He has authored over books. Erasmus published five editions of the New Testament: , , which Martin Luther used for his German translation. His third, fourth, and fifth followed in , and Robert Stephanus published four editions: , , , and

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Part III. Is Textual Criticism Relevant Today? Desiderius Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus was a renowned scholar and theologian. He was the right man, at the right time, in the right place. From this point Erasmus was raised in a world of manuscripts. He became proficient in Latin and at this school, for the first time Greek was taught at a lower level than university. In Erasmus took his vows as a canon regular at Stein, in South Holland, and was ordained to the priesthood at the age of Soon after his priestly ordination, he left the canonry when offered the post of secretary to the Bishop of Cambrai, Henry of Bergen.

Erasmus was offered the position on account of his great skill in Latin and his reputation as a man of letters.

To allow him to accept that post, he was given a temporary dispensation from his religious vows, although he still remained a priest. The dispensation was later made permanent, a considerable privilege at the time. The University was then the chief seat of scholastic learning in Europe.. In he was invited by William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy to accompany him on his return to England.

He also gained valuable letters of introduction to the royal courts of Europe which allowed him access to institutions throughout Europe with biblical manuscripts. Erasmus had mastered the Greek language to the extent that he understood its true worth in theological studies.

For whereas we Latins have but a few small streams, a few muddy pools, the Greeks possess crystal-clear springs and rivers that run with gold. I can see what utter madness it is even to put a finger on that part of theology which is specially concerned with the mysteries of the faith unless one is furnished with the equipment of Greek as well, since the translators of Scripture, in their scrupulous manner of construing the text, offer such literal versions of Greek idioms that no one ignorant of that language could grasp even the primary, or, as our own theologians call it, literal, meaning.

On his way there he received at Turin the degree of Doctor of Divinity; at Bologna, Padua, and Venice, the academic centers of Upper Italy, he was greeted with enthusiastic honor by the most distinguished humanists, and he spent some time in each of these cities.

In Venice, Erasmus formed an intimate friendship with the famous printer Aldus Manutius. Such was the fame of Erasmus by this time he was able to corresponded with scholars throughout Europe and gain access to readings of the most important biblical manuscripts of his day. Extant copies of his correspondence exist today including his correspondence with the Vatican library.

It is most likely that the majority of his work on New Testament Greek variants was collated in this period. Fredrick Nolan Frederick Nolan, writing in , states, in addition to the manuscripts which Erasmus owned or had seen himself, he gathered readings from various European nations through his broad friendships in universities, libraries, and monasteries.

In , he began his work on this Latin New Testament. He collected all the Vulgate manuscripts he could find to create a critical edition. Then he polished the Latin and declared, "It is only fair that Paul should address the Romans in somewhat better Latin. Though some speculate that he intended to produce a critical Greek text or that he wanted to beat the Complutensian Polyglot into print, there is no evidence to support this.

Erasmus wrote: "There remains the New Testament translated by me, with the Greek facing, and notes on it by me. In Erasmus moved to Basel, Switzerland. Erasmus published a fourth edition in containing parallel columns of Greek, Latin Vulgate and Latin texts.

In Erasmus published the fifth and final edition which dropped the Latin Vulgate column but was otherwise similar to the fourth edition. Erasmus dedicated his work as a patron of learning and regarded this work as his chief service to the cause of Christianity. Immediately after completing his New Testament, he began the publication of his Paraphrases of the New Testament, a popular presentation of the contents of the several books.

These, like all of his writings, were published in Latin but were quickly translated into other languages, with his encouragement. Erasmus died suddenly in Basel in while preparing to return to Brabant, and was buried in the Basel Minster, the former cathedral of the city.

A bronze statue of him was erected in his city of birth in , replacing an earlier work in stone. The issues between the growing religious movements, which would later become known as Protestantism, and the Catholic Church had become very clear. Published Works:.


Textus Receptus

Erasmus had before him a half-dozen manuscripts during the editing process. However, these criticisms are unjustified. God in the Bible used only a few manuscripts to preserve his words There is a theological problem with deriding the Textus Receptus on the basis that its original edition descends from just a few manuscripts. Our theory of textual criticism must be based on what the Bible says about textual transmission, not on the philosophies of liberal theologians. The Bible is clear that God can use only a handful of manuscripts to preserve his words.


Desiderius Erasmus and the Textus Receptus

In , he began his work on the Latin New Testament. He collected all the Vulgate manuscripts that he could find to create a critical edition. Then, he polished the Latin, declaring, "It is only fair that Paul should address the Romans in somewhat better Latin. I have already almost finished emending him by collating a large number of ancient manuscripts, and this I am doing at enormous personal expense. Some speculate that he intended on producing a critical Greek text or that he wanted to beat the Complutensian Polyglot into print, but there is no evidence to support. Rather, his motivation may have been simpler: he included the Greek text to prove the superiority of his Latin version.

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