Erasmus’ Paraphrases, which appeared between 1517 and 1524, were commentaries of the Bible, mostly on particular Gospels. This literary genre developed from a practice made famous by Christian poets of the first century. Erasmus used the commentaries to simplify and explain sacred texts, thereby supporting his humanistic aspiration to make the scriptures accessible to the widest possible audience.
This copy belonged to one Christopher Watson, as shown in the ownership inscription on the title page: ‘liber Christophori watsoni an[n]o 1563’. A price of 12 pence (‘12d’), can be seen on the left of the page.
Author: Desiderius Erasmus
Title: Paraphrasis in Evangelium secundum Joannem [Paraphrase of the Gospel of John] (Basel: Johann Froben, 1540)
16th centuryErasmusJohann FrobenX.8.2inscriptionsprinter's deviceprovenancetitle pages