This page is to help those of you not yet familiar with your Bible become acquainted with its layout.

A Whole Library

When we think of the Bible we usually think of one book, yet the Bible is really a whole library because it consists of sixty-six books.

This collection of books is split into two sections - The Old Testament and The New Testament. The Old Testament has 39 books and the New Testament has 27. All the books in the Old Testament were written before the time of Jesus Christ and the books in the New Testament were written after his death.

The Index

At the front of your Bible you should find a page with the books listed in order and with page number for the first page of the book listed. This will get you started.


Just like most novels are divided into chapters, each book of the Bible (except Psalms) is divided up into chapters also. The chapters are all numbered. When we refer to a particular chapter we say the book first, then the chapter number eg. Romans 7. A few of the books have a second or third part and for these we put the number first.

So 2 Kings 5 means the second book of Kings chapter 5.


To make it easier to find specific parts of a chapter it has been broken down into smaller parts and these are also numbered. We write the number of the verse after the number of the chapter. We will show this using a : in between, but a V can also be used.

Genesis 1:1 or Matthew 5 v 20-26 are two examples.


Psalms is a collection of songs and as each one is totally individual they have simply been numbered. When written this looks the same as a book showing chapters. The Psalms are also broken down in verses.

Quick Find Reference

You may notice that the top of each page in your Bible has a reference to the Book and Chapter. This helps speed up finding the place you want.

From the Bible Alive!