The Impetus for Reform in Erasmus of Rotterdam’s New Testament

In: Erasmus Studies
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  • 1 Simon Fraser University

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Abstract

Scholars have assumed but not proven that Erasmus was a Church reformer. They have located his impetus for Church reform in his editions of the New Testament. A consideration of the orientation of reform aids in analysing Erasmus’ Annotations on the New Testament. A programmatic return to ancient sources facilitated a philological reform of the text of the New Testament. Furthermore, Erasmus’ recourse to Scripture exposed contemporary aberrations from appropriate Christian conduct. In the case of divorce for the sake of remarriage, Erasmus looked forwards for change more than backwards. Exposing faults and suggesting a change to Church laws on marriage did not constitute the structural reorganization that qualified Erasmus as a Church reformer.

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