The New Testament's most prolific authors

Have you ever wondered who the most prolific authors of the New Testament are? Well, wonder no more because here's the skinny: the top three by far are Luke, Paul, and John. Some people will perhaps be surprised to learn that Paul doesn’t stand at the head of the list. The claim is often made that he wrote most of the New Testament. Not so. To be sure, he wrote the most books, but Luke wrote the most words, although their totals are very close to each other. Together, the two men wrote just over half of the New Testament. 

Of the 138,020 Greek words in the New Testament, Luke wrote 27.5 percent (37,932). Paul wrote 23.5 percent (32,408). If we take Hebrews to have been written by Paul—the traditional view, though opposed by the consensus of modern biblical scholarship—then the numbers are almost identical. The total number of words written by Paul rises to 37,361 (or 27.1 percent of the total). For a break down of the numbers, see the two charts below.

Click to enlarge
And here's the breakdown if Hebrews belongs to Paul's corpus.  

The word totals for this analysis were gleaned from Logos Bible Software’s NA27 Greek New Testament as compiled by Jeffrey Kranz, Word counts for every book of the Bible


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