Practical Faith Life

How Long Does It Take To Read The Bible? (With Examples)

Anyone who has ever seen a Bible will have noticed that it is very thick and probably takes a long time to read through the entire Bible. In this article I would like to give you the answer to this question. How long does it take to read the Bible?

It takes about 3,078 minutes (~52 hours) to read the Bible completely. Of course, this number varies greatly from reader to reader.

Basis of the calculation of the reading time

The above figure of 52 hours is based on the following calculation: According to the sources I found, the Slaughter 2000 has 738,765 words. (So without Apocrypha) According to Wikipedia the average reading speed is 200 to 240 words minute.

For the calculation, I applied 240 words per minute. The thought was that the text is “simply” read. Why it is now the 240 words instead of the 200 words per minute is due to my personal reading speed, which is quite fast.

But don’t worry: In a moment a table follows, in which I present further numbers.

Overview of different reading times according to reading speeds

In this overview you will find the reading time depending on the speed in words read per minute. The basis is always the word count of 738,765 words of the entire Bible.

Reading speed in words per minute (WpM)Duration to read the entire Bible
100 WpM~123 Hours
200 WpM~61 Hours
240 WpM~52 Hours
300 WpM~41 Hours
400 WpM~31 Hours
550 WpM~22 Hours

It is theoretically possible to achieve a reading speed well above 550 words per minute. But even 400 words per minute is difficult for most people to achieve.

Should you be able to read 1000 words or more per minute: Congratulations! Why don’t you squeeze in the Bible? It will only take you 12 hours.

Factors influencing duration

Obviously, the numbers presented above are pure “laboratory” numbers;- that is, they cannot necessarily be applied to reality. They are all net numbers and only describe the unlikely reality of reading the Bible completely at a constant speed (and without turning pages).

The following points, however, are the biggest factors influencing reading time:

Bible translation – The Bible translation to be read plays a major role. Not necessarily in the number of words (they should be broadly the same), but the words used. A Hope for All is more easily written than an Elberfelder or Schlachter. (More discussion of this can be found here)

Comprehension – The Bible deals with a text that is at least 2000 years old. So expressions and “technical words” may be used that are not as common today. If you read the bible for the first time, you will surely stumble over it. The Bible is no Harry Potter…

Reality – toilets, hunger, work, children, sleep exist. I.e. gross reading time is not net reading time. Also, most people can’t concentrate on a text for very long. They need regular breaks. Or don’t have time to read the Bible for a long time every day. But these are very personal factors.

From experience, it is possible to read (or listen to) the Bible every day. Here, one hour per day is already very rare.

Conclusion: How long does it take to read the Bible?

How long it takes to read the Bible completely depends on your personal reading speed and how much thought you put into it while reading. On the one hand, it can take years to read the Bible completely. The super-fast readers can read the entire Bible in 22 hours.

For the vast majority of people, it takes 52 hours to 61 hours to read the entire Bible.

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