Stephanus 1551-02

Stephanus 1551-02
Stephanus 1551-02
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This is the 1551 edition of Stephanus’ Textus Receptus. The folio edition of 1550 is the foundational Textus Receptus. The first edition, the “O mirificam” of 1546, like almost all first editions, was capable of improvement, and was so improved in the second of 1549, but mainly in the third of 1550, by reconsulting the precious manuscripts from the Royal Library. The fourth edition of 1551, on the other hand, was produced at a time when Stephanus no longer had access to those manuscripts, and he was compelled to leave Paris because of threats from his ecclesiastical enemies jeopardizing his life and liberty. The manuscripts from the Royal Library were returned, according to Stephanus’ own testimony, to the Royal Library, and, like those used for the Complutensian, have never been seen again. Stephanus’ fourth edition of 1551 was done for the benefit of Latin readers, not principally as a separate edition of the Greek text. The Greek text in the edition of 1551, almost identical, of course, to that of 1550, stood in the middle column between the Vulgate’s Latin on the left and Erasmus’ Latin on the right, presumably by way of mockery of the Complutensian, and commentary on the comparative worth of Erasmus’ Latin, as if his is the “thief on the right”. Where this printing differs from the 1550, excepting mere printing errors, the 1550 is always to be preferred, considering Stephanus’ reduced circumstances at the time and his lack of access to the Royal Library.









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