March 1st, 2016 marked the 500th anniversary of the first publication of a printed Greek New Testament edited by Desiderius Erasmus (born 1466), the work published in Basle, Switzerland. Erasmus is widely cited as one of the greatest scholars of his time. For an ad hoc photo of a copy of this edition click here.
Erasmus prepared his edition mainly from two rather late Greek manuscripts (14th-15th century), one of the Gospels and another of the Acts and Epistles, which are preserved in the University library in Basle. For the book of Revelation, Erasmus had to hand only one manuscript, which was missing its final leaf containing the last six verses. So, he retro-translated these verses from the Latin Vulgate!
Thereafter, Erasmus prepared five successive editions of the work, each with improvements, and each a Greek-Latin edition (1519, 1522, 1527, 1535). The 1519 edition served as the basis for Martin Luther’s…
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