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Center of the Bible

Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the 1189-chapter Bible.  Psalm 119 is the Hebrew Alphabet chapter.  Alphabetics ramifications and witnesses.

[correction: the 594.5th chapter is Psalms 116(.5)]

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Center of the Bible Endorsement of Alphabetics See also



Center of the Bible

The following unattributed discovery is reported in many places.  See sample here; or here; or here.  Our comments follow below as to how this ties in as an endorsement of the alphabetics word-number study approach.

     Did you know:
  1. Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible?
  2. Psalm 117, before Psalm 118 is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
  3. Psalm 119, after Psalm 118 is the longest chapter in the Bible?
  4. The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapters after Psalm 118?
  5. If you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters?
  6. 1188 or Psalm 118 verse 8 is the middle verse of the entire Bible?

     Should the central verse not have a fairly important message? "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." - Psalm 118:8

     Is this central verse not also the central theme of the entire Bible? This is not a coincidence. God is in complete control.



'Center of the Bible' = God's Endorsement of Alphabetics

Chapter 119 of Psalms, the longest chapter of the Bible, which follows Psalm 118, the middle chapter of the Bible, is the only chapter in the Bible that has the entire Hebrew alphabet listed one letter at a time as a heading for each subsection of the chapter.

In my opinion, this places strong emphasis on the alphabet, and hence on the approach of alphabetics, which studies words in their alphabetical context in lexicons and dictionaries.

One of the primary tools of alphabetics is to consider words in vicinity of a given word.  This idea of vicinity is also emphasized by this 'center of the Bible' phenomenon.  The chapter immediately before Psalm 118 is the shortest chapter, and the chapter immediately after is the longest chapter.

Years before I ever knew of this 'center of the Bible' chapter, and before I discovered the alphabetics phenomenon, I was led by the Lord to uncover the chiastic structure of Psalm 118.  The date of this discovery was April 6, 1993.  April 6 is revered by some as not only the date of the resurrection of the Lord, but also of his birth.  Hence, for me, the discovery of the chiasms of this chapter on this date, which chapter ends up being the center chapter of the Bible, places further emphasis on the Savior as the one worthy of our focused attention.

Just now, I thought to use alphabetics to look up 1187, 1188, and 1189.  Remember, 1189 is the number of total chapters in the Bible.  1188 is related Psalm 118:8 mentioned above (not the middle verse of that chapter).

Word 1188 in Zodhiates' New Testament Lexicon means

1188 dexios Right as opposed to left, right hand or side.  In the case of division and apportionment, the right hand is chosen as that which comes first.

In our context, this definition becomes fascinating as it mentions "division and apportionment" which is what we are doing in dividing the total number of chapters in the Bible in half.  Then, to mention "right hand" and "left hand" in this context is likewise amazing in that the right-hand chapter, or Psalm 119 is the largest and the left-hand chapter, or Psalm 117 is the smallest.

Word 1187, the word before it, is derived from word 1188.  Likewise, the message of Psalm 117 is found in Psalm 118 as well.

Word 1189 [1189 is the total number of chapters in the Bible] in the NT lexicon is defined:

1189 deomai Deomai, by some construed as pass. and meaning to be reduced to want, is perhaps more correctly to be regarded as in the mid. voice, meaning to lack for oneself, to need.  Hence in the NT to make one's need known, to beseech, ask.

Ask-receive is one of the primary themes of scripture, and is certainly in harmony with Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."

There is an alphabetics link here that makes this word definition even more appropriate.  The first synonym Zodhiates lists for word 1189 is

1189 Syn: chrezo (5535), to have need.

That word is found on page 1480 of Zodhiates NT lexicon.  1480 is the gametric value of the Greek word for Christ, Christos.  Also on that page is word 5532, which is related to word 5535 and is given as the antonym for word 888.  888 is the gametric value of the Greek word for Jesus, Iesous.  So word 1189, which is the number of chapters in the Bible, by alphabetics techniques, links to Jesus Christ as the one who supplies our need.  Not bad!  [See extensive write-up on 888 and 1480.]


by Sterling D. Allan; Manti, Utah; April 22, 2001

click here to see other Alphabetics Word-Number Studies


bullet See also

1189 Baal Zephon and the 1189-Chapter Bible - The 1189th word of the Old Testament Hebrew dictionary is the Name Baal-Typhon -- Lord of winter. Ramifications for the purpose of the 1189-chapter Bible.
Psalm 118 is arranged in a chiasm -- discovered April 6, 1993
Alphabetics insights on Psalms 118 being the middle chapter in the 1189-chapter Bible
Alphabetics on "Middle and Messiah" -- half-way points in the Old and New Testament lexicons


bullet Errata: The 594.5th chapter is Psalms 116(.5)

Feb. 17, 2002

There are 1189 chapters in the bible. 1189 divided by 2 is 594.5   I have a Bible in which each chapter is numbered (by the printer) so it is very easy to verify this. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

Whoever came up with this must have counted manually and missed a chapter or something. It is a cute mistake. The question is if this discounts the conclusions drawn. I do not believe it does. If anything, it argues for one of the main methods in "Alphabetics" which is not just looking up a word and the numbers associated with it, but looking at the words before and after it. The one chapter of the Bible that lists the Hebrew Alphabet as part of the text, happens to be 2.5 chapters away from the center of the Bible. This illustrates both the idea of the alphabet being very important and the idea of the significance of vicinity. 25 is the number of David (a play on 2.5).

April 23, 2002

An example of this 'vicinity' principle is illustrated in the following set of 'coincidences.'

1. The Greek word for "grace" is found on page 666 of Thayer's New Testament lexicon (dictionary of NT words).  That is about as opposite as one could get from the general notion of 666.

2. On the page prior (not right on page 666, but one page removed) is the definition for "mark" which is used in Revelation 13:16,17 that talks about the mark of the beast being 666.  That is about as close a match that could be found, and yet it is on page 665, not 666.

3. The Greek word for 666 (word number 5516 according to James Strong's numbering, which is the most ubiquitous standard) is found on page 669 of Thayer's, just three pages after page 666.

And, as a synchronous 'vicinity' coincidence, I am adding this comment precisely one year and one day after originally posting this page.  My attention was brought to the page this evening when I was viewing my site statistics and saw that snidely cites this page as an example of people who acknowledge that Psalm 118 is not the center of the Bible and yet continue to consider the find significant.  A "direct hit" so far as an anniversary coincidence, would have been for this to have happened yesterday.  But an even more "direct hit" so far as ratifying the phenomenon of "vicinity" significance is for me to do this year and one day later.  Alphabetics strikes again.

Sterling D. Allan

* Word-Number studies index *


James Strong; Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible; Hendrickson Publishers, ISBN 0-917006-01-1. Purchase from
Grimm's Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti, translated by Joseph Henry Thayer: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament; Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 1977. ISBN 0-8010-8872-0.  Purchase from

Page created on April 22, 2001
 visits since April 23, 2002
Last updated on April 24, 2002

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