Erasmus’s New Testament in Greek and Latin, Second Edition

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book




Basel, (Switzerland)


Greek and Latin


Printed on Vellum


13 3/4 × 9 1/4 × 2 1/2 in. (34.9 × 23.5 × 6.4 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words

Erasmus’s crowning achievement in Bible translation was the first published print edition of the Greek New Testament. It was issued in 1516, four years before the Complutensian Polyglot, which was printed in six volumes between 1514 and 1517 but delayed for publication until 1520 waiting for papal approval. This second of five editions of Erasmus’s New Testament, issued in 1519, corrected many typographical errors in the first edition. It contains the Greek text and Latin translation, shown in parallel columns. It also includes a number of prefaces, letters, and other supplementary material, including a dedication to Pope Leo X. Erasmus’s second edition New Testament was largely the basis for many New Testament translations which followed, and renowned Bible translators, including Luther and Tyndale, owned copies.

Printed in 1519 by Johann Froben, Basel, Switzerland. Acquired by Windpreihl.[1] Acquired in 1822 by Keller, a provincial officer, likely Germany.[2] Acquired in 1823 by an unknown individual in Husen, likely Germany.[3] Acquired in 1824 by one or more provincials, eventually in Husen [Husan], likely Germany.[4] Acquired by 1913 by Fla [. . .] ian.[5] Acquired by 1913 by Thomas Hodgkin, Newcastle, England.[6] Acquired by 2011 by David C. Lachman, Wyncote, Pennsylvania;[7] Purchased in 2011 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] A not fully legible inscription on the front endpapers before the back cover reads roughly: “Windpreihl in A,” followed by numbers, perhaps measurements, likely from a different hand. This could refer to a region rather than an individual name. The exact date is unknown, except that this ownership would have happened before 2011. [2] An inscription on the front endpapers reads: “Keller Parochus et Deputatus in Ecclesiopago. 1822.” Keller may also simply refer to a cellar. Another inscription suggests that this may be Joseph Keller, of a region known as Cure, and before this, the region of Bachus: an inscription added to a woodcut print at the beginning of the General Epistles reads: “Jos. Keller Cure De Vohren Bachus.” Bachus may refer to a region in Germany, known for its wines. [3] An inscription on the front endpapers reads: “Dein[de] in Husen ante silvano. 1823.” This is perhaps the same individual as in the previous entry. [4] A not fully legible inscription in three lines in different hands on the rear endpapers reads: “Sum Parochi . . . [illegible] . . . magensis”; “Sum Parochi Kirchdorfensis”; and “Tandem Parochi Husani ante Silvam. 1824.” [5] A not fully legible inscription on the endpapers reads: “Thomas Hodgkin from Fla [. . .] ian.” [6] A bookplate from Thomas Hodgkin, Newcastle, is pasted inside the front cover. “Harry Soane London” appears immediately below the bookplate logo. This is likely Hodgkin the historian (1831–1913) rather than Hodgkin the physician (1798–1866). [7] Museum of the Bible spoke with David Lachman’s wife by telephone on October 31, 2019, but the Lachmans provided no further information.

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