Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was one of the most prominent Nonconformist divines of the second half of the seventeenth century. He was largely self-educated but read widely in theological literature. In 1638 he was ordained in the Church of England but he began to have doubts about certain liturgical customs in that Church. In about 1642 he was “converted” to the Puritan side and acted as a chaplain to the Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War (1642–1651) though he remained devoted to the ideal of monarchy. When Charles II was returned to the throne in 1660, Baxter was made one of his chaplains. But, because of his Puritan beliefs he refused the offer to be made a bishop. When the Act of Uniformity (1662) imposed the ceremonies of the Church of England on everyone, Baxter was one of the first to refuse and became a Dissenter or Nonconformist; an act which caused him much suffering.
In 1685 Baxter published his New Testament with a paraphrase and notes for which Baxter was arrested and charged with libeling the Church of England. Following his trial, he was imprisoned for a year and a half. He was released in November 1686 and resumed his preaching. He died in 1691. Baxter was a very prolific writer and he had a considerable influence on dissenting thought.
A second edition of Baxter's New Testament was published posthumously in 1695 and a third edition in 1701.
For more information see English Versions of the Bible by Very Rev. Hugh Pope, O.P. page 512f.
Click here for sample verses from the paraphrase by Richard Baxter.
Third Edition - 1701
Title: A Paraphrase on the New Testament, with Notes, Doctrinal and Practical. By Plainness and Brevity fitted to the Use of Religious Families in their daily Reading of the Scriptures; and of the Younger and Poorer sort of Scholars and Ministers, who want fuller Helps. With an Advertisement of Difficulties in the Revelations. By the Late Reverend Mr. Richard Baxter. The Third Edition Corrected. To which is added at the End, Mr. Baxter's Account of his Notes on some particular Texts, for which he was Imprison'd.
Date: Third Edition: 1701
Publisher: London: Printed for T. Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns at the lower-end of Cheapside; Sa. And John Sprint, at the Bell in Little Britain; J. Taylor, at the Ship, and J. Wyat, at the Rose, in St. Paul's Church-yard.
Contents: New Testament with Baxter's notes and paraphrases.
References: Chamberlin535-4 ; Taliaferro-EELBV 7105.
Images: Third Edition Title page