Textus Receptus

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Textus Receptus (Latin: "Received Text") is the name given to the first Greek text of the New Testament to be printed with movable type. It was compiled by Desiderius Erasmus for his translation of the Bible into Latin, and later used as the basis for the translation of the New Testament in the King James Version of the Bible, for the original Luther Bible, and for most other Reformation era translations throughout Western and Central Europe. This is the text that was in use by the Eastern Orthodox Church in Erasmus' time (ca. 1500). The Textus Receptus is classified by scholars as a late Byzantine text.

Erasmus' original 1519 edition of the Greek New Testament was prepared in haste, and typographical errors abounded in the text as published. Additionally, the selection of manuscripts available to Erasmus was quite limited, being confined to a few late medieval texts most modern scholars consider to be of dubious veracity. Erasmus was often forced to make his own interpretations—back-translating from the Vulgate at best and fully fabricating material at worst.

The first edition was not used for any subsequent works, except as the basis for the second edition. With the third edition (1522) the Comma Johanneum saw inclusion, in response to Trinitarian pressures from the contemporary Church—a circumstance now subject to great debate. This was the edition used for the KJV translations.

Popular demand for "complete" Greek versions of the Bible led to a flurry of authorized and unauthorized editions in the early 16th century; the name "Textus Receptus" can refer to any of these, or any Greek edition printed from 1519 to ca. 1650. The name itself derives from the publisher's preface to a 1633 edition, containing the phrase "textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum", roughly translated as "thus you have the text now received by all".

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