The Story of Bible Chapters and Verses
Pick up a modern Bible and you will find it pretty well organized. There is the Old Testament and the New Testament. Then there are the various books in each Testament such as Genesis the first book in the Old Testament and Revelation which is the last book in the New Testament. Each book is further divided into chapters and then verses.
That is not the way the Bible was originally written. If you were looking at the original text you would not only not see chapters and verses, you wouldn’t see punctuation or even spacing. It would be pretty hard to find your favorite Bible passage to say the least.
Even though various systems of division for scripture have probably always existed, we have a man from the 13th century named Stephen Langton to thank for dividing the Bible into chapters. About 300 years later in 1551, Robert Estienne, a French printer, was responsible for the verses. The first Bible printed with the chapter and verse divisions was the Geneva Bible of 1560.
Today we use a kind of shorthand to reference a particular passage. For instance, I Sam. 14:1-6 refers to the text found in the first book of Samuel, chapter 14, verses 1 to 6. Once we become familiar with which books are in which testaments, it’s a snap. Even if we don’t exactly agree with some of the verse division decisions, we can be grateful for those who went before us and made reading the Bible a whole lot easier than in times past.
Now that you know the story, why don’t you try studying in the Greatest Book ever written? See these INSIGHTS TO SCRIPTURE.