Who divided the Bible into chapters and verses?

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The person responsible for dividing the Bible into chapters and verses is Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury. The ancient, original manuscripts in Hebrew (and Greek for the New Testament) did not contain such edits.

Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions.

Later in A.D. 1448, the Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan Robert Estienne, who was also known as Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses, in 1555. Stephanus essentially used Nathan’s verse divisions for the Old Testament.

Since that time, beginning with the Geneva Bible, the chapters and verses divisions employed by Stephanus have been accepted into nearly all the Bible versions.

The chapters and verses system found in the Bible was not inspired by God, and can sometimes be a distraction and may cause readers to separate thoughts that weren’t originally separate when the inspired writers wrote Scripture.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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