[sword-devel] Paragraphing

Daniel Freedman sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 8 Sep 2002 23:11:41 +0200

You get two types of "divisions" in the Hebrew Torah - Open or Closed

Open means the entire line has been left "open"
Closed means the line has been closed with the new word on the same line

Variations of this include, sectional divisions (into 54 sections), called
Book divisions, which separate each book.

While its a nice feature and its included in the BHS module and Aleppo
module (marked by a pe or samekh)  its not critical to the understanding of
most of the text, and there is some dispute as to how the entire Hebrew
Scriptures are divided, if you follower Bruer, then you follow one set,
Ginsburg another, and Kittel/Kahle a third way of dividing the text - all
three have different authorities from which they draw...

Also, the paragraphs and sections are not based on English, but Hebrew which
means that they do not really serve a meaningful function in English, since
English has a different system of paragraphing.  A paragraph in English is
defined as section of writing discussing a similar concept or idea...you
will find that most english bibles are translated with this in mind and the
reason is to make it more understandable...The logic of the Hebrew
open-closed system has to do with dividing the text so that it may be read
aloud easily...it was sung in the synagogues which means rather that the
text is divided as an orator or singer would express the Torah in a single


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