It is well known that the publication of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus in 1516 had a profound effect upon the Reformation, the variation between the Vulgate – being the Bible for those with education — and the Greek NT being a basis for much of the doctrinal challenge. However, the primary purpose of Erasmus was not to publish a Greek NT (Greek although not exactly rare, would not been as widely known as Latin at this time):
But note that he [Erasmus] keys [his annotations appearing after the Latin/Greek NT] to the Latin, to his own Latin. For to put the Greek text first is to get this volume very wrong. Erasmus’s chief aim was to correct the Vulgate; to make a new Latin text from the Greek that would avoid, and correct, the Vulgate’s many mistakes.That is the Novum instrumentum; the Greek is there to explain his Latin, for whoever can follow. The quality of learned mockery iin the Annotations, paralleling the tone of the Praise of Folly, is aimed at those who relied on the Vulgate as it stood …..
Thus, ironically, Erasmus sought to correct the Latin translation at the time the Latin translation was becoming of less value. The weight of biblical work would now be in the original languages. While learned work would still be done in Latin, translation would be from Greek and Hebrews to German and English and the many other languages which have since recived the Bible.