Looking Up A Verse Online
- What are the bible verse search engines?Community AnswerYou can use biblegateway.com or blbclassic.org.Thanks!
The Chapter Divisions Can Cause Problems
The divisions into chapters and verses can actually cause some problems. There are instances where chapters are wrongly divided. For example, the end of Matthew chapter 16 should actually be placed with the beginning of Matthew 17.
Matthew 16 ends with Jesus saying the following:
And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see me, the Son of Man, coming in my Kingdom.
The next verse reads:
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.
This verse should have been in the same chapter as the previous verse since it is continuing the story.
The Verse Divisions Can Also Cause Problems
Dividing the Bible into verses can also give the impression that the Scripture consists of a number of maxims or wise sayings. For example, Paul wrote to the Colossians:
Dont handle, dont eat, dont touch!
This verse, by itself, gives the impression that Scripture encourages some type of physical self-denial. Yet just the opposite is true. In context, Paul is actually teaching against this type of behavior. His argument is as follows:
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world. So why do you keep on following rules of the world, such as Dont handle, dont eat, dont touch!
The next verse emphasizes that such restrictions are human commandmentsnot commandments from God:
When we read the verse in context, it says the following:
Verse Divisions The Author Intended
When the Old Testament was written it had almost no verse divisions. We have to say almost, because there are a few places where we might argue that it did.
Take Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible, as an example. Its an alphabetic psalm that starts with eight poetic lines beginning with aleph , the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, then has eight beginning with beth , the second letter, and so on through the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet. 22 × 8 gives 176 poetic lines, or in todays terms, 176 verses. So the division today into 176 verses simply reflects the alphabetic structure of the original writer. Psalms 25, 34, and 145 have similar alphabetic structures which are reflected in their modern verse divisions.
Likewise, the first four chapters of the book of Lamentations are alphabetic, and the passage about the virtuous wife is 22 verses long because its based on the Hebrew alphabet. Even in non-alphabetic poetry, wherever verse divisions and clear poetic lines coincide, we may say that the verse divisions reflect the authors own structure.
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What Does The Book Of Numbers Teach Us
We live in a difficult world, and some people even claim that God is vengeful. But the book of Numbers, tells us that God may get mad, but he isnt out to get even. He is out to bless and protect us until we can make him glad with our faith and love. God doesnt give up on us when we are at our worst.
Numbered New Testament Verses
The verse divisions of the Old Testament were made long before verses themselves were numbered, but the invention of New Testament verse divisions does not appear to have taken so long. From our perspective today it seems as if in the middle of the 16th century there was a remarkable and sudden emergence of verse divisions and verse numbers in printed Bibles.
Robert Estienne was the first to introduce something like our current verse number system into the New Testament. The son of a Parisian printer, Henri Estienne, Robert distinguished himself as a printer too, but his Reformation sympathies meant that he had to flee Paris for Geneva. It was probably there, in 1551, that he published a Greek New Testament which for the first time contained verse divisions like ours today.
After first appearing in his Greek and Latin New Testament in 1551, the verse numbers were then included in Estiennes Latin and French New Testament in 1552. In 1553 he printed a complete French Bible with verse numbers and in 1555 a whole Latin Bible with verse numbers. Verse numbers were then taken up in the English translations, the Geneva New Testament of 1557 and the Geneva Bible of 1560, which became the Bible of the English Puritans, including the early Puritan settlers in America. From then on verse divisions have been present in nearly every translation, whether in English or any other modern language.
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Tip #2 Read Books Of The Bible In One Sitting
There is value in Bible-reading plans that divvy up the readings so that you read one chapter from four different books of the Bible. But if thats the only way you read the Bible, it will be difficult to understand key literary features and the theological message of whole books of the Bible.
Have you ever read the Gospel according to Matthew straight through in one sitting? Or Romans? Or Job? Or Revelation? If not, youre missing out. Thats the way theyre meant to be read. A book like Nehemiah would generally take about one hour. Ephesians would take 20 minutes. Heres a full list of the approximate times it would take to read each book in our English Bible.
I understand the objection: Theres no way I could possibly find time to do this. But arent there other activities you do in life for prolonged periods of time? Do you read other books for a few hours at a time? Do you ever spend an hour watching a TV show or two hours watching a movie or three hours watching a football game? Why not prioritize lengthy, undistracted time in the life-giving word?
Reading The Bible From Start To Finish
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Some Books Have Multiple Genres
Theres definitely some genre-hopping going on throughout the books of the Bible. Daniel is both historical narrative and apocalyptic literature, and Acts works as both history and Gospel. Proverbs is a wisdom book that includes poetic elements. But the point is that learning to see these books through the lens of genre can help make Scripture reading a lot easier.
How To Read The Bible: Read A Little Every Day
Getting Gods Word into your life doesnt have to take long. Start smallfive or 10 minutes is better than none. Sometimes less is more, especially when reading less means youll actually remember more.
Chose a time and place thats convenient for you. Many people read their Bible first thing in the morning, choosing to spend time with God before daily distractions get in the way. But if mornings arent your thing, dont sweat it. That you read Gods Word is more important than when you read Gods Word. Personally, I love to read my Bible at a local coffee shop, but I once read through the entire Bible while waiting in carpool lines.
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The Origin Of Chapter Divisions
The divisions of individual books of Scripture into smaller sections began as early as the fourth century A.D. Codex Vaticanus, a fourth century Greek manuscript, used paragraph divisions. These were comparable to what we find in manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.
In the fifth century, the biblical translator Jerome divided Scripture into short portions, or passages, called pericopes. The word is still used today to refer to a self-contained unit of Scripture. His work preceded the dividing of Scripture into chapters.
The actual chapter division took place much later. A man named Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters in the year A.D. 1227. The Bible he used was the Latin Vulgate. Langton was a professor at the University of Paris at the time. Later, he became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
These chapter divisions were later transferred to the Hebrew text in the fourteenth century by a man named Salomon ben Ishmael. There seems to have been certain changes made by Salomon ben Ishmael because the chapter divisions in the Hebrew text do not line up exactly with the English Bible.
A Selection Of Verses
Psalm 119:9, 11
Whenever there is a comma in the reference, what follows it is a verse or multiple verses in the same chapter.
Sometimes the Scripture reference can include a selection of 2 or more verses. The example above references the book of Psalms, the 119th chapter, and both verse 9 and verse 11 in that same chapter. This reference would not include verse 10.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?By guarding it according to your word11I have stored up your word in my heart,that I might not sin against you.
Also, a reference can be made to a lot of verses in that same chapter. For example: Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24, 26. This would refer to 7 different verse in that same chapter of Genesis 1, each verse separated by a comma.
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Pick A Book Of The Bible And Work Your Way Through It
If youre anything like me, you need a Bible reading plan or youll waste precious minutes thumbing through the Bible, never quite landing. So pick one book of the Bible and read a little each day, one chapter, perhaps.
If you read one chapter of John a day, youll read John in its entirety in 21 days.
After reading John, move on to the other gospels Matthew, Mark or Luke. Next read Philippians, Ephesians and Colossians, which provide practical encouragement and instruction for living the Christian life. Romans is jam-packed with essential doctrine. Genesis explains how everything began. Psalms is filled with heartfelt prayers that offer encouragement for every season of life.
Work your way through one book at a time, and youll never find yourself fumbling for where to read again.
Tip #3 Read Without Any Chapter Or Verse References
I am not a fan of chapter and verse references in the Bible. Bible verses didnt even exist until about 1550, and chapters go back only to the 1200s. They can obscure the text and create artificial and sometimes inaccurate divisions.
Yes, chapter and verse references help us locate specific sentences and phrases quickly. But sometimes they do more harm than good. They lead many people to think of the Bible as a reference book that collects bullet-pointed verse-nuggets not as the literature that it really is.
So how do you read the Bible without any chapter or verse references? There are at least three options:
Take up and read a lot.
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There Were No Chapter Or Verse Divisions In The Original
When the books of the Bible were originally written, there were no such things as chapters or verses. Each book was written without any breaks from the beginning to the end. Consequently, there are a number of important observations that need to be made about the present chapter and verse divisions that we find in Scripture.
Looking Up A Verse With A Concordance
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How To Interpret The Bible
How to Interpret the Bible Always seek the full counsel of the Word of God. When you know Gods Word thoroughly, you will not accept a teaching simply because someone has used one or two Remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture. Dont base your convictions on an obscure passage of Scripture. Look for the single meaning of the passage.
Why Is The Number 7 A Holy Number
2. It has had significance in almost every major religion. In the Old Testament the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh, creating the basis of the seven-day-week we use to this day. In the New Testament the number seven symbolizes the unity of the four corners of the Earth with the Holy Trinity.
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Chapters And Verses Are Helpful For Reference And Quotation
The chapter and verse divisions are convenient for reference and quotation purposes. They make it easier to find certain statements and accounts in Scripture.
It must always be remembered that the divisions into chapters and verses are human-made. They are sometimes arbitrary, and they sometimes interfere with the sense of the passage. The first step in Bible interpretation is to ignore the modern chapter and verse divisions.