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Friday, July 15, 2011

Psalms ~ Different Numbering Systems ~ Wikipedia

Date & Time of Initial Research: 
Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Composition and numbering
The Book of Psalms consists of 150 psalms, each of which constitutes a religious song, though one or two are atypically long and may constitute a set of related chants. When the Bible was divided into chapters, each Psalm was assigned its own chapter. Psalms are sometimes referenced as chapters, despite chapter assignments postdating the initial composition of the "canonical" Psalms by at least 1,500 years.[citation needed] Though most of the psalms are believed to have been intended for singing (some even include instrumentation and the names of tunes to sing to), none includes any form of pitch-related musical notation, so it is impossible to determine the tunes to which the psalms were to be sung. (The Hebrews were not known to have or use any sort of musical notation.)

The organization and numbering of the Psalms differs slightly between the (Masoretic) Hebrew and the (Septuagint) Greek manuscripts:

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  • Psalms 9 and 10 in the Hebrew are combined into Psalm 9 in the Greek
  • Psalms 114 and 115 in the Hebrew are combined into Psalm 113 in the Greek
  • Psalm 116 in the Hebrew is divided into Psalms 114 and 115 in the Greek
  • Psalm 147 in the Hebrew is divided into Psalms 146 and 147 in the Greek

Christian traditions vary:
  • Catholic official liturgical texts follow the Greek numbering, but modern Catholic translations often use the Hebrew numbering, sometimes adding, in parenthesis, the Greek numbering as well.
  • Eastern Orthodox translations are based on the Greek numbering;
  • in the Syriac Orthodox Church Peshitta tradition there are 155 Psalms.
  • Protestant translations are based on the Hebrew numbering;
For the remainder of this article, the Hebrew Psalm numbers will be used unless otherwise noted.


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