MembersThe Bible According to Jewish Chapters

Jews have for centuries been reading the Bible according to a biased Christian division of Scripture

By Tsvi Sadan | | Topics: CHRISTIANS, Bible
Photo: Orel Cohen/Flash90

The Bible was divided into chapters only in the 13th century, by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1207-1228. The world remembers Langton for drafting the Magna Carta. Jews remember him for being the first to force the Jews of England to wear a distinctive white badge. Langton was typical of Christian antisemites of the Middle Ages, who believed that the Church had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people.

According to Rabbi Bezalel Ariel, who since 2011 has been calling to restore the Jewish division of the Bible to its more ancient “chapters” (called seder, sedarim), the Christian division of Scripture reflects the Church’s theology of “Verus Israel,” that it is the “true Israel.” Even so, Jews have for some reason been using this division of Scripture since the 15th century, seemingly without giving it a second thought. 

Rabbi Ariel’s project, called Shiva LeBitzaron (Returning to Our Strongholds, see Zechariah 9:12), makes the Seder division easily accessible for anyone interested, in hopes that one day it will replace...

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