Bible Study: Chapter & Verse

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Today we're going to examine the historic breakdown of the Bible into chapters & verses.

When the books of the Bible were originally written, they did not contain chapter or verse references. Each book was written without any breaks from the beginning to the end. The Bible was divided into chapters and verses to help us find Scriptures more quickly and easily. Consequently, there are a number of important observations that need to be made about the present chapter and verse divisions that we find in Scripture.

The divisions of individual books of Scripture into smaller sections began as early as the fourth century A.D. Codex Vaticanus, a fourth century Greek manuscript, used paragraph divisions. These were comparable to what we find in manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.

In the fifth century, the biblical translator Jerome divided Scripture into short passages, called pericopes. The word is still used today to refer to a self-contained unit of Scripture. His work proceeded the dividing of Scripture into chapters.

The actual chapter division took place much later. A man named Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters in the year A.D. 1227. The Bible he used was the Latin Vulgate. Langton was a professor at the University of Paris at the time. Later, he became the Archbishop of Canterbury.

These chapter divisions were later transferred to the Hebrew text in the fourteenth century by a man named Salomon ben Ishmael. There seems to have been certain changes made by Salomon ben Ishmael because the chapter divisions in the Hebrew text do not line up exactly with the English Bible.

The Wycliffe English Bible