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Erasmus Bible 1519

Erasmus knew the printer, Thierry Martens, well. Martens published many of his texts. But when Erasmus wanted to have his revolutionary and risky translation of the New Testament published, he entrusted the project to Johann Froben in Basel (February 1516). Erasmus received a lot of criticism after its publication. He therefore arranged a second, revised edition to be published in 1519, again by Froben.

Remarkably, Martens also published an edition of Erasmus’s New Testament that year. It is an interesting question whether Martens’s edition contains the original or the revised version. An answer to this question is still due. It can now be found at Rotterdam, for the City Library possesses both of Froben’s editions (1516 and 1519) as well as Martens’s edition (1519) – as part of its collection of some 1,300 Erasmus editions printed in the sixteenth century. Scholars from Erasmus University Rotterdam will study this copy shortly.