Latin Concordance

This Cardinal Hugo, who flourished about the year 1240, and died in 1262, had labored much in the study of the Holy Scriptures, and made a comment upon the  whole of them. The carrying on of this work gave him the occasion of inventing the first concordance that was made of the Scriptures--that is, of the vulgar Latin Bible; for, conceiving that such an index of all the words and phrases in the Bible would be of great use for the attaining of a better understanding of it, he projected a scheme for the making of such an index, and forthwith set a great number of the monks of his order on the collecting of the words under their proper classes in every letter of the alphabet, in order to this design; and, by the help of so many hands, he soon brought it to what he intended. This work was afterward much improved by those who followed him, especially by Arlottus Thuseus, and Conradus Halberstadius, the former a Franciscan and the other a Dominican friar, who both lived about the end of the same century. But the whole intention of the work being for the easier finding of any word or passage in the Scriptures, to make it answer this purpose the cardinal found it necessary, in the first place, to divide the book into sections, and the sections into other divisions, that by these he might the better make the references, and the more exactly point out in the index where any word or passage might be found in the text; and these sections are the chapters into which the Bible has ever since been divided. For, on the publishing of this concordance, the usefulness of it being immediately discerned, all were desirous to have it; and, for the sake of the use of it, they all divided their bibles as Hugo had done; for the references in the concordance being made by these chapters and the subdivisions of them, unless their bibles were so divided too, the concordance would be of no use to them. And thus this division of the several books of the Bible into chapters had its original, which has ever since been made use of in all places and among all people, wherever the Bible itself is used in these western parts of the world; for before this there was no division of the books in the vulgar Latin bibles at all.

But the subdivisions of the chapters were not then by verses as now. Hugo's way of subdividing them was by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, placed in the margin at equal distances from one another, according as the chapters were longer or shorter. In long chapters all these seven letters were used, in others fewer, as the length of the chapters required; for the subdivision of the chapters by verses, which is now in all our bibles, was not introduced into them till some ages after; and then it was from the Jews that the use of it, as we now have it, took its original on the following occasion.

An Illustrated History Of The Holy Bible;
Being a Connected Account of theRemarkable Events and Distinguished CharactersContained inThe Old and New Testaments,
- by John Kitto