When Erasmus, at Cambridge in 1512, began to mark up his copy of the Vulgate Bible with a few alternative Latin translations and a biting comment here and there in Latin, he could not have guessed that his work would grow over the next twenty-three years into the twenty volumes currently being produced as annotated translations in The Collected Works of Erasmus.
Paraphrases vastly expanded the text of the New Testament books, and brought dynamic and controversial interpretations to the traditional reading of the Latin texts.
A new translation based on the Greek text, the first ever to be published by a printing firm, became the basis for ever-expanding notes that explained the Greek, measured the contemporary church against the truth revealed by the Greek, taunted critics and opponents, and revealed the mind of a humanist at work on the Scriptures.
The sheer vastness of the work that finally accumulated is almost beyond the reach of a single individual.
By excerpts chosen over the entire extent of Erasmus' New Testament work, this book hopes to reduce that immensity to manageable size, and bring the rich, virtually unlimited treasure of the Erasmian mind on the Scriptures within the comfortable reach of every interested individual.