Title page of Vetus testamentum multiplici lingua nunc primo impressum
Although Erasmus was the first to publish a Greek text of the New Testament (Novum Instrumentum), in reality, it was this Complutensian Polyglot Bible that was the first Bible printed in Greek. Prepared in Spain, under the patronage of Cardinal Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros, it provided the Greek along with parallel texts for the Hebrew and Latin Vulgate. Aware of the competition posed by the forthcoming Complutensian Polyglot Bible, Erasmus secured a four-year privilege from Pope Leo X so that his Novum Instrumentum would officially be the first published Greek New Testament. As a result, Ximenes’ Complutensian Polyglot Bible was not published until after the expiration of Erasmus’ privilege in 1522. Although, like Erasmus’ Novum Instrumentum, this too was an avowedly humanistic project, Ximenes’ aims were quite different from those of Erasmus. Whereas Erasmus wanted to create a new Latin version of the New Testament based on the original Greek sources, the Complutensian Polyglot Bible was intended merely as a corrected text of the Greek and Hebrew sources and of the Latin Vulgate.
Title: Vetus testamentum multiplici lingua nunc primo impressum
[known as 'Complutensian Polyglot Bible’]
(Alcalá de Henares: Arnao Guillén de Brocar, 1514-17)
Shelfmark: Or.C.I.1 Or.C.I.1