Erasmus Rejected Vaticanus

“Reverend Winzer is most correct here as to the Assembly’s being fully aware of the Vaticanus manuscript. I am preparing a book right now, answering James White’s book The King James Only Controversy. White makes the silly claim that, had Erasmus known of the Vaticanus manuscript, he would have used its readings.

I prove that entirely wrong. Erasmus references the Vaticanus manuscript in the Preface to his 1535 edition of the Textus Receptus, and he condemns it. 350 readings from it were made available to him, and he rejected it on the ground that it did not follow the Scripture citations of the orthodox fathers like Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa. I cite Erasmus’ own remarks in my book. I might add that John Owen cites the Vaticanus manuscript as well, in his book defending the integrity of Ecclesiastical manuscripts of the Hebrew and the Greek: namely, the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Text. With respect to the Greek text: Erasmus strongly favoured the text that was supported by the Cappadocian Fathers. But he also amended it to follow minority readings in the Textus Receptus stream, where the overwhelming majority of Latin manuscripts favoured that reading – as is the case with Acts 8.37.”

~ Al Hembd, Trinitarian Bible Society, Jerusalem, Israel

Source:, Comment #73


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