Chapter and Verse of Hebrew Scripture Compared to Protestant Ones.
The authoritative form of the modern Hebrew Bible used in Rabbinic Judaism is the Masoretic Text (600s CE to 900s CE ), which consists of 24 books, divided into verses.
The Masoretic Text is that of the Jews who lived in the Land of Israel at that time.
Concerning the Torah (firsdt five books of the Bible, Pentateuch) the Masoretic text is the same as that now used for Torah Scrolls in the synagogue.
For other Biblical Books (apart from the first five, i.e. the Torah-Pentateuch) we may accept their reliability for all, or nearly all, the text.
Bible Codes examinations using Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS) findings confirm the accuracy and Divine Sanction of the present Masoretic text.
The Hellenized Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria produced a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called "the Septuagint," dating from 300 to 100 BCE that included books later identified as the Apocrypha.
It also divided the text somewhat differently than the Masoretic.
The early Christians used the Septuagent and it is still that used by the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches.
The Masoretic Text is the basis for most Protestant translations of the Old Testament such as the King James Version, English Standard Version, New American Standard Version, and New International Version.
There are slight differences between various Masoertic texts. Jews today rely on that of Ben Asher who lived in Tiberias in the 900s CE.
Wikipedia tells us:
Since at least 916 the Tanakh has contained an extensive system of multiple levels of section, paragraph, and phrasal divisions that were indicated in Masoretic vocalization and cantillation markings. One of the most frequent of these was a special type of punctuation, the sof passuq, symbol for a period or sentence break, resembling the colon (:) of English and Latin orthography. With the advent of the printing press and the translation of the Hebrew Bible into English, versifications were made that correspond predominantly with the existing Hebrew sentence breaks, with a few isolated exceptions. Most attribute these to Rabbi Isaac Nathan ben Kalonymus's work for the first Hebrew Bible concordance around 1440.
In simple language the original Hebrew Scrolls broke the text into verses and sections. Additional indications existed in the form of accompanying notes.
Protestant Translations of the Bible followed the Masoretic text. They also introduced a numbering system for chapter and verse divisions similar to that of the Masoretic text but different on some points.
No-one really knows where this divergence came from. Some say the differences emanated from doctrinal considerations. Others ascribe them to simply the convenience of early Printers.
In other words the Protestants used the same verses as the Jews did but gave them numbers of their own. They used a similar chapter division but with some changes.
When the Jews began to print their own "Old Testament" Bibles they adopted the chapter and numbering of verse system used by Protestants.
At some stage after the invention of printing, the Protestants seem to have slightly altered the chapter divisions for some parts of the Bible. The Jews however have continued with their original "borrowing."
For this reason in some books of the Old Testament the Jewish division does not exactly correspond to the present one used by Christians.
Nowadays, the Koren publishing company in Jerusalem prints Hebrew Bibles showing both the Masoretc divisions and the adopted Christian ones.
An example of the difference that we recently came across is in the Book of Zechariah:
Revised Standard Version as typical of all the others:
Chapter 1 goes from Zechariah 1:1 to 1:21.
The Hebrew text uses the same divisions for verses but its chapters are different.
Zechariah 1:1 to 1:17 is the same in both cases but the English continues onward. The Hebrew version already continues into Chapter 2.
The Hebrew printed text for chapter 2 at the beginning has 2:1, 2, 3, 4 which correspond to the English verses 1:18, 19, 20, 21.