[b-hebrew] Versification of the Tanach

Bearpecs at aol.com Bearpecs at aol.com
Sun Jul 17 11:50:15 EDT 2005

In a message dated 7/17/2005 11:01:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time,  
mail at cvkimball.com writes:

"The  organization of the Tanach into chapters and verses is a late 
(14-th  century) development by Christians which was subsequently  
accepted  by Jews."

Not exactly correct.  
See_Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible_ by Emanuel  Tov, 2001, pp. 50-53:
The most basic division of the text was into the sections which were read  
weekly in the synagogue (parashot in the case of an annual cycle, sidrot in the  
case of a trienniel cycle).
Division of the text into paragraphs (parashiyyot), either open (petuHot)  or 
closed (se+umot), was done before the proto-Massoretic texts of Qumran were  
The division into verses was certainly ancient, and the Talmud discusses,  
for example, that a minimum of three verses must be read in a public  reading.  
The Masoretes formalized the versification with the cantillation  accents 
(silluq ending a verse), and compiled counts of the number of verses in  books, 
weekly parashot, etc.  In a few instances, there were, of  course, some 
disagreements between Eastern and Western Masoretes on the  versification.  The 
numbering of the verses, however, came from the  manuscript tradition of the Vulgate.
"The division into chapters was established in the thirteenth centruy by  
Archbishop Stephen Langton from Canterbury, England, who also worked in  Paris.  
The earliest manuscript containing the division of Bishop Langton  is the 
Paris mauscript of V from the thriteenth century.  From V, this  division was 
transferred to the manuscripts and editions of the Hebrew  Bible."

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