Paragraphing in Modern Bible Translations and Ancient Manuscripts


Previous research has shown that the delimitation of pericopes, verses, strophes and other sections determines exegesis to a large extent. The scope of this research group now has been widened and also attention will be paid to paragraphing in modern translations (especially European translations) and in ancient biblical texts (Hebrew Bible and New Testament) and translations (e.g. Septuagint, Vulgate, Peshitta).

Recent overviews show that there is hardly any consensus among commentators and translators with regard to the delimitation of pericopes in the Bible. Previous research has established that it is very helpful to compare modern paragraphing with the delimitations found in ancient manuscripts. Examples of such research abound already, not only in many contributions to the series Pericope (Scripture as Written and Read in Antiquity, see, but also in other works, like Jack Lundbom’s commentary on Jeremiah in The Anchor Bible, as well as a recent work by Marjo Korpel and Johannes de Moor, The Silent God (Leiden 2012). The latter work discusses several examples of blank spaces in Hebrew texts that seem to coincide with significant rhetorical silences.


Marjo Korpel 

Paul Sanders


Vienna 2014

Call for Papers: The Impact of Paragraphing on Biblical Interpretation

For the EABS/SBL meeting in Vienna 2014 we welcome especially paper proposals that focus on paragraphing in European Bible Translations and in ancient manuscripts that are kept in European libraries and their impact on Biblical Interpretation. Generally the duration of papers to be read should not exceed 20 minutes. At the conference a proposal will be launched to apply for European subsidy to develop the European heritage in this respect.

Leipzig 2013

Amsterdam 2012

The Annual Conference 2021
takes place 2-5 August
in Wuppertal. Read more.