Last Updated:

Aug 13, 2010

Theodore Beza: GNT

Excerpt from: various authors, , (internet sources etc.)

Page Index

Theodore Beza - His Greek NT
    Beza's GNT - notes from HoLogos
    Beza: & Gail Riplinger - Scott McClare

HoLogos on Beza

Bible Versions Discussion Board -

The editions of Theodore Beza (1519-1605), the friend and successor of John Calvin at Geneva, were based on those of Stephanus with only a few differences. Beza's Greek editions also included the Latin Vulgate and Beza's own Latin translation (Brief History of the English Bible Translations, p. 13).

KJV-only author Laurence Vance acknowledged that Beza's text "differs little from the work of Stephanus" (Brief History, p. 13).

Henry Baird pointed out that Beza was "chiefly indebted" to the previous 1550 edition of Stephanus that was based on one of the later editions of Erasmus (Theodore Beza, p. 235).

KJV-only author Floyd Jones claimed that Beza's fifth edition "reads almost the same as the last update of Erasmus" (Which Version, p. 44).

Irena Backus stated: "Beza's 1582 version differed from Stephanus in about 40 places" (Reformed Roots of the English N. T., p. 2). Backus produced evidence that "suggests that Beza was largely dependent on the collations of the two Stephani for his MS variants" (p. 6).

Concerning Revelation 22:19, Kutilek noted:

"The fact that all textus receptus editions of Stephanus, Beza, et al. read with Erasmus shows that their texts were more or less slavish reprints of Erasmus' text and not independently compiled editions, for had they been edited independently of Erasmus, they would surely have followed the Greek manuscripts here and read 'tree of life'".

(Westcott & Hort vs. Textus Receptus, p. 3).

Theodore Letis noted that since Erasmus and Valla were considered by humanists to be heroes, "Stephanus and Beza quite understandably stuck close to Erasmus's text, realizing that Erasmus could be trusted in his judgment not to cover up corruptions" (Majority Text, pp. 135-136).

Scrivener affirmed that Robert Stephen did not even print all the materials that Henry had gathered; many of whose various readings were published subsequently by Beza from the collators own manuscript, which itself must have been very defective (Introduction, II, p. 191).

Conjectural Emendations by Beza:

Edward F. Hills noted: "Beza introduced a few conjectural emendations into his New Testament text" (KJV Defended, p. 208) .

In a study of the influence of Beza on the English New Testament, Backus observed: "Throughout Beza is more concerned with accurate interpretation of particular passages than with establishing a correct reading and thus shows considerable unwillingness to tamper with the Greek Text of Robert Stephanus" (Reformed Roots of the English N. T., p. 7).

Tregelles maintained that Beza "valued readings more in proportion to their theological importance in his eyes than to the testimony by which they are upheld" (Account of Printed Text, p. 33).

Likewise, Scrivener asserted that Beza exhibits a tendency, not the less blameworthy because his extreme theological views would tempt him thereto, towards choosing that reading out of several which might best suit his preconceived opinions (Introduction, II, p. 193).

Influence on the KJV

Scrivener wrote: "On certain occasions, it may be, the [KJV] translators yielded too much to Beza's somewhat arbitrary decisions" (Authorized Edition, p. 60).

Beza on the Pericope Adulterae etc.

In his notes, Beza mentioned his misgivings about including John 7:53-8:11 in his text (Letis, Majority Text, p. 136).

On Titus 2:13, Joseph Benson observed that Theodore Beza maintained "that one person only is spoken of, namely, Jesus Christ" (New Testament, II, p. 472).

The evidence needs to be [further] examined to determine if Stephanus and Beza were correct in their decision to follow basically the text of Erasmus.

Riplinger on Beza

Bible Versions Discussion Board -

... And here's Gail Riplinger's beef with Beza:

The College of Cardinals has its counterpart at some otherwise good Christian colleges. There, the word of God must be corrected by a corrupt Greek text or a 16th century Greek text by a ‘Reformed’ five point Calvinist, such as Beza, who took over the church at Geneva after John Calvin died.

Beza’s extreme supralapsarian theology charges God with the origin of evil. That serious lack of discernment and other tiny lapses in his Greek text led the KJB translators to ignore his text where it did not follow the “Originall Greeke.”

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