There are a few different numbers floating around for the total number of verses in the Bible. Most people, when looking for a count, will just find and quote one of these numbers. No one has time or patience to actually count the verses. And probably the easiest way to do this would be to add up the number of verses in each of the 1189 chapters. We know how many verses a chapter has by looking at the number of the last verse. But still, this would take time.
However, building the Bible search engine (Bible SuperSearch) has enabled us to have computers do the counting for us. And the number of verses always came out to be 31,102. In order to build the Bible search engine, the Bible was imported into a (MySQL) database for easy querying. Each Bible has it’s own database table. For the KJV, the table is ‘bible_kjv’.
In the table, each verse has it’s own row:
|1||1||1||1||In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.|
|2||1||1||2||And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.|
|3||1||1||3||And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.|
|4||1||1||4||And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.|
|5||1||1||5||And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.|
|6||1||1||6||And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.|
|7||1||1||7||And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.|
|8||1||1||8||And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.|
In addition to book, chapter, verse, and text, each row has a unique numerical index. This index is auto-incremented. It starts at 1 for Genesis 1:1 and increments by 1 for every verse. For Revelation 22:21, the last verse in the Bible, we see that this index came out to be 31,102.
|31097||66||22||16||I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.|
|31098||66||22||17||And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.|
|31099||66||22||18||For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:|
|31100||66||22||19||And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.|
|31101||66||22||20||He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.|
|31102||66||22||21||The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.|
We can also run a MySQL query to count the number of rows in the table:
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM `bible_kjv`
We get 31,102. Since each verse has it’s own row in the table, this is the number of verses in this Bible.
We can also query the number of verses in the Old and New Testaments:
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM bible_kjv WHERE book BETWEEN 1 and 39
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM bible_kjv WHERE book BETWEEN 40 and 66
The Old Testament has 23,145 verses and the New Testament has 7,957 verses.
We can also break down these verse counts by book:
SELECT bible_books_en.number AS ‘Order’, bible_books_en.fullname AS Book,
COUNT(DISTINCT bible_kjv.chapter) AS Chapters, COUNT(*) AS Verses
INNER JOIN bible_books_en ON bible_books_en.number = bible_kjv.book
GROUP BY bible_kjv.book
ORDER BY bible_kjv.book
|Number of Chapters and Verses in Each Book|
|22||Song of Solomon||8||117|
Compare these numbers with Blue Letter Bible’s results here: https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/66books.cfm (I have included this link because they too have a Bible search engine, and are also able to query for these numbers.)
Here’s another interesting article on the number of verses (and words) in the Bible: https://www.biblebelievers.com/believers-org/kjv-stats.html
So, the King James Version has 31,102 verses. What about other Bibles?
We can query the count of other Bibles that we have on the search engine the same way we did for the KJV:
SELECT COUNT(*) from bible_bishops
|Bishop’s Bible (English)||31,102|
|Coverdale Bible (English)||31,102|
|Tyndale Bible (English)
(Has New Testament and parts of OT)
|La Bible de l’Épée (French)||31,102|
|Reina Valera Gómez (Spanish)||31,102|
|Reina Valera – 1909 (Spanish)||31,102|
|Smith Van Dyke (Arabic)||31,102|
|Luther Bible (German)||31,102|
|Textus Receptus – 1550 (Greek) (NT Only)||7,958|
|WLC (Hebrew) (OT Only)||23,213|
So we see that most full Bibles produced a verse count of 31,102. The only one that didn’t is the French Martin Bible. (At 31,103, it appears to be one verse off, but querying it against the KJV shows that it is numbered significantly different. Verses are split at different points. )
The verse numbering in the Authorized King James Version became the standard, and all complete Bibles that use the KJV’s numbering, without omitting verses due to textual preference, will have 31,102 verses.