Erasmus

Today is Dutch humanist and theologian Erasmus‘ birthday (1466-1536).

Frye in The Great Code on Erasmus and the always troublesome interpretation of the Gospel of John’s “In the beginning was the Word”:

Erasmus, in the Latin translation appended to his edition of the Greek New Testament, renders “In the beginning was the Word” as “In principio erat sermo.”  This is purely a metonymic translation: in the beginning, Erasmus assumes, was the infinite mind, with its interlocking thoughts and ideas out of which the creative words emerged.  Erasmus is clearly more influenced than [St.] Jerome by the later Greek history of the word [i.e. logos].  It would be cheap parody to say that Erasmus really means “In the beginning was continuous prose,” but the link between his “sermo” and the development of continuous prose is there nonetheless. (18)

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