Textus Receptus

A Latin term meaning “the received text” of the NT. The discovery and collection of Greek manuscripts of the NT at the time of the Renaissance and the invention of printing led to a number of printed editions of the Greek NT in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Erasmus* published his edition in 1516 and the “Complutensian Polyglot”* came out in 1522. These were used by R. Stephanus in producing his edition of 1550. There followed ten editions by Theodore Beza,* beginning in 1565. The Dutch brothers Elzevir drew especially upon Stephanus (only 287 variants are found between them) in their editions of 1524 and 1533. In the preface to the latter they use the phrase “Textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum” (“You have the text which is now received by all”). This text was basically the Byzantine Text* appearing in most of the late manuscripts, and was assembled before the science of textual criticism had been developed. It underlies the Authorized Version (KJV).