“It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.”
Today is a day of achievement, it is a resting place along the long road, if you are reading along with us on our 66-day reading plan you will no doubt realise that today is Day 33, so its halfway! There is still a long way to go but numerically in days you have done 50%, so I wondered how that actually fits or more accurately ‘What is the centre of the Bible?’ and seems as the reading today is the last day of the psalms, either 107 -150, or 118 – 150 depending on whether you chose to read from option A or option B.
I once heard a tale of someone in prison who had worked out that the middle word of the Bible was ‘a’, however, not only was I rather not impressed by it, I knew it to be false as from memory I knew that there is 31,102 words so it couldn’t possibly be ‘a’, it had to be two words, one either side. So I did a little research and came up with some strange ‘facts’ or so they claimed.
Many say that psalm 118:8 is the very centre of the Bible;
“It is better to trust in the Lord
than to put confidence in man.” (How true)
There are 594 chapters before and 594 chapters after, not only that the chapter before; psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the bible having only 2 verses and the chapter after is psalm 119, is the longest in the bible being some 176 verses. And isn’t that a wonderful centrepiece at the very heart of the Bible, shouldn’t that be part of the beating of our heart?
However, that isn’t correct, because if you add up all the chapters from Genesis to the end of Job, you get 478. Now there are a total of 1189 chapters in the Bible, so it is true that there are 594 before and after and there is a middle Chapter which is number 595 which turns out to be Psalm 117, which reads In its entirety;
1 “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him all you peoples!
2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”
Wonderful Psalm, such befitting the centre. However, that may not be true depending on which way it is to be looked upon, what would happen if the centre was to be looked on as not the Chapter, but the verse? After all, one wants to look carefully at all things surely?
Then, knowing that there is a total of 31,102 verses in the Bible, straightaway it becomes obvious with it being an even number that it will be between TWO verses, verses no:15,551 and 15,552, which are to be found in Psalm 103, verses 1 & 2;
1, “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul;
And all that is within me,
Bless His holy name!”
2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And not forget all His benefits.”
Now Psalm 103 is a wonderful psalm of King David, a psalm of the highest importance decrying the mercy of God, a psalm steeped with David’s beatitudes, rich in the blessings of serving the Lord, is there a greater psalm or two verses that deserves so deep a place to be at the pumping heart of the entire Bible?
Well, there is another slight question to pacify the absolute scrutineer! What happens if all the verses are not equal, that many of the verses in the Old Testament are much longer than in the New Testament, or vice versa, wouldn’t then the centre not be the centre and be somewhere different instead?
Well yes it would, so to be accurate one would have to know that too, so the Holy Bible, the King James Version,( I do not endorse the NIV for several reasons one of them being that newer versions keep removing verses so no accurate count can ever be trusted) has a total number of 782,222 words, comprising of 601,670 no: in the Old Testament and 180,552 no: in the New Testament, meaning that an even number again means that there is no singular word at the exact centre but it is between two words, and they are to be found also in the psalms, however quite a way from where we originally started looking for the centre, the very centre of the Bible, so where do we go to now? Further forward or further backward?
Well, we go to psalm 74:21, and at the end of this is; “Your name.” Psalm 74. A psalm of Asaph and this latter part is the transformation from ‘darkness’ in verse 20, into verses 21,22 & 23, into ‘faith’! So the centre, numerically of the words comes from the line,
“Let the poor and needy praise Your + name.”
Well, another wonderful verse that speaks of our reliance and support of God Our King.
And this is something that I am going to continue with tomorrow, so well done for getting to where you are now, and let us look forward to the next part of the journey with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2)