Listen More, Speak Less

Our God is a speaking God. The Bible tells us that the universe was created by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3), and that he holds it together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). That means everything we see is a word of God, and many things we don’t see, like every angel and demon, every galaxy and quark in existence. One could rightly say God speaks a lot. With that in mind, have you ever noticed how small the Bible is?

The inspired, authoritative, infallible accumulated written record of the specific words God wanted us to read and remember over the course of 3,500–4,000 years — the definitive book to gather in and guide his people — is tiny. Its sixty-six “books” are brief, some only a few pages long. At a little over 750,000 words, most English versions of the Bible have less than two thousand pages.

Why Didn’t He Say More?

To help put that number in perspective, here are rough estimates for several popular books or authors:

  • William Shakespeare: 960,000
  • Harry Potter: 1,084,170
  • John Piper’s forthcoming collected works: 3,000,000
  • Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: 6,000,000
  • The Bible: Only 750,000

Numbers like these simply make us pause and wonder over God’s written word economy.

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