things your pastor never told you: in the original- no chapters, no verses

The first New Testament had no chapter and no verse, that was added much later. if the Word itself states that nothing should be added to the Word, doesn’t that mean we should have Bibles without chapter and verse?

the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest known copy of the New Testament, clearly shows a whole different format. One needed to “rightly divide the word of truth” in order to understand the flow of the letters across the page. For example, in the Greek for the beginning of Acts 1, the scholar of Biblical Greek can plainly pick out the words from the letters, which are shown separated for you on the insert at the right of the webpage. Below, you can have it translated into some languages, including English. 


With no chapter and verse, the reader has to rightly divide it to understand it. Once that is accomplished, the reader can determine when a section of the Word ends. If I read John 3 for example, it is obvious that in the English that John 3:1-3:21 is a section. It is much easier to understand then. So, why were chapters and verses added? 

If you go to the Codex Vaticanus, the younger of the two pieces, you will see where someone scribbled in verse numbers at particular intervals at the side of the page. The format is exactly the same as Codex Sinaiticus in how it was written without chapter and verse with Greek letters all lined up next to each other in a visually clean and ordered format to a length of a column, much like old newspapers that published in multiple columns on a page. Again, the type of utensil used to jot in verse numbers out to the side is very obviously of inferior type and origin to the original Greek, definitely from a different time period altogether. 

There is another site loaded with Bible fragments, mainly on pieces of papyrus. Looking through them, I have not found one that differs – they all do not have chapters, nor verses, and all have letters lined up- the same as the Codex Sinaiticus. The length of the line of letters may be different, and in latter centuries, some capitals were added and spaces left between words- but that was in the 10th century. So, according to these records, there were no chapters nor verses in the Bible through the first ten centuries! 


You might also be surprised that there are some verses that were not put in some. Both texts, for example, deleted a phrase where Jesus spoke about cursing something…

If you are a follower of Christ or interested in such things, visit the websites and see for yourself.

One response to “things your pastor never told you: in the original- no chapters, no verses”

  1. The first link didn’t work but I googled the codex sinaiticus and got it. very interesting and thank you for highlighting this. You are a wealth of knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: