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Erasmus: The Greek New Testament

1466 - 1536

Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Dutch Catholic scholar who, though at odds with Protestants, also had an eye to church reform and return to New Testament purity. In 1516, after years of study, collation, and translation, he published the first Greek New Testament, Novum Instrumentum omne. It was published under five editions up to 1536. His scholarship, aided by the migration of Greeks to Europe after the fall of Constantinople 63 years prior, laid the groundwork for future translations into European languages. Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and the translators of the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible all consulted Erasmus’s Greek New Testament alongside the long-received Latin Vulgate as they worked to bring people God’s Word in their common tongues.