Erasmus and the Greek Text

Five hundred years ago this year, in February and March of 1516, a Swiss-German printer in Basel named Johann Froben published a volume of some 1,000 pages titled Novum Instrumentum Omne, “the whole New Testament.” This was the first officially published edition of the Greek New Testament, and it was the work of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam. Next year, the scholarly world will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, with much attention devoted to Martin Luther and the hammer blows heard in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Before then, however, it is good to glimpse Erasmus in the annus mirabilis of 1516, the year before the storm broke loose.

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