Robert Estienne (aka Robert Stephanus) was born to famous family of printers and publishers in 1503 in Paris. Five years after his father's death, at age 22, Robert inherited the workshop. The editorial and printing work awoke in him an interest in ancient languages. He became a devoted researcher of Greek, Latin and Hebrew.
His linguistic abilities were noticed by Francis I of France. Estienne became a royal printer, preparing Latin, Greek and Hebrew documents for the king. He also received the title of Royal Typographer and was responsible for the preparation and publication of classic and scientific articles. His most distinguished work was a Greek edition of the New Testament, in 1550. It still is a masterpiece of the art of typography. This special translation, known as "Editio Regia", was the first Greek New Testament printed with critical text, which contained information about other records one could use to read the same word in a different manuscript.
Robert Estienne's translation of the New Testament enraged the Church's hierarchy, forcing him to flee to Geneve, Switzerland. As soon as he got there, he organized a printing workshop and published a letter in his defense, countering the church's accusations. After some time he printed two editions of a French Bible, two complete Hebrew Bibles, and many works of John Calvin. In his editions of the New Testament he kept the chapter divisions introduced by the bishop of Canterbury, Steven Lengton, in 1206. In his Greek New Testament from 1551,he was the first person to divide the chapters into the verses we use today.
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