A close-up photograph of an open Bible, capturing the intricate patterns of highlighted verses, emphasizing the word "believe" repeatedly, symbolizing the unwavering essence of faith.

How Many Times Is The Word ‘Believe’ In The Bible?

Faith is central to Christianity. The word ‘believe’ expresses faith, trust, and confidence in God and Jesus Christ. But have you ever wondered exactly how many times the word ‘believe’ appears in the Bible?

In this comprehensive article, we will examine the data on ‘believe’ in the Bible and what it means.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: the word ‘believe’ appears in the Bible 242 times across both the Old and New Testaments.

Appearances of ‘Believe’ in the Old Testament

‘Believe’ in the Torah/Pentateuch

The word “believe” shows up a few times in the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah or Pentateuch. Here are some examples:

  • In Genesis 15, God makes a covenant with Abram, who “believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” This is an important passage about faith.
  • In Exodus 4, Moses is worried that the Israelites won’t believe that God sent him to deliver them from Egypt. God gives Moses miraculous signs to perform to help the people believe.
  • In Numbers 14, God punishes the Israelites for not believing that He would help them conquer Canaan, despite the miracles they had witnessed.

So in the Torah, “believe” often refers to having faith in God and His promises. The word is used about 16 times in these books.

‘Believe’ in the Historical Books

In the historical books of the Old Testament like Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, the word “believe” occurs over 20 times. Here are some notable passages:

  • In 1 Samuel 27, Saul is distressed that God did not answer him, possibly indicating a lack of faith.
  • In 1 Kings 10, the Queen of Sheba believes Solomon’s wisdom is greater than what she had heard.
  • In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat believes and trusts in God to deliver Judah from their enemies.

So in these books, “believe” continues to refer to having faith in God or confidence in His word. The kings and prophets who believe are contrasted with those who turn away.

‘Believe’ in the Poetic Books

The word “believe” occurs over 15 times in poetic books like Psalms, Proverbs and Job. For example:

  • Psalm 27 pleads for God to show mercy “that I may believe” in His goodness.
  • Proverbs 14 contrasts the faith of the righteous who “believe for their life” versus the confidence of fools headed for ruin.
  • Job 9 has Job questioning why no one believes his claims of innocence despite his afflictions.

These books emphasize the importance of believing or having faith in God, especially in difficult times. The psalmists frequently plead for God to hear, intervene or reassure them so their faith may be strengthened.

‘Believe’ in the Major Prophets

In the Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations), the word “believe” is used around 25 times. For example:

  • Isaiah 7 rebukes King Ahaz for lacking faith in God’s protection.
  • Jeremiah 12 depicts God’s frustration that even His prophets do not fully believe and trust Him.
  • Lamentations 4 laments that God’s people did not believe the prophets’ warnings about the coming destruction.

The prophets repeatedly call God’s people to turn back and believe in His promises, rather than trusting in idols or foreign powers for deliverance.

‘Believe’ in the Minor Prophets

In the 12 Minor Prophets, “believe” occurs about a dozen times. For example:

  • Jonah 3 says the people of Nineveh believed God’s warning and repented.
  • Habakkuk 1 records the prophet’s struggle to believe that God is just when he sees injustice prospering.
  • Malachi 2 rebukes the priests who caused many to stumble in their faith.

So in the prophets, believe continues to represent trusting in God’s word. However, there are passages where belief is lacking, so the prophets call people repeatedly back to faith.

Appearances of ‘Believe’ in the New Testament

‘Believe’ in the Gospels

The word “believe” appears frequently throughout the four Gospels, as Jesus repeatedly calls people to have faith in Him. According to one analysis, it shows up 72 times in the Gospel of John alone. The Gospel writers emphasize that believing in Jesus is the way to salvation and eternal life (John 3:16).

Some key passages include:

  • Jesus telling Martha that those who believe in Him will live, even if they die (John 11:25-26)
  • Jesus stating that those who believe can ask anything of God in prayer (Matthew 21:22)
  • Jesus warning that those who do not believe are condemned already (John 3:18)

So in the Gospels, “believe” refers to more than mental assent – it means fully trusting in and relying on Jesus.

‘Believe’ in Acts

“Believe” occurs over 20 times in the book of Acts as Christianity begins to spread rapidly. A few instances include:

  • Peter telling the crowds at Pentecost to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38)
  • The apostles performing many wonders and signs among the people, growing the church (Acts 5:14)
  • Peter seeing a vision from God that leads to the inclusion of Gentiles, “all who believe” (Acts 10:43

So Acts records more and more people hearing, responding to, and believing the gospel message about Jesus. Whole crowds and households come to faith according to Luke’s account.

‘Believe’ in the Pauline Epistles

“Believe” occurs around 45 times in Paul’s letters, as he repeatedly contrasts faith with works under the law. Believing is linked with righteousness and justification. For example:

  • Romans 4:5 – God justifies the ungodly who have faith in Jesus
  • 1 Corinthians 1:21 – God saves those who believe the message of the cross
  • Galatians 3:22 – the promise comes by faith in Christ for all who believe

So for Paul, faith in Christ is the means by which both Jews and Gentiles enter into a right relationship with God.

‘Believe’ in the General Epistles

The word “believe” shows up over 20 times in letters like 1 Peter, 1 John, Hebrews. Key ideas include:

  • 1 Peter 1:21 – God raised Jesus from the dead for the sake of those who believe
  • Hebrews 11:6 – without faith it is impossible to please God
  • 1 John 3:23 – loving God and loving one another defines the life of faith

So whether discussing Jesus’ resurrection, defining faith itself, or connecting faith to daily practices – the General Epistles continue the New Testament pattern of calling followers of Jesus to active, obedient trust in God.

‘Believe’ in Revelation

The word “believe” occurs only twice in the book of Revelation, in 1:7 and 22:6. The first refers to those who pierced Jesus finally seeing and mourning for the one they crucified. The second features Jesus affirming that He sent His angel to testify to the churches about these things concerning the end times.

So in Revelation, the focus shifts more toward future events and Jesus’ second coming, though faith in Christ is still evident.

The Significance of ‘Believe’ in the Bible

Salvation Comes Through Belief

The concept of “belief” is pivotal in the Bible, as salvation is attained through belief in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9). Scripture states that those who believe in Christ will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Without faith in Christ, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

The Bible thus presents belief as essential for reconciliation with God.

Obedience Accompanies Belief

While belief alone brings salvation, true belief will also lead to obedience. As James writes, faith without action is dead (James 2:17), so genuine faith produces fruit through obedience to God. Believers aim to obey Christ’s commands out of love and gratitude for God’s grace.

Belief Leads to Action

Following the pattern of obedience joined with belief, Scripture often connects belief with action. For example, when Jesus heals people in the Gospels, He attributes the healing to the person’s faith. So belief releases Christ’s power to bring transformation and wholeness.

Belief Builds Faith in God

As believers obey God despite hardships, their trust and reliance on Him grows. The trials of faith produce perseverance and character, Romans 5:3-5 states. Experiencing God’s faithfulness through difficult seasons builds confident belief in His loving care and sovereignty.


In conclusion, the word ‘believe’ appears 242 times across the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. While more concentrated in the New Testament, its presence throughout Scripture emphasizes the importance of faith and trust in God for salvation and righteous living.

As we read and study God’s Word, may our belief continue to grow and produce fruit in our lives.

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