Navigational Aid

Type: Navigational Aid

Chapter Numbers

The standard division of the Bible into numbered chapters and verses (i.e., sentences) is not of Jewish origin, but was developed by Christian scholars. In some cases the chapter divisions have a theological purpose that actually contradicts Jewish traditional interpretation (e.g., in separating the sabbath from the rest of the creation story at the beginning of the book of Genesis).

Nevertheless, from the beginnings of the history of Jewish Bible publishing, the Christian numbering convention has been employed both in the Bibles and in various indexes and cross-references (such as the Toldedot Aharon), in the absence of any Jewish system of equivalent convenience or acceptance. There are nevertheless a few cases in which the Jewish numbering differs from the accepted Christian (e.g., Jews count the headings of the Psalms as separate verses, though this is not so in most Christian Bibles).

The divisions into verses are explicitly designated by the Masorah, and these are followed in the Christian Bibles as well.


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