This manuscript quotes a passage from the Bible that has more than one speaker:

Job 1:6–7 says:

One day, when the angels had gathered around the Lord, and Satan was there with them, the Lord asked, "Satan, where have you been?" Satan replied, "I have been going all over the earth."

Normally, whenever a new speaker is introduced in dialogue, it starts a new paragraph. But does that rule apply when those speakers are contained within the same quotation?


1 Answer 1


What you call the rule is more of a convention, and can be subject to common sense. In general, if you are narrating a dialogue in a novel or short story, it makes it easier for the reader to follow what is going on. But there can be contexts in which that convention is unnecessary and may, in some contexts, be distracting.

In this case, you are quoting from the Old Testament, which is written in verses, which are preserved in the English rendition of the original Hebrew. You would find exactly the same with manuscripts of, say, Homer's Iliad or Odyssey. These are written in hexameter verse without paragraphs of any kind. But the same is true of John Milton's Paradise Lost.

  • Note that the translation quoted is apparently a "modern" one (apparently CEV) that may not adhere to the format of the original Hebrew.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 0:19
  • @HotLicks You have a point. The Modern International version of Abraham’s debate with God over the fate of Abraham is inconsistant in its layout, google.com/amp/s/www.biblegateway.com/passage/… but does mainly set out the text in speech paragraphs.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 6:32

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