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Erasmus in the Footsteps of Paul

Erasmus in the Footsteps of Paul

Series: Erasmus Studies
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 256
  • Book Info
    Erasmus in the Footsteps of Paul
    Book Description:

    Greta Grace Kroeker examines Erasmus'Annotations, Paraphrases,and the texts of hisErasmus in the Footsteps of Paulis the first book to investigate Erasmus' negotiations of Romans in the Reformation world.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6269-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-8)

    This is a study of Erasmus as a theologian who worked in the footsteps of St Paul. Its starting point is Erasmus’s defence of free will in his controversy of 1524–5 with Martin Luther. The growth of his Pauline theology is then followed through his biblical paraphrases and annotations between 1524 and his death in 1536. The changes, which are tracked through Erasmus’s successive treatments of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, reveal a progressively more Pauline theology that has many similarities to, though is not identical with, luther’s teachings.¹

    This project examines Erasmus’s employment of passages from Romans in...

  7. ONE Justification, Grace, and the Will
    (pp. 9-28)

    Erasmus’s relationship with paul began long before he sat down to annotate or paraphrase his work. Indeed, as a child, he was schooled by the religious (whether the Brethren of the Common Life is a matter of some debate)¹ at Deventer, whose rector, Alexander Hegius, was ‘a pioneer of humanist education.’ After his parents’ death, Erasmus’s guardians pressured him to enter the monastery, and he chose the Augustinian Canons at Steyn. There, he pursued his love of Latin authors and humanistic philological studies. Disappointed in what he viewed as his fellow monks’ lack of appreciation for classical learning and apparently...

  8. TWO Erasmus on Romans: Texts and Authorities
    (pp. 29-40)

    Erasmus began his journey with Paul in earnest after returning from a trip to England.¹ As early as 1501 he wrote that he was preparing a commentary on Paul. he then dedicated himself to studying Greek in order to facilitate his engagement with Pauline scripture. By 1514 he made it known that he was working on some sort of commentary or paraphrase of Paul. Yet theParaphrases on Romansremained unpublished until 1517 and likely did not contain the commentaries he had originally planned. Erasmus believed ‘that the function of paraphrase is to improve the text by making it clearer,’...

  9. THREE Reconsideration
    (pp. 41-56)

    Between 1527 and 1532, while the Reformation debate intensified, Erasmus made some of the more significant changes to hisAnnotationsandParaphrases– changes that addressed free will, justification by faith, grace, and works. For the 1532 Froben edition of hisParaphrases on Romans, Erasmus made more than thirtyfour major changes to the 1523 version. The revisions constitute the most significant changes to the text made in all editions since theParaphrases on Romanswas first published in 1517. The changes often, but not always, reflect noteworthy additions, of which the 1527 and 1535 editions most closely approximate the corresponding text...

  10. FOUR Reassessment
    (pp. 57-88)

    The verses explored in the previous chapter underwent significant changes regarding free will, grace, and justification in both the 1532 edition of theParaphrasesand either the 1527 edition or the 1535 edition of theAnnotations. This chapter contains verses for which Erasmus altered only theParaphrasesor only theAnnotations. I have treated them separately not only for convenience, but also to show that Erasmus’s changes sometimes demonstrated more grammatical concerns (evidenced in theAnnotations) and sometimes illustrated more exegetical preoccupations (in theParaphrases). in both cases, however, the changes demonstrate his ongoing reassessment of Pauline scripture.

    In revising...

  11. FIVE Controversy
    (pp. 89-132)

    By 1527, as the previous two chapters have shown, Erasmus had developed a renewed interest in the will, grace, and justification. In 1535, the year before his death, he was still making changes to the annotations of Romans as he clarified his thoughts about these ideas, all fundamental to the Reformation debate. this is understandable, given the enormity of the repercussions during the past ten years of Luther’s intended split with Rome and Erasmus’s increasingly shaky position in the world of theological discourse. How do we reconcile this picture of the later Erasmus with what he had written just a...

  12. Conclusion
    (pp. 133-144)

    The changes in Erasmus’s interpretation of Paul, as evidenced in his interpretation of Romans in his published conflict with Luther and in theAnnotationsandParaphrases, indicate that he challenged his own understanding of Pauline teaching in the last years of his life. In 1527, as we have seen, he wrote to his old friend Thomas More of his concerns about his ongoing struggle to understand Paul’s presentation of the will in Romans: ‘But if we follow Paul and Augustine, very little is to be given to free will. And yet, in the two books he wrote to the old...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 145-188)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 189-196)
  15. Index
    (pp. 197-199)