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Author Topic: Chapters and Verses: Were the Verses already marked?  (Read 630 times) Average Rating: 0
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IssacTheSyrian
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« on: February 08, 2011, 01:09:38 PM »

Its a simple question:
Who was the person that marked the Verses (and chapters) in the Biblical books? How is it that we have 'Verses' and who numbered them?
Was it the original writers who placed the Verses (and chapters) in the books?

What makes the '1st' verse different from the '2nd' verse, why do they number them the way they are numbered?

Would the original writers have place chapters and verses in their writings?



« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 01:14:27 PM by IssacTheSyrian » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2011, 01:28:41 PM »

Its a simple question:
Who was the person that marked the Verses (and chapters) in the Biblical books? How is it that we have 'Verses' and who numbered them?
Was it the original writers who placed the Verses (and chapters) in the books?

What makes the '1st' verse different from the '2nd' verse, why do they number them the way they are numbered?

Would the original writers have place chapters and verses in their writings?
To answer the last question, no.

For the rest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_verses
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bogdan
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 02:22:50 PM »

The only things that were divided up into what could be called verses were the poetic books, since they were written in meter (the New Oxford Annotated Bible has a fascinating appendix about meter in the Psalms). Only a small handful of those were actually "numbered" (lettered) in the original text (Psalm 9 comes to mind).

FWIW, overall I don't care for versification. It's helpful for reference purposes, but it also causes people to treat the Bible like a reference book. And it introduces arbitrary breaks into the text that can cause people to also break up the story, where there would have been no breaks originally.

The original languages the Bible was written in had no verses or chapters, no subject headings (well, except for the Psalms and a few places in Sirach and elsewhere), as well as no paragraphs, and even no punctuation. It was one long, flowing narrative. This is the better way, I think, because people were forced to learn about and interpret events in their context in the story, and not just focusing on 6:15-24 in its own little universe.

That's why I rather like the concept behind the "Books of the Bible" Bible. It is a heterodox translation (TNIV) and missing several OT books, but it's a nice concept to treat the Bible as the collection of narratives that it is.

[/rant] angel
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 02:23:27 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 05:58:08 PM »

Chapters and verses are really a Renaissance addition to the Scriptures. The original authors of the books of Holy Scripture didn't create them.

The Church, however, did at one point in time begin to use "pericopes" (Gk. "passages", or "readings") to divide the books up. These are the readings, mostly from the Apostle and Gospel that we read in the Divine Liturgy each day. They make much more sense than the chapter/verse system, in that they divide the Scriptures up into narratives meant for public liturgical reading, instead of the very scholastic and reference-like chapters and verses, which often break up narratives (in the Gospels/Acts) or chains of thought (in the Epistles).

Pericopes are still used today by the Orthodox Church (and I suppose by the Roman Church as well) for the prescribed Scripture readings. I've never seen an Orthodox Gospel or Apostle book that doesn't use pericopes, although some have begun including chapter/verses as a secondary feature (sometimes simply noting each fifth verse), but are still primarily broken up into pericopes, not as chapter and verse.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 06:00:09 PM by Benjamin the Red » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 06:41:44 PM »

I don't think the division into chapter verses made things too much worse off than they would have been regarding apologetics/arguments. It's just that we now have people saying: "I can prove that I understand the Bible correctly because of Hez. 4:25 and Eza. 12:1;" whereas otherwise we'd just have people saying: "I can prove that I understand the Bible correctly because somewhere it says..." At least with the divisions it's easier to check their claims. However, I agree that it is unfortunate that the chapter/verse divisions tends to make the experience of reading the Bible more compartmentalized or segmented...
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Tags: Bible verses  verse markings 
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