Are We Finally Fixing The Bible?

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?

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 1.23.40 PM

9 thoughts on “Are We Finally Fixing The Bible?

  1. Those sentence and paragraph divisions are relatively recent additions as well. One could also make a pretty strong argument against including punctuation or even spaces between words.


  2. I have seen another version of this before. I think it was NIV, but I am not positive. It has a wonderful look and feel when you are reading it. Feels very natural.


  3. This is really exciting for me. I’ve been hoping for something like this for a long time. Over the summer I spent a period of time reading one or two books of the new testament everyday. Throughout that time I found myself wishing that I had a Bible without verse, chapter, and section divisions, in order to better understand the flow of the text. I’m super excited to see something like this coming out.


    1. I am, too! I pre-ordered it, so I’m looking forward to getting it this summer.

      Did you find that reading whole books at a time changed your understanding of Scripture than say, reading chapters at a time?


      1. I would say that it did. In reading a chapter at a time many transitions are missed or misunderstood. Paul’s writings especially flow with connecting idea after connecting idea, though many times the ideas are divided by a chapter. Likewise, in the more narrative books, such as Acts and the gospels, I felt as though I was better understanding the sequence of events and the interconnected importance of the events.


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