Blogoschapter and verse: WORK IN PROGRESS In addition to the linear organization inherited from pre-computer media, we tend to look at the Scriptures through an additional organizing principle, the top-down hierarchy of book, chapter and verse divisions. Many people don't realize that the traditional chapter and verse divisions are man-made creations added long after the original authors penned their words. The chapter divisions were done by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1228. Langton wrote commentaries on nearly the entire Bible, and also played an important role in the signing of the Magna Carta. Several hundred years later, versification schemes were added to the Old Testament by R. Nathan (in 1488), and to the New Testament by Robert Stephanus (in 1551). Stephanus' edition of the Greek New Testament was one of the primary sources for the translators of the King James Version in 1611. (The picture shows Stephanus' own written marginal notes indicating verse divisions: from the Dr. Gene Scott Bible Collection) The chapter and verse indexing scheme is certainly a convenient way to identify particular texts. But chapter and verse divisions weren't part of the books as they were written, and there's nothing inspired or authoritative about them: some seem clearly . In fact, ancient texts were normally written without even spaces between words (materials being too valuable to waste on blank space). But having moved to (in fact, the originals there's nothing inherent But in cyberspace, no reason to be tied to book/chapter/verse linearity (the New Testament Hyper-Concordance is one experiment in using hyperlinks this way) think about the unity of the Gospels in their description of the life of Jesus topical organization rather than a structural, linear one better matches the way we remember and think about things: a particular parable, a story of a healing Was The Early Church's View More Integrated? diatessaron Tatian, circa 175 AD One of the most widely known is that of Isho'dad himself, who, in his Preface to the Gospel of Mark, says: "Tatian, disciple of Justin, the philosopher and martyr, selected from the four gospels, and combined and composed a gospel, and called it Diatessaron, i.e., the Combined, ... and upon this gospel Mar Ephraem commented." common way for the early church to hear about Jesus? Chapters and Verses -- Late Comers (Daniel Fuller) describes some of the history of the chapter and verse reference system for Scripture that we take for granted today. Why Is The Bible Divided Into Chapters And Verses? (Net Bible Institute) provides additional background.
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