Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Human beings produce little that is truly lasting. Fear and conformity endure because they appeal to our frailty. They are heavy burdens that drain us of our creative energies. When those creative energies are lost, we do not create. Fear and conformity become the legacy bequeathed to our progeny. Each generation has its renegade artists and scholars--women and men who resuscitate the heartbeat of creativity and wonder. When those artists and scholars produce beauty from pessimism and fear, even the ravages of time and taste cannot undercut their creations. Erasmus' Novum Instrumentum 1516 (NI1516) has survived 480 years of criticism because in its original form, it was as much a literary painting as it was a contribution to biblical scholarship. For that reason, and in this century, biblical scholars have dismissed the critical value of the NI1516. In this study, I wish to suggest that the scholarly myopia of our discipline has clouded our assessments of Erasmus and his landmark text. We have lost our soul at the expense of modern critical methodologies. Ultimately, we have even lost sight of Erasmus• potential contributions to the text history of Revelation. The shortsighted treatments of Erasmus' biblical work have a long and ignominious history. By the end of World War II, a generation of scholars had inherited the legacy of vast and significant manuscript discoveries that altered the course of biblical text criticism. That generation faced important choices. At the time, M. M. Parvis noted with resignation that text criticism had come to a procedural standstill.' Gone were the enthusiasm and creativity that once grew from the many impressive discoveries of the 1800s. Lost was a generation of scholars who represented a golden age of text criticism beginning with Westcott and Hort...



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