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The Argumentum as Paratext

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Editorial Strategies in the Novum Testamentum

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In the 1519 edition of the Novum Testamentum Erasmus replaced the traditional Marcionite Argumenta which prefaced each of the Pauline Epistles in the Novum Instrumentum of 1516 with newly composed Argumenta of his own. This article explores the function of these prefaces within the broader context of Erasmus’ program of biblical scholarship. Broaching the topics of authorship, literary style, theological content, and devotional application which are more fully worked out in the Annotations, Paraphrases, and Ratio verae theologiae, the Argumenta express in miniature Erasmus’ objectives as an editor of the Bible.

Affiliations: 1: University of Waterloo


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