Re-numbering the Bible?

T here’s an interesting series of posts going around about the “uninspired” parts of the Bible, including chapter and verse divisions, paragraphs and punctuation. For example, Doug McHone wonders Why Don’t We Just Re-Number the Bible?. While I have wondered about the possibility of such a thing in the past, I am convinced that it will never happen. While we may engage in textual criticism, we dare not change the verse or chapter numbers… almost as if they are the inspired text. Of course, there are practical reasons why we would not renumber but I wonder how often the text is obscured by our reference system. Having enjoyed Dr. Barker’s Isaiah class today at Heritage, I was reminded that the Servant Song in Isaiah 53 begins 3 verses earlier in Isaiah 52.
The best we can hope for are printings of Scripture that minimize the intrusion of these verse and chapter numbers into the text or for technical solutions that allow us to add and remove them at will. Interestingly the Libronix Digital Libary System does not support this ability for displaying Bibles (except via creating a custom Copy Bible Verses template).

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