Last year I wrote a post (“Have We Ruined The Bible?”) where I questioned the wisdom of putting chapter and verse divisions in our Bibles. At the time, there weren’t many options for those who wished to read the Bible without such markings (except for features on software like Logos or Accordance). However, I recently came across the following future publication: The ESV Reader’s Bible. Here is their description:
“The ESV Reader’s Bible was created for those who want to read the books of Scripture precisely as they were originally written. Verse numbers, chapter and section headings, and translation footnotes are helpful navigational and interpretive tools, but they are also relatively recent conventions. In the ESV Reader’s Bible they have been removed from the Bible text. The result is a new kind of Bible-reading experience in a volume that presents Scripture as one extended story line.
On the top of each page a verse range is included for orientation. Other features include a single-column text setting, readable type, and a book-like format. The Reader’s Bible is a simple but elegant edition, and is perfect for devotional reading, for extended Bible reading, or for focusing on the overarching narrative of the Bible.”
(See a picture of “Page 1” below)
Again I ask: are chapters and verses more detrimental to our reading habits than we realize? Do you think Bibles like the ESV Reader’s Bible will catch on? Would it even be possible for churches, schools, bible studies to adopt them?