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Monday, September 10, 2007

What verse is in "the center" of the Bible

For a long time, I have had information that Psalm 118:8* is the center verse of the Bible. I was reading last night that Psalm 103:2** is the center verse of the Bible. I decided to take my question to the internet, and today I have found that Psalm 103:1*** is the center verse of the Bible.!?!?!. So -- what verse really is in "the center" of the Bible??

Dividing the Bible by verses, we find that there possibly 31,102 verses in the Bible. Since this is an even number, technically there can be no center verse of the Bible. If we divided 31,102 by two, we get 15,551. The 15551st verse in the Bible is Psalm 103:1. But that means there are 15,550 before it and 15,551 after it -- meaning it is not exactly in the center. I suppose we could say that Psalm 103:1 and 2 are in the center. Why do so many other places say that Psalm 118:8 is the center verse in the Bible? According to John Marsh, at
MarshCommentary.com, "The 118:8 'center' comes from someone incorrectly identifying 118 as the center chapter and then asserting that verse 8 as the center verse of the center chapter. However, on the first point, it is easy to see that someone miscounted. 117 is actually the center chapter in the Bible. Secondly, 118 has 29 verses, making 8 the incorrect 'center of the center'."

* "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
** "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:"
*** "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name."


Ultimately, all these verses are great verses, inspired by God and revealed to us, regardless of whether any of them are in the center of the Bible.

NOTE: I have found some sources that state the King James Bible has 31,174 verses (I'm assuming the KJV is intended in the 31,102 since it is the most common). That would change what I've asserted above. Anybody have time to count the verses in the Bible??

2 comments:

Will said...

Robert,

I downloaded a copy of the KJV text. It has 31,102 verses. It's possible the other count includes the Apocrypha. Defining a 'word' is hard, but if you break at every non-letter, there are 791,420 words. The 395,711/12 words are 'awake early' from Psalm 108:3.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Will, thanks so much for checking into this. I appreciate the authoritative information.