When Erasmus, at Cambridge in 1512, began to mark up his copy of the Vulgate Bible with a few alternative Latin translations and a biting comment here and there in Latin, he could not have guessed that his work would grow over the next twenty-three years into the twenty volumes currently being produced as annotated translations in The Collected Works of Erasmus. His Paraphrases vastly expanded the text of the New Testament books, and brought dynamic and controversial interpretations to the traditional reading of the Latin texts. A new translation based on the Greek text, the first ever to be published by a printing firm, became the basis for ever-expanding notes that explained the Greek, measured the contemporary church against the truth revealed by the Greek, taunted critics and opponents, and revealed the mind of a humanist at work on the Scriptures. The sheer vastness of the work that finally accumulated is almost beyond the reach of a single individual. Through excerpts chosen over the entire extent of Erasmus’ New Testament work, this book hopes to reduce that immensity to manageable size, and bring the rich, virtually unlimited treasure of the Erasmian mind on the Scriptures within the comfortable reach of every interested individual.
"One of the hardest decisions for Robert D. Sider will have been how far to range beyond the New Testament scholarship as such. A much larger book could have been created in an attempt to cover all the places where Erasmus engages issues relevant to the subject, but this one wisely draws a line at the edge of that further ocean. I do not see how a better balance between coverage, information, and illustration could be struck."- Mark Vessey, Department of English Language and Literatures, University of British Colombia
"Admirable in organization and execution, Erasmus on the New Testament is well supported by notes explaining or identifying persons, events, linguistic features, and other matters of historical record that are likely unknown by the newcomer to Erasmus studies. This book is a fine introduction to Erasmus' biblical scholarship; my younger self would have found it very useful when I first became involved with Erasmus studies."- Jane Phillips, Dept. of Classical Studies, University of Kentucky
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