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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines the impact of humanism on biblical studies between the late fourteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. It traces the growing humanistic expertise in textual criticism and philology, how that informed approaches to the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Old and New Testaments, and the nature of the resulting criticism of the Latin Vulgate as an authoritative translation and source of doctrine. Valla’s pioneering work on the New Testament, and his prioritizing of Greek manuscripts, led to Erasmus’s more nuanced understanding of the Greek and Latin traditions in the context of growing scholastic opposition to the theological encroachments of humanists. Hebraists are likewise shown to have contributed to the humanist-scholastic debate that mutated under the forces of the Reformation, even as deeper historicist and orientalist approaches to the texts emerged.

Keywords: philology, Hebrew, Greek, translation, Valla, Erasmus, Polyglot, emendation, Vulgate, Septuagint

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