How Many “Recieved Text” Editions?

I know all of you woke up this morning hoping to track down the critical development of the Received Text (or “Textus Receptus”). Well, I’m here to help! I’m compiling a timeline of TR editions from Erasmus’ 1516 edition all the way to last Elzevir edition in 1678 (and beyond). It’s still a work-in-progress, but here’s a start:

1. First Erasmus Edition (1516)
2. Second Erasmus Edition (1519)
3. Third Erasmus Edition (1522)
4. Forth Erasmus Edition (1527 and reprinted in 1535)

5. First Stephens Edition (1546)
6. Second Stephens Edition (1549)
7. Third Stephens Edition (1550)

8. First Beza Edition (1565)
9. Second Beza Edition (1582)
10. Third Beza Edition (1588)
11. Fourth Beza Edition (1598)
12. Fifth Beza Edition (1565)
13. Sixth Beza Edition (1567)
14. Seventh Beza Edition (1580)
15. Eighth Beza Edition (1591)
16. Ninth Beza Edition (1604)

17. First Elzevir Edition (1624)
18. Second Elzevir Edition (1633)
19. Third Elzevir Edition (?)
20. Fourth Elzevir Edition (?)
21. Fifth Elzevir Edition (?)
22. Sixth Elzevir Edition (?)
23. Seventh Elzevir Edition (1678)

That’s a total of 23 editions, but we will observe with Robertson that the Beza editions were “practically reprints of the work of Stephanus (Stephens).” (Robertson P. 20).

Taking 23 and subtracting the 9 Beza editions, our list now totals 14 editions –seven of which were published after 1611.


Combs, William W.. Erasmus and the Textus Receptus. Detroit Baptists Theological Seminary. 1 (1996).

Robertson, A.T., An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Broadman Press. 1924.

Wegner, Paul D., A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results. IVP Academic. 2006

4 thoughts on “How Many “Recieved Text” Editions?

  • March 29, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Hey David… cool. What’s your main purpose for the research?

  • March 30, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Hey John! It’s a research assignment for a class I’m taking. Plus, as a Greek major, I think it’s important to understand the history of the text I’m spending so much time with.

    Why do you ask?

  • March 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I love the topic!

    It’s so interesting to me that we encourage people to read biographies of great Christians, yet few of us have little-to-no knowledge of the biography of the Canon. The history of our Bible is such a rich deposit of of people, stories, hard work and commitment.

    I think that if we learned to love this portion of our history, there would be less controversy over it.

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