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Biblical Heritage Exhibit

BHE-BHSS-021

Desiderius Erasmus - Sculpture (table top size)


Gerrit Gerritszoon was born in 1466; he later changed his name to Desiderius Erasmus to reflect his fondness for Latin.

Erasmus had a passion for reading, and was the only man to read every book in existence at that time. While in England, Erasmus was so moved to correct the Latin Vulgate that he began diligently studying the Greek manuscripts he had acquired. Working with John Froben, he published the first Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament in 1516. This remarkable accomplishment was the first Scripture in a millennium to be produced without using the Latin Vulgate, and the first published from a printing press. This work focused attention on how corrupt the Latin Vulgate had become, and the necessity to return to the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts to accurately translate the Scriptures into common languages. Erasmus' text came to be known as the Textus Receptus, meaning Received Text as presented in the 1633 Elzevir edition of the Greek text. The third edition of 1522 formed the basis of the New Testament of the Authorized King James Version of 1611.

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