The purpose of the chapters and verse numbers was to facilitate reference. These divisions sometimes ignore logical and natural divisions.
If you keep up with my blog you know that sometimes I feel that they should be ignored sometimes when reading the Inspired text because they can be frustrating, they are not diviney inspired. And they sometimes distract us from the full context of a story, text.
It is likely that the original manuscripts did not even contain basic punctuation, far less an organized numbering system for each sentence.
But there remains a question….
when were verse and chapter numbers added to bible?
Until I asked this question, myself, I did not realize how the texts of the Bible through-out history have been divided. The Original Hebrew Manuscripts of the OT first was divided at each paragraph with Hebrew letters separating each paragraph.
around the time of the council of Niche the NT also was divided into Paragraphs.
Churchmen Archbishop Stephen Langton and Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro determined different schemas for systematic division of the Bible between 1227 and 1248. It is the system of Archbishop Langton on which the modern chapter divisions are based.
Verse numbers came later: Rabbi Isaac Nathan around 1440.
Okay so I do need to mention this…there are some groups who believe that the chapter and verse numbers have some significance and relevance to us today. CodedBible.com has a very strange theory, but it seems like a conspiracy to me.