Bible Stats

Bible Stats July 5, 2014

A poster from Slingshot Publishing, which has a lot of familiar information, some problematic information (which ones can you spot?), but some things that are probably new to anyone who happens to read this. Is there anyone out there who already knew (or knew better than) all the details on this infographic?

"So what is the distance from authorship to earliest manuscript in the case of an ..."

Jesus, Probably
"The per-chapter gap from authorship to our earliest manuscript fragment is 200 years for Matthew. ..."

Jesus, Probably
"The cases of Moses and Jesus are vastly different: a gap of centuries as opposed ..."

Jesus, Probably
"I was looking for a modern comparison, as that's what Bernier gave. I largely agree ..."

Jesus, Probably

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  • Interesting. The problematic ones that immediately jump out to me is the 66 books and 40 authors stats. 66 books are in the Protestant Bible, but Catholics and Orthodox recognize more. I suspect the 40 authors stat relies on traditional attributions rather than scholarly consensus. For instance, the Pentateuch is usually attributed to Moses but was likely written by at least four authors.

  • Ian

    Some oddities

    – We are told it is the Word of God approximately 2500 times. (!)
    – Paul wrote 13 (the note that Hebrew’s authorship is disputed !)
    – 40 Authors generally.
    – 66 Books (which canon?)
    – 10 commandments (which numbering scheme?)

    I’ve no idea about the facts, like whether it is the most shoplifted, or how many Gideon’s bibles have been placed. But from the ‘facts’ I do know, it seems like the authors weren’t very concerned with accuracy. Another of those cases where it would be good to be able to add a big [citation needed] marker!

    • Alan Christensen

      I’m guessing the 2500 figure is the number of times the phrase “the word of God” (or “the word of the Lord”?) appears in the Bible (66-book Protestant canon, of course). I’m unaware, though, of any passage that equates “the Bible” with “the word of God.”

      • Ian

        That was my guess too. Seems a little high, even then, but I think it has to be that the assumption that “Word of God” only ever refers to the bible (!)

    • Paul D.

      Yeah, I noticed all those too. Also, Goliath is not 9½ feet tall in the older manuscripts (LXX/DSS), and cats appear in Baruch/Letter of Jeremiah.

  • sbh

    The alleged Voltaire quotation is fake. It appears to have been derived from an unsupported claim made by the American Bible Society in 1849: “Voltaire, elated by the rapid progress of infidel principles in his day, predicted, that, in the nineteenth century, the Bible would be known only as a relic of antiquity.” (The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany, November 1849, p. 403.) No such claim by Voltaire has been produced.

  • Lions are mentioned in the Bible; are these not cats?

    • Alan Christensen


  • Chris Spinks

    Of course an editor would notice this first thing: it should be AD 1238 not 1238 AD.