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Bible Encyclopedias

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Bible

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(Anglicized from the Greek Βιβλία, i.e. little books, libelli; Latinized Biblia), the popular designation (usually in the phrase "Holy Bible") now everywhere current for the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in their present collected form. The sacred books were denominated by the Jews the writing (כְּתִיב, kethib', written, or מִקְרָא, mikra', recitation), a name of the same character as that applied by the Mohammedans (Koran) to denote their sacred volume. (See SCRIPTURES, HOLY).

The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments, παλαιά, καὶ καινὴ διαθήκη . The name Old Testament is applied to the books of Moses by Paul (2 Corinthians 3:14), inasmuch as the former covenant comprised the whole scheme of the Mosaic revelation, and the history of this is contained in them. This phrase, "book of the covenant," taken probably from Exodus 24:7; 1 Maccabees 1:57 (βιβλίον διαθήκης ), was transferred in the course of time-by a metonymy to signify the writings themselves. The word διαθήκη signifies either a testament or a covenant, but we now render it testament, because the translators of the old Latin version have always rendered it from the Sept., even when it was used as a translation of the Hebrew, בְּרִית, Berith' (covenant), by the word Testamentum. The names given to the Old Testament were the Scriptures (Matthew 21:42), Scripture (2 Peter 1:20), the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2), the sacred letters (2 Timothy 3:15), the holy books (Sanhed. 91, 2), the law (John 12:34), the law, the prophets, and the psalms (Luke 24:44), the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17), the law, the prophets, and the other books (Prol. Ecclus.), the books of the old covenant (Nehemiah 8:8), the book of the covenant (1 Maccabees 1:57; 2 Kings 23:2). Kitto, s.v. (See TESTAMENT).

The other books (not in the canon) were called apocryphal, ecclesiastical, and deuterocanonical. The term New Testament has been in common use since the third century, and is employed by Eusebius in the same sense in which it is now commonly applied (Hist. Eccles, 2, 23). Tertullian employs the same phrase, and also that of "the Divine Instrument" in the same signification. (See ANTILEGOMENA); (See APOCRYPHA).

I. Appropriation of the term "Bible."

1. In its Greek form. The application of the word Βιβλία, the Books, specially to the collected books of the Old and New Testament, is not to be traced farther back than the 5th century. The terms which the writers of the New Testament use of the Scriptures of the Old are γραφή (2 Timothy 3:16; Acts 8:32; Galatians 3:22), αἱ γραφαί (Matthew 21:42; Luke 24:27), τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα (2 Timothy in. 15). Βιβλίον is found (2 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 10:2; Revelation 5:1), but with no distinctive meaning; nor does the use of τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν βιβλίων for the Hagiographa in the Preface to Ecclesiasticus, or of αἱ ἱεραὶ βίβλοι in Josephus (Ant. 1, 6, 2), indicate any thing as to the use of τὰ βιβλία alone as synonymous with γραφή . The words employed by early Christian writers were naturally derived from the language of the New Testament, and the old terms, with epithets like θεῖα, ἃγια, and the like, continued to be used by the Greek fathers, as the equivalent "Scriptura" was by the Latin. The use of παλαιὰ διαθήκη in 2 Corinthians 3:14, for the law as read in the synagogues, and the prominence given in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 7:22; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15) to the contrast between the παλαιά and the καινή, led gradually to the extension of the former to include the other books of the Jewish Scriptures, and to the application of the latter as of the former to a book or collection of books. Of the Latin equivalents which were adopted by different writers (Instrumentum, Testamentum), the latter met with the most general acceptance, and perpetuated itself in the language of modern Europe. One passage in Tertullian (adv. Marc. 4, 1) illustrates the growing popularity of the word which eventually prevailed, "instrumenti vel quod magis in usu est dicere, testamenti." The word was naturally used by Greek writers in speaking of the parts of these two collections.

They enumerate (e.g. Athan. Synop. Sac. Script.) τὰ βιβλία of the Old and New Testament; and as these were contrasted with the apocryphal books circulated by heretics, there was a natural tendency to the appropriation of the word as limited by the article to the whole collection of the canonical Scriptures. Jerome substitutes for these expressions the term Bibliotheca Divina (see Hieronymi Opera, ed. Martianay, vol. 1, Proleg.), a phrase which this learned father probably borrowed from 2 Maccabees 2:13, where Nehemiah is said, in "founding a library" (βιβλιοθήκη ), to have "gathered together the acts of the kings, and the prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings concerning the holy gifts." But although it was usual to denominate the separate books in Greek by the term Biblia, which is frequently so applied by Josephus, we first find it simply applied to the entire collection by St. Chrysostom in his Second Homily, "The Jews have the books (βιβλία ), but we have the treasure of the books; they have the letters (γράμματα ), but we have both spirit and letter." And again, Hom. ix in Epist. ad Coloss., "Provide yourselves with books (βιβλία ), the medicine of the soul, but if you desire no other, at least procure the new (καινή ), the Apostolos, the Acts, the Gospels." He also adds to the word βιβλία the epithet divine in his Tenth Homily on Genesis: "Taking before and after meals the divine books" (τὰ θεῖα βιβλία ), or, as we should now express it, the Holy Bible. It is thus applied in a way which shows this use to have already become familiar to those to whom he wrote. The liturgical use of the Scriptures, as the worship of the Church became organized, would naturally favor this application. The MSS. from which they were read would be emphatically the books of each church or monastery. And when this use of the word was established in the East, it was natural that it should pass gradually to the Western Church. The terminology of that Church bears witness throughout (e.g. Episcopus, Presbyter, Diaconus, Litania, Liturgia, Monachus, Abbas, and others) to its Greek origin, and the history of the word Biblia has followed the analogy of those that have been referred to. Here, too, there was less risk of its being used in any other than the higher meaning, because it had not, in spite of the introduction even in classical Latinity of Bibliotheca, Bibliopola, taken the place of libri, or libelli, in the common speech of men.

2. The English Form. It is worthy of note that "Bible" is not found in Anglo-Saxon literature, though Bibliothece is given (Lye, Anglo-Sax. Dict.) as used in the same sense as the corresponding word in mediaeval Latin for the Scriptures as the great treasure-house of books (Du Cange and Adelung, s.v.). If we derive from our mother-tongue the singularly happy equivalent of the Greek εὐαγγέλιον, we have received the word which stands on an equal eminence with "Gospel" as one of the later importations consequent on the Norman Conquest and fuller intercourse with the Continent. When the English which grew out of this union first appears in literature, the word is already naturalized. In R. Brunne (p. 290), Piers Plowman (1916, 4271), and Chaucer (Prol. 437), it appears in its distinctive sense, though the latter, in at least one passage (House of Fame, bk. 3), uses it in a way which indicates that it was not always limited to that meaning. From that time, however, the higher use prevailed to the exclusion of any lower; and the choice of it, rather than of any of its synonymes, by the great translators of the Scriptures, Wickliffe. Luther, Coverdale, fixed it beyond all possibility of change. The transformation of the word from a plural into a singular noun in all the modern languages of Europe, though originating probably in the solecisms of the Latin of the 13th century (Du Cange, s.v. Biblia), has made it fitter than it would otherwise have been for its high office as the title of that which, by virtue of its unity and plan, is emphatically THE Book.

II. The Book as a Whole. The history of the growth of the collections known as the Old and New Testament respectively will be found fully under CANON. It falls within the scope of the present article to indicate in what way and by what steps the two came to be looked on as of co- ordinate authority, and therefore as parts of one whole how, i.e. the idea of a completed Bible, even before the word came into use, presented itself to the minds of men. As regards a large portion of the writings of the New Testament, it is not too much to say that they claim an authority not lower, nay, even higher than the Old. That which had not been revealed to the "prophets" of the Old dispensation is revealed to the prophets of the New (Ephesians 3:5). The apostles wrote as having the Spirit of Christ (1 Corinthians 7:40), as teaching and being taught "by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12). Where they make no such direct claim their language is still that of men who teach as "having authority," and so far the old prophetic spirit is revived in them, and their teaching differs, as did that of their Master, from the traditions of the scribes. As the revelation of God through the Son was recognised as fuller and more perfect than that which had been made πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως to the fathers (Hebrews 1:1), the records of what He had done and said, when once recognised as authentic, could not be regarded as less sacred than the Scriptures of the Jews. Indications of this are found even within the N.T. itself. Assuming the genuineness of the 2d Epistle of Peter, it shows that within the lifetime of the apostles, the Epistles of Paul had come to be classed among the γραφαί of the Church (2 Peter 3:16).

The language of the same Epistle in relation to the recorded teaching of prophets and apostles (3:2; comp. Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:11) shows that the πᾶσα προφητεία γραφῆς can hardly be limited to the writings of the Old Testament. The command that the letter to the Colossians was to be read in the church of Laodicea (Colossians 4:16), though it does not prove that it was regarded as of equal authority with the γραφὴ θεόπνευστος, indicates a practice which would naturally lead to its being so regarded. The writing of a man who spoke as inspired could not fail to be regarded as participating in the inspiration. It is part of the development of the same feeling that the earliest records of the worship of the Christian Church indicate the liturgical use of some at least of the writings of the New, as well as of the Old Testament. Justin (Apol. 1, 66) places τὰ ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλων as read in close connection with, or in the place of τὰ συγγράμματα τῶν προφητῶν, and this juxtaposition corresponds to the manner in which Ignatius had previously spoken of αἱ προφητείαι, νόμος Μωσέως, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (Ep. ad Smyrn. c. 7). It is not meant, of course, that such phrases or such practices prove the existence of a recognised collection, but they show with what feelings individual writings were regarded. They prepare the way for the acceptance of the whole body of the N.T. writings, as soon as the Canon is completed, as on a level with those of the Old. A little farther on and the recognition is complete. Theophilus of Antioch (ad Autolyc. bk. in), Irenaeus (adv. Haer. 2, 27; 3:1), Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, 3, 10; 5:5), Tertullian (adv. Prax. 15, 20), all speak of the New Testament writings (what writings they included under this title is of course a distinct question) as making up, with the Old, μία γνῶσις (Clem. Al. l. c.), "totum instrumentum utriusque testamenti" (Tert. l. c.), universae scripturae. As this was in part a consequence of the liturgical usage referred to, so it reacted upon it, and influenced the transcribers and translators of the books which were needed for the instruction of the Church. The Syriac Peshito in the 3d, or at the close of the 2d century, includes (with the omission of some of the ἀντιλεγόμενα ) the New Testament as well as the Old. The Alexandrian Codex, presenting in the fullest sense of the word a complete Bible, may be taken as the representative of the full maturity of the feeling which we have seen in its earlier developments. The same may be said of the Codex Sinaiticus, lately brought to light by Prof. Tischendorf.

III. Order of the Books. The existence of a collection of sacred books recognised as authoritative leads naturally to a more or less systematic arrangement. The arrangement must rest upon some principle of classification. The names given to the several Looks will indicate in some instances the view taken of their contents, in others the kind of notation applied both to the greater and smaller divisions of the sacred volumes. The existence of a classification analogous to that adopted by the later Jews and still retained in the printed Hebrew Bibles, is indicated even before the completion of the O.T. Canon (Zechariah 7:12). When the Canon was locked upon as settled, in the period covered by the books of the Apocrypha, it took a more definite form. The Prologue to Ecclesiasticus mentions "the law and the prophets and the other books." In the N.T. there is the same kind of recognition. "The Law and the Prophets" is the shorter (Matthew 11:13; Matthew 22:40; Acts 13:15, etc.); "the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44), the fuller statement of the division popularly recognised. The arrangement of the books of the Hebrews text under these three heads requires, however, a farther notice.

1. The LAW, Torah', תּוֹרָה, νόμος, naturally continued to occupy the position which it must have held from the first as the most ancient and authoritative portion. Whatever questions may be raised as to the antiquity of the whole Pentateuch in its present form, the existence of a book bearing this title is traceable to a very early period in the history of the Israelites (Joshua 1:8; Joshua 8:34; Joshua 24:26). The name which must at first have attached to those portions of the whole book was applied to the earlier and contemporaneous history connected with the giving of the law, and ascribed to the same writer. The marked distinctness of the five portions which make up the Torah shows that they must have been designed as separate books; and when the Canon was completed, and the books in their present form made the object of study, names for each book were wanted and were found. In the Hebrew classification the titles were taken from the initial words, or prominent words in the initial verse; in that of the Sept. they were intended to be significant of the subject of each book, and so we have

(1.) בְּרֵאשִׁית . . Γένεσις, Genesis.

(2.) שְׁמוֹת (וְאֵלֶּה ) . ῎Εξοδος, Exodus.

(3.) וִיּקְרָא . . . . Λευϊτικόν, Leviticus.

(4.) בְּמִדְבִּר . . . Ἀριθμοί, Numbers.

(5.) דְּבָרִים . . . Δευτερονόμιον, Deuteronomy.

The Greek titles were adopted without change, except as to the fourth, in the Latin versions, and from them have descended to the Bibles of modern Christendom.

2. The PROPHETS. The next group presents a more singular combination. The arrangement stands as follows:

Nebiim'. נְבִיאִים Prophetae.

1. רִאשׁוֹנִים (priores) Joshua. Judges 1 and 2 Samuel 1 and 2 Kings.

2. אִחֲרוֹנִים (posteriores)

a. גְּדוֹלִים (majores) Isaiah. Jeremiah. Ezekiel.

b. קְמִנִּים (minores) The twelve minor prophets.

The Hebrew titles of these books corresponding to those of the English Bibles; so also in the Septuagint, except that this version (like the Vulgate) reckons 1 and 2 Samuel as 1 and 2 Kings,, 1 and 2 Kings as 3 and 4 Kings.

The grounds on which books simply historical were classed under the same name as those which contained the teaching of prophets, in the stricter sense of the word, are not, at first sight, obvious, but the O.T. presents some facts which may suggest an explanation. The sons of the prophets (1 Samuel 10:5; 2 Kings 5:22; 2 Kings 6:1), living together as a society, almost as a caste (Amos 7:14), trained to a religious life, cultivating sacred minstrelsy, must have occupied a position as instructors of the people, even in the absence of the special calling which sent them as God's messengers to the people. A body of men so placed naturally become historians and annalists, unless intellectual activity is absorbed in asceticism. The references in the historical books of the O.T. show that they actually were such. Nathan the prophet, Gad, the seer of David (1 Chronicles 29:29), Ahijah and Iddo (2 Chronicles 9:29), Isaiah (2 Chronicles 26:22; 2 Chronicles 32:32), are cited as chroniclers. The greater antiquity of the earlier historical books, and perhaps the traditional belief that they had originated in this way, were likely to co-operate in raising them to a high place of honor in the arrangement of the Jewish canon, and so they were looked upon as having the prophetic character which was denied to the historical books of the Hagiographa. The greater extent of the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, no less than the prominent position which they occupied in the history of Israel, led naturally to their being recognised as the Prophetae Majores. The exclusion of Daniel from this subdivision is a more remarkable fact, and one which has been differently interpreted, the Rationalistic school of later criticism (Eichhorn, De Wette, Bertholdt) seeing in it an indication of later date, and therefore of doubtful authenticity, the orthodox school on the contrary, as represented by Hengstenberg (Dissert. on Daniel ch. 2, § 4, 5), maintaining that the difference rested only on the ground that, though the utterer of predictions, he had not exercised, as the others had done, a prophet's office among the people. Whatever may have been its origin, the position of this book in the Hagiographa led the later Jews to think and speak slightingly of it, and Christians who reasoned with them out of its predictions were met by remarks disparaging to its authority (Hengstenberg, 1. c.). The arrangement of the Prophetae Minores does not call for special notice, except so far as they were counted, in order to bring the whole list of canonical books within a memorial number, answering to that of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, as a single volume, and described as τὸ δωδεκαπρόφητον .

3. The HAGIOGRAPHA. Last in order came the group known as Kethubim', כְּתוּבַים (from כָּתִב, to write), γραφεῖα, ἁγιόγραφα, ι .ε . "holy writings," including the remaining books of the Hebrew canon, arranged in the following order, and subordinate divisions:

(a) Psalms, Proverbs, Job.

(b) The Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther.

(c) Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles.

Of these, (a) were distinguished by the memorial word אֶמֶת, "truth," formed from the initial letters of the three books; (b) as חָמֵשׁ מְגַלּוֹת, the five rolls, as being written for use in the synagogues on special festivals on five separate rolls. Of the Hebrew titles of these books, those which are descriptive of their contents are: תְּהַלַּים, Tehillim', the Psalms; מַשְׁלֵי, Mishley', Proverbs; אֵיכָה, Eykah', Lamentations (from the opening word of wailing in 1:1); the Song of Songs, שַׁיר הִשַׁירַים, Shir hash-Shirim'; Ecclesiastes, קֹהֶלֶת, Kohe'leh, the Preacher; 1 and 2 Chronicles, דַּבְרֵי הִיָּמַים, Dibrey' hay-yamim', words of the days = records. The Sept. presents the following titles of these last: Ψαλμοί, Παροιμίαι, Θρῆνοι, Ασμα ἀσμάτων, Ε᾿κκλησιαστής, Παραλειπόμενα (i.e. things omitted, as being supplementary to the books of Kings). The Latin version imports some of the titles, and translates others: Psalmi, Proverbia, Threni, Canticum Canticorum, Ecclesiastes, Paralipomenon, and these in their translated form have determined the received titles of the book in our English Bibles Ecclesiastes, in which the Greek title is retained, and Chronicles, in which the Hebrew and not the Greek title is translated, being exceptions. The Sept. presents also some striking variations in the order of the books (we follow the Sixt. ed. MSS. differ greatly). Both in this and in the insertion of the ἀντιλεγομενα, which we now know as the Apocrypha, among the other books, we trace the absence of that strong reverence for the Canon and its traditional order which distinguished the Jews of Palestine. The Law, it is true, stands first, but the distinction between the greater and lesser prophets, between the Prophets and the Hagiographa, is no longer recognised. Daniel, with the Apocryphal additions, follows upon Ezekiel; the Apocryphal 1st or 3d book of Esdras comes in as a 1st, preceding the canonical Ezra. Tobit and Judith are placed after Nehemiah, Wisdom (Σοφία Σαλομών ) and Ecclesiasticus (Σοφία Σειράχ ) after Canticles, Baruch before and the Epistle of Jeremiah after Lamentations, the twelve lesser prophets before the four greater, and the two books of Maccabees at the close of all. The common Vulg. follows nearly the same order, inverting the relative position of the greater and lesser prophets. The separation of the doubtful books under the title of Apocrypha in the Protestant versions of the Scriptures left the others in the order in which we now have them. (See SEPTUAGINT); (See VULGATE).

4. The history of the arrangement of the books of the NEW TESTAMENT presents some variations, not without interest, as indicating differences of feeling or modes of thought. The four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles uniformly stand first. They are thus to the New what the Pentateuch was to the Old Testament. They do not present, however, in themselves, as the books of Moses did, any order of succession. The actual order does not depend upon the rank or function of the writers to whom they are assigned. The two not written by apostles are preceded and followed by one which was, and it seems as if the true explanation were to be found in a traditional belief as to the dates of the several Gospels, according to which Matthew's, whether in its Greek or Hebrew form, was the earliest, and John's the latest. The arrangement once adopted would naturally confirm the belief, and so we find it assumed by Irenaeus, Origen, Augustine. The position of the Acts as an intermediate book, the sequel to the Gospels, the prelude to the Epistles, was obviously a natural one. After this we meet with some striking differences. The order in the Alexandrian, Vatican, and Ephraem MSS. (A, B, C) gives precedence to the catholic Epistles, and as this is also recognised by the Council of Laodicea (Can. 60); Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. 4, 35): and Athanasius (Epist. Fest. ed. Bened. 1:961), it would appear to have been characteristic of the Eastern churches. Lachmann and Tischendorf (7th ed.) follow this arrangement. (The Sinaitic MS. places Paul's Epistles even before the Acts.) The Western Church, on the other hand, as represented by Jerome, Augustine, and their successors, gave priority of position to the Pauline Epistles; and as the order in which these were given presents, (1.) those addressed to churches arranged according to their relative importance, (2.) those addressed to individuals, the foremost place was naturally occupied by the Epistle to the Romans. The tendency of the Western Church to recognize Rome as the center of authority may perhaps, in part, account for this departure from the custom of the East. The order of the Pauline Epistles themselves, however, is generally the same, and the only conspicuously different arrangement was that of Marcion, who aimed at a chronological order. In the four MSS. above referred to, Hebrews comes after 2 Thessalonians (in that from which Cod. B was copied it seems to have stood between Galatians and Ephesians). In those followed by Jerome, it stands, as in the English Bible and the Textus Receptus, after Philemon. Possibly the absence of Paul's name, possibly the doubts which existed as to his being the sole author of it, possibly its approximation to the character of the catholic Epistles, may have determined the arrangement. The Apocalypse, as might be expected from the peculiar character of its contents, occupied a position by itself. Its comparatively late recognition may have determined the position which it has uniformly held as the last of the sacred books.

IV. Division into Chapters and Verses. As soon as any break is made in the continuous writing which has characterized in nearly all countries the early stages of the art, we get the germs of a system of division. But these divisions may be used for two distinct purposes. So far as they are used to exhibit the logical relations of words, clauses, and sentences to each other, they tend to a recognised punctuation. So far as they are used for greater convenience of reference, or as a help to the memory, they answer to the chapters and verses of our modern Bibles. At present we are concerned only with the latter.

1. The Hebrew of the Old Testament. It is hardly possible to conceive of the liturgical use of the books of the Old Testament without some kind of recognised division. In proportion as the books were studied and commented on in the schools of the rabbins, the division would become more technical and complete, and hence the existing notation which is recognised in the Talmud (the Gemara ascribing it to Moses [Hupfeld, Stud. und Krit. 1830, p. 827]) may probably have originated in the earlier stages of the growth of. the synagogue ritual. The New-Testament quotations from the Old are for the most part cited without any more specific reference than to the book from which they come. The references, however, in Mark 12:26, and Luke 20:37 (ἐπὶ τῆς βάτου ), Romans 11:2 (ἐν ῾Ηλίᾷ ), and Acts 8:32 ( περιοχὴ τῆς γραφῆς ), indicate a division which had become familiar, and show that some, at least, of the sections were known popularly by titles taken from their subjects. In like manner, the existence of some cycle of lessons is indicated by Luke 4:17; Acts 13:15; Acts 15:21; 2 Corinthians 3:14; and this, whether identical or not with the later rabbinic cycle, must have involved an arrangement analogous to that subsequently adopted.

(1.) The Talmudic division is on the following plan.

[1.] The Law was, in the first instance, divided into fifty-four פִּרְשַׁיּוֹת, parshiyoth. =sections, so as to provide a lesson for each Sabbath in the Jewish intercalary year, provision being made for the shorter year by the combination of two of the shorter sections. Coexisting with this, there was a subdivision into lesser parshiyoth, which served to determine the portions of the sections taken by the several readers in the, synagogues. The lesser parshiyoth themselves were classed under two heads-the "open" (פְּתוּחוֹת, pethuchoth'), which served to indicate a change of subject analogous to that between two paragraphs in modern writing, and began accordingly a fresh line in the MS., and the "closed" (סְתוּמוֹת, sethumoth'), which corresponded to minor divisions, and were marked only by a space within the line. The initial letters פ and ס served as a notation, in the margin or in the text itself, for the two kinds of sections. The threefold initial פפפ or ססס was used when the commencement of one of the parshiyoth coincided with that of a Sabbath lesson (comp. Keil, Einleitung in das A.T. § 170, 171).

[2.] A different terminology was employed for the Prophetme Priores and Posteriores, and the division was less uniform. The tradition of the Jews that the Prophets were first read in the service of the synagogue, and consequently divided into sections, because the reading of the Law had been forbidden by Antiochus Epiphanes, rests upon a very slight foundation; but its existence is, at any rate, a proof that the Law was believed to have been systematically divided before the same process was applied to the other books. The name of the sections in this case was הִפְטָרוֹת (haphtaroth', from פָּטִר, to dismiss). If the name were applied in this way because the lessons from the Prophets came at the close of the synagogue service, and so were followed by the dismissal of'the people (Vitringa, De Synag. 3:2, 20), its history would pre. sent a curious analogy to that of "Missa," "Mass," on the assumption that this also was derived from the "Ite missa est," by which the congregation was in. formed of the conclusion of the earlier portion of the service of the Church. The peculiar use of Missa shortly after its appearance in the Latin of ecclesiastical writers in a sense equivalent to that of haphtaroth (" sex Missas de Propheta Esaia facite," Caesar Arelat. and Aurelian in Bingham, Ant. 13:1) presents at least a singular coincidence. The haphtaroth themselves were intended to correspond with the larger parshiyoth of the Law, so that there might be a distinct lesson for each Sabbath in the intercalary year as before; but the traditions of the German and the Spanish Jews, both of them of great antiquity, present a considerable diversity in the length of the divisions, and show that they had never been determined by the same authority as that which had settled the parshiyoth of the Law (Van der Hooght, Profat. in Bib. § 35).

(2.) Of the traditional divisions of the Hebrew Bible, however, that which has exercised most influence in the received arrangement of the text was the subdivision of the larger sections into verses (פְּסוּקִים, pesukin'). These do not appear to have been used till the post Talmudic recension of the text by the Masoretes of the 9th century. They were then applied, first to the prose, and afterward to the poetical books of the Hebrew Scriptures, superseding in the latter the arrangement of (στίχοι, κῶλα, κόμματα, lines and groups of lines, which had been based upon metrical considerations. The verses of the Masoretic divisions were preserved with comparatively slight variations through the Middle Ages, and came to the knowledge of translators and editors when the attention of European scholars was directed to the study of Hebrew. In the Hebrew MSS. the notation had been simply marked by the " SophPasuk" (:) at the end of each verse; and in the earlier printed Hebrew Bibles (Sabionetta's, 1557, and Plantin's, 1566) the Hebrew numerals which guide the reader in referring are attached to every fifth verse only. The Concordance of Rabbi Nathan, 1450, however, had rested on the application of a numeral to each verse, and this was adopted by the Dominican Pagninus in his Latin version; 1528, and carried throughout the whole of the Old and New Testament, coinciding substantially, as regards the former, with the Masoretic, and therefore with the modern division, but differing materially, as to the New Testament, from that which was adopted by Robert Stephens, and through his widely circulated editions passed into general reception.

(3.) The chief facts that remain to be stated as to the verse divisions of the Old Testament are that they were adopted by Stephens in his edition of the Vulgate, 1555, and by Frellon in that of 1556; that they appeared, for the first time in an English translation, in the Geneva Bible of 1560, and were thence transferred to the Bishops' Bible of 1568 and the Authorized Version of 1611. In Coverdale's Bible we meet with the older notation, which was in familiar use for other books, and retained, in some instances (e.g. in references to Plato), to the present times. The letters A B C D are placed at equal distances in the margin of each page, and the reference is made to the page (or, in the case of Scripture, to the chapter) and the letter accordingly.

2. The Septuagint translation, together with the, Latin versions based upon it, have contributed very little to the received division of the .Bibles. Made at a time when the rabbinic subdivisions were not enforced, hardly perhaps existing, and not used in the worship of the synagogue, there was no reason for the scrupulous care which showed itself in regard to the Hebrew text. The language of Tertullian (Scorp. ii) and Jerome (in Micah 6:9; Zephaniah 3:4) implies the existence of "capitula" of some sort; but the word does not appear to have been used in any more definite sense than "locus" or "passage." The liturgical use of portions of the Old Testament would lead to the employment of some notation to distinguish the ἀναγνώσματα or "lectiones," and individual students or transcribers might adopt a system of reference of their own; but we find nothing corresponding to the fully organized notation which originated with the Talmudists or Masoretes. It is possible, indeed, that the general use of Lectionaria-in which the portions read in the Church services were written separately - may have hindered the development of such a system. Whatever traces of it we find are accordingly scanty and fluctuating. The sticho-metric mode of writing (i.e. the division of the text into short lines generally with very little regard to the sense) adopted in the 4th or 5th centuries (see Prolegom. to Breitinger's Septuagint, i, 6), though it may have facilitated reference, or been useful as a guide to the reader in the half-chant commonly used in liturgical services, was too arbitrary (except where it corresponded to the parallel clauses of the Hebrew poetical books) and inconvenient to be generally adopted. The Alexandrian MSS. present a partial notation of κεφάλαια, but as regards the Old Testament these are found only in portions of Deuteronomy and Joshua. Traces exist (Monum. Eccles. Coteler. in Breitinger, Proleg. ut sup.) of a like division ins Numbers, Exodus, and Leviticus, and Latin MSS. present frequently a system of division into " tituli" or "capitula," but without any recognised standards. In the 13th century, however, the development of theology as a science, and the more frequent use of the Scriptures as a text-book for lectures, led to the general adoption of a more systematic division, traditionally ascribed to Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury (Triveti Annal. p. 182, ed. Oxon.), but carried out by Cardinal Hugh de St. Cher (Gibert Genebrard, Chronol. 4:644), and passing through his Commentary (Postilla in Universa Eiblia, and Concordance, cir. 1240) into general use. No other subdivision of the chapters was united with this beyond that indicated by the marginal letters A B C D, as described above.

3. As regards the Old Testament, then, the present arrangement grows out of the union of Cardinal Hugo's capitular division and the Masoretic verses. It should be noted that the verses in the authorized English Bible occasionally differ from those of the Heb. Masoretic text, especially in the Psalms (where the Heb. reckons the titles as Zephaniah 3:1) and some chapters of the Chronicles (perhaps through the influence of the Sept.). A tabular exhibit of these variations may be found at the end of the Englishman's Heb. Concordance (Lond. 1843). Such discrepancies also (but less frequently) occur in the N.T. The Apocryphal books, to which, of course, no Masoretic division was applicable, did not receive a versicular division till the Latin edition of Pagninus in 1528, nor the division now in use till Stephen's edition of the Vulgate in 1555.

4. The history of the New Testament presents some additional facts of interest. Here, as in the case of the Old, the system of notation grew out of the necessities of study.

(1.) The comparison of the Gospel narratives gave rise to attempts to exhibit the harmony between them. Of these, the first of which we have any record was the Diatessaron of Tatian in the 2d century (Euseb. H. E. 4:29). This was followed by a work of like character from Ammonius of Alexandria in the 3d (Euseb. Epist. ad Carpianvm). The system adopted by Ammonius, however, that of attaching to the Gospel of Matthew the parallel passages of the other three, and inserting those which were not parallel, destroyed the outward form in which the Gospel history had been recorded, and was practically inconvenient. Nor did their labors have any direct effect on the arrangement of the Greek text, unless we adopt the conjectures of Mill and Wetstein that it is to Ammonius or Tatian that we have to ascribe the marginal notation of κεφάλαια, marked by Α Β Γ Δ, which are found in the older MSS. The search after a more convenient method of exhibiting the parallelisms of the Gospels led Eusebius of Caesarea to form the ten canons (κάνονες, registers) which bear his name, and in which the sections of the Gospels are classed according as the fact narrated is found in one Evangelist only, or in two or more. In applying this system to the transcription of the Gospels, each of them was divided into shorter sections of variable length, and to each of these were attached two numerals, one indicating the canon under which it would be found, and the other its place in that canon. Luke 3:21-22, e.g. would represent the 13th section belonging to the first canon. This division, however, extended only to the books that had come under the study of the Harmonists. lihe Epistles of Paul were first divided in a similar manner by the unknown bishop to whom Euthalius assigns the credit of it (cir. 396), and he himself, at the instigation of Athanasius, applied the method of division to the Acts and the Catholic Epistles. Andrew, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, completed the work by dividing the Apocalypse (cir. 500). (See HARMONIES) (of the Gopels).

Of the four great uncial MSS. extant prior to the recent discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus by Dr. Tischendorf, A presents the Ammonian or Eusebian numerals and canons, C and D the numerals without the canons. B has neither numerals nor canons, but a notation of its own, the chief peculiarity of which is, that the Epistles of Paul are treated as a single book, and brought under a continuous capitulation. After passing into disuse and so into comparative oblivion, the Eusebian and Euthalian divisions have recently (since 1827) again become familiar to the English student through Bishop Lloyd's edition of the Greek Testament, and other critical editions.

(2.) With the New Testament, however, as with the Old, the division into chapters adopted by Hugh de St. Cher superseding those that had been in use previously, appeared in the early editions of the Vulgate, was transferred to the English Bible by Coverdale, and so became universal. The notation of the verses in each chapter naturally followed the use of the Masoretic verses for the Old Testament. The superiority of such a division over the marginal notation "A B C D'" in the Bible of St. Cher led men to adopt an analogous system for the New. (See CHAPTERS).

In the Latin version of Pagninus accordingly, there is a versicular division, though differing from the one subsequently used in the greater length of its verses. The absence of an authoritative standard like that of the Masoretes left more scope to the individual discretion of editors or printers, and the activity of the two Stephenses caused that which they adopted in their numerous editions of the Greek Testament and Vulgate to be generally received. In the preface to the Concordance, published by Henry Stephens, 1594, he gives the following account of the origin of this division. .His father, he tells us, finding the books of the New Testament already divided into chapters (τμήματα, or sections), proceeded to a farther subdivision into verses. The name versiculi did not commend itself to him. He would have preferred τμηματία or sectiunculae, but the preference of others for the former led him to adopt it. The whole work was accomplished " inter equitandum" on his journey from Paris to Lyons.

While it was in progress men doubted of its success. No sooner was it known than it met with universal acceptance. The edition in which this division was first adopted was published in 1551, another came from the same press in 1555. It was used for the Vulgate in the Antwerp edition of Hentenius in 1559, for the English version published in Geneva in 1560, and from that time, with slight variations in detail, has been universally recognised. The convenience of such a system for reference is obvious; but it may be questioned whether it has not been purchased by too great a sacrifice of the perception by ordinary readers of the true order and connection of the books of the Bible. In some cases the division of chapters separates portions which are very closely united (see e.g. Matthew 9:38; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 19:30; Matthew 20:1; Mark 2:23-28; Mark 3:1-5; Mark 8:38; Mark 9:1; Luke 20:45-47; Luke 21:1-4; Acts 7:60; Acts 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Corinthians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1), and throughout gives the impression of a formal division altogether at variance with the continuous flow of narrative or thought which characterized the book as it came from the hand of the writer. The separation of verses has moreover conduced largely to the habit of building doctrinal systems upon isolated texts. The advantages of the received method are united with those of an arrangement representing the original more faithfully in the structure of the Paragraph Bibles, lately published by different editors, and in the Greek Testaments of Lloyd, Lachmann, and Tischendorf. The student ought, however, to remember, in using these, that the paragraphs belong to the editor, not the writer, and are therefore liable to the same casualties rising out of subjective peculiarities, dogmatic bias, and the like, as the chapters of our common Bibles. Practically the risk of such casualties has been reduced almost to a minimum by the care of editors to avoid the errors into which their predecessors have fallen, but the possibility of the evil exists, and should therefore be guarded against by the exercise of an independent judgment. (Davidson, in Horne's Introd. new ed. ii, 27 sq.; Tregelles, ibid. 4:30 sq.; Davidson, Bib. Criticism, i, 60; ii, 21.) (See VERSES).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Bible'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/b/bible.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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