Reading the Bible without Chapter and Verse Numbers

[I]t is important to remember that the Reformers did not break the epistles down into verses in the way that we do (verses were not invented until about 1550, after Luther’s death!) and were struck by the force of their overall argument more than perhaps we tend to be. To appreciate them it is useful to read the epistles straight through, without paying too much attention to the internal divisions, and feel the impact.

Gerald Bray


  1. Review of Christopher R. Smith, The Beauty Behind the Mask: Rediscovering the Books of the Bible. Themelios 34 (2009): 109–10.
  2. Review of The Books of the Bible. Themelios 34 (2009): 108–9.
  3. Review of The Story: Read the Bible as One Seamless Story from Beginning to End. Themelios 34 (2009): 106–7.




  1. Ivan Lambert says

    I imagine this is really good, thanks Andy.
    Having been raised in a church culture of entirely proof-texting until I was about 25, you can imagine that 20 years later, though I know better, I still find myself fighting that same proof-texting practice.
    A great idea and I hope it will prevent many from the irritating practice of proof-texting.

  2. Warren Bensinger says

    For the past year I’ve been reading the Psalms without verse numbers from the Dynamic Horologion and finally realized how much easier it was and how much better everything flowed together. So I did some copying of the four Gospels and made my own without numbers and divided by paragraphs. I’m very glad I did it now. Just like the Psalms, now the Gospels read much easier with a flow that I never realized before. I’m now thinking about buying a paperback Bible or NT if that’s all that I can get. To me it is really worth it.

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