one who sneezed.
The last word in the Bible is AMEN.