Read Bible From Shortest To Longest Books

In computing logic and business logistics, there is a method of prioritizing work whereby you do the easiest or shortest task first. This is called the weighted shortest job first method or WSJF.

As a child in school, I was trained to be an efficient test-taker by tackling the easiest problems first and leaving the more difficult ones for last. This is especially important during timed exams. You don't want to waste a lot of time on difficult problems first which may consume the majority of your test-taking time.

It occurred to me that this type of approach can be applied to reading as well. Particularly with reading large volumes of work that are related to one another, such as the Bible. As you may already know, the Bible is not One singular book but is instead a collection of holy books spanning ancient eras and generations.

Some of the books of the Bible actually have been broken into even smaller books such as 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, 1st and 2nd Chronicles. Other books have multiple writings under the same name but are more likes sequels such as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.

In a previous article, I mentioned how the Bible can be read in various ways. You can read the Bible from front to back which is not necessarily in the order of the events as they happened. You could read them in historical order, which is not necessarily the way it is laid out in move to publish Bibles. You can read them in selected readings, such as all of the poetry books, all of the books of the law, all of the Gospel, Etc.

I thought it might be an interesting way to read the Bible in yet another unique way: from the shortest book of the Bible to the longest, The shortest book of the Bible is 3 John. It is comprised of 219 words. It would take approximately 3 minutes or less to read.

The longest book of the Bible is the Book of Jeremiah. It has 33,000 two words in it and would take about 330 minutes or 5-½ hours to read in one sitting. This of course is an average of someone who reads that about 100 words per minute.

Take note, that reading aloud increases comprehension of what is read, but also slows down the reading process. Reading silently speeds up the number of words that are seen on the page, but may not involve complete comprehension of everything that is read.

Other variables can determine how long it takes someone to read through Bible passages or any other type of reading material for that matter.


How quickly a person reads depends on whether or not they are an avid reader or someone who rarely reads; their reading Lexile (reading quotient that takes into account vocabulary acquisition, comprehension, average reading speed, etc); whether or not the text to be read is in the person's native language, and of course the person's interest in the subject to be read.

A helpful tool for reading comprehension is to listen to an audio version of the text while reading. When possible, consider reading the Bible while simultaneously listening to audio of the scripture. Audio of Bible readings can be found on my YouTube channel for your convenience. Click here for #biblereadingparty playlist . Its free! All I ask, is that if you enjoy it, please share it.

When faced with a large number of things to read, starting with the smallest amount to be read is an easy way to consuming a large volume of literature. This method of reading the Bible from shortest books to longest can increase confidence as the number of books being read increases and the number of overall books yet to be completed becomes smaller. Heres a quick graphic of how the shortest and longest Bible books compare. 

A portion of my research for this article was found in a Facebook post that can be read here. A handy list of word count and average reading times can be found there. Also, learn about some of the benefits of doing easy tasks first here.

If reading and understanding the Bible is important to you, then you need to prioritize reading it as a regular habit. Whatever method you use to read the Bible make sure it's something you can stay consistent with. Check out this article on how to make reading a priority.

Here's the complete list of Bible books from shortest to longest:

1) 3 John    Shortest book
2) 2 John
3) Philemon
4) Jude
5) Obadiah
6) Titus
7) Haggai
8) Nahum
9) Jonah
10) Habbakuk
11) 2 Peter
12) Zephaniah
13) 2 Timothy
14) Malachi
15) 1 Thessalonians
16) Colosians
17) Proverbs
18) Philipians
19) James
20) 1 Peter
21) 1 John
22) Ruth¹
23) Song of Solomon
24) Joel
25) 1 Timothy
26) Galatians
27) Micah
28) Lamentations
29) 2 Thessalonians
30) Amos²
31) Hosea
32) Ecclesiastes
33) Esther
34) 2 Corinthians
35) Zechariah
36) Hebrews
37) Ezra³
38) Ephesians
39) Romans
40) 1 Corinthians
41) Job
42) Nehemia
43) Daniel⁴
44) Revelation
45) Mark⁵
46) Joshua
47) Judges
48) John
49) 1 Chronicles
50) 2 Samuel⁶
51) Luke
52) 2 Kings
53) Matthew
54) Acts
55) 1 Kings
56) Leviticus
57) 1 Samuel
58) 2 Chronicles
59) Deuteronomy⁷
60) Exodus
61) Numbers
62) Isaiah
63) Genesis
64) Ezekiel⁸
65) Jeremiah
66) Psalms    Longest book*

(*Some inconsistency was found in my research on whether Jeremiah or Psalms is the longest book in the Bible. Jeremiah is one continuous book, whereas Psalms has been divided the most, being broken into five books of poetry. In the video below you will find I present the book of Jeremiah as the longest book in the Bible, based on amount of words and calculated by average reading time.)

¹ books listed up to this point can be read in 20 minutes or less
² books listed up to this point can be read in 30 minutes or less
³ books listed up to this point can be read in 60 minutes or less
⁴ books listed up to this point can be read in 90 minutes or less
⁵ books listed up to this point can be read in 2 hours or less
⁶ books listed up to this point can be read in 3 hours or less
⁷ books listed up to this point can be read in 4 hours or less
⁸ books listed up to this point can be read in 5 hours or less

Do you know the books of the Bible in order? Learn them here!

If you would like to know more about the WSJF model for business and project management follow this link.You can learn more about a similar method used in computational algorithms here.

Check out my YouTube channel (#blvd40) where I read the Bible and make videos on various Bible topics. The video list of Bible books from shortest to longest can be found here.