Q & A

Why was the Bible written with such strange divisions?


When I read the Bible I don’t see much sense in the breakup of verses. Some come at the end of sentences and paragraphs, some don’t. Why was the Bible written in that manner?


You should note that the Bible was not initially written in that manner. The use of verse numbering was something introduced much later, shortly after the invention of printing. The early, handwritten copies of the Bible were written in Greek on papyrus scrolls without the use of punctuation or spacing. In time the codex or book formed with pages, as we know it today, was developed–later still, printing.

As printers worked on producing editions of the Bible they found it easy to locate and mark sections of text by putting numbers beside the sections of type.

This proved not only a great convenience for the printers, but for others who read the Bible. The numbering was not placed with anything other in mind than to aid locate sections of text. You might say that it was like having latitude and longitude lines on a map.

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