fol. ss3v, 1 John
This is the first separate edition of the printed Greek New Testament and the first in a size smaller than folio, this being a small quarto. Only the first two editions of Erasmuss New Testament, the New Testament volume in the Complutensian Polyglot, and the Aldine Greek Bible preceded this New Testament, and those were all folios [2.4, 5.2, & 5.3]. While Erasmus was preparing his first edition (published in 1516), Nicolaus Gerbelius, the editor of this edition, wrote Erasmus on 11 September 1515, suggesting a separate printing in a smaller size for the convenience of the user. Some scholars believe that Luther used a copy of this text when making his German translation of the New Testament. Others say he used Erasmuss second edition of 1519 [5.2b].
The text follows Erasmuss second edition with a few variations. The comma Johanneum, 1 John 5:7, which reads: "For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit," does not appear in this edition. For omitting this Trinitarian verse in his first edition, Erasmus was accused by Englishman Edward Lee, later Archbishop of York, of the heresy of Arius ( 336), who denied that the Son was of one essence with the Father. It is not recorded whether or not Gerbelius suffered the same sort of accusations for the omission. Erasmus, however, eventually included the comma Johanneum in his third edition (see 5.2c).
Literature: Bainton 1969, ch. 6; Horning 1918, 3339.