Greek New Testament

Hè Kainè Diathèkè

Paris: Robert Estienne, 1550. In-folio

Adams B1661. Darlow & Moule 4622.

Carothers p. 1          

Pages displayed: p. 160-161. Gospel of Saint John. The verse numbers were added manually in red ink.


Third edition established by Robert Estienne (1503-1559) and his son Henri II Estienne (1528-1598), after those of 1546 and 1549, on the basis of the Polyglot of Alcalà, printed in 1514 but published in 1522, of Erasmus’s 5th edition, published in 1535, and of fifteen medieval manuscripts, some of which belonged to the Royal Library. Although Robert Estienne published a 4th edition in 1551, after his flight to Geneva, the typographical splendor of the 1550 edition made it the received text of the Greek Testament, especially in England. It was followed by William Whittingham and his fellow Marian exiles when they prepared the English translation of the New Testament that was to be part of the "Geneva Bibles."

Estienne had used the smaller Grecs du Roi typefaces, designed by Claude Garamond in 1541, in his 1546 and 1549 in-16 editions. The 1550 one was the first to display the largest of the royal types.