The several books of the Old and New Testaments were from an
early time divided into chapters. The Pentateuch was divided by
the ancient Hebrews into 54 "parshioth" or sections, one of
which was read in the synagogue every Sabbath day (Acts. 13:15).
These sections were afterwards divided into 669 "sidrim" or
orders of unequal length. The Prophets were divided in somewhat
the same manner into "haphtaroth" or passages.
In the early Latin and Greek versions of the Bible, similar
divisions of the several books were made. The New Testament
books were also divided into portions of various lengths under
different names, such as titles and heads or chapters.
In modern times this ancient example was imitated, and many
attempts of the kind were made before the existing division into
chapters was fixed. The Latin Bible published by Cardinal Hugo
of St. Cher in A.D. 1240 is generally regarded as the first
Bible that was divided into our present chapters, although it
appears that some of the chapters were fixed as early as A.D.
1059. This division into chapters came gradually to be adopted
in the published editions of the Hebrew, with some few
variations, and of the Greek Scriptures, and hence of other