Probably the most tantalizing book in scripture for highlighting the peculiarities of the King James Bible’s numbering system is the Book of Acts. There are many books of the Bible wherein can be found no discernable trace of a numbering system. Acts is not one of them. Acts is the 44th book of the Bible. It corresponds to the 44th chapter of Isaiah. To understand why that is important we need to take a moment and look at the unique way in which Isaiah foreshadowed the entire Bible.
Many of my readers know this, but Isaiah parallels the Bible in its obvious division into two parts. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah are written in a radically different style than the last 27 chapters. They are so different that some liberal scholars ascribe the last 27 chapters to a different author often calling him, Isaiah II. This division in writing style makes Isaiah divide exactly like a complete Bible with a division between the 39th a 40th books. The 40th book of the Bible is Matthew which introduces John the Baptist. The 40th chapter of Isaiah is the prophecy of John the Baptist.
The very first chapter of the Bible ever written to a Gentile is Isaiah 45. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut, Isaiah 45:1. The very first book of the Bible written to Gentiles is Romans which is the 45th book of the Bible. That brings us to the Book of Acts which has an uncanny correspondence with the 44th chapter of Isaiah.
Isaiah 44 has 28 verses. Acts has 28 chapters. The first 6 verses of Isaiah 44 deal with God pouring his spirit out upon his people and reminding Israel who he is. That corresponds well to Acts in its first 6 chapters. Isaiah 44:7 is remarkable, And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. This is exactly what Stephen does in Acts chapter 7. He gives them a synopsis of their history to tell them what God is doing.
Isaiah 44:8-20 deals with men bearing witness and the folly of idols. In Acts 8-20 the apostles go forth from Samaria to Europe and contest against the gods of the Gentiles. In Isaiah 44:21 Israel is ordered to remember. In Acts 21 Paul returns to Jerusalem to remind the Jews. Isaiah 44:27 speaks of the water. Paul spends most of Acts 27 in the water. At the very end of the chapter in verse 28, Cyrus is mentioned. In Acts 28 Paul makes it to Rome. This of course sets up (as we said earlier) the first Book of the Bible written to Gentiles being the 45th book, Romans and the first chapter written to Gentiles being Chapter 45.
In the next couple of posts I will demonstrate how that the other two major prophets also foreshadow the completed Bible.