Here’s a guy that actually rejects the notion that Erasmus back translated Revelation 22:16-21.

After quoting Erasmus where Erasmus literally said that he did this, Chris Thomas says this:

Looking at these quotes it seems pretty convincing that Erasmus back translated from the Latin Vulgate and put that in his printed editions.

Pretty convincing isn’t strong enough. To reject that Erasmus did indeed do this, as Chris speculates, is to outright deny what Erasmus said that he did. There’s zero room for ambiguous interpretation here in Erasmus’ writing. Chris goes on:

But here’s the problem. If Erasmus truly printed a back translation of the Latin Vulgate in his editions, then how do we explain the following:

At the end of the Apocalypse, the manuscript I used (I had only one, for the book is rarely found in Greek) was lacking one or two lines. I added them, following the Latin codices. They were of the kind that could be restored out of the preceding text. Thus, when I sent the revised copy to Basel, I wrote to my friends to restore the place out of the Aldine edition; for I had not yet bought that work. They did as I instructed them. What, I ask you, do I owe to Lee in this case? Did he himself restore what was missing? But he had no text except mine. Ah, but he warned me! As if I had not stated in the annotations of the first edition what I had done and what was missing.

So much for the supposed admission of back translation in his Annotations. The Greek for the last few verses (or just v 19 depending upon whom you read) was provided from the Greek manuscripts of the Aldine printers. The idea that Erasmus would emend his Greek text from the Latin Vulgate was contrary to the very thing he was producing: a fresh Latin translation! It is the height of absurdity to claim that he back translated from the Vulgate into Greek and then retranslated his Latinized Greek back into Latin.

This line of argumentation from Chris Thomas is truly bizarre. Let’s set the record straight. First, Erasmus explicitly admitted that he back-translated from the Volgate to acquire his first and second editions of his TR. Then, when he sent his 3rd edition to the city of Basel for printing, he requested that they fix Revelation 22:16-21 by using the Aldine edition, because he knew his had fallen short, but he didn’t actually care enough to do the legwork himself to fix it. The problem was that the Aldine edition was based on Erasmus’ original work. In other words, there was nothing to change in the 3rd edition for Rev 22:16-21 when incorporating the Aldine edition into Erasmus’ text. Erasmus wasn’t bothered by this, because he had a low view of the importance of Revelation (he elsewhere stated that we can’t know who its author is). Moreover, he wasn’t bothered by this because he knew he’d made this situation very clear in his annotations. He assumed you’d be reading his annotations alongside his text.

It’s bizarre how Chris Thomas is capable of missing this very clear writing on the part of Erasmus. Everything Erasmus wrote here undermines what Chris is trying to argue for.