Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Erasmus’ New Testament editions online

[This post is regularly updated to reflect new finds and possibilities; for any suggestions, please use the comments.]

Erasmus published five editions of his Latin-Greek New Testament, with annotations, in 1516, 1519, 1522, 1527, and 1535. Gradually, all these editions have become available online. There were also Latin-only editions (not listed here).


The Swiss has Erasmus’ Novum Instrumentum omne of 1516, with the Annotationes (actually one of the copies of the Universtätsbibliothek Basel, shelf mark BibG B 3).

Navigation is easy, and the site’s table of contents is extensive (though not as exhaustive as to contain each NT book or even chapter). The quality of the images is good. From the contents page, one can download PDF files of parts of the book. One can also download a PDF of the entire book.

There is another copy in the digital collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Staatliche Bibliothek, Regensburg, shelf mark 999/2Script.238).

There are also GB versions of the 1516 edition: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, shelf mark 4.D.10; Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent, shelf mark BIB.ACC.015856).

Yet another, interesting copy is found in the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf (shelf mark ULBD DUE 01 α); it is from the collection of (first owner) Johannes Cincinnius von Lippstadt, who even noted on which day he bought the book, and how much he paid for it (see f. aaa 1v), and who made extensive use of it.

Another copy is found at the Bibliothèque humaniste de Sélestat: Novum Instrumentum with Annotationes (shelf mark K0929).


Erasmus’ second edition of 1519, with the Annotationes, is available as well at e-rara (Universitätsbibliothek Basel, shelf mark FG V 40-41).

There is another copy of the text volume at e-rara (Universitätsbibliothek Basel, shelf mark AN VI 217).

Another copy is found at the Bibliothèque humaniste de Sélestat: NT (shelf mark K1093); Annotationes (shelf mark K1002).

GB has the text volume of Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent (shelf mark BHSL.RES.1676).

This second edition of 1519 is also available at the University of Jena; it can also be downloaded as PDF.
It is further possible to make links to specific page views, e.g. Erasmus’ conjecture φθονεῖτε at Jas 4:2, for example, or his annotation on the reading:


Erasmus’ third edition of 1522, with the Annotationes, is available as well at e-rara (Universitätsbibliothek Basel, shelf mark FG V 42-42a).

Another copy is found at the Bibliothèque humaniste de Sélestat: NT (shelf mark K1096); Annotationes (shelf mark K1098).

GB has the annotations volume of Universiteitsbiblioteek Gent (shelf mark BIB.ACC.017827).


Erasmus’ fourth edition of 1527, with the Annotationes, is available as well at e-rara (Universitätsbibliothek Basel, shelf mark FG V 43-43a).

The 1527 volume with the Annotationes is available in the Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart.

Another copy at the Bibliothèque humaniste de Sélestat: NT (shelf mark K1002); Annotationes (shelf mark K1099).


Erasmus’ fifth edition of 1535, with the Annotationes, is available as well at e-rara (Universitätsbibliothek Basel, shelf mark UBH FG V 44:1-2).

The 1535 edition can also be found at the Erasmus Centre for Early Modern Studies, but only the New Testament text, not the Annotationes. Previously the Centre used the DjVU format, but since 2014 it provides PDFs instead.

Another copy at the Bibliothèque humaniste de Sélestat: NT (shelf mark K1092); Annotationes (shelf mark K1100).

Other copies can be found at GB: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (shelf mark 4.O.18: Text and Annotationes); Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent (shelf mark BIB.TH.004088; in one volume).

[12 January 2015: added more 1516 editions and supplied shelf marks for these; updated information on the 1535 copy at ECEMS; updated the page view links to the Jena copy of the 1519 edition; added GB/ONB copies of the 1535 edition.]
[1 Februari 2017: added the e-rara 1519 and 1535 editions; added some more shelf marks; updated URLs to DOI]
[13 May 2017: added some Gent volumes: the 1516 edition; the 1519 text volume; the 1522 annotations volume; the 1535 edition.]
[10 June 2017: added the e-rara 1519 text volume.]
[18 September 2017: added the Sélestat volumes (all five editions).]


Dan Wallace said...

Images of the 1516 Novum Instrumentum are also available at There is no index, no PDFs, but the JPEG images can be downloaded. And they are truly stunning. CSNTM photographed a very well preserved Erasmus with Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III cameras, yielding 21 megapixels per image.

Daniel B. Wallace
Executive Director
Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts

Jan Krans said...

Thanks Dan, for drawing our attention to the csntm images. I have one important issue with the csntm version: it does not contain the title page and the essential preliminary matter. This problem concerns other printed books on your site as well. A further issue is the lack of an index; one would need a specialist for composing an index on the text, which has of course no verse numbers, and even more so for the index of the Annotationes.

James E. Snapp, Jr. said...

Wish granted!

Other editions can be viewed at

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

Jan Krans said...

Thanks for the link, James. It is an interesting site.
Of Erasmus's editions, the site has the 1519 edition (the NT text and preliminary matter, not the Annotationes).
However, I do not like to access books only through a flash application.
The site allows one to jump to particular NT books, which is nice, but not to chapters.

James E. Snapp, Jr. said...

I noticed this week that the e-rara site has made available the 1516 Novum Instrumentum -- with the Annotations -- as a large PDF.

Would you happen to know of any complete English translation of Erasmus' Annotations in English?

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

Jan Krans said...

The Toronto Collected Works of Erasmus has a translation of the Annotationes on Romans (vol. 56); other volumes are being prepared, but that may take some time. I do not know of any English translations other than small parts quoted occasionally by other scholars. There is an old and complete Dutch translation (non vidi), which I presume is as difficult to read as the Latin original, perhaps even for Dutch readers.

visitor said...

thanks Jan for your helpful post.
Q: please, Is it known where the 1521 Latin (Basil) Edition of Erasmus to be found?

visitor said...

In the link above of James,online-Bibles, I see a 1521 Greek Edition of Erasmus.. Does something like that exist?

Robert Drummmond said...

Wonderful images of Erasmus editions... I am most interested in whether any edition (perhaps the 1522) has ever been reformatted to a post-reformation (i.e modern) Greek font, as expansion of ligatures would be a bonus.
Robert Drummond

vaisamar said...


Do you happen to know if the 1523 edition (Novum Testamentum, only the Latin text) published by Erasmus and Melanchthon is available online? This particular edition is interesting because it contains Melanchthon's annotations to Romans. I see that it was scanned by Google Books, but it does not seem to be available.

Emanuel Contac

Jan Krans said...

There is a 1523 Strasburg edition available (, but that is not the one you mean, for it does not have Melanchton's commentary. I actually do not know about such an edition. I can image a printer putting both together, or a reader having them bound together, but not so much Erasmus and Melanchton publishing such an NT edition. Do you have a reference? Melanchton's commentaries on Rom and 1-2 Cor were published in Strasburg as well (available at BSB,

vaisamar said...


The edition is found in the Brukenthal Museum (Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania). Alas, the digital repository is not functional at this moment and we cannot check whether the 1523 has been digitized.

I have not seen the copy myself, but I have information about it from professor Hans Klein, who lives in Sibiu and who has taught for many years at the Department of Evangelical (Lutheran) Theology.

Jan Krans said...

Is there more bibliographical information? I cannot find a Brukenthal catalogue.

Emanuel Contac said...


I have sent the Library Museum a brief query about the 1523 NT. I will be back with more information as soon as I have it.

Best wishes,
Emanuel Contac