[Bible in Greek] Tēs Kainēs Diathēkēs apanta. Euaggelion […] Novum Iesu Christi D.N. Testamentum
Paris: Estienne, 1550
Της καινης διαθηκης απαντα… Novum Iesu Christi D.N. Testamentum; in Greek; folio, 327 x 220mm; contemporary limp vellum with some spotting and wear to edges and back cover; all edges gilt; preface in Greek and Latin by Estienne; ruled in red throughout, tp highlighted with triple ruling under text and pediment at top of page; woodcut Basilisk Estienne device to both titlepage and the section containing the Apocalypse, and Pauline and Catholic Epistles, and olive tree device with motto ‘Noli Altum Sapere’ on verso of last leaf; woodcut initials intricately decorated with floral and grotesque humanoid themes; Eusebian canons in architectural tables embellished with cherubs, as well as woodcut headpiece dividers; a very clean and crisp copy throughout with minor faults in the last two leaves, two repaired tears at the top edge of page affecting the headers, along with an unrepaired tear on margin (not affecting text). Each of the Gospels is preceded by a Life of the Evangelist by Sophronius and Dorotheus.
The third and most important Estienne edition of the New Testament in Greek, known as Editio Regia. Exalted not only for the superb typeface design but for the exceptional critical apparatus, this edition is the first to contain variant critical readings of the text on the margins. These readings are derived from the collation of several ancient Greek manuscriptions such as the codex Bezae. While the text itself is based on the Complutensian text, it closely follows Erasmus’ Textus Receptus, changing 38 passages in favour of Erasmus’ reading in comparison to the first edition of this New Testament. However, even to this Estienne made slight changes , as for example, adding the verse Luke 17:36 from codex Bezae.
Despite its great acclaim, the edition was attacked by the conservative faculty of theology at the Sorbonne due to the alternative readings published alongside the New Testament. Charged with heresy and having converted to Protestantism, Estienne had difficulty getting it published and had eventually flee to Geneva, where he established a new publishing business.
Beautifully produced with the large Greek type cut by Garamond, the Grecs du roi. These types were based on the handwriting of Angelo Vergecio, the Royal scribe for Francis I, and composed into a much more complex set of letters and ligatures than the Latin alphabet. Printed in this edition without any typographical errors, this type became extremely influential and served as the basis for Greek typefaces in the following centuries – the letter punches are still conserved at the Imprimerie Imperiale. This third edition was the standard for scholarly study of the Greek New Testament in England until the publication of the Westcot and Hort critical New Testament in 1881.
USTC 150710; Adams I, B 1661; Mortimer, Harvard French 78; Darlow & Moule II, 4622; Brunet V, 737; BMSTC French 62; Renouard 75.