Once upon a time, the books of the Bible did not contain chapters and verses. The books were written without any divisions or breaks or sections.
Chapter divisions as we know and have them now can be traced back to Stephen Langton in the 12th century while verses were created in 1448 by Nathan, a Jewish Rabbi (he only sectioned the old testament into verses). Thereafter, in 1551 (only 471 years ago), Robert Etienne developed verses for the New Testament.
By the 16th century, the Geneva Bible became the first Bible to use both chapter and verses divisions for the old and new testaments. Since then, other published Bibles have followed the pattern.

The idea of chapters and verses was a great one because it makes reading the Bible a more pleasant experience. Imagine how tasking it would be if we just had run on lines and no sections. They did a great job and we should all be grateful. It is definitely easier to look up John 3:16 in the Bible than to manually search ‘for God so loved the world’ with your eyes 👀. The convenience of chapters and verses cannot be overemphasized.

Why is this information important?
Well, for starters, we can now understand how to and how not to read the Bible. We know now that context is necessary and you cannot just pick out one verse you like without looking at the larger context (other verses and chapters in many cases).

Sometimes, you’d notice a disconnect as you read the chapters, like something is missing and you find that something missing in the next chapter. That’s because the original writers didn’t write in chapters and verses so obviously the people who partitioned though they did great but they would miss a thing or two in terms of coherence. For example, a lot of scholars agree that The end of Matthew 16 should have been placed with the beginning of Matthew 17 since it continues the story.

I’m teaching this to my children this weekend, will you do the same?

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