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Longest and shortest book in the New Testament July 11, 2011

Posted by daniel ayad in Unique.

It is quite well known that the longest book in the bible is the Psalms, of which there are 150 individual Psalms.

However the Psalms are contained in the Old Testament, so what about the New Testament….Which book is the longest in the New Testament? Before you jump at an answer, here are basic stats to consider.

–          The Gospel of Matthew contains 28 chapters

–          The Gospel of Mark contains 16 chapters

–          The Gospel of Luke contains 24 chapters

–          The Gospel of John contains 21 chapters

–          The book of Acts contains 28 chapters

–          The book of Revelation contains 22 chapters

At first impression the battle is between Matthew and Acts as they both contain 28 chapters. You would probably put your money on Acts being longer as it is a continuation of the Gospels… it probably has further detail on the Gospels and so on…..

But this battle is wrong! The longest book in the New Testament is the Gospel of Luke.

Despite the Gospel of Luke containing 24 chapters, four less than both Matthew and Acts, it contains more verses and words[1].

For the statistically minded, Luke contains 1151 verses compared to 1071 found in Matthew and 1006 found in Acts[2]. Also, despite Matthew containing more verses than Acts, it actually contains fewer words in total than both Acts and Luke.

The question as to why Luke is greater in volume than both Matthew and Acts must be asked. But I want to try and answer this next time.

Also since we are here, what is the shortest book in the New Testament?

Here are some basic stats to consider:

–          Philemon contains one chapter

–          2 John contains one chapter

–          3 John contains one chapter

–          Jude contains one chapter

Probably tough to call just based on this.  Here are some further stats:

–          Philemon’s single chapter contains 25 verses

–          2 John’s single chapter contains 13 verses

–          3 John’s single chapter contains 15 verses

–          Jude’s single chapter contains 25 verses

So we are now battling between 2 John and 3 John, and you would have to assume that 2 John is shorter……..but it is not! Despite 3 John containing two more verses than 2 John it actually contains less words[3]. Surprise, surprise…..

So the Gospel of Luke is the longest book in the New Testament, while 3 John is the shortest. At first glance both of these answers appear unlikely, but I think the answers give testimony to the depth of the bible. The more you study the bible, the more you realise the wonders it contains…..

[1]Felix Just, New Testament Statistics, 2005. Accessed on 11th July 2011, available at: http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/NT-Statistics-Greek.htm  

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid



1. VICTOR CHIELOKA ARUMAH - August 14, 2012

This is vry intresting bs as 4me, i tought mathew or acts should be the longest charpters of the new testerment bt now s

2. surchand - November 3, 2012

very interesting facts!!

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