Isaiah 9:1

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But there shall be no gloom to her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time hath he made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. (ASV)


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Few Christians realize that the Chapter designations in the Tanakh and Christian Bibles are Christian MidEvil creations and not part of the original writings. Jewish Bibles, such as the JPS, generally make this known in the preface:

"The chapter divisions, whose origin is neither ancient nor Jewish but medieval Christian, sometimes join or separate the wrong paragraphs, sentences, or even parts of sentences."

Although I have faith that it exists somewhere I have never seen a Christian Bible indicate that the Chapter divisions it contained were not original.

Christianity created Chapter divisions primarily for convenience of reference but also used them as a theological weapon to try and give portions of the Bible a Christological meaning where the original author may not have intended such a grouping. By not indicating that the Chapter designations are not original, the Christian Bible can give the misleading impression that the Chapter designations were used by the original authors to group and separate messages.

A good example is the last Chapter of Isaiah 8 in the JPS, "and Galilee of the Nations." This sentence is written in narrative form and therefore fits the narrative preceding it in style as well as matching the context of what precedes it. The Christians have grouped this sentence as the start of Chapter 9 in order to place "Galilee" next to "The people that walked in darkness, Have seen a brilliant light;" in order to proof-text that "Galilee" is a reference to Jesus who is the brilliant light referred to in the next sentence even though "The people that walked in darkness" starts a new, poetic writing style and expresses a different thought.

--JoeWallack 09:01, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)


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