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BST Quick Tips: Tripping over Numbers

Chapter and verse numbers help us find particular passages in Scripture. But they can also cause us to miss the larger context. Don't let them get in the way of your study.

When referring other people to specific passages in the Bible, chapter and verse numbers certainly help. It's much easier than telling them a general area of the book to look in. That's why we learn to rely on them as the Bible address system.

On the other hand, those numbers can also be a hindrance. They can easily make us think of Scripture as bite-sized segments. We finish one chapter and assume the thought or idea from that chapter is complete.

But the reality can be very different. For example, in his Romans 1, Paul argues several large points that go across our modern chapter numbers. If we just focus on one chapter by itself, we'll likely miss the larger argument of the book.

Chapter and verse numbers are convenient, and there's nothing wrong with using them to find your way around. But just make sure you examine passages of Scripture in context.