The Bible: A Word Count Analysis

Back in 2017, I read the Bible twice. The first time, I did it as a speed-run challenge – I got it done in 73 days. I took the rest of the year completing the second read.

I read the New King James Version for the first time, then switched to The Message for the second time, though I couldn’t handle it and switched to the New International Version about halfway through.

During this process, I got interested in word counts, primarily to keep up my motiviation. I felt like I needed to know my progress and context, to stay motivated to get it done. So I compiled the below from a list of counts in the King James version (I figured this was canonical-ish), then did some math.

This was originally in a spreadsheet, but since the counts aren’t likely to change, I’ve flattened them here to a table.

Here’s a key to the columns.

A few observations which I found interesting.

Name Testament Words Percent Cum. Words Cum. Percent Rank
Genesis O 32,046 5.24% 32,046 5.24% 2
Exodus O 25,957 4.25% 58,003 9.49% 5
Leviticus O 18,852 3.08% 76,855 12.57% 13
Numbers O 25,048 4.10% 101,903 16.67% 7
Deuteronomy O 23,008 3.76% 124,911 20.44% 8
Joshua O 15,671 2.56% 140,582 23.00% 19
Judges O 15,385 2.52% 155,967 25.52% 21
Ruth O 2,039 0.33% 158,006 25.85% 43
1 Samuel O 20,837 3.41% 178,843 29.26% 10
2 Samuel O 17,170 2.81% 196,013 32.07% 17
1 Kings O 20,361 3.33% 216,374 35.40% 11
2 Kings O 18,784 3.07% 235,158 38.47% 14
1 Chronicles O 16,664 2.73% 251,822 41.20% 18
2 Chronicles O 21,349 3.49% 273,171 44.69% 9
Ezra O 5,605 0.92% 278,776 45.61% 30
Nehemiah O 8,507 1.39% 287,283 47.00% 27
Esther O 4,932 0.81% 292,215 47.81% 32
Job O 12,674 2.07% 304,889 49.88% 22
Psalms O 30,147 4.93% 335,036 54.81% 3
Proverbs O 9,921 1.62% 344,957 56.44% 24
Ecclesiastes O 4,537 0.74% 349,494 57.18% 34
Song of Solomon O 2,020 0.33% 351,514 57.51% 44
Isaiah O 25,608 4.19% 377,122 61.70% 6
Jeremiah O 33,002 5.40% 410,124 67.10% 1
Lamentations O 2,324 0.38% 412,448 67.48% 39
Ezekiel O 29,918 4.89% 442,366 72.37% 4
Daniel O 9,001 1.47% 451,367 73.85% 26
Hosea O 3,615 0.59% 454,982 74.44% 36
Joel O 1,447 0.24% 456,429 74.67% 51
Amos O 3,027 0.50% 459,456 75.17% 37
Obadiah O 440 0.07% 459,896 75.24% 63
Jonah O 1,082 0.18% 460,978 75.42% 56
Micah O 2,118 0.35% 463,096 75.77% 42
Nahum O 855 0.14% 463,951 75.91% 59
Habakkuk O 1,011 0.17% 464,962 76.07% 57
Zephaniah O 1,141 0.19% 466,103 76.26% 54
Haggai O 926 0.15% 467,029 76.41% 58
Zechariah O 4,855 0.79% 471,884 77.20% 33
Malachi O 1,320 0.22% 473,204 77.42% 52
Matthew N 18,346 3.00% 491,550 80.42% 16
Mark N 11,304 1.85% 502,854 82.27% 23
Luke N 19,482 3.19% 522,336 85.46% 12
John N 15,635 2.56% 537,971 88.02% 20
Acts N 18,450 3.02% 556,421 91.03% 15
Romans N 7,111 1.16% 563,532 92.20% 28
1 Corinthians N 6,830 1.12% 570,362 93.31% 29
2 Corinthians N 4,477 0.73% 574,839 94.05% 35
Galatians N 2,230 0.36% 577,069 94.41% 40
Ephesians N 2,422 0.40% 579,491 94.81% 38
Philippians N 1,629 0.27% 581,120 95.07% 47
Colossians N 1,582 0.26% 582,702 95.33% 49
1 Thessalonians N 1,481 0.24% 584,183 95.58% 50
2 Thessalonians N 823 0.13% 585,006 95.71% 60
1 Timothy N 1,591 0.26% 586,597 95.97% 48
2 Timothy N 1,238 0.20% 587,835 96.17% 53
Titus N 659 0.11% 588,494 96.28% 61
Philemon N 335 0.05% 588,829 96.34% 64
Hebrews N 4,953 0.81% 593,782 97.15% 31
James N 1,742 0.29% 595,524 97.43% 45
1 Peter N 1,684 0.28% 597,208 97.71% 46
2 Peter N 1,099 0.18% 598,307 97.89% 55
1 John N 2,141 0.35% 600,448 98.24% 41
2 John N 245 0.04% 600,693 98.28% 65
3 John N 219 0.04% 600,912 98.31% 66
Jude N 461 0.08% 601,373 98.39% 62
Revelation N 9,851 1.61% 611,224 100.00% 25