Chapters & Verses
peter_kirk at sil.org
peter_kirk at sil.org
Sat Nov 6 23:29:21 EST 1999
I don't think this is the whol story. If I remember rightly, the
Hebrew Bible was divided by the Masoretes into the verses as we
currently have them, i.e. by the Soph Pasuq sign. But the verses were
not numbered at that time. It was Stephanus who added the chapter
divisions and presumably also the chapter and verse numbers. I think
that the chapter divisions were originally made in the Latin text and
then taken across into the Hebrew, with some changes made on the way.
The chapter divisions of the Psalms are clearly much older than the
other chapter divisions, though probably not always original, as they
are different in LXX.
Thus we can take verse divisions as a reflection of what the Masoretes
heard and so as a very ancient tradition, though not necessarily from
the original (and so not to be taken as an infallible guide to
exegesis). But the chapter divisions, apart from those in the Psalms,
are certainly late and unreliable for exegesis. Taking them too
seriously can lead into serious exegetical errors. My favourite
example is the division between 2 Kings 6:33 and 7:1. The Word series
commentator presupposes a major break here and so comes to an
understanding of 6:33 (taking the last part as Elisha's words) which
is quite impossible if one looks at the Hebrew text without
presupposing the chapter break and sees that the regular exchange of
the conversation continues in 7:1, with Elisha's words, implying that
the previous words were someone else's.
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Chapters & Verses
Author: <jwest at Highland.Net> at Internet
Date: 06/11/1999 08:04
At 01:13 AM 11/6/99 -0500, you wrote:
>A colleague of mine is looking for any historical information regarding the
>chapter and verse divisions in the Hebrew Bible. Who did them, when and
Stephanus, 1551, so folk could more easily find what they were looking for.
>You are currently subscribed to b-hebrew as: jwest at Highland.Net
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Jim West, ThD
jwest at highland.net
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