Size Doesn’t Matter Quiz

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

  • Matthew 7:7-12

Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel.  The land cannot bear all his words.  For this is what Amos is saying:
“‘Jeroboam will die by the sword,
    and Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.’”
Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer!  Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.  Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.  But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’  Now then, hear the word of the Lord.  You say,
“‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’
“Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
    and you yourself will die in a pagan country.
And Israel will surely go into exile,
    away from their native land.’”

  • Amos 7:10-17

“Good things come in small packages.”

  • Aesop

Have you ever marveled about the tremendous difference in the length of the books of the Bible?  I marvel in that I have quoted Aesop twice in the past couple of weeks, but the quote is appropriate.  God has indeed provided some of the authors of the Bible, although God is the primary author, with very little to say, but there is great worth in what was said.  And on the other hand, there are a few books in the Bible with a lot to say, and they hardly scratch the surface of the majesty of God.

Size doesn’t matter. Amos may have been a lowly shepherd, but he had a powerful message. Size does not matter, but in this quiz, it does.

This quiz is very simple.  And with no further ado:

The Questions:

If you listed the books of the Bible in order of the book with the most chapters to the one with the least chapters, what books would be among the top thirteen books on the list and which books would be in the bottom thirteen books?

Why thirteen?  1) It avoids ties that would make the lists uneven.  2) Thirteen is roughly 20% of the books in the Bible, 66 books total in the Bible.  3) For the longest, by chapters, of the books of the Bible, all thirteen books are in the Old Testament (as a fact and a big hint).  4) If you do not like those “reasons”, I am whimsical and I thought it would be fun that way.

The sad thing, though, is that the five longest books in the New Testament make neither of the two lists.  Those five books are (with number of chapters in parenthesis): Matthew (28), Acts (28), Luke (24), Revelation (22), and John (21).  Now you only have 61 books left to choose from.  But the New Testament is a great example of great power coming in few words.  The short books of the Bible are almost evenly split with one more of the thirteen books being from the New Testament.

But let’s be honest.  Cardinal Hugh de Sancto Caro first divided the Latin Vulgate into chapters, but Cardinal Stephen Langton, in 1205, divided the chapters as we have them today.  It was not until the sixteenth century when Robert Estienne divided the chapters into verses.

So, the number of chapters within each book is arbitrary.  Then, does the number of chapters mean a longer book?  Some chapters are very short, and some are quite lengthy.  Yet, God has a purpose, for us to learn more about Him, in those chapters.

So, size only matters as part of this exercise.  The Bible Reference section provides the length, in chapters, of each of the books.  For the shortest books, Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) are noted.  Note: A New Testament book is considered the shortest with one chapter and the least number of verses, but for this quiz, within ties, the books are in biblical order.

Bible References:

Longest Books Shortest Books  
ChaptersThe BookChaptersOT or NTThe Book
150 1OT 
66 1NT 
52 1NT 
50 1NT 
48 1NT 
42 2OT 
40 3OT 
36 3OT 
36 3OT 
34 3OT 
31 3NT 
31 3NT 
29 3NT 

Now you can “score” this quiz any way that you want.  You may feel lucky just to guess half of the books in each list.  You may not be satisfied unless you can name all thirteen, but you could care less whether book “A” has 40 chapters and book “Z” has 48 chapters.  Or you may want them all in the right places in the chart.

For a few hints:

  • Not all the first five books of the Bible are on the list of longest books.
  • Two of the books in the longest list, and two groups of three books on the shortest list (one grouping in the OT and one grouping in the NT), are consecutive books in the Bible, and in biblical order on the list.  Although the two sets of three books on the shortest list have the same number of chapters.
  • Three of the shortest books in the Bible, all with the same number of chapters, are consecutive books, with the books on either end of those three not on either list.
  • Of the sets of numbered books (as in 1 and 2 Timothy – not on the lists), half of the six books in the Old Testament made the list, with one set complete and one set not represented.  Of the five sets of numbered books in the New Testament, three of the sets are represented on the list and none of the sets are completely represented.

But remember, this is an artificial addition to the Scriptures that makes navigation within the Scriptures easier.  Just think what we would have to do to tell of God’s love if we could not refer to John 3:16 for example.




The Answers:

Longest BooksShortest Books
ChaptersThe BookChaptersOT or NTThe Book
52Jeremiah1NT2 John
50Genesis1NT3 John
362 Chronicles3OTHabakkuk
311 Samuel3NT2 Thessalonians
291 Chronicles3NT2 Peter

Just missing the list of longest books are the longest New Testament books, Matthew and Acts, with 28 chapters each.  Just missing the list of shortest books, with four chapters, there is Ruth, Jonah, and Malachi from the Old Testament and Philippians, Colossians, and 2 Timothy from the New Testament.

And in the realm of “Announcements,” the Latter Epistles Bible Study is complete. Starting next week, I will be starting a Bible Study of Ezekiel and Daniel, to fit the earlier theme, The Latter Major Prophets. I noticed that one of my least quoted books of the Bible on the long-books list is Ezekiel, so I am now on a quest of discovery, starting next Thursday.

And regardless of how you did, here is a song by Enya, for no other reason than my wife and I love Enya, Watermark.

And while we are at it, another Enya song, Only if…

I have often thought of that song, “If you really want to you can hear me say…”  God wants to answer us, do you really want to know what He has to say?

With that in mind…

I can never get enough of Amazing Grace nor of bagpipe music.  Wow!  Powerful.  This from the Berlin Tattoo with over 200 pipers, and a soloist with great ‘pipes’ of his own.

If you like these Saturday morning Bible quizzes, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Saturday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. Fascinating statistics of the 13 biggest and 13 smallest books in the Bible! At my church with verse by verse Bible preaching I haven’t finished any of the big books of the Bible but with the small ones I’ve completed: Obadiah, Philemon, 3 John, Haggai. Also I really enjoyed that video of 200 bag pipes for Amazing Grace!

    Liked by 1 person

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