Wonder Wednesdays – Who assigned verses and chapters to the Bible and why aren’t the books in chronological order?

Did Paul even know when writing letters to the churches that his letters would become a part of Scripture? I can’t answer that, but I doubt that he wrote the letters with chapters and numbers assigned! And that got me thinking – how did that happen? It’s a useful tool for reference, but on the flip side, this can make it easier to pick out a verse and take it out of context.

But anyway…

Answer: As I suspected, the Bible was not originally broken into chapters and verses. The chapter divisions similar to we know them was done by an Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, around 1227 A.D. The first Bible to use these was the Wycliffe Bible in 1382. And after that one, nearly all the Bibles included the chapters.

The Hebrew Old Testament was separated into verses by Nathan, a Jewish Rabbi, in A.D. 1448. The first to separate the New Testament into standard numbered verses, in 1555 was Robert Estienne (also known as Stephanus). Since the Geneva Bible, the verses assigned by Stephanus have been in all Bibles.

This led me to ask other questions, such as why the Bible’s books are in the order they are instead of chronologically. The Old Testament books are ordered by type. First is historical accounts (Genesis – Esther), then poetry (Job – Song of Solomon), and lastly, prophecy (Isaiah – Malachi). The New Testament is the same. Historical (Matthew – Acts), Letters (Romans – Jude), and prophecy (Revelation). But within these types, the books are chronological.

With that being said, chronological Bibles do exist. (Click the link if you want to see a sampling.) It attempts to put everything in order, meaning that some books, such as the prophets, might end up in the middle of other books such as Kings and Chronicles. It also makes an effort to put the Gospel events in order. I’d actually love to see what that looks like. 🙂

(All photos are mine. 😉 )

Chopping Down Idols

Acts 7:41: And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

My first thought when reading this was, “People don’t make idols anymore like they did back in those days.” But then I really started thinking about this, a lot – and began to see idolatry in a new way.

Leviticus 26:1: “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.”

I take away several things from this verse, but the main one is this. “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image…” This implies that not all idols are a graven image or image of stone. Therefore I had to ask myself, what kind of idols is it talking about then? Are there things that I sacrifice too much time to, when I should be giving it to God? It can be anything that is put before God. The tricky thing is, there isn’t anything wrong with these examples in normal circumstances: television, social media, money, computer games, food, etc. But they can become problems if they become idols. If they are made into idols.

This certainly put a new perspective on things.

A couple of days ago, my Internet went out for 10 hours, and I was a wreck. How would I talk to my friends? How would I check my email? How would I check who has posted on WordPress? How would I do research for my novel? I was much more frantic than I should have been, and in every activity I tried to immerse myself in, my thoughts came back to it.

Why couldn’t I think about Jesus this much?

I cringed inwardly and was so convicted.

I knew I really enjoyed being online, but I hadn’t realized how much of an idol it had become, getting in the way of studying the Bible and being with family.

First Corinthians 10:14: Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

I’m also reminded of Daniel 3:16-18, where Nebuchadnezzar decreed that all would worship the golden image: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

They were thrown into a fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than usual (Daniel 3:19) because they refused to bow down to an idol. They didn’t fear burning or dying for their God. (Even though He saved them, they didn’t know that before going in.)

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

I have to ask myself… if I was there with the three of them that day, would I have done the same thing they did? I’d like to think so, but then the conviction hits… when faced with a similar scenario of an idol without an image or a face, would I do the same thing?

They can creep in without us realizing it sometimes, and once they are seen for what they are, they cannot remain. The graven image has to fall. With that being said, I’m going to take a short blogging break to chop down the idol. I plan to return at the end of the month with poems, photos, a Liebster Award acceptance post, and more if things go well. 🙂 Jesus must be the only God in my life, for He is King of kings, Lord of lords, and God of gods.

I’ll miss you guys! I love you all, and I hope that you have a lovely October! ❤

Following Him,
Grace 🌸

 


 

P.S.: I don’t know what the little black wooden figure is supposed to be; I got it at a flea market many years ago (it was in a big box labeled “free”) when I was in my dark Gothic phase, and at the time I thought it was really cool. Now I find it to be really creepy. I am curious about what it is, and what it represents, but there’s another part of me that is unsure of if I want to know… But I thought it might make a good “idol” for this post, anyway. 😅

Faith Is Like A Tea Bag…

Thanks to Angela for having a discussion with me about tea – I couldn’t stop thinking about tea after that, and then I remembered a quote I’d read once by Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” I propose that faith is like that as well… you never know how strong it is until you end up in hot water.

And I’d love to take this analogy a bit further. If faith is like a tea bag, then what does the water represent? Trials and hardships, perhaps?

If this is so, then here there is only one thing left to ask: When placed in hot water, does your faith make tea, or do you turn the water lukewarm with an icy heart?

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15 & 16)

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Reconstruction

The walls that I’ve built
Come bulldozing down
The idols, sins, and guilt
Become one with the ground

I watch as no corrupt thing can stand,
For dynamite blows apart the foundation
That was constructed on unstable sand,
Instead of the Rock where it should’ve been.

The Bulldozer flattens the old remains
So that the new can be constructed;
My new heart can barely contain
The excitement, for it can be deducted,

When God’s mighty and perfect plan unfurls,
The old passes away – no one remembers it.
Therefore shed the old garment of the world,
And put on Jesus Christ in the Spirit!

No longer shall idols, sin, guilt
Evil, temptation and such control,
For the decrepit heart is now newly rebuilt
On the Cornerstone – He rules this soul!


Revelation 21:5: And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said unto me, “Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Ephesians 4:21-24: If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Ephesians 2:20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief Corner Stone…

Lepers of the Spirit

Here are more notes from my Humility study; the previous installments can be found here and here, but you don’t have to read them in order to read this post. 🙂

Luke 5:12-14: And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.”

There is so much to take away from this request:

  1. “Lord, if Thou wilt…” If it is in Your will, Lord. It reminds me of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven… “
  2. “Thou canst make me clean.” You can make me clean. This was a statement of what he believed Jesus can do, not what he thought He must do. He is acknowledging that Jesus has the power; but it is His will that matters. It is up to Jesus whether or not he is cleansed.

What a show of humility!

And He put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, “I will: be thou clean.” And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
And He charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

I find this to be such an interesting statement. If a miracle like that happened to me, I’d have a hard time keeping quiet and not telling people, I think. The man didn’t have to go tell everyone though; everyone saw that he was clean. He was a walking testimony.

I spoke to a friend of mine about this and he said, “I never thought of this: it’s a picture of us after we have been cleansed from sin!” I hadn’t thought of it that way before either; but isn’t that an exciting thought?!

And it is always in His will to forgive sins and cleanse our hearts. 🙂 What an amazing Jesus! ❤

Prayers Ascend

Prayers ascend; incense on the breeze
As the strong storms of life blow;
At times braving them won’t come with ease,
But the important thing is to never let go.

You are my Savior, Lord;
You are the Living Word;
Your life, You graciously gave;
My life, You continually save.

You brought me out of the lowest pit,
And put me on a straight path,
Now comes the hard part: staying on it.
But because of You, nothing hath

The authority,
The audacity,
To hassle me,
Or wrestle me.

My Love, my God, You are sufficient,
You rescued me from the darkest place.
The cross with Your Son that you sent:
Instead of loathe, You brought Your grace.

I don’t know how You
Love me, but I praise You
I bow to You
I pray to You.

No enemy can push me to the edge
For You are Supreme, they must flee
Your love for me surpasses all knowledge
I love You now, and I will for all eternity.


Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:2 – thank you to Unashamed of Jesus for posting this Scripture yesterday; it was exactly what I needed to finish this poem! ❤)

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. (Revelation 8:3+4)