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THE TEXT OF THE COMMON TRANSLATION IS ARRANGED IN PARAGRAPHS,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1834, By PERKINs, MARVIN, & Co. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
THAT the Bible is the word of God, given by the inspiration of the Spirit, and able to make “us wise unto Salvation,” is admitted by every Christian. To all such, its truths are very precious; and having derived instruction and comfort from them, they ardently desire that others may enjoy the same. The Christian reads his Bible, for spiritual improvement. But others read with a different motive; men of the world from curiosity, and the critic to ascertain the grammatical sense. The latter has an advantage over all others; he reads the original, and is not confined to translations. But the Critic derives no little assistance in prosecuting his study of the divine word, from the manner in which the originals are printed : the arrangement of the text, both in Hebrew and in the Greek, being in continuous paragraphs corresponding with the sense; and it is the deliberate conclusion, both of these critics and of theologians of great experience, that the gain from this arrangement is incalculable. The Hebrew is always printed in paragraphic form; and those editions of the Greek Testament, which follow the same plan, dividing the text into continuous paragraphs, and retaining the notation of Chapters and Verses in the margin for the purpose of reference, are by scholars now used altogether. Such are the advantages resulting from an arrangement of this kind, that it is surprising any other should ever have obtained. 2. To meet some objections of men of taste; to transfer into the English Bible the arrangements of the Hebrew and Greek, and thus give those, who must necessarily read a translation, the same advantage the critic enjoys; and to do away a very common but erroneous impression, that the Bible is rather a collection of apothegms, or disconnected sentences, than composed of regular histories and treatises on religion,
which have their separate topics and connexions;–in a word, to present the English reader with the word of God, so arranged, that the injurious tendency of the divisions so universal in our English copies, may be counteracted; is the design of the present undertaking. For the subdivision of the books of Sacred Scripture, into chapters and verses, without regard to the sense, and frequently to its great injury, has thrown a most serious obstacle in the way of common readers. It is a method peculiar to the Bible, and confined to translations alone. Yet the Word of God is not deserving of such an injurious peculiarity as this. 3. The fact being as has been stated, it may be matter of surprise, that these divisions were introduced, and so long retained. But it should be remembered that the design with which the present divisions in the English Bible were first used, was very different from that to which they have been applied. For that there is any thing sacred in the old divisions which forbids their change, or even their entire rejection, will be supposed by none, when it is known that the divisions of Chapters were first introduced into the Bible about the middle of the 13th century, and Perses about the middle of the 16th. Their history is this:—Cardinal Hugo, who flourished about the middle of the 13th century, having projected a concordance for the Latin Bible, for the purpose of reference divided the whole into heads or chapters, without any regard to the sense, and then subdivided these portions into equal parts, to which he attached in the margin the letters A, B, C, &c. (The chapters now continue throughout, exactly as he made them.) The Greek Church did not receive these divisions till the middle of the 15th century; and no manuscript written previous to that time, contains the divisions of Hugo. The subdivisions of the chapters in the Old Testament, were somewhat altered by successive editors, when applied to the Hebrew, and assumed their present form in the edition of Athias, A. D. 1661; yet were always retained in the margin. The verses in the New Testament were invented by Robert Stephens. He made them while on a journey; but placed
them in the margin, intending them only for reference. Their utility for this purpose soon gained them a general reception. The translators of the English Bibie unwarily gave a new appearance and authority to these divisions. In that published at Geneva, A. D. 1557, by the exiles in the reign of Mary, not only the chapters, as formerly, were separated, but the verses also. This unwise alteration was followed by editors of the Greek Testament, and soon became general. John Albert Bengel, distinguished alike for his piety and his learning, in an edition of the Greek Testament, published in 1734, restored the marks of the divisions to their proper place, taking great care to insure their utility for reference, and disposed the whole text into paragraphs. Succeeding editors have followed his plan, using their own judgment in forming the paragraphs. Greisbach's edition, and Knapp's, which are generally preferred, vary little from Bengel's. 4. In this reprint of our common English version, not a word is designedly altered from the copies in use. In forming the paragraphic divisions, the best Editions of the Originals have been continually consulted, and generally followed:—of the Old Testament, Vander Hooght's and others' —of the New, Knapp's (3d ed. Halle, 1824.) These divisions are of three kinds: First, those which commence with ANTIQUE capitals, informing the reader of the commencement of the different PARTs into which a Book is divided : Gen. i. 1. iii. 1. iv. 1. Matt. i. 1. iii. 1. iv. 13, &c. These parts are numbered on the head of the page, Secondly, those which commence with common CAPITALS, showing that the connexion of such paragraphs with what precedes is slight: Gen. ii. 4. v. 1. Matt. i. 18, &c. Thirdly, those which commence with sys All c \PITALs, intimating that the connexion is somewhat closer. These distinctions occur most in the Historical books, in which, time and place enter much into the narrative. w 5. The notation of the Chapters and Verses is, as the title imports, retained only in the margin. The chapters are noted by antique figures, 1, 2, 3, &c.; the verses, by figures of