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excitementWhich character in the Bible is mentioned by name most often?

Not including the various names for God. We’ll get to God in another PBTB moment.

The most mentioned non-divine being in the Bible is (wait for it) David 1127 (1068 OT and 59 NT). Bet you thought I was going to say Jesus, but he comes 2nd at 906. David, of course, is mentioned in the both Testaments whereas Jesus is not (sorry, typologies, real or alleged, don’t count).

David is obviously important.

I would argue that the entire OT up to the introduction of David in 1 Samuel16—from Genesis on—serves as a ramp to get us to the nation of Israel in the land with King David king on the throne, and everything after David is a reflection on what went wrong and how (or if) God will bring the remaining Israelites (the Judahites) back to those glory days. A bit reductionistic (save your lecturing comments) but I’m sticking with it.

King David (artist’s conception)

King David (artist’s conception)

Third is Moses at 831 (751 OT and 80 NT) and a distant 4th is Abraham at 307 (234 OT, including Abram, and 73 NT)

I think my work is done here.

[All statistics are provided by Accordance and according to the NRSV.]

***If you want to read books of mine that contain no trivia whatsoever, here are some: The Bible Tells Me So (HarperOne, 2014),  Inspiration and Incarnation (Baker 2005/2015), The Sin of Certainty (HarperOne, 2016), and The Evolution of Adam (Baker, 2012).***

Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.