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Encyclopedia > Textus Receptus

Textus Receptus (Latin: "received text") is the name given to the first Greek-language text of the New Testament to be printed on a printing press. It was compiled by Dutch-Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus in 1516 for his translation of the Bible into Latin, and later used as the basis for the translation of the New Testament by William Tyndale, for the original Luther Bible, and for most other Reformation-era translations throughout Western and Central Europe. The Textus Receptus is classified by scholars as a late Byzantine text. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Greek (, IPA - Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest in the Indo-European family if the Anatolian languages are excluded. ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... The printing press is a mechanical device for printing many copies of a text on rectangular sheets of paper. ... Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (also Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam) (October 27, probably 1466 – July 12, 1536) was a Dutch humanist and theologian. ... // Events March - With the death of Ferdinand II of Aragon, his grandson Charles of Ghent becomes King of Spain as Carlos I. July - Selim I of the Ottoman Empire declares war on the Mameluks and invades Syria. ... The Gutenberg Bible owned by the United States Library of Congress The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hē biblos, the book) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Work of God, The Word, The Good Book or Scripture), is the name used by Jews and Christians for their differing (and overlapping) canons... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Sculpted Head Of William Tyndale from St Dunstan-in-the-West Church London William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tindale) (circa 1484 - October 6, 1536) was a 16th century divine and scholar who translated the Bible into the Early Modern English of his day. ... Luthers 1534 bible The Luther Bible is a German Bible translation by Martin Luther, first printed with both testaments in 1534. ... Regions of Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... The Byzantine text-type (also called Constantinopolitan, Syrian, ecclesiastical, and majority) is the largest group of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. ...

Erasmus' first edition of the Textus Receptus was prepared in haste. Typographical errors attributed to the rush to complete the work, not to mention the new invention (the printing press), abounded in the published text. Erasmus also lacked a complete copy of the book of Revelation and was forced to translate the last six verses back into Greek from the Latin in order to finish his edition.

Frederick Nolan, an eminent historian of the 19th century and a Greek and Latin scholar who researched Egyptian chronology, spent 28 years attempting to trace the Received Text to apostolic origins. He was an ardent advocate of the supremacy of the Textus Receptus over all other editions of the Greek New Testament, and argued that the first editors of the printed Greek New Testament intentionally selected the texts they did because of their superiority and disregarded other texts which represented other text-types because of their inferiority.

It is not to be conceived that the original editors of the [Greek] New Testament were wholly destitute of plan in selecting those manuscripts, out of which they were to form the text of their printed editions. In the sequel it will appear, that they were not altogether ignorant of two classes of manuscripts; one of which contains the text which we have adopted from them; and the other that text which has been adopted by M. Griesbach.[1]

Regarding Erasmus, Nolan stated:

Nor let it be conceived in disparagement of the great undertaking of Erasmus, that he was merely fortuitously right. Had he barely undertaken to perpetuate the tradition on which he received the sacred text he would have done as much as could be required of him, and more than sufficient to put to shame the puny efforts of those who have vainly labored to improve upon his design. [. . .] With respect to Manuscripts, it is indisputable that he was acquainted with every variety which is known to us, having distributed them into two principal classes, one of which corresponds with the Complutensian edition, the other with the Vatican manuscript. And he has specified the positive grounds on which he received the one arid rejected the other.[2]

It is now widely accepted by textual scholars that the selection of manuscripts available to Erasmus was quite limited — due partly to his time constraints, partly to geographic isolation before high-speed transit, and partly to the fact that many important texts were as yet undiscovered — being confined to a few late medieval texts that most modern scholars consider to be of dubious quality.[3] The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ...

With the third edition of Erasmus' Greek text (1522) the Comma Johanneum was included because a single 13th-century manuscript was found to contain it — though Erasmus expressed doubt as to the authenticity of the passage in his Annotations. Events January 9 - Adrian Dedens becomes Pope Adrian VI. February 26 - Execution by hanging of Cuauhtémoc, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan under orders of conquistador Hernán Cortés. ... The Comma Johanneum was a clause present in most translations of the First Epistle of John published from 1522 until the later part of the 19th century, owing to the widespread use of the third edition of the Textus Receptus (TR) as a sole source for translation. ...

Popular demand for more complete Greek versions of the Bible led to a flurry of authorized and unauthorized editions in the early sixteenth century. (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...

Although sometimes used to refer to other editions, the name "Textus Receptus" has been used in a specific manner to designate only two New Testament Greek versions: one produced by Robert Stephens in 1550 and another produced by the Elzevirs in 1624 (reprinted in 1633). The name itself derives from a phrase contained in the publisher's preface to the 1633 edition of the Elzavirs' text, textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum, translated "so you hold the text, now received by all." The two words, textum and receptum, were modified from the accusative to the nominative case to render textus receptus. The term accusative may be used in the following contexts: A form of morphosyntactic alignment, as found in nominative-accusative languages. ... The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun. ...

The majority of textual critical scholars have adopted an eclectic approach to the Greek New Testament, with the most weight given to the earliest extant manuscripts, which are mainly Alexandiran in character, thus breaking with the Textus Receptus in numerous places.


  1. ^ An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, or Received Text of the New Testament; in which the Greek Manuscripts are newly classed; the Integrity of the Authorised Text vindicated; and the Various Readings traced to their Origin (London, 1815), ch. 1. The sequal mentioned in the text is Nolan's Supplement to an Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, or Received Text of the New Testament; containing the Vindication of the Principles employed in its Defence (London, 1830).
  2. ^ ibid., ch. 5
  3. ^ Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, p. 99.

Bruce Metzger pictured on the cover of his autobiography Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Bruce Manning Metzger (born 1914) is a professor emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary and Bible editor who serves on the board of the American Bible Society. ...

See also

John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... The Byzantine text-type (also called Constantinopolitan, Syrian, ecclesiastical, and majority) is the largest group of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. ... The Alexandrian text-type (also called Neutral or Egyptian) is a group of early manuscripts of the New Testament in the original Greek. ... The Western text-type is a diverse group of manuscripts of the New Testament whose text is similar to that of early Christian writers in Rome and Gaul, including Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. ... The Vulgate Bible is an early 5th century translation of the Bible into Latin made by St. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Textus Receptus (3105 words)
Textus Receptus, or "Received Text," (abbreviated TR) is the name we use for the first published Greek text of the New Testament.
The Stephanus edition became the standard Textus Receptus of Britain, although of course it was not yet known by that name.
The first reason is the obvious textual one: It is translated from the Textus Receptus.
BIBLE VERSIONS ... Textus Receptus (0 words)
Textus Receptus is based on the vast majority (90%) of the 5000+ Greek manuscripts in existence.
Textus Receptus agrees wih the vast majority of the 86,000+ citations from scripture by the early church fathers.
This text culminates in the TEXTUS RECEPTUS or Received Text which is the basis for the King James Bible, which we know also as the Authorized Version....We describe this text with the term "Universal," because it represents the majority of extant MSS which represent the original autographs.
  More results at FactBites »



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