How Many "Recieved Text" Editions?

Biblical Languages Mar 29, 2010

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


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