Textus Receptus

“Textus Receptus: the Received Text;

i.e., the standard Greek text of the New Testament published by Erasmus (1516) and virtually contemporaneously by Ximenes (the Complutensian Polyglot, printed in 1514 but not circulated [i.e., published] until 1522), and subsequently reissued with only slight emendation by Stephanus (1550), Beza (1565), and Elzevir (1633).

Richard Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally From Protestant Scholastic Theology, Term: Textus Receptus.

Of particular note here is Muller’s observation that the 5 texts mentioned all fall under the title, Textus Receptus. Indeed, the term is popularized by the Elzevir text, and Muller observes as much when he writes,

“The term Textus Receptus comes from the Elzevir preface: Textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum, ‘Therefore you have the text now received by all.'”

Muller, Dictionary, Textus Receptus.

But the practical and historical reality is that this tradition of Greek texts was and is regarded as the standard and received Greek text of the believing community. We see this stance quite clearly propounded by the Confessional Text position. Again, Muller observes,

“The term [Textus Receptus] was adopted as a standard usage only after the period of orthodoxy, although it does refer to the text supported by the Protestant scholastics as the authentic text quoad verba, with respect to the words of the text.”

Muller, Dictionary, Textus Receptus.

In sum, the term Textus Receptus refers to a tradition and to specific temporally conditioned textual artifacts [i.e., the five Greek texts mentioned above]. In this specific sense, Textus Receptus refers to a compiled copy of the autographs which was defended and supported by the Protestant Scholastics as the authentic standard Greek text quoad verba, concerning the words. This belief in the quoad verba quality of the Textus Receptus is how the Protestant Scholastics could believe and proclaim that the Greek text, the Textus Receptus, was the Original. They believed their Greek text was the authentic word of God quoad verba. Here at StandardSacredText.com all we argue that that same belief in the Textus Receptus remains warranted and rational today.

5 thoughts on “Textus Receptus

  1. So when you say *five* texts under the title Textus Receptus, you are including Ximenes (1514/1522) along with Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, and Elzevir. Just asking if I am understanding you correctly, since I usually think of that one as a different line. Thanks. Have a blessed evening.


    1. Hey Robert. Thanks for the observation. I only included Ximenes in the list because Muller included it in the list. I am not trying to make or engage any points beyond that. To your observation, I have heard that Ximenes was different kind of text and therefore does not properly belong in the list. I believe this to be a valid conclusion.


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