There exists some confusion regarding the true centrepoints of the AV in respect of chapter and verse. Here you will find the necessary background data upon which definitive conclusions may be based. The essential facts are these: the AV comprises 66 Books (the 39 of the OT, and 27 of the NT); in total, there are 1189 chapters (the 929 of the OT, and 260 of the NT) and 31102 verses (the 23145 of the OT, and 7957 of the NT). It follows that the central chapter of the AV is the 595th, and the two central verses are the 15551st and 15552nd.
A Summary of the Biblical Text
The Finer Details
These are accessed by clicking in the table below. Here is a sample of the format employed:
Observe, (1) that since the first Book, Genesis, has 50 chapters, the first chapter of Exodus is the 51st of the Bible and, (2) that the term 'global' is used in like manner in respect of the verse references.
[GENESIS] [EXODUS] [LEVITICUS] [NUMBERS] [DEUTERONOMY] [JOSHUA] [JUDGES] [RUTH] [1SAMUEL] [2SAMUEL]
[1KINGS] [2KINGS] [1CHRONICLES] [2CHRONICLES] [EZRA] [NEHEMIAH] [ESTHER] [JOB] [PSALMS] [PROVERBS]
[ECCLESIASTES] [SOS] [ISAIAH] [JEREMIAH] [LAMENTATIONS] EZEKIEL] [DANIEL] [HOSEA] [JOEL] [AMOS] [OBADIAH]
[JONAH] [MICAH] [NAHUM] [HABAKKUK] [ZEPHANIAH] [HAGGAI] [ZECHARIAH] [MALACHI]
[MATTHEW] [MARK] [LUKE] [JOHN] [ACTS] [ROMANS] [1CORINTHIANS] [2CORINTHIANS] [GALATIANS] [EPHESIANS]
[PHILIPPIANS] [COLOSSIANS] [1THESSALONIANS] [2THESSALONIANS] [1TIMOTHY] [2TIMOTHY] [TITUS] [PHILEMON]
[HEBREWS] [JAMES] [1PETER] [2PETER] [1JOHN] [2JOHN] [3JOHN] [JUDE] [REVELATION]
(1) Concerning the middle (and shortest) chapter
Here is the relevant extract from the Book of Psalms:
Clearly, Psalm 117 is the 595th and central chapter.
Because 595 is 34th triangular number, the following 'hourglass' structure is a striking feature of the 'chaptered' Scriptures - though hardly one intended by their originator, Archbishop Stephen Langton!
(2) Concerning the middle verses
Here is the relevant extract - again from the Book of Psalms:
Clearly, the first and second verses of Psalm 103 occupy the 15551st and 15552nd central positions.
These verses of the AV read,
"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
But they also exhibit features of numerical interest:
(a) Clearly, the AV verses divide evenly as two sets of the palindromic number 15551 which is centred on 555 - a multiple of 37
(b) The centrepoint of 15551 is 7776 - i.e. 6^5 - a rare number indeed!
These remarkable facts are summarised in the following diagram.
(3) Concerning the disputed verses
We read in the NIV that "The most reliable early manuscripts omit Mark 16:9-20". However, omitting these 12 verses destroys the balance of what has been presented above concerning the verse counts. To begin with, the AV verse count would be reduced to 31090 (i.e. 31102 - 12), and the two central verses would become the 15545th and 15546th (i.e. 6 places earlier than the 15551st and 15552nd). This would take us into to the 23rd and 24th verses of Psalm 102 which in the AV read,
"He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.
I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations."
These must be rated a poor substitute for the exhortations which accompany the existing extension to Mark's gospel! Further, they offer little of numeric interest.
These facts concerning the chapter and verse centres of the AV may be found corroborated at the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible where we read, in particular,
As has been shown here, features of strong numerical interest accompany these facts, and the suggestion must be that those responsible for dividing God's Word (principally during the 13th - 16th centuries) were as divinely inspired as all who had earlier created and selected the biblical text.
Vernon Jenkins MSc
Since compiling the foregoing it has come to my attention that though the King James translators never considered the Apocrypha to be the word of God it was, nevertheless, included in the original AV (first published in 1611) sandwiched between the Old and New Testaments as an appendix of reference material. However, from 1825 on - as a result of intense lobbying by Nonconformist groups - it has been eliminated from practically all English Bibles - Catholic Bibles and some pulpit Bibles excepted. The implication is that it is the AV - as we find it today - that should really concern us. In other words, we as Christians would be wise to accept that - in God's wisdom - the Scriptures constitute a gradually unfolding and self-authenticating text.