Faith / Believe – Most Frequently Used New Testament Words

bishops-bible-300-webby Rex Rouis

The following list shows what God talks about the most in the Bible. Not surprisingly, He is the central issue, and after that, it is faith. Words about faith are some of the most used words in the New Testament.

The following is a non-scientific word count for some New Testament words found in the New American Standard and King James Bible (with minor differences). Some of the words with multiple suffixes are grouped.

English Words

God – 1,153 Occurrences
Jesus – 949 Occurrences
Lord – 606 Occurrences
Faith / Believe – 501 Occurrences
Spirit / spirit – 385 Occurrences
Love – 230 Occurrences
(Our) Father – 229 Occurrences
Heaven – 213 Occurrences
Sin – 213 Occurrences
Word – 195 Occurrences
Kingdom – 155 Occurrences
Grace – 114 Occurrences
Save / Saved/ Healed / Whole – 103 Occurrences
Holy Spirit – 93 Occurrences
Light – 72 Occurrences
Hope – 72 Occurrences
Mercy – 54 Occurrences
Salvation – 43 Occurrences
Doubt / Unbelief – 38 Occurrences
Obey / Obedience – 37 Occurrences
Savior – 24 Occurrences

I am not saying that faith is more important than the Spirit of God, love, or holiness, but the Bible is saying something. The Bible speaks more of faith than anything else. Faith must be central to God’s purpose methods. Let’s find out why.

Words associated with faith (501 total occurrences – 486 total verses) are faith, faithful, faithfulness, faithless, believe(s), (un)believer(s), (un)believing, believed, doubt, doubted, and unbelief. Words associated with sin are sin(s), sinning, and sinner(s). See New Testament Scriptures on Faith and Believing for all references.

Of course, there are words with a higher use rate—the more general the word used, the more possible occasions. The words listed above strike a good balance on the major themes represented in the New Testament. Two other words of interest are ‘if’ with 574 occurrences and ‘know’ with 503 occurrences (all forms of the word). The word ‘if’ is fascinating; Jesus used it constantly. Almost half of the occurrences in the New Testament are in the four Gospels. Concerning our relationship with God, Jesus always put the ‘if’ on man’s side and never on God’s side. More to come on this issue.


  1. I am looking for how many times the word ‘if’ is used in the KJV of the New Testament.

    1. Author

      TJ – That is a wonderful study. It is a lot of work because you have to differentiate what the ‘if’ pertains to. I wrote an article on the subject:

      If – The Biggest Word in the Bible

      This, of course, does not include all the occurrences but you get the gist of it. God bless you, Rex

    1. Author

      Thank you. Very good. I may add it later. God bless you. Rex

  2. It would be interesting as to how many occurances exist in the Old Testament… of these same words. Then compare the OT ranking to the NT ranking… to see how the emphasis has changed from old to new.

    1. Author

      Yes, I agree. And there is the difference in emphasis between the Gospels and the Epistles in the New Testament. The Gospels focus more on the verb form – believe, and the Epistles more on the noun form – faith. There is more of a faith/believing for ‘things’ (objective faith) in the Gospels. There is more of a focus on faith/believing for a change in your life in the Epistles.

  3. Thank you. I have been looking for the details that you have given here.l hope to contact you soon.may the good lord bless you.Wesley

  4. Thank you for putting this together I was looking for something like this. can I make one suggestion I would group holy spirit and spirit with a capital S together and break out spirit with a lowercase s, I think that would be a significant statistic that I would be interested in and maybe others also.

  5. “Disciple” or “disciples” occurs between 250 and 300 in most English translations. Seems something significant there.

    1. Author

      Randy – You are correct. Disciple – 29 times and Disciples – 231 times. I had no idea those words were used so much. I may put them on the list. Thanks Rex

    1. Author

      The actual word ‘salvation’ (Greek soteria) occurs 43 times in the King James New Testament (it varies depending on the translation). It comes from the base word for ‘Savior’ (Greek Soter), which occurs 24 times. That word comes from the word ‘to save’ (Greek Sozo or Souzou) which occurs another 103 times. It is translated variously as – save, saved, healed, and whole.

      Great question. They should have been on the list. I added them. God bless

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