Netherlands, Amsterdam

Translating the Text of the New Testament: Erasmus Novum Instrumentum Omne after 500 Years

when 2 July 2016 - 16 July 2016
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 1000

In 2016 it will be 500 years since Desiderius Erasmus published the first critical edition of the Greek New Testament. All subsequent translations have been based upon such editions, hence this course examines how these modern editions were produced and considers how to translate the original text of the New Testament for a modern readership. Topics include the history of the NT's Greek text, the art of assembling a modern critical edition, textual evidence, various modern editions, and the issue of how we should translate the text of the NT. Students will study manuscript excerpts and familiarize themselves with the use of digital resources in the study of NT texts.

The Faculty of Theology at VU University Amsterdam has a long tradition in textual criticism and Bible translation. Its staff are leading figures in a prominent international network of Biblical scholars, making Amsterdam the ideal place to study this subject. Excursions include visits to the library of the University of Amsterdam, the Dutch Bible Society, and the Papyrological Institute of Leiden University.

Course leader

Prof. L.J. Lietaert Peerbolte

Target group

Advanced students of Bible Translation, New Testament Studies and similar subjects with an interest in textual criticism of the New Testament in Greek.

Course aim

You will know how modern critical editions of the Greek New Testament were produced.
You will be familiar with the manuscript tradition of the NT.
You will be able to read excerpts from Greek manuscripts.
You will be familiar with the use of digital resources in the study of NT texts.
You will be familiar with the main issues in Bible translation and know how to apply different translation strategies for different readerships.

Credits info

Contact hours: 60

Fee info

EUR 1000: The tuition fee includes an airport pick-up service, welcome goodiebag, orientation programme, on-site support, 24/7 emergency assistance, and a transcript of records after completion of the course.

An early bird discount of €100 is available for students who apply before 1 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered, starting at €425 for two weeks.


The Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition fee of one course. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is 31 March. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the Summer School Website.