Verse as a written or typographical division in the text of the Bible. has a historical and literary interest which justifies its full treatment here.
I. In Manuscripts. Under this head we consider the members of rhythmical passages, the logical divisions in the prose books peculiar to the versions, and the logical divisions in the original texts.
1. The term verse (versus, from verto, "to turn"), like the Greek στίχος, was applied by the Romans to lines in general, whether in prose or verse, but more particularly to the rhythmical divisions, which generally commenced the line with a capital letter. The custom of writing poetical books in stanzas was common to the Greeks, Romans, Arabians, and Hebrews. The poetical books (viz. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles), in the oldest Hebrew MSS., as the Paris, Bodleian, Cassel, and Regiomontanus, are also thus divided; and some poetical passages in the historical books are still given in this form in our printed Hebrew Bibles. The Alexandrian MS., and those of the Italic version, are equally so written; and this division is found in the Psalterium Turicense, the Verona and St. Germain Psalters, and in Martianay's edition of Jerome. Athanasius applied the term στίχος to the passage in Ps 119:62, "I arose at midnight to praise thee for the judgment of thy righteousness;" and Chrysostom observes, on Psalm 42, that "each stich (στίχος) suffices to afford us much philosophy." He also uses the term ῥῆσις in the same sense. The poetical books are called by Epiphanius the five στιχηρεῖς.
It is not improbable that this division may have come from the original authors, which the nature of the subject, and especially the parallelism of the sentences, seems to require (Jebb, Sacred Literature). In the Cod. Alex are equally divided in this manner the songs of Moses and of Hannah; the prayers of Isaiah, of Jonah, of Habakkuk, Hezekiah, Manasses, and Azarias; the Benedicite; and the songs of Mary (θεοτόκος), Simeon, and Zachariah in the New Test.; to which is added the Morning Hymn, or Gloria in Excelsis.
2. A similar metrical division is found in the Latin version. Jerome (Ep. ad Sunn. et Fret.) applies the term versiculus to the words "grando et carbones ignis" (Ps 18:13), assigning as a reason why the Greeks had not this versicle after the interposition of two verses, that it had been inserted in the Sept. from the Hebrew and Theodotion's version (with an asterisk). He also observes that it was not easy to reply to the question why Paul, in citing Psalm 13, added eight verses not found in the Hebrew. Martianay remarks that these eight verses, which form but three divisions in the Latin psalters, are thus found in an ancient psalter of the κοινή and the Italic, in the Abbey of St.Germain-des-Près: Sepulchrnm patens est guttnr eorum Lingnis suis dolose agebaut [Ps 5:9]. Venenum aspidum sub labris eorum [cxi, 3]. Quorum os maledictione et amaritudine plenum est 110, 7]. Veloces pedes eornum ad effundenldum sallniuem Contritio et infelicitas in viis eorilll Ef: viam pacis non coguoverunt [Isa 59; Isa 7; Isa 8]. Non est timor Dei ante oculos eorum [Ps 36:1]. We need scarcely add thatthese eight stichs, although found in Justin Martyr, in the Vatican MS., and in the Vulgate, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, are an early interpolation from Romans 3, 15-18. They are wanting in the Cod. Alex.
Jerome observes (Praef. ad Job), that the book of Job commences with prose, glides into verse, and again ends with a short comma in prose from the verse "Idcirco me reprehendo, et ago poenitentiam in cinere et favilla" (the form assumed also by the text of the oldest Hebrew MSS.). He adds that there were seven hundred or eight hundred verses wanting in the old Latin version of this book, and makes mention of "three short verses" in Ezekiel 21 and Isaiah 63. That a stichometrical arrangement pervaded the whole Latin Bible is further evident from the Speculum Scriptura, attributed to Augustine, which contains extracts from Psalms, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, Job, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, the four evangelists, 2 Corinthians, Philippians Timothy, 1 John, and Hebrews. All these passages will be found extracted in the Christian Remembrancer, 1842, p. 676-683;
and although the first editors of the Speculum seem to have misunderstood Augustine's meaning (Simon, Hist.Critique), it is beyond a doubt that the verses in the Speculum (one of which was "Populus ejus et oves pascuae ejus") were of the character which we are now describing. Jerome has not followed any of the divisions of the present Hebrew text, except in those passages where he could not well have avoided it — viz., the alphabetical division in the book of Lamentations, and the alphabetical Psalms; but even here he differs from the present divisions (Morini Exerc. Bibl. 2, 2).
Jerome introduced a similar division into the prophetical books and the books of Chronicles. To this division he, in the prophetical books, applies the terms cola and commata (or "stanzas" and "hemistichs"), while in the Chronicles he only employs the colon, or longer period. "No one," he observes, "when he sees the prophets divided into verses (versibus), must suppose that they are bound by metrical lines, or that in this respect they resemble the Psalms and the books of Solomon; but as the works of Demosthenes and Tully are divided into colons and commas, although written in prose and not verse, we have, for the convenience of the reader, also distinguished our new version by a new species of writing." The Chronicles, he says, he divided into members of verses (per versuum colk), in order to avoid an "inextricable forest of names." The following specimens of Jerome's divisions are from Martianay: [Job 3.] "Pereat dies in qua natus sum et nox in qua dictum est: Conceptus est homo. Dies illa vertatur in tenebras non requirat eum
Dens desuper et non illustretur lumine." [Isaiah 40.] "Consolamini, Consolamini, popule meus, dicit Deus vester. Loquiminli ad cor Jerusalem, et advocate earn: Omnis vallis exaltabitur, et omnis mons et collis humiliabitur, Et erunt prava in directa, et aspera in vies plalas. Et revelabitur gloria Domini, et videbit, etc. Vox dicentis: Clama. Et dixi: Quid clamabo?
Omnis caro feenum, et omnis gloria ejns quasi flos agri." [1 Chronicles 14.]
"Misit quoque Hiram rex Tyri nuntios ad David, et ligna cedrina, et artifices parietum, lignorumque, ut sedificarent ei domum. Cognovitque David quod confirmasset eum Dominns in regem super Israel, et sublevatum esset 1'egnum suuni super populum ejus Israel. Accepit quoque David alias uxores in Jerusalem: genuitque filios et filias." A division of the prophetical books into cola, or stichs; has been considered by some to have had its origin before the time of Jerome. Eusebius acquaints us (Hist. Eccles. 6:16) that Origen, in his Hexapla, divided the Greek and other versions into κῶλα, which, however, bishop Christopherson (in Euseb. Eccles. Hist. — ) supposes to be the columns containing the different texts into which Origen's Polyglot was divided. Hesychius, who died in A.D. 433, also published his στιχηρεῖς of the twelve prophets, which he calls an invention of the fathers, in imitation of David and Solomon, who had thus divided their rhythmical compositions. He observes that he had found a similar division in the apostolical books. In this case such division must have been anterior to the stichometrical edition of Euthalius, if the date assigned to his publication be correct, viz., A.D. 450. It is not improbable that the work of Hesychius was but an adaptation of Jerome's cola and commata to the Greek text. This is also the opinion of Martianay. Epiphanius (De Orth. Fid. 4) adds the two books of Wisdom to the poetical books thus arranged.
3. We have seen that Jerome imitates the mode of writing the works of Demosthenes and Cicero in his divisions of Chronicles. This custom of writing κατὰ στίχους appears to have been usual among profane writers. Josephus observes that his own Antiquities consisted of sixty thousand στίχοι, although in Ittig's edition there are only forty thousand broken lines. Diogenes Laertius, in his Lives of the Philosophers, recounts the number of stichs which their works contained. There have, however, existed doubts as to what the στίχοι really were; some supposing them to be simply lines, or lines consisting of a certain number of words or letters, as in our printed books, while others have maintained them to be lines of varied length, regulated by the sense, like the cola and commata of Jerome. The fact is that there are MSS. written in both kinds of verses or stichs, with the number of the stichs' placed at the end of each book; and this is what is called stichometry, or the enumeration of lines. The introduction of lines regulated by the sense into the New Test. is supposed to have been a rude substitute for punctuation. The second mode, resembling -our printed books, is also common; it is that adopted in the Charlemagne Bible, at the close of each book of which will be found the number of verses that is, lines of equal length-but without any regard to the number of words or letters.
We are not aware at what time or by whom stichometry was adapted to the Gospels, but not long after the time of Euthalius we find it in common use. The Cod. Bezxe (C) and the Clermont MS. (D) are thus written. The following is from C (John 1): Εν αρχῃ ην ὁ λογος και ὁ λογος ην προς τον θεον Και θεος ην ὁ λογος. ουτος ην εν αρχῃ προς τον θεον Παντα δι αυτου εγενετο και χωρις αυτου Εγενετο ουδε ἑν ὁ γεγονεν· εν αντῷ Ζων ην και ἡ ζων ην το φως των ανθρωπων Και το φως εν τῃ σκοτιᾷ φαινει Και ἡ σκοτια αυτο ου κατελαβεν Εγενετο ανθρωπος απεσταλμενος Παρα θεου, ονομα αυτου Ιωαννης. The following is from Ac 13:16, in Greek and Latin (Kipling, p. 747): Αναστας δε ὁ Παυλος Cum surrexisset Paulus Και κατασεισας τῃ χειρι ειπεν Et silentium mann postulasset, dixit, Ανδρες Ιστραηλιται, και οἱ φοβουμενοι τον θεον-Viri Istra-heliti, et qui timetis Deum Ακουσατε-Audite. ῾Ο θεος του λαου τουτου, κ. τ. λ. - Dens popnli hujus, etc.
Afterwards, in order to save parchment, it became usual to write the stichometrical books continuously, separating the stichs by a point, but still placing their numbers at the end of each book. The following is a specimen from the Cod. Cypr.: ῾Ο δε εγερθεις. Πρελαβε το παιδιον. και την μητερα ατου. και ηλθεν εις γην Ισραηλ. ακουσας δε. ὁτι Αρχηλαος βασιλευσε επι της Ιουδαιας. αντι Ηρωδου του πατρος αυτου. εφοβηθη εκει απελθειν.
Sometimes, instead of the point, the stichs commenced with a capital, as in the Cod. Boerner., which, however, seems to have been written by an ignorant Irish scribe, unacquainted with the languages in which the MS. was written:
Ut non quasi ex necessitate tem bonum tuum sit. Ινα. μη ως καταναγκην το αγαθον σου η. Sed voluntarium forsitan enim ideo t propterea. Λλλα κατεκουσειον. Ταχα γαρ. Δια τουτο. Ad. horam t ad.tempus ut seternum Εχωρισθη. προς ωραν Ινα. αιωνειον ilum t eum recipias non jam quasi servum αυτον απεχης ουκ ετει ως δουλον. fratrem dilectum maxime mihi quanto autem Αδελφον. Αγαπητον. Μαλλιστα εμοι Ποσω. δε mnagis tibi et in carne et in dio si μαλλον σοι και. εν. σαρκει και εν κω ει en igitur t ergo me habes socium accipe illuml ουν με εξεις κοινωνον Προσλαβοι αυτον sicut me. 77. Si autem aliquid .nocuit t Iesit te ως εμαι. Ει δε .τι. ηδει- κησεν σε aut debet hoc mihi imputa ego paulus η. οφειλειται. Τουτο μοι ελλογα Εγω παυλος. E- cw ravXor. scripsi mea miann ego reddam ut non εγραψα τη. εμη χιρει. Εγω αποτεισω. Ινα μη dicam tibi quod et te ilpsum mihi debes λεγω σοι. οτι και σε αυτον. μοι. προσοφιλεις. rpoaoootXers. ita t utique frater ego. te finar in dfio. Ναι.Ηαι αδελφε. Εγω σου. οναιμην εν. κω. [Phm 1:14-20.]
The stichs were sometimes very short, as in Cod, Laud. (E), in which there is seldom above one word in each. The Clermont MS. (D) contains a list of the stichs in all the Greek books of the Old and New Tests., and the Stichometry of Nicephorus contains a similar enumeration of the canonical books the antilegomena of the Old and New Tests. and of the Apocryphal books, as Enoch, the Testaments of the Patriarchs, etc.
Hug (Introd.) observes that the Cod. Alex. might be easily mistaken for the copy of a stichometrical manuscript, from the resemblance of its divisions to the στίχοι, as, ηκουσα δε φωνης λεγουσης μοι. αναστας Πετρε. θυσον και φαγε., but these occur only in occasional passages.
Instances occur in other MSS. in which the stanzas are numbered in the margin, as in the Song of Moses, in Greek and Latin in the Psalter of Sedulius of Ireland, who flourished in the 9th century. The song consists of forty-two commas or stichs, comprised in seven colons or stanzas, with a Roman numeral prefixed to each all in the handwriting of Sedulius. The Latin is Ante-Hieronymian (Montfaucon, Paleogr. Graec.; also Christian Renembrancer, ut sup., p. 687).
There is a Greek stichometrical manuscript of Isaiah, probably of the 9th century, in the Bibliotheque du Roi (1892), in which the stichs do not commence with the line; but there is a Greek numeral letter attached in the margin opposite each stich, the enumeration recommencing at the end of every hundred lines; in this form:
1. The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of
2. Judah; Hear, O heavens, and
3. give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken.
4. I have nourished and brought up children, and they
5. have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth
6. his owner, and the ass his master's crib:
7. but Israel doth not know, my people
8. doth not consider. O sinful nation,
9. a people laden with iniquity, a seed
10. of evil-doers, children that are corrupters; they have forsa
11. ken the Lord, they have provoked the holy one of Israel to anger; they are gone away backward. Ye will revolt more and more, etc.
12. Why should ye be stricken any more? Hug is of opinion that the stichometrical system gave rise to the continuous and regular grammatical punctuation. Attempts at interpunction for the sake of the sense were, however, of much greater antiquity in profane authors than the sera of stichometry. — Grammatical points are said to have been first introduced by Aristophanes of Byzantium about two centuries before the Christian sera. We have already seen that interpunction was in use in MSS. of the New Test. before Euthalius, as in the Cod. Alex. Isidore of Spain informs us that the only note of division in his time was a single point, which, to denote a comma, or short pause, was placed at the bottom; to denote a colon, or larger pause, in the middle; and to denote a full-pause, or period, was placed at the top of the final letter of the sentence. Manuscripts of the New Test.; as the Zurich Cod. Bas. E, have come down to us thus pointed. In others, as the Cod. Alex. and Cod. Ephrem., the point is placed indifferently at the top, bottom, or middle of the letter (Tischendorf, Cod. Ephrem.). Others, as L, use a cross for the purpose of marking 'a period, and Colb. 700 makes use of no other mark. Hupfeld, however (Stud. u. Krit.), doubts whether the points in Cod. Cyprius are notes of the stichs, and denies any distinction between grammatical and other interpunction.
Originally there were no spaces between the words, but in the 8th or 9th century they began to be separated either by spaces or by points. About the same period the present marks of punctuation began to be gradually and imperceptibly adopted, and had become universal in the 10th century. Michaelis (Introd. ch. 13) says "'that Jerome introduced the comma and colon;" but this was not for the purpose of dividing sentences. Cod. V, however, in Matthnei, of the 8th century; has the comma and the point, and Cod. Vat. 351 the colon. The Greek note of interrogation came into use in the 9th century. After the invention of printing, the Aldine editions fixed the punctuation, which was, however, varied by Robert Stephens in his different editions of the Bible. It is scarcely necessary to observe that the punctuation of the Bible possesses no authority, and that no critic hesitates to dissent from it. The accents, or the writing κατὰ προσῳδίαν, which were already in use in the Old Test., were added by Euthalius to his edition, but were not in general use before the 10th century.
4. The Hebrew MSS. all contain a versicular division, marked with the accent called silluk, and the soph pasuk (end of the verse). The word pasuk, פסוק, is found in the Talmud, where it denotes some division of this kind; but whether the Talmudical pesukimn are identical with those in the manuscripts has been strongly contested. It is said in tract Kiddushin (30, 1), "Our rabbins assert that the law contains 5888 [or, according to Morinus, 8888] pesukim," while, according to the division in our Bibles, there are 5845 verses. "The Psalms have eight more." There are at present 2527. "The Chronicles eight less." This division rather resembles the στίχοι in the Sept., of which the Psalms contain 5000. In the Mishna (Megillah, 4:1) it is said, "He who reads the law must not read less than three pesukim. Let not more than one be read by the interpreter, or three in the prophets." The passage in Isaiah lii, 3-5 is reckoned as three pesukinz. In Taen (4, 3) a precept is given for reading the history of the creation according to the parashes and the verses in the law; and in the Bab. Talmud (Baba Bathra, 14:2) the passage in Deuteronomy 35:5-12 is called "the last eight verses (pesukim) in the law." It is evident, therefore, that some at least of our present verses correspond with the Talmudical. The term פיסיוקים, pisukim, is also applied in the Gemara, as synonymous with טעמים, to reading lessons in general, and sometimes to short passages or half-verses. But no marks appear to have existed in the text to distinguish these divisions, which were doubtless preserved by oral teaching. The first notice of such signs is found in Sopherim (3, 7), in these words: "'Liber legis, in quo incisum est, et in quo capita incisorum punctata sunt, ne legas in illo." No such marks occur in the synagogue rolls. The Sept. and Vulg. differ both from the Hebrew and from each other in divisions of this character (Ps 43:5,5; Ps 90:2; La 3:5; Jon 2:6; Ob 1:9; Vulg. Song 5:5; Ec 1:5). The pesukim of the Talmud, which are there said to have descended from Moses, may have been possibly separated by spaces. From a Targum on Song of Solomon 5, 13, it appears that the decalogue was originally written in ten lines (tammim). All the pointed or Masoretic MSS. contain the present verses, divided by the soph pasuk (:) We have already referred to the practice of the Masorites in numbering these verses, which was done at the end of each book. Thus at the end of Genesis," Genesis has 1534 verses," etc.; and at the end of the Pentateuch, "The number of verses (pesukim) in the book of Deuteronomy is 955, its sign הגוֹ [which represents the same number]; the middle verse is, 'And thou shalt do according to the sentence (17:10); the number of parashes is ten, and of sidarim twenty-seven; and the number of verses in the enitire Pentateuch is 5245 [5845 ?]. The number of verses in the Psalms is 2527, the sign ִאאכז; the middle verse, Nevertheless they flattered thee with their mouth (68:36); the number of sidarim nineteen, and the number of psalms 150." The Venice edition of Ben-Chaijim, from which these divisions are taken, omits them in Chronicles, but they are supplied by two MSS. In the Pentateuch the number of verses in the greater sections, or those marked by פ פ פand ס ס ס, is also indicated at the end of each section, thus: "Bereshith has 146 verses, sign אמציה ; Noah has 153 verses, etc. The entire number of verses is 23,206." Before the Concordance of rabbi Nathan, in the 15th century, the Jews made their references by citing in the Pentateuch the first two words of the Sabbath lessons, making no use of the shorter sidarim, or of the open or shut parashes. Of these, which are confined to the Pentateuch, there are 290 open and 379 shut. Of the larger parashes, or Sabbath lessons, Genesis contains twelve; Exodus eleven; Leviticus, Numbers; and Deuteronomy ten each. Of the lesser sidarim Genesis contains forty-two, etc. These always commence in the Pentateuch with an open or closed section. From the time of cardinal Hugo's Concordance citations began to be made by chapter and letter. All MSS. of the Vulg. after this period began to be thus marked, and we find Nicholas de Lyra in the 14th century frequently citing them in this manner. The citation of chapter and verse was a Jewish improvement of the succeeding century. SEE SCRIPTURES, HOLY.
The ancient Greek MSS. which have descended to our times also contain a division into short sentences, which have been sometimes called στίχοι and verses. They are regulated by the sense, and each constitutes a full period. They are frequently double or treble the length of the verses in our present New Test., although sometimes they are identical with them. The Alexandrian, Vatican, Cambridge, Dublin, and other ancient MSS., all contain similar divisions. The following is from the Cod. Ephremi (1Ti 3:12-16):
Διακονοι εστωσαν μιας γυναικος αυδρες· τεκνων καλως προϊσταμενοι και των ιδιων οικιων· οἱ γαρ καλως διακονησαντες· βαθμον ἑαυτοις καλον περιποιουνται· και πολλην παρρησιαν εν πιστει τῃ εν Χω. Ιῦ· Ταυτα σοι γραφω ελπιζων ελθειν προς σε εν ταχει· εαν δε βραδυνω· ἱνα ειδης πως δει εν οικῳ θεου αναστρεφεσθαι· ειτις εστιν εκκλησια θεου ζωντος· στυλος και ἑδραιωμα της αληθειας· Και ὁμολογουμενως μεγα εστιν το της ευσεβειας μυστηριον· ος [·] εφανερωθη εν σαρκι· εδικαιωθεν πνι· ωφθη αγγελοις· εκηρυχθη εν εθνεσιν· επιστευθη εν κοσμῳ· ανελημφθη εν δοξῃ· II. In the Printed Bibles. —
1. In these the numerical notation is generally attributed to Robert Stephen, or Stephens (Etienne). The origin is, notwithstanding, involved in obscurity. Even those who attribute the invention to Stephens are not agreed as to the date. "We are assured," observes Calmet (Pref. to the Bible), "that it is Robert Stephens who, in his edition of 1545, divided the text by verses, numbered as at present." This division passed from the Latins to the Greeks and Hebrews. "Robert Stephens," says Du Pin (Proleg.), "was the first who followed the Masorites in his edition of the Vulgate in 1545." Verses," says Simon (Hist. Critique), and after him Jahn (Introd.))," were first introduced into the Vulgate and marked with figures by Robert Stephens in 1548." Morinus (Exercit. Bibl.), who is followed by Prideaux (Connections), attributes the verses to Vatablus, without naming a date, while Chevillier (Hist. del'Imprimerie) and Maittaire (Historia Stephanorum) assert that Stephens divided the chapters into verses, placing a figure at each verse, in the New Test. in 1551, and in the Old in 1557. Chevillier adds that James Faber of Estaples had introduced the practice in his edition of the Psalms printed in 1509 by Henry, father of Robert Stephens; and he is followed by Renouard (Annales des Etienne [Paris 1843]), in supposing that Stephens took his idea from this very work. But, not to multiply instances, Horme (Introd. vol. 2, pt. 1, ch. 2, s. 3, § 1) gives the following account of their introduction: "Rabbi Mordecai Nathan undertook a similar concordance [to that of Hugo] for the Hebrew Scriptures; but, instead of adopting the marginal letters of Hugo, he marked every fifth verse with a Hebrew numeral, thus, א 1, ה 5, etc.; retaining, however, the cardinal's divisions into chapters. The introduction of verses into the Hebrew Bible was made by Athias, a Jew of Amsterdam , with the figures common in use, except those which had previously been marked by Nathan with Hebrew letters in the manner in which they at present appear in the Hebrew Bibles. By rejecting these Hebrew numerals, and substituting for them the corresponding figures, all the copies of the Bible in other languages have since been marked." "The verses into which the New Test. is now divided are much more modern [than the στιχοι], and are an imitation of those invented for the Old Testament by rabbi Nathan in the 15th century. Robert Stephens was the first inventor." In another place (§ 2), Home has observed that the Masorites were the inventors of verses, but without intimating that they are the same with those now in use. Doubts were entertained on this subject so early as the 16th century. Who first," observes Elias Levita, "divided the books of the Old and New Testaments into στίχοι? There are even some who entertain doubts respecting a matter but recently come into use, viz., who the person was who introduced the division of verses into the Greek and Latin Bibles." Serrarius (Proleg.) makes the following allusion to the circumstance: "I strongly suspect that it is far from certain who first restored the intermitted division into verses. Henry Stephens, indeed, having once come to Würzburg, would fain have persuaded me; that his father, Robert, was the inventor of this distinction in the New Testament; and I afterwards observed this same statement in his preface to his Greek Concordance, with the addition that it was on his way from Paris to Lyons that he made the division, a great part of it while riding on horseback" (inter equitandum). "This may, after all, be an empty boast; but supposing it true, as Catholics have used the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, who were apostates or heretics, so may we use this division of Robert Stephens;" and, not able to conceal his mortification that the honor should belong to a Protestant, he significantly observes that Seneca had found the best scribes (notarii) among the vilest slaves. Henry Stephens, in the preface to his Concordance, thus expatiates on his father's invention:
"As the books of the New Testament had already been divided into the sections (tmemata) which we call chapters he himself subdivided them into those smaller sections, called by an appellation more approved of by others than by himself, versicles. He would have preferred calling them by the Greek tmemnata, or the Latin sectiuncilce; for he perceived that the ancient name of these sections was now restricted to another use. He accomplished this division of each chapter on his journey from Paris to Lyons, and the greater part of it inter equitandum. A short time before, while he thought on the matter, every one pronounced him mad, for wasting his time and labor on an unprofitable affair which would gain him more derision than honor; but lo! in spite of all their predictions, the invention no sooner saw the light than it met with universal approbation, and obtained such authority that all other editions of the New Testament in Greek, Latin, German, and other vernacular tongues, which did not adopt it, were rejected as unauthorized." Henry Stephens had already stated the same fact, in the dedication to Sir Philip Sidney, prefixed to his second edition of the Greek Testament (1576). We now proceed to Stephens's own statements.
Upon leaving the Church of Rome, and embracing Calvinism in 1551, in which year he took refuge in Geneva, he published his fourth edition of the Greek Testament, containing also the Vulgate and the Latin version of Erasmus, with the date in the title MDLXI, an evident error for MDLI. The 10 has been, in consequence, erased in nearly all the copies. In the preface he observes, "As to our having numbered this work with certain versicles, as they call them, we have herein followed the most ancient Greek and Latin manuscripts of the New Testament, and have imitated them the more willingly that each translation may be made the more readily to correspond with the opposite Greek." Bishop Marsh (notes to Michaelis), and after him Horne (ut sup.), asserts that "Beza split the Greek text into the verses invented by Robert Stephens;" but the bishop: is evidently mistaken, as Stephens's fourth edition is divided into these breaks as well as Beza's (see facsimile in Christian Remembrancer, ut sup.). Each verse commences the line with a capital, the figures being placed between the columns.
The fourth edition of the Greek Testament was followed in. 1555 by the seventh of the Latin Vulgate, in 8vo, containing the whole Bible, having the present verses marked throughout with numerals, and the following address to the reader: "Here is an edition of the Latin Vulgate in which each chapter is divided into verses, according to the Hebrew form of verses, with numerals prefixed, corresponding to the number of the verse which has been added in our new and complete Concordance, after the marginal letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, that you may be relieved from the labor of searching for what these figures will point out to you as with the finger." The title-page bears Stephens's olive; and the name of the printer, Conrad Badius, the son-in-law of Stephens, with the date, 8 idibus Aprilis, 1555, shows where and when it was printed. It was the first edition of the entire Bible printed by Stephens since he left the Church of Rome. The text is continuous, the verses being separated by an f, with the figures in the body of the text. The next edition of the Bible by Stephens is that of 1556- 57, in 3 vols. fol., containing the Vulgate, the version of Pagninus, and Beza's Latin version of the New Test., now first published. The notes are those commonly ascribed to Vatablus, with those of Claude Badwell in the Apochryphal books. The text is broken up into divisions, and there is a notice to the reader apprising him that this edition contains the text divided into verses, as in the Hebrew copies.
Again, in the preface to Stephens's Latin and French New Test., published at Geneva in 1552, which is also thus divided, but which we have never seen cited, he observes. "Et a fin de plus aisement pouoir faire la dicte collation et confrontement, avons distingue tout iceluy Nouveau Testament comme par vers, a la fa9on et maniere que tout le Vieil a este escript et distingue, soit par Moyse et les prophetes compositeurs et autheurs, ou par scavans Hebrieux succedans, pour la conservation des dictes Escriptures, sulyuans aussi en ce en partie la maniere de ceux qui ont escript les premieres exemplaires Grecs, et les vieulx escripts de la vielle tralation Latine du dict Testament, qui de chasque sentence, ou chasque moitie de sentence, voire de toutes les parties d'une sentence en faisoyent comme des versets. Et en la fin de chasque livre mettoyent le nombre d'iceulx versets: possible a fin que par ce moyen on n'en peust rien oster, car on l'eust apperceu en retrouvant le contenul du nombre des diets versets." Stephens adds that he has also given references to the verses in indexes and concordances, not omitting the letters (lettrines) by which the chapters had been divided by his predecessors into four or seven parts, according to their length, for the purpose of a concordance. He makes reference to the chapters and verses in his Harmonia Evangelica, taken from the work of Leo Judah, and placed at the end of his edition of the New Test. (1551).
Henry Stephens, in his preface to his Concordance V states that it was this division which first suggested to his father's fertile mind' the idea of a Greek and Latin concordance to the New Test., in imitation of his Latin concordance, Concordantice Bibl. utriusque Testamenti (7 Cal. Feb. 1555, fol.); in the preface to which he says that he has followed the Hebrew mode of numbering the verses. In the title-page he makes an appeal to his brother printers not to "thrust their sickle into his harvest," not that he "feared such plagiary from well educated printers, but from the common herd of illiterate publishers, whom he considered as no better than highway robbers, no more capable of Christian integrity than so many African pirates." "Whether his apprehensions were well founded," continues his son, "let the experience of others tell." Owing to Stephens's death, in 1559, his Concordance was published by Henry Stephens in 1594.
But it is far from being true that Stephens, as has commonly been believed, was the first who either followed the Masorites, or divided the chapters into verses, or attached figures to each verse. This had been done, not only, in regard to the Psalms, by James Le Fevre, in his Psalterium Quincuplex in 1509, but throughout the whole Bible by Sanctes Pagninus in 1528. The Psalterium was beautifully printed by Henry, father of Robert Stephens, each verse commencing the line with a red letter, and a number prefixed; and we may here observe that the book of Psalms was the first portion of the Scriptures to which numbers were attached by designating each separate psalm by its number. Some ascribe this numeration to the Septuagint; it is, we believe, first referred to by St. Hilary (Praef.), and is found in the manuscripts of the Sept. Whether they were 'so numbered at the Christian era is somewhat doubtful. In Ac 13:33, the second psalm is cited by its number, but in some of the best manuscripts the reading here is the first psalm. In ver. 35. "in another" is said without reference to its number; and Kuinol is of opinion that the true reading in ver. 33 is simply ἐν ψαλμῶ, "in a psalm." In the year 1528 the Dominican Sanctes Pagninus of Lucca published at Lyons, in quarto, his accurate translation of the Bible into the Latin from the Hebrew and Greek. This edition is divided throughout into verses marked with Arabic numerals in the margin, both in the Old and the New Test. The text runs on continuously, except in the Psalms, where each verse commences the line. There was a second edition, more beautifully executed, but without the figures and divisions, published at Cologne in 1541. The versicular divisions in the Old Test. are precisely the same with those now in use— viz. the Masoretic. Each verse is separated by a peculiar mark (ff).
Masch (Biblioth. Sac.), in reference to Stephens's statement that he had followed the oldest Greek manuscripts, says that this assertion was made by Stephens to conciliate those who were taking all methods of blackening him, whereas the ancient divisions were quite different. The reader will judge from Stephens's preface to his French translation above cited whether this assertion is borne out. Stephens there asserts that the authors of the ancient (stichometrical) division reckoned by whole books, and he only professes to imitate them in part, as well as the Hebrew copies; which he did by making a versicular division of each chapter, and prefixing a figure to each verse (as in Nathan's Concordance), instead of adding the amount at the end of each book. Hug observes that it is really true that ancient manuscripts of the New Test. are sometimes divided into smaller sections, which have some analogy to our verses, instancing the Alexandrine, Vatican, and others.
It is, however, only in the canonical books of the Old Test. that Stephens follows Pagninus. In Matthew's gospel; Pagninus has 577 verses and Stephens 1071. The number of verses in each chapter in Stephens is often double, frequently treble, that in Pagninus. In John 5, for instance, Pagninus has 7 and Stephens 22 verses. In the deutero-canonical books, into which no Masoretic distinction had found its way, Stephens has also a different division; thus in Tobit he has 292 verses, while Pagninus has but 76; and the same proportion prevails throughout the other books, only Pagninus has not the third and fourth books of Esdras, the prayer of Manasses, nor the addenda to Daniel.
The next edition containing this division into verses is Stephens's eighth and last edition of the Vulgate, 1556-57, 3 vols. fol. This is one of the editions called Vatablus's Bibles, of which there are three, viz. Stephens's nonpareil (1545), his eighth edition of which we are now treating, and the triglot edition published at Heidelberg in 1599. It is the Bible which Morinus (Exercit. Bibl.), Prideaux (Connect. vol. 1), and so many others conceived to have been the first containing the division of verses. Prideaux observes that Vatablus soon after published a Latin Bible after this pattern, viz. that of rabbi Nathan (1450), with the chapters divided into verses. "Soon" after, however, meant about a century; Vatablus died March 16, 1547. It is evident also, from Prideaux's note, that he was not aware that Vatablus's Bible was no other than Stephens's eighth edition.
There was a beautiful edition of the Psalter published in 1555 by Robert Stephens containing the Latin of Jerome, with that of Pagninus, the numerals attached to each verse being placed in the centre column between perpendicular rubricated lines. It is entitled Liber: Psalmorum Davidis, Tralatio Duplex, Vetus et Nova . Hcec Posterior Sanctis Pagnini, partim ab ipso Pagnino Recognita partinz et Francisco Vatablo, in Prcelectionibus Emendata et Exposita. The title bears the date MDLV., but in the colophon is the subscription "Imprimebat Rob. Stephanus, in sua officina, Anno MDLVII, Cal. Jan." The form of printing the Bible in verses, with numerals, now became established. It appeared in 1556 in Hamelin's French version. It found its way the next year into the Geneva New Test. (English), printed by Conrad Badius, of which a beautiful facsimile has lately issued from the press of Mr. Bagster. It was adopted, by marking every fifth verse with a Hebrew numeral, into the Hebrew Pentateuch, printed that same year (1557).at Sabionetta. In 1559 Hentenius introduced Stephens's division and figures into his correct Antwerp edition of the Vulg., which was followed by that of Plantin in 1569-72, and passed into the Antwerp Polyglot (1569).
The Sixtine edition of the Vulgate (1590) having adopted this division, it was continued in the Clementine (1592), and has ever since been used in all editions and translations in the Roman Catholic Church. Hentenius, however, having printed the text continuously, with the figures in the margin, and a mark (thus, 9) at the commencement of each verse, this plan was followed in the Clementine and Sixtineeditions, in which the verses are marked with an asterisk, capitals being used only at the commencement of a period, while the Protestant Bibles of Basle and Geneva commence the verse with the line and with a capital letter. In the Roman editions the only exceptions are the metrical books of Psalms, Job, and Proverbs, from the tenth chapter.
This division appeared in the Geneva (English) Bible in 1560 and 1562, the Bishops' Bible in 1568, and passed into the Authorized Version in 1611. Some of the Protestant editions followed the Roman in adopting a continued text, of which it will be sufficient to name the beautiful Zurich edition of Osiander, in which each verse is distinguished by an obelus in the body of the text; and it is to be regretted that this practice has not been generally continued either in Protestant or Roman Catholic Bibles. We. may add that Pagninus, Stephens, Frellon, and the Roman editions, all slightly vary among each other, both in the divisions and the placing of the figures. Nor do the chapters, owing to a diversity in: the manuscripts, invariably coincide, as the versicular divisions of the Psalms in the Sept. and Vulg. are not always the same with the Hebrew; Stephens's figures sometimes occur in the middle of a verse in the Roman editions.
The Roman edition of the Sept. (1587 and 1589) was printed without any division or figures; and the present notation first appeared in Plantin's edition of the deutero-canonical books (Antwerp, 1584), from Tobit 4:24 (the commencement to 4:23 being marked by decades). The Frankfort edition of the Sept. (1597) has the present numeration throughout, but without any notice of the fact by the editors. The numbers are placed in the margin, but each verse commences with a capital, while in Plantin they are separated by spaces only.
2. Having now succeeded in detecting the errors of former writers, we are arrived at the more difficult task of eliciting the truth out of so many contradictory statements. Our limits will not allow us, however, to do more than offer the following view as the result of our inquiries.
Rabbi Nathan having in his Concordance (in 1450) commenced the practice of referring to a versicular division of each of the Latin chapters by the number of each Masoretic verse in the chapter, Arabic figures were, after the example of Le Fevre's edition of the Psalms, affixed to each verse by Pagninus in his Latin Bible in 1528. Pagninus introduced a somewhat similar division into the New Test. and Apocryphal books. His system was adopted by Robert Stephens in the New Test. in 1551, and in the whole Bible in 1555, with scarcely any alteration except in the deutero-canonical books and the New Test., wherein he introduced a different division. This division was partly founded on the practice of ancient manuscripts, and was partly his own. But, as his object was to adapt his division to his Concordance without any reference to the sense, he unfortunately introduced a much worse division than he found in any of his models. It is to be lamented that his "wild and indigested" system of breaking up the text into what appear to the eyes of the learned and to the minds of the unlearned as so many detached sentences (Michaelis, Introd.) has had a deleterious effect on the sense of Scripture, and perhaps given rise to some heresies (see Pref. to Bishop Lloyd's Greek Test.).. Michaelis supposes that the phrase "inter equitandum" does not mean that-Stephens accomplished his task while actually riding on, horseback, but that during the intervals of his journey he amused himself by doing it at his inn. If his division was a mere modification of that of Pagninus (see "Bible" in Taylor's ed. of Calmet's Dict.), it might easily have been done "inter equitandum;" a phrase which, however we understand it, not inaptly represents the post-haste expedition with which his work was executed. Whether Pagninus himself adopted his division in the New Test. from manuscripts, or what his design was in introducing it, must be the result of an investigation which we cannot now enter upon. Stephens, it is true, never once refers to Pagninus's system; but we could hardly suppose that he was unacquainted with it, even had we no evidence to this effect. The evidence, however, does exist, for we find that Stephens in 1556 had in his possession two copies of Pagninus's Bible. The preface to his edition of 1557 contains the following words: "In exteriori autem. parte interpretationem Sanctis Pagnini (quam potissimum, ut maxime fidam, omnes uno ore laudant), crassioribus litteris excusam damns: sed hanc quidem certe multis partibus ea quam in aliis editionibus babes, meliorem. Nacti enim sumus duo ex prima illius editione exenzplaia, in quibus. non solum typographica errata non pauca, lne levia, manu propria ipse author correxerat, sed multosa etiam locos diligentius et accuratius quam antea examinatos, recognoverat." Croiusn (Observat.) states that he had seen very ancient Latin MSS. containing Stephens's division, with the first letter of each verse rubricated, but he does not designate his MSS. We believe this was a biased assertion.. There are Latin MSS. with periods so marked, but they are not the same with Stephens's verses. There is in the British Museum also a MS. of part of the Sept. (Harl. 5021), dated in 1647, which is versiculated throughout, and marked with figures, but the verses are much longer than those of Stephens's. Latin MSS. are found divided in the same manner as the Greek, one of which is the Cod. Bezce, which was collated by Stephens for his edition of 1550. Dr. Laurence's book of Enoch is divided into verses, with numbers attached, as well as into chapters called kefel. Dr. Laurence says that these divisions into verses are arbitrary, and vary in the different Ethiopic MSS. of Enoch. The numbers, we presume, were added by the translator. By a letter from Dr. Bandinel, keeper of the Bodleian Library, we learn that that library possesses an Ethiopic MS. of the New Test. divided into sections and paragraphs entirely different from ours, not numbered, but separated by a peculiar mark. The verses in the Gospel of the Templars, SEE GOSPELS, SPURIOUS, instead of spaces or figures, are separated by a horizontal line [-] (Philo, Cod. Apoc.).
The MS. of the Syriac New Test. in the British Museum (No. 7157), written at Bethkuko, A.D. 768 (see Wright, Seiler, p. 651, note), contains a numerical division in the Gospels, with the numbers in rubric inserted by a coeval hand into the body of the text. Attached to each number is another in green, referring to a canon of parallel passages on the plan of that of Eusebius, but placed at the, foot of each page. The sections, which are called versiculi in the Catalogue, and have been mistaken for verses, are more numerous than the Ammonian, Matthew containing 426, Mark 290, Luke 402, and John 271. There is a complete capitulation also throughout all the books, the chapters being separated in the text by a peculiar ornament, with the number in the margin: of these chapters Matthew has 22, Mr 13; Lu 22; Joh 20; Ac 25; of the Catholic epistles, James 1 and  John 6, and the Pauline have 54. After the first Gospel there is a double number, by which the former are 'recapitulated, and a treble number from the Acts to the end.
The numerical divisions into chapters and verses were first adapted to liturgical use in the Anglican Church-the chapters in Edward VI's first Book of Common Prayer (1549), and the verses in the Scotch Liturgy (1637), whence they were adopted into the last revision (1662). SEE BIBLE.