I have mentioned on numerous occasions that Bible prophecy is the ultimate puzzle with there being so many pieces that must be accounted for in order to gain a fuller understanding of what God has planned in the future. I want to discuss the complexity of this puzzle again, but from a different angle.

  • Today I want to compare Bible prophecy to the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle.

The world’s largest jigsaw puzzle has 32,256 pieces. You can see what the completed puzzle looks like in the following the video:

New world's largest puzzle 32256 pieces Keith Haring


In comparison, the King James Bible has 31,102 verses and 789,931 words. If you treat each Bible verse as a piece of the puzzle, the Bible would have almost as many pieces as the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle. However, I do not think it is completely appropriate to equate a Bible verse with a jigsaw puzzle piece because many verses contain words/phrases which can be applied to multiple places, particularly the Bible prophecy verses. For instance, Daniel 9:27 covers the start of the seventieth week of Daniel, the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel, and the end of the desolate (Antichrist):

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan 9:27)

Since Daniel 9:27 covers three different time periods it practically contains at least three puzzle pieces instead of one puzzle piece.

  • I think this attribute, which many Bible prophecy verses possess, effectively means that the Bible has more puzzle pieces than the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle.

One major challenge in trying to gain a fuller understanding of what God has planned in the future is to identify which verses may be more relevant than others as there are verses scattered throughout the Old Testament and New Testament which can help us gain a better understanding of God’s plan for the future. Fortunately, a large concentration of potentially relevant pieces can be found in the writings of the Major Prophets & the Minor Prophets and the Book of Revelation.

There are a lot of verses and words that must be considered when searching for relevant puzzle pieces in the writings of the Major Prophets & the Minor Prophets and the Book of Revelation. The following table provides a breakdown of how many verses and words appear in these writings:

  • I’ve added the Book of Psalms to the table because a lot of verses in the Book of Psalms potentially have relevance to understanding what God has planned in the future.

Key Bible Prophecy Puzzle Piece Locations

BookVersesWords
Psalms2,46142,682
Isaiah1,29237,036
Jeremiah1,36442,654
Lamentations1543,411
Ezekiel1,27339,401
Daniel35711,602
Hosea1975,174
Joel732,033
Amos1464,216
Obadiah21669
Jonah481,320
Micah1053,152
Nahum471,284
Habakkuk561,475
Zephaniah531,616
Haggai381,130
Zechariah2116,443
Malachi551,781
Revelation40411,995
Total8,355219,074
The numbers are from my own counting of Bible verses and words. The word count does not include the introductions found in some chapters of the Book of Psalms

 

As you can see above, there are 8355 verses and 219,053 words to deal with in these writings. This actually understates the total number of verses and words that need to be dealt with since there are many more verses and words that are relevant to understanding God’s future plan in books which are not listed in the table above.

Bible prophecy is also more difficult than a normal jigsaw puzzle, including the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, because there is no way we can verify to see if we have every Bible prophecy piece fitted correctly when we are done nor do we have a clear reference point to check our progress along the way.

  • The world’s largest jigsaw puzzle comes with a box which shows what the puzzle will look like when all the pieces are finally put together. The box can tell the person putting the puzzle together whether they’ve put all the pieces together correctly when they are done and can provide the person putting the puzzle together a sense of what the puzzle is supposed to look like as they work on it.
  • The Book of Revelation may be the closest thing we have to a puzzle box, but the Book of Revelation is a challenge in itself to understand. For instance, we have to figure out when the Book of Revelation is expanding on a detail that it previously mentioned and figure out when the Book of Revelation is telling us about a new event.

Just to clarify, I am not complaining when I compare Bible prophecy to the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle.  I am just trying to give people who may not be very familiar with Bible prophecy a sense of appreciation of how difficult/challenging it is to study Bible prophecy.

I enjoy the challenge of working with the ultimate puzzle. I plan to work on it some more this weekend.  I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.