The Info List - Chapters And Verses Of The Bible

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The Bible
is a compilation of many shorter books written at different times by a variety of authors, and later assembled into the biblical canon. Since the early 13th century, most copies and editions of the Bible
present all but the shortest of these books with divisions into chapters, generally a page or so in length. Since the mid-16th century editors have further subdivided each chapter into verses - each consisting of a few short lines or sentences. Sometimes a sentence spans more than one verse, as in the case of Ephesians
2:8–9, and sometimes there is more than one sentence in a single verse, as in the case of Genesis 1:2. As the chapter and verse divisions did not appear in the original texts, they form part of the paratext of the Bible. The Jewish divisions of the Hebrew text differ at various points from those used by Christians. For instance, in Jewish tradition, the ascriptions to many Psalms
are regarded as independent verses or parts of the subsequent verses, making 116 more verses, whereas established Christian practice treats each Psalm ascription as independent and unnumbered. Some chapter divisions also occur in different places, e.g. Hebrew Bibles have 1 Chronicles
1 Chronicles
5:27–41 where Christian translations have 1 Chronicles
1 Chronicles
6:1–15.[citation needed]


1 History

1.1 Chapters 1.2 Verses

2 Jewish tradition

2.1 Verse endings 2.2 Parashiyot 2.3 Sedarim

3 Christian versions 4 Protestant Bible

4.1 Chapters 4.2 Verses

5 See also 6 References 7 External links


"...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." ~ Isaiah
2:4 KJV ( Bible
verse across the street from the United Nations Building
United Nations Building
in New York City)

Chapters[edit] Early manuscripts of the biblical texts did not contain the chapter and verse divisions in the numbered form familiar to modern readers. In antiquity Hebrew texts were divided into paragraphs (parashot) that were identified by two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Peh פ indicated an "open" paragraph that began on a new line, while Samekh ס indicated a "closed" paragraph that began on the same line after a small space.[1] These two letters begin the Hebrew words open (patuach) and closed (sagoor), and are, themselves, open פ and closed ס. The earliest known copies of the Book of Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
from the Dead Sea Scrolls used parashot divisions, although they differ slightly from the Masoretic
divisions.[2] (This is different from the use of consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
to structure certain poetic compositions, known as acrostics, such as several of the Psalms
and most of the Book
of Lamentations.) The Hebrew Bible
was also divided into some larger sections. In Israel the Torah
(its first five books) were divided into 154 sections so that they could be read through aloud in weekly worship over the course of three years. In Babylonia it was divided into 53 or 54 sections (Parashat ha-Shavua) so it could be read through in one year.[2] The New Testament
New Testament
was divided into topical sections known as kephalaia by the fourth century. Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
divided the gospels into parts that he listed in tables or canons. Neither of these systems corresponds with modern chapter divisions.[3] (See fuller discussions below.) Chapter divisions, with titles, are also found in the 9th century Tours manuscript, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale MS Lat. 3, the so-called Bible
of Rorigo.[4] Archbishop Stephen Langton
Stephen Langton
and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro
Hugo de Sancto Caro
developed different schemas for systematic division of the Bible
in the early 13th century. It is the system of Archbishop Langton on which the modern chapter divisions are based.[5][6][7] While chapter divisions have become nearly universal, editions of the Bible
have sometimes been published without them. Such editions, which typically use thematic or literary criteria to divide the biblical books instead, include John Locke's Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul (1707),[8] Alexander Campbell's The Sacred Writings (1826),[9] Daniel
Berkeley Updike’s fourteen-volume The Holy Bible
Containing the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, Richard Moulton's The Modern Reader's Bible
(1907),[10] Ernest Sutherland Bates's The Bible
Designed to Be Read as Living Literature (1936),[11] The Books of the Bible
(2007) from the International Bible Society (Biblica), Adam Lewis Greene’s five-volume Bibliotheca (2014),[12][13] and the six-volume ESV
Reader's Bible[14] (2016) from Crossway Books. Verses[edit] Since at least 916 the Tanakh
has contained an extensive system of multiple levels of section, paragraph, and phrasal divisions that were indicated in Masoretic
vocalization and cantillation markings. One of the most frequent of these was a special type of punctuation, the sof passuq, symbol for a full stop or sentence break, resembling the colon (:) of English and Latin orthography. With the advent of the printing press and the translation of the Bible
into English, Old Testament versifications were made that correspond predominantly with the existing Hebrew full stops, with a few isolated exceptions. Most attribute these to Rabbi Isaac Nathan ben Kalonymus's work for the first Hebrew Bible
concordance around 1440.[6] The first person to divide New Testament
New Testament
chapters into verses was Italian Dominican biblical scholar Santi Pagnini (1470–1541), but his system was never widely adopted.[15] His verse divisions in the New Testament
New Testament
were far longer than those known today.[16] Robert Estienne created an alternate numbering in his 1551 edition of the Greek New Testament[17] which was also used in his 1553 publication of the Bible
in French. Estienne's system of division was widely adopted, and it is this system which is found in almost all modern Bibles. Estienne produced a 1555 Vulgate
that is the first Bible
to include the verse numbers integrated into the text. Before this work, they were printed in the margins.[16] The first English New Testament
New Testament
to use the verse divisions was a 1557 translation by William Whittingham (c. 1524–1579). The first Bible in English to use both chapters and verses was the Geneva Bible published shortly afterwards in 1560. These verse divisions soon gained acceptance as a standard way to notate verses, and have since been used in nearly all English Bibles and the vast majority of those in other languages. (Nevertheless, some Bibles have removed the verse numbering, including the ones noted above that also removed chapter numbers; a recent example of an edition that removed only verses, not chapters, is The Message: The Bible
in Contemporary Language by Eugene H. Peterson.)[18] Jewish tradition[edit] Main article: Tanakh
§ Chapters and verse numbers, book divisions The Hebrew Masoretic text
Masoretic text
of the Bible
notes several different kinds of subdivisions within the biblical books: Verse endings[edit] Main article: Sof passuk Most important are the verse endings. According to the Talmudic tradition, the division of the text into verses is of ancient origin.[19] In Masoretic
versions of the Bible, the end of a verse is indicated by a small mark in its final word called a silluq (which means "stop"). Less formally, verse endings are usually also indicated by two horizontal dots following the word with a silluq. Parashiyot[edit] Main article: Parashah The Masoretic
textual tradition also contains section endings called parashot, which are usually indicated by a space within a line (a "closed" section) or a new line beginning (an "open" section). The division of the text reflected in the parashot is usually thematic. Unlike chapters, the parashot are not numbered, but some of them have special titles. In early manuscripts (most importantly in Tiberian Masoretic manuscripts, such as the Aleppo codex), an "open" section may also be represented by a blank line, and a "closed" section by a new line that is slightly indented (the preceding line may also not be full). These latter conventions are no longer used in Torah
scrolls and printed Hebrew Bibles. In this system, the one rule differentiating "open" and "closed" sections is that "open" sections must always start at the beginning of a new line, while "closed" sections never start at the beginning of a new line. Sedarim[edit] Another division of the biblical books found in the Masoretic text
Masoretic text
is the division of the sedarim. This division is not thematic, but is almost entirely based upon the quantity of text. For the Torah, this division reflects the triennial cycle of reading that was practiced by the Jews of the Land of Israel. Christian versions[edit] The Byzantines also introduced a concept roughly similar to chapter divisions, called kephalaia (singular kephalaion, literally meaning heading).[20] This system, which was in place no later than the 5th century, is not identical to the present chapters. Unlike the modern chapters, which tend to be of roughly similar length, the distance from one kephalaion mark to the next varied greatly in length both within a book and from one book to the next. For example, the Sermon on the Mount, comprising three chapters in the modern system, has but one kephalaion mark, while the single modern chapter 8 of the Gospel of Matthew has several, one per miracle. Moreover, there were far fewer kephalaia in the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
than in the Gospel
of Mark, even though the latter is the shorter text. In the manuscripts, the kephalaia with their numbers, their standard titles (titloi) and their page numbers would be listed at the beginning of each biblical book; in the book's main body, they would be marked only with arrow-shaped or asterisk-like symbols in the margin, not in the text itself. The titles usually referred to the first event or the first theological point of the section only, and some kephalaia are manifestly incomplete if one stops reading at the point where the next kephalaion begins (for example, the combined accounts of the miracles of the Daughter of Jairus
Daughter of Jairus
and of the healing of the woman with a haemorrhage gets two marked kephalaia, one titled of the daughter of the synagogue ruler at the beginning when the ruler approaches Jesus and one titled of the woman with the flow of blood where the woman enters the picture – well before the ruler's daughter is healed and the storyline of the previous kephalaion is thus properly concluded). Thus the kephalaia marks are rather more like a system of bookmarks or links into a continuous text, helping a reader to quickly find one of several well-known episodes, than like a true system of chapter divisions. Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro
Hugo de Sancto Caro
is often given credit for first dividing the Latin Vulgate
Latin Vulgate
into chapters in the real sense, but it is the arrangement of his contemporary and fellow cardinal Stephen Langton who in 1205 created the chapter divisions which are used today. They were then inserted into Greek manuscripts of the New Testament
New Testament
in the 16th century. Robert Estienne
Robert Estienne
(Robert Stephanus) was the first to number the verses within each chapter, his verse numbers entering printed editions in 1551 (New Testament) and 1571 (Hebrew Bible).[21] The division of the Bible
into chapters and verses has received criticism from some traditionalists and modern scholars. Critics state that the text is often divided in an incoherent way, or at inappropriate rhetorical points, and that it encourages citing passages out of context. Nevertheless, the chapter and verse numbers have become indispensable as technical references for Bible
study. Several modern publications of the Bible
have eliminated numbering of chapters and verses. Biblica
published such a version of the NIV
in 2007 and 2011. In 2014, Crossway published the ESV
Reader's Bible
and Bibliotheca published a modified ASV.[22] Projects such as Icthus[23] also exist which strip chapter and verse numbers from existing translations. Protestant Bible
statistics[edit] The number of words can vary depending upon aspects such as whether the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
in Psalm 119, the superscriptions listed in some of the Psalms, and the subscripts traditionally found at the end of the Pauline epistles, are included. Except where stated, the following apply to the King James Version
King James Version
of the Bible
in its modern 66-book Protestant form including the New Testament
New Testament
and the protocanonical Old Testament, not the deuterocanonical books. Chapters[edit]

There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament.

187 chapters in the Pentateuch 249 chapters in the Historical books 243 chapters in the Poetic books ("Wisdom") 183 chapters in the Major prophets 67 chapters in the Minor prophets

There are 260 chapters in the New Testament.

89 chapters in the Gospels 28 chapters in Acts 87 chapters in the Pauline Epistles (excluding Hebrews) 34 chapters in the General Epistles (including Hebrews) 22 chapters in Revelation

This gives a total of 1,189 chapters (on average, 18 per book). Psalm 117, the shortest chapter, is also the middle chapter of the Bible, being the 595th Chapter.[24] Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter of the Bible. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the Bible. Five books are a single chapter: Obadiah, Philemon, 2 & 3 John, Jude. In many printed editions, the chapter number is omitted for these books, and references just use the verse numbers.

Old Testament
Old Testament
- 929 chapters[25]

/ Division Chapters

Pentateuch (or the Law) 187

Genesis 50

Exodus 40

Leviticus 27

Numbers 36

Deuteronomy 34

Historical Books 249

Joshua 24

Judges 21

Ruth 4

1 Samuel 31

2 Samuel 24

1 Kings 22

2 Kings 25

1 Chronicles 29

2 Chronicles 36

Ezra 10

Nehemiah 13

Esther 10

Books of Wisdom (or "Poetry") 243

Job 42

Psalms 150

Proverbs 31

Ecclesiastes 12

Song of Solomon 8

Major Prophets 183

Isaiah 66

Jeremiah 52

Lamentations 5

Ezekiel 48

Daniel 12

Minor Prophets 67

Hosea 14

Joel 3

Amos 9

Obadiah 1

Jonah 4

Micah 7

Nahum 3

Habakkuk 3

Zephaniah 3

Haggai 2

Zechariah 14

Malachi 4

New Testament
New Testament
- 260 chapters[25]

/ Division Chapters

Gospels 89

Matthew 28

Mark 16

Luke 24

John 21

History 28

Acts 28

Pauline Epistles 87

Romans 16

1 Corinthians 16

2 Corinthians 13

Galatians 6

Ephesians 6

Philippians 4

Colossians 4

1 Thessalonians 5

2 Thessalonians 3

1 Timothy 6

2 Timothy 4

Titus 3

Philemon 1

General Epistles 34

Hebrews 13

James 5

1 Peter 5

2 Peter 3

1 John 5

2 John 1

3 John 1

Jude 1

Apocalyptic Writings (Prophecy)


Revelation 22


There are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament
Old Testament
and 7,957 verses in the New Testament. This gives a total of 31,102 verses,[25] which is an average of a little more than 26 verses per chapter. Contrary to popular belief, Psalm 118 does not contain the middle verse of the Bible. The King James Version
King James Version
has an even number of verses (31,102), with the two middle verses being Psalm 103:1–2.[26] John 11:35 ("Jesus wept") is the shortest verse in most English translations. Some translations — including the New International Version, New Living Translation, New Life Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible
and New International Reader's Version — render Job 3:2 as "He said". However, that is a translators' condensation of the Hebrew which literally translated is: "And Job
answered and said." The shortest verse in the Greek New Testament
New Testament
is Luke 20:30 ("και ο δευτερος", "And the second") with twelve letters, according to the Westcott and Hort text. In the Textus Receptus, the shortest verse is 1 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians
5:16 ("παντοτε χαιρετε", "Rejoice always") with fourteen letters,[27] since Stephanus' rendering of Luke 20:30 includes some additional words.[28] Isaiah
10:8 ("Dicet enim") is the shortest verse in the Latin Vulgate.[29] Esther
8:9 is the longest verse in the Masoretic
Text. The discovery of several manuscripts at Qumran
(in the Dead Sea Scrolls) has reopened what is considered the most original text of 1 Samuel
1 Samuel
11; if one believes that those manuscripts better preserve the text, several verses in 1 Samuel
1 Samuel
11 surpass Esther
8:9 in length.

See also[edit]


citation List of omitted Bible
verses Parashah


^ Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament
Old Testament
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), p. 20. ^ a b Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, n. 28. ^ Kurt and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament
New Testament
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans and Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1989), pp. 252 ff. ^ Consortium, Europeana Regia. "Europeana Regia - Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France MSS Latin 3".  ^ Hebrew Bible
article in the Catholic Encyclopedia. ^ a b Moore, G.F. The Vulgate
Chapters and Numbered Verses in the Hebrew Bible, pages 73–78 at JSTOR. page 75 ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The early versions of the New Testament: Their origin, transmission and limitations, Oxford University Press (1977), p.347. Cited in Stephen Langton
Stephen Langton
and the modern chapter divisions of the bible by British translator Roger Pearse, 21 June 2013. ^ London: Awnsham and John Churchill, 1707 ^ 1826; repr. Nashville: Gospel
Advocate Restoration Reprints, 2001 ^ New York: Macmillan, 1907 ^ New York: Simon and Schuster, 1936) ^ "Bibliotheca Multivolume Readers' Bible
Homepage". BIBLIOTHECA. Retrieved 2017-10-22.  ^ "The Bible's a mess, but a designer is fixing it". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-10-22.  ^ https://www.crossway.org/bibles/esv-readers-bible-none-tru/ ^ Miller, Stephen M.; Huber, Robert V. (2004). The Bible: A History. Good Books. p. 173. ISBN 1-56148-414-8.  ^ a b "Pitts Theology Library Exhibit on the Verses of the New Testament".  ^ "Chapters and Verses: Who Needs Them?," Christopher R. Smith, Bible Study Magazine (July–Aug 2009): 46–47. ^ Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002 ^ Babylonian Talmud
Nedarim 37b ^ Snapp, James (15 April 2016). "Kephalaia: The Ancient Chapters of the Gospels". Retrieved 31 March 2018.  ^ The Examiner. ^ Zylstra, Sarah Eekhof (25 July 2014). "Introducing the Bible! Now with Less!". Christianity Today. Retrieved 23 August 2014.  ^ "Icthus".  ^ The Center of the Bible
Archived August 28, 2005, at the Wayback Machine. at BreakTheChain.org ^ a b c Study Resources: The Books of the Bible
at BlueLetterBible.org ^ King James Bible
Statistics at BibleBelievers.com ^ First Thessalonians 5:12–28, John Walvoord at Bible.org ^ Luke 20:30 και ο δευτερος – and the second with interlinear Greek-English and KJV Luke 20:30, in the 1550 Stephanus New Testament
New Testament
and the 1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament. ^ Isaias 10 at LatinVulgate.com

External links[edit]

STEP Documentation OSIS Documentation Alternate Versification

v t e

Books of the Bible

Principal divisions

Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament
Old Testament

Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1–2 Samuel 1–2 Kings 1–2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Deuterocanon and Apocrypha

Catholic Orthodox

Tobit Judith Additions to Esther 1 Maccabees 2 Maccabees Wisdom Sirach Baruch / Letter of Jeremiah Additions to Daniel

Susanna Song of the Three Children Bel and the Dragon

Orthodox only

1 Esdras 2 Esdras Prayer of Manasseh Psalm 151 3 Maccabees 4 Maccabees Odes

Tewahedo Orthodox

Enoch Jubilees 1, 2, and 3 Meqabyan Paralipomena of Baruch Broader canon


Letter of Baruch 2 Baruch Psalms

New Testament

Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation


Chapters and verses Pentateuch Wisdom Major prophets / Minor prophets Gospels



Pauline Johannine Pastoral Catholic

Apocalyptic literature


Old Testament
Old Testament
canon New Testament
New Testament
canon Antilegomena Jewish canon Christian canon


Dead Sea Scrolls Samaritan Pentateuch Septuagint Targum Diatessaron Muratorian fragment Peshitta Vetus Latina Masoretic
Text New Testament
New Testament
manuscript categories New Testament
New Testament
papyri New Testament
New Testament

See also

Biblical canon Luther's canon Authorship English Bible
translations Other books referenced in the Bible Pseudepigrapha


New Testament
New Testament
apocrypha Studies Synod of Hippo Textual criticism

Category Porta