As part of his effort to make the Bible an effective instrument of reform in society, church, and everyday life, Erasmus composed the Paraphrases. In these series of texts, the Holy Scripture provides the core of a work that is vastly expanded to embrace the reforming "philosophy of Christ" in all of its forms. This volume contains two sets of Paraphrases, one on the Corinthian letters (circa. 1519), and the other on the group of letters from the Ephesians to the Thessalonians (circa. 1520). The first set presents an epistolary narrative which not only enlivens the events described but revisits them from a sixteenth-century perspective. Together, they form a sharpened portrait of the primitive Corinthian church and an intriguing critique of the church as it was in Erasmus's time. The second set, Ephesians to Thessalonians, offers an interpretation of Pauline theology with humanistic overtones that are distinctively Erasmian.
In these Paraphrases, we see the craft of the philologist at work in the articulation of the doctrine of the Trinity, the humanist depicting Christ with an unmistakably human sensibility, and the artist discussing familiar theological virtues of faith and love in a new way. Apart from providing the first complete English translations of these Paraphrases since 1549, this volume gives excellent insight into the fundamentals of Erasmian theology and includes annotations which highlight the historical and linguistic implications of Erasmus's original texts. Volume 43 of the Collected Works of Erasmus series.
Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536), a Dutch humanist, Catholic priest, and scholar, was one of the most influential Renaissance figures. A professor of divinity and Greek, Erasmus wrote, taught, and travelled, meeting with Europe's foremost scholars. A prolific author, Erasmus wrote on both ecclesiastic and general human interest subjects. Robert D. Sider is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages at Dickinson College and an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Sister Mechtilde O'Mara is a retired professor in the Department of Classics at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. Edward Phillips is a professor in the Division of Humanities at Grinnell College.