I am always confused with that. A book has several chapters but then I find several books in Bible!

Isn't the Bible a book?

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    "Several" books? The standard protestant version of the Christian Bible has 66 books, and the catholic version has 73.
    – nnnnnn
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 7:15
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    Book is used loosely to refer to a self-contained unit (although these units may be part 1, 2, or 3 of a set), whether the actual genre of the unit is myth, wisdom sayings, history, prophecy, evangel (gospel), epistle (letter), apocalypse, etc. Also, Bible can be understood as a library of these 66+ "books." Commented May 19, 2016 at 0:10

2 Answers 2


"The Bible" with a capital B usually refers to the Christian Bible. This answer is about that Bible - I'm pretty sure that is what you're asking about.

The Bible is a book in the sense that it is a number of sheets of paper bound together in a cover.

But the content of the Bible is actually a collection of various sacred texts that were written by multiple different authors over hundreds of years in multiple locations, and then eventually gathered together into one collection. Some of the texts are quite long, and some are very short. Christians believe that the texts were inspired by God.

In Bible terminology, each of these texts is called a "book". The books are then divided into chapters.

The Bible is also divided into two parts, the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament has 39(ish) books covering the story of the creation of the earth and then the history of the Jewish people through to about 700 BC. The New Testament has 27(ish) books that cover the story of Jesus Christ and the early Christian Church. Of course, there is a bit more to it than that...

The standard protestant version of the Bible has 66 books in total. The catholic version has 73. Most of these are the same books, but the difference is that certain individual books have been included or excluded depending on the slightly different beliefs that protestants and Catholics have.


The simple answer is no. The Bible is not a singular, cohesive book. It is a collected volume of different books, comprised of two parts - the Old Testament and the New. Yes, the Christian world does typically treat the Bible as a book containing different chapters, but this is and always has been inaccurate.

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