Tēs Kainēs Diathēkēs Hapanta = Novum Testamentum

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Kaines Diathekes Hapanta - Novum Testamentum
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Editor Josephus Jowett
Published Londini: Ex officinâ Jacobi Tonson & Johannis Watts
Date 1730
Volumes volume set

The second part of the Christian biblical canon, the New Testament consists of several texts originally written in Koine Greek. Historians do not know when the first compilation of the New Testament occurred, nor do they know who compiled it.[1] The Complutensian Polyglot Bible edited by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517) included the first printed Greek New Testament (1514) but the 1516 edition by Desiderius Erasmus preceded the delayed publication of the Polyglot Bible by four years.[2][3] Unfortunately, Erasmus used a limited number of relatively recent, incomplete Greek texts and translated back from the Latin Vulgate when lacking the material he needed. The result has been dubbed "the most inaccurate book ever printed."[4] It influenced all subsequent versions of the New Testament printed until the nineteenth century.[5]

Tes Kaines Diathekes Apanta, printed in London in 1730, follows in the line of Greek New Testaments derived from the editions of Erasmus and specifically falls in the sub-family of "Editiones Stephano-Elzvirianae." So dubbed by Eduard Reuss in his 1872 book Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti Graeci, these editions emanate from a combination of New Testaments produced by Robert Estienne (Stephanus) in the early sixteenth century and those published by Dutch printers Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevir in the early seventeenth century.[6] Within this sub-family, the 1730 London New Testament, a third edition of a 1714 duodecimo version, more specifically relied upon the "editionem Buckianam," a 1624 Greek New Testament published by University of Cambridge printer Thomas Buck.[7] All three editions were dedicated to French classical scholar and bibliographer Michel Maittaire (1668-1747).

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Novum testamentum. Gr. 12mo. Lond. 1730. Tonson." This was one of the titles kept by Thomas Jefferson and later sold to the Library of Congress in 1815. Both the Brown Bibliography[8] and George Wythe's Library[9] on LibraryThing include the 1730 edition published in London based on Millicent Sowerby's entry in Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson,[10] but Jefferson's copy no longer exists. As yet, the Wolf Law Library has been unable to procure a copy of Kainēs Diathēkēs Hapanta.

See also


  1. Bruce M. Metzger "History of Editing the Greek New Testament," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 131, no. 2 (1987): 148.
  2. Ibid, 70.
  3. D. Parker, "The New Testament," in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, accessed March 31, 2023.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Charles B. Puskas and C. Michael Robbins, An Introduction to the New Testament (Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 2011): 70.
  6. Metzger, "History of Editing the Greek New Testament."
  7. Eduard Reuss, Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti Graeci (Brunswick: Apud C. A. Sshwetschke et Filium, 1872): 138, 140.
  8. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433
  9. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on January 31, 2014.
  10. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 2:100 [no.1481]