verse vs. pericope

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Matt Leonard | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Apr 14 2022 10:45 PM

Hey everyone,

Could someone help me understand the difference between 'verse' and 'pericope'.

I guess the other way of asking this question is, What is a pericope and why would I want to use it?

Many thanks,

Matt

Posts 737
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 14 2022 11:11 PM

Pericope  from The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5

PERICOPE puh-rik´uh-pee [περικοπή pericopē]. From perikoptō (περικόπτω, “to cut around”), pericope (“selection”) is a rhetorical term for a portion of a text set apart for study or to be read in worship, e.g., a passage from the Psalms, a prophetic oracle, part of a narrative, a thought-unit from an epistle, or a parable. See EXEGESISLECTIONARY.

MARIANNE BLICKENSTAFF

pericope. From the Greek word meaning “section,” a particular portion of Scripture to be read as a *lesson. Certain ancient manuscripts of the NT, such as Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, have the NT marked into pericopes, and liturgical *readings are attested as early as Justin (1 Apol. 67). See also kephalaia.

Brett Scott Provance, Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009), 101.


pe•ric•o•pe \pə-ˈri-kə-pē\ noun
[Late Latin, from Greek perikopē section, from peri- + kopē act of cutting, from koptein to cut—more at CAPON] 1658: a selection from a book specifically: LECTION 1

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

lec•tion \ˈlek-shən\ noun
[Late Latin lection-, lectio, from Latin, act of reading—more at LESSON] 1608
1: a liturgical reading for a particular day
2 New Latin lection-, lectio, from Latin: a variant reading of a text

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 12:35 AM

Matt Leonard:
I guess the other way of asking this question is, What is a pericope and why would I want to use it?

Here are a couple. Handle with great care. Esoteric in places.

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 2:08 AM

Matt Leonard:
Could someone help me understand the difference between 'verse' and 'pericope'.

And then there are people like myself who can't understand why anyone would use verse except as a location marker similar to the line numbers on legal forms. Basic history:

  • By the time of the Babylonian captivity, the Torah was divided into 154 readings for the 3 year reading cycle. Later an alternative 1 year cycle for the Torah became popular.
  • Pre-Nicene practice divided the NT into kephalia
  • First official lectionaries based on pericopes appear circa 5th century although there is evidence of the use of pericopes - unit of scripture read in a service - from at least the time of Ezra and continued into Christian services..
  • circa 1205 Langton divides the Vulgate into chapters
  • circa 1330 Jews adopted Langton's chapters for the Masoretic text
  • circa 1550 both Christian and Jewish scripture gets verse divisions

Both chapter and verse are arbitrary in nature; pericopes have to be a cohesive unit that can be studied independently.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2556
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 5:54 AM

Chapters are sometimes a sort of large pericope--division by topic or subject.  Pericopes are usually smaller and are a cohesive unit. Pericopes often span chapter parts that encompass more than one chapter. Verses are bite-sized chunks of a chapter or pericope.  People don't always agree on the constructed borderlines of chapters, pericopes, or verses. 

Depending how you look at chunks of thought, each has value for different reasons.  All three can be quite arbitrary as both Mike and MJ indicate. All three are added to enhance reading, study, appearance, and reference. None are part of the original text. Enjoy, but use with discretion. 

Posts 1467
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 9:49 AM

MJ. Smith:

  • Both chapter and verse are arbitrary in nature; pericopes have to be a cohesive unit that can be studied independently.

Yes ... and no. Certainly chapter and verses are somewhat arbitrary, neither original, but both numeric, allowing sorting etc. Pericopes, however, quite often assume a theology system, which can overlay the writer.

On my neurals, I ran into this early, especially when you can't assume same-author. The neural reads across 25 words at a time, while racheting forward a word at a time (as the writer writes, or sort of).

But not being a pericope person (growing up, not the Bible!!), Matt's 2nd question seemed to get ignored. Does Logos do anything with pericopes, besides dropdowns? Are topics arranged by pericope? Searches?

Posts 463
John Connell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 11:10 AM

Have you played around with the Compare Pericopes tool? Tools > Passage > Passage Analysis > Compare Pericope

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers (Mal 4:6a)

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 12:03 PM

John Connell:

Have you played around with the Compare Pericopes tool? Tools > Passage > Passage Analysis > Compare Pericope

I think the OP would wonder?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 2:43 PM

DMB:
Pericopes, however, quite often assume a theology system, which can overlay the writer.

Please explain as I cannot make sense of this statement. Pericope as a concept/term comes from Greek literature as essentially a unit that it makes sense to study as a unit. If it isn't a unit of text that is a logical/reasonable unit of study in the context of the entire work , it isn't a pericope by definition. Pericope boundaries are determined by changes in the text.

DMB:
Does Logos do anything with pericopes, besides dropdowns?

Lectionaries are based on pericopes by definition. Therefore, the sermon/homily manager works around pericopes. One could argue that the sermons and commentaries based on liturgical dates are built around pericopes. Lexham has its own pericope set which is built into Factbook ...

DMB:
On my neurals, I ran into this early, especially when you can't assume same-author

What were you using to identify the pericope breaks? The usual criteria:

Pericope boundary markers

potential pericope boundary markers

• Narrative structures

o Change of place

o Change of time

o Change of characters

• Structural elements

o Concentric pattern

o Chiasm

o Inclusion

o Parallelism

Wim Weren, Windows on Jesus. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International. 1999.

Usually, a boundary has multiple markers.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 2:46 PM

John Connell:
Have you played around with the Compare Pericopes tool?

I've used it many times as a way to analyze pericope boundaries but I'm not sure I've ever played around with it. What games does it know? Jeopardy, Monopoly, Poker? 

I'd like to see a parallel tool reflecting the pericopes of lectionaries.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 3:14 PM

GaoLu:
All three can be quite arbitrary as both Mike and MJ indicate. All three are added to enhance reading, study, appearance, and reference.

Just to make my position clear and to prove I can be as bigoted as anyone:

Units that it makes sense to study:

  • word
  • phrase
  • figure of speech
  • clause
  • sentence
  • paragraph
  • structural unit (parallelism, chiasm, . . .)
  • pericope
  • meta-pericope
  • section
  • book

Units that it doesn't make sense to study unless they happen to coincide with one of the above:

  • verses
  • chapters

Not that I've been known to have an opinion on the matter.Geeked

Okay, I'll admit to having a bit of fun overstating my case. But anytime a reader, teacher, or preacher picks a chunk of text rather than simply going line by line until they run out of time, they are defining a pericope. The question is whether they do it with conscious attention or in a slap-dash manner. The term "pericope" does not need to be in their vocabulary.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 20
Matt Leonard | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 3:29 PM

Many thanks for everyones help on this.

Makes a lot for sense now.

In His Grace,

Matt

Posts 225
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 3:30 PM

I've tried the Pericope Tool. But I have not found it helpful for what I am looking for. What I was hoping is that I put in a verse (or verses), and then it tells me the pericope it belongs to for the various translations (ESV, NASB,....) and the corresponding headings.

Let's say I put in Mt 11:28-30, it should say

ESV: Mt 11:25-30 / Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest

NASB: : Mt 11:25-30 / Come to Me

CSB: Mt 11:25-30 / The Son Gives Knowledge and Rest

In this case, all 3 translation have the same beginning and ending. But I understand that different translations can have different start and end of a pericope. The reason I want this information is to make sure that to understand the context of the verse I am studying, I make sure I read the broadest pericope just in case the smaller pericopes miss out a key verse.

If Pericopes tool doesn't do what I am looking for, if someone knows how to get what I am looking for, please let me know.

Thanks

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 3:56 PM

1Cor10:31:
If Pericopes tool doesn't do what I am looking for, if someone knows how to get what I am looking for, please let me know.

I'm not sure I understand the question. This is what I get:

Err 1

Moving on to chapter 12 where there are differences:

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 639
John Kaess | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 4:18 PM

MJ. Smith:
And then there are people like myself who can't understand why anyone would use verse except as a location marker similar to the line numbers on legal forms.

Count me among your tribe.

Posts 225
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 4:29 PM

MJ. Smith:

I'm not sure I understand the question. This is what I get:

Err 1

This is exactly what I am looking for. I don't know what I was looking at when I posted the question. My bad. Sorry to waste your time.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 5:13 PM

If you would like to compare the pericopes used by commentaries (series), please vote for Create parallel of commentary-based compare pericope | Faithlife

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 225
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 6:22 PM

MJ. Smith:

If you would like to compare the pericopes used by commentaries (series), please vote for Create parallel of commentary-based compare pericope | Faithlife

This is a good idea. Now there are 2 votes!

Posts 1212
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 6:26 PM

MJ. Smith:
And then there are people like myself who can't understand why anyone would use verse except as a location marker similar to the line numbers on legal forms.

Being a book-chapter-verse man.... I guess that makes me an outcast? hmmm.... Course... there are many theories about the Bible... that comes from man... that the Bible just doesn't support... I'm a guessing... Geeked

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 15 2022 6:57 PM

xnman:
Being a book-chapter-verse man.... I guess that makes me an outcast?

No, it makes you a person who uses a division that would never have occurred to the author. word-phrase-clause-sentence-paragraph-section-book or dialogue-scene-event all would have occurred to the author.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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