Why is the Bible broken into chapters and verses?


Where did the chapter and verse numbers of the Bible originate? Were they in the originals?


[quote=Slow Burn]Where did the chapter and verse numbers of the Bible originate?

The chapters of the Bible are usually credited to a thirteenth-century British scholar named Stephen Langton who eventually became the (Roman Catholic) Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton is better known for his work on a foundational document of British government known as the Magna Carta. The verses of the Bible are generally credited to a sixteenth-century French printer named Robert Estienne, who is better known by the Latinized version of his surname (“Stephanus”). Chapters and verses made it easier to find particular texts; but the system had its drawbacks, as demonstrated below.

[quote=Slow Burn]Were they in the originals?

No. And this is why certain ideas that were clear to ancient readers of the text are not so clear to us today. For example, chapterization disguises the correllation between Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the start of Holy Week and his shameful *via dolorosa *out of Jerusalem at the end of Holy Week (cf. Luke 19 and Luke 23). The chapter breaks also disguise the link between the ark of the covenant mentioned at the end of Revelation 11 and the woman who appears in the heavens at the start of Revelation 12.

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