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Four Paraphrases and a Gospel or How to Rewrite Without Repeating Yourself

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image of Erasmus Studies

In his preface to Emperor Charles V, Erasmus denies any intention of making his Paraphrases on the Gospels an evangelical harmony that would contradict his desire for legibility.1 We can therefore assume that, when in paraphrasing one gospel he has recourse to another, he does so for the sake of clarity, as when he proposes a harmonized version of the baptism of Christ or of his passion. Based on a textual comparison of certain passages from the Paraphrases on Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, this article studies how Erasmus rewrites the text of the four gospels, reconciling them without repeating himself, while conserving to each its own unique character.

Affiliations: 1: Université Paris-Diderot


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