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Encyclopedia > Theodore Beza
Calvinism
John Calvin

Background
Christianity
St. Augustine
The Reformation
2005 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Deaths in October 28: Richard Smalley 26: Emil Kyulev 24: José Azcona del Hoyo 24: Rosa Parks 23: Stella Obasanjo 22: Liam Lawlor 22: Shirley Horn 20: Endon Mahmood 17: Ba Jin 10: Milton Obote 7: Charles... Calvinism is a system of Christian theology and an approach to Christian life and thought, articulated by Theodore Beza, a Protestant Reformer in the 16th century, and subsequently by successors, associates, followers and admirers of Beza and his interpretation of Scripture. ... From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, as recounted in the New Testament. ... St. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ...

Distinctives
Calvin's Institutes
Five Solas
Five Points (TULIP)
Regulative principle
Confessions of faith Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvins seminal work on Protestant theology. ... The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers basic beliefs and emphasis in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. ... Calvinist theology is in the English-speaking world often identified in the popular mind as the so-called five points of Calvinism, which are a summation of the judgments (or canons) rendered by the Synod of Dordt and which were published in the Quinquarticular Controversy as a point-by-point... The regulative principle of worship in Christian theology teaches that the public worship of God should include those and only those elements that are instituted, commanded, or appointed by command or example in the Bible. ... The Reformed churches express their consensus of faith in various creeds. ...

Influences
Theodore Beza
Synod of Dort
Puritan theology
Jonathan Edwards
Princeton theologians
Karl Barth
xxx cciiiox The Synod of Dort was a National Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618/19, by the Dutch Reformed Church, in order to settle a serious controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of Arminianism. ... The Puritans were members of a group of radical Protestants which developed in England after the Reformation. ... Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703- March 22, 1758) was a colonial American Congregational preacher and theologian. ... The Princeton theology is a tradition of conservative, Christian, Reformed and Presbyterian theology at Princeton Seminary, in Princeton, New Jersey. ... Karl Barth on the cover of TIME magazine Karl Barth (May 10, 1886–December 10, 1968) (pronounced Bart) was the most influential Reformed Christian theologian since John Calvin. ...

Churches
Reformed
Presbyterian
Congregationalist
Reformed Baptist
Primitive Baptist
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organisationally independent. ... Presbyterianism is a form of church government, practiced by many (although not all) of those Protestant churches (known as Reformed churches), which historically subscribed to the teachings of John Calvin. ... Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ... The name Reformed Baptist does not refer to a distinct denomination but instead is a description of the churchs theological leaning. ... Primitive Baptists are a group of Baptists that have an historical connection to the missionary / anti-missionary controversy that divided Baptists of America in the early part of the 19th century. ...

Peoples
Afrikaner Calvinists
Huguenots
Pilgrims
Puritans
Afrikaner Calvinism is a unique cultural development that combined the Calvinist religion with the political aspirations of the white Afrikaans speaking people of South Africa. ... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, or historically as the French Calvinists. ... Pilgrims Going to Church by George Henry Boughton (1867) The Pilgrims were a group of English religious separatists who sailed from Europe to North America in the early 17th century, in search of a home where they could freely practice their style of religion. ... The Puritans were members of a group of English Protestants seeking further reforms or even separation from the established church during the Reformation. ...

Theodore Beza (Theodore de Beze or de Besze) (June 24, 1519 - October 13, 1605) was a French Protestant Christian theologian and scholar who played an important role in the early Reformation. He was a disciple of John Calvin and lived most of his life in Switzerland. June 24 is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 190 days remaining. ... Events March 4 - Hernán Cortés lands in Mexico. ... October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years). ... Events April 13 - Tsar Boris Godunow dies - Feodor II accedes to the throne May 16 - Paul V becomes Pope June 1 - Russian troops in Moscow imprison Feodor II and his mother. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... A scholar is either a student or someone who has achieved a mastery of some academic discipline, perhaps receiving financial support through a scholarship. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ...

Contents


Early life

Theodore Beza
Theodore Beza

Theodore Beza was born at Vezelay (8 miles west-south-west of Avallon), in Burgundy. His father, Pierre de Beze, royal governor of Vezelay, descended from a Burgundian family of distinction; his mother, Marie Bourdelot, was known for her generosity. Beza's father had two brothers; Nicholas, who was member of Parliament at Paris; and Claude, who was abbot of the Cistercian monastery Froimont in the diocese of Beauvais. Nicholas, who was unmarried, during a visit to Vezelay was so pleased with Theodore that, with the permission of their parents, he took him to Paris to educate him there. From Paris, Theodore was sent to Orleans in December 1528 to enjoy the instruction of the famous German teacher Melchior Wolmar. He was received into Wolmar's house, and the day on which this took place was afterward celebrated as a second birthday. Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne département in the Burgundy region of France. ... This article is about the town in France. ... Flag of Burgundy Burgundy (French: Bourgogne) is a historic region of France, inhabited in turn by Pre-Indo-European people, Celts (Gauls), Romans (Gallo-Romans), and various Germanic peoples, most importantly the Burgundians and the Franks. ... Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne département in the Burgundy region of France. ... Flag of Burgundy Burgundy (French: Bourgogne) is a historic region of France, inhabited in turn by Pre-Indo-European people, Celts (Gauls), Romans (Gallo-Romans), and various Germanic peoples, most importantly the Burgundians and the Franks. ... Insert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text here:This article is about the legislative institution. ... Abbots coat of arms The word abbot, meaning father, has been used as a Christian clerical title in various, mainly monastic, meanings. ... The Order of Cistercians (OCist) (Latin Cistercenses), otherwise Gimey or White Monks (from the colour of the habit, over which is worn a black scapular or apron) are a Catholic order of monks. ... The Tikse monastery in Ladakh, India A monastery is the habitation of monks, derived from the Greek word for a hermits cell. ... Beauvais is a city and commune of northern France, préfecture (capital) of the Oise département. ... This article is about Orléans, France; for other meanings see Orleans (disambiguation). ...


Young Beza soon followed his teacher to Bourges, whither the latter was called by the duchess Margaret of Angoulême, sister of Francis I. Bourges was one of the places in France in which the heart of the Reformation movement beat the strongest. When, in 1534, Francis I issued his edict against ecclesiastical innovations, Wolmar returned to Germany, and, in accordance with the wish of his father, Beza went back to Orleans to study law, and spent four years there (1535-39). This pursuit had little attraction for him; he enjoyed more the reading of the ancient classics, especially Ovid, Catullus, and Tibullus. He received the degree of licentiate in law August 11, 1539, and, as his father desired, went to Paris, where he began practise. His relatives had obtained for him two benefices, the proceeds of which amounted to 700 golden crowns a year; and his uncle had promised to make him his successor. The vaulted nave of Bourges Cathedral Bourges (pop. ... The term duke is a title of nobility which refers to the sovereign male ruler of a Continental European duchy, to a nobleman of the highest grade of the British peerage, or to the highest rank of nobility in various other European countries, including Spain and France (in Italy, principe... Angoulême is a town and commune in southwestern France, préfecture (capital city) of the Charente département. ... Francis I (French: François Ier) (September 12, 1494 – July 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (French: le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Engraved frontispiece of George Sandyss 1632 London edition of Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC â€“ Tomis, now Constanta AD 17) Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women, and mythological transformations. ... Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. ... Albius Tibullus (c. ...


Beza spent two happy years at Paris and soon gained a prominent position in literary circles. To escape the many temptations to which he was exposed, with the knowledge of two friends, he became engaged in the year 1544 to a young girl of humble descent, Claudine Denoese, promising to make this engagement public as soon as his circumstances would allow it. He published a collection of Latin poems, Juvenilia, which made him famous, and he was everywhere considered one of the best writers of Latin poetry of his time. Poetry (from Ancient Greek: (poiéo/poió) = I create) is traditionally a written art form (although there is also an ancient and modern poetry which relies mainly upon oral or pictorial representations) in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional...


But he fell ill and his distress of body, it is reported, revealed to him his spiritual needs. Gradually he came to the knowledge of salvation in Christ, which he apprehended with a joyous faith. He then resolved to sever his connections of the time, and went to Geneva, the French city of refuge for Evangelicals (adherents of the Reformation movement), where he arrived with Claudine on October 23, 1548. Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German: Genf //, Italian: Ginevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland, situated where Lake Geneva (French Lac Léman) flows into the Rhône River. ... Events Mary I of Scotland sent to France Births September 2 - Vincenzo Scamozzi, Italian architect (died 1616) September 29 - William V, Duke of Bavaria (died 1626) Francesco Andreini, Italian actor (died 1624) Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher, astronomer, and occultist (burned at the stake) 1600 (died 1600) Honda Tadakatsu, Japanese general...


Teacher at Lausanne

He was heartily received by John Calvin, who had met him already in Wolmar's house, and was at once publicly and solemnly married in the church. Beza was at a loss for immediate occupation, so he went to Tübingen to see his former teacher Wolmar. On his way home he visited Viret at Lausanne, who at once detained him and brought about his appointment as professor of Greek at the academy there (Nov., 1549). John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ...


In spite of the arduous work which fell to his lot, Beza found time to write a Biblical drama, Abraham Sacrifiant (published at Geneva, 1550; Eng. transl. by Arthur Golding, London, 1577, ed., with introduction, notes, and the French text of the original, M. W. Wallace, Toronto, 1906), in which he contrasted Catholicism with Protestantism, and the work was well received. In June, 1551, he added a few psalms to the French version of the Psalms begun by Marot, which was also very successful. This article considers Catholicism in the broadest ecclesiastical sense. ... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing the splitting away from the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe—a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... Cl ment Marot (1496-1544), was a French poet of the Renaissance period. ...


About the same time he published his Passavantius, a satire directed against Pierre Lizet of ill repute, formerly president of the Parliament of Paris, and principal originator of the "fiery chamber" (chambre ardente), who, being at the time (1551) abbot of St. Victor near Paris, was eager to acquire the fame of a subduer of heresy by publishing a number of polemical writings.


Of a more serious character were two controversies in which Beza was involved at this time. The first concerned the doctrine of predestination and the controversy of Calvin with Jerome Hermes Bolsec. The second referred to the burning of Michael Servetus at Geneva Oct. 27, 1553. In defense of Calvin and the Genevan magistrates, Beza published in 1554 the work De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis (translated into French in 1560). Michael Servetus. ...


Journeys in behalf of the Protestants

In 1557 Beza took a special interest in the Waldensians of Piedmont, who were harassed by the French government, and in their behalf went with Farel to Bern, Zurich, Basel, Schaffhausen, thence to Strasburg, Mumpelgart, Baden, and Goppingen. In Baden and Goppingen, Beza and Farel had to declare themselves concerning their own and the Waldensians' views on the sacrament, and on May 14, 1557, they presented a written declaration is which they clearly stated their position. This declaration was well received by the Lutheran theologians, but was strongly disapproved in Bern and Zurich. The Waldensians are a Christian denomination believing in poverty and austerity, founded around 1173, promoting true poverty, public preaching and the literal interpretation of the scriptures. ... Piedmont is a region of northwestern Italy. ...


In the autumn of 1557 Beza undertook a second journey with Farel to Worms by way of Strasburg to bring about an intercession of the Evangelical princes of the empire in favor of the persecuted brethren at Paris. With Melanchthon and other theologians then assembled at Worms, Beza considered a union of all Protestant Christians, but this proposal was decidedly negatived by Zurich and Bern. False reports having reached the German princes that the hostilities against the Huguenots in France had ceased, no embassy was sent to the court of France, and Beza undertook another journey in the interest of the Huguenots, going with Farel, Johannes Buddaeus, and Gaspard Carmel to Strasburg and Frankfort, where the sending of an embassy to Paris was resolved upon. Philipp Melanchthon (February 16, 1497 - April 19, 1560) was a German theologian and writer of the Protestant Reformation and an associate of Martin Luther. ... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, or historically as the French Calvinists. ...


Settles in Geneva

Upon his return to Lausanne, Beza was greatly disturbed. In union with many ministers and professors in city and country, Viret at last thought of establishing a consistory and of introducing a church discipline which should inflict excommunication especially at the celebration of the communion. But the Bernese would have no Calvinistic church government. This caused many difficulties, and Beza thought it best (1558) to settle at Geneva.


Here he occupied at first the chair of Greek in the newly established academy, and after Calvin's death also that of theology; besides this he was obliged to preach. He completed the revision of Olivetan's translation of the New Testament, begun some years before. In 1559 he undertook another journey in the interest of the Huguenots, this time to Heidelberg; about the same time he had to defend Calvin against Joachim Westphal in Hamburg and Tileman Hesshusen. See New Covenant for the concept translated as New Testament in the KJV. The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures, and, in recent times, also New Covenant, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written in the first centuries of... Events January 15 - Elizabeth I of England is crowned in Westminster Abbey. ... Heidelberg (halfway between Stuttgart and Frankfurt) is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ... Alster Lake at dusk Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and with the Hamburg Harbour, its principal port. ...


More important than this polemical activity was Beza's statement of his own confession. It was originally prepared for his father in justification of his course and published in revised form to promote Evangelical knowledge among Beza's countrymen. It was printed in Latin in 1560 with a dedication to Wolmar. An English translation was published at London 1563, 1572, and 1585. Translations into German, Dutch, and Italian were also issued.


Events of 1560-63

Woodcut of Theodore Beza
Woodcut of Theodore Beza

In the mean time things took such shape in France that the happiest future for Protestantism seemed possible. King Antony of Navarre, yielding to the urgent requests of Evangelical noblemen, declared his willingness to listen to a prominent teacher of the Church. Beza, a French nobleman and head of the academy in the metropolis of French Protestantism, was invited to Castle Nerac, but he could not plant the seed of Evangelical faith in the heart of the king. Image File history File links Theodore Beza (1519-1605). ... Image File history File links Theodore Beza (1519-1605). ... Four horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer. ...


In the year following (1561) Beza represented the Evangelicals at the Colloquy of Poissy, and in an eloquent manner defended the principles of the Evangelical faith. The colloquy was without result, but Beza as the head and advocate of all Reformed congregations of France was revered and hated at the same time. The queen insisted upon another colloquy, which was opened at St. Germain Jan. 28, 1562, eleven days after the proclamation of the famous January edict which granted important privileges to those of the Reformed faith. But the colloquy was broken off when it became evident that the Catholic party was preparing (after the massacre of Vassy, Mar. 1) to overthrow Protestantism. Colloquy of Poissy, a conference held in 1561 with the object of effecting a reconciliation between the Catholics and Protestants of France. ...


Beza hastily issued a circular letter (Mar. 25) to all Reformed congregations of the empire, and with Conde and his troops went to Orleans. It was necessary to proceed quickly and energetically. But there were neither soldiers nor money. At the request of Conde, Beza visited all Huguenot cities to obtain both. He also wrote a manifesto in which he argued the justice of the Reformed cause. As one of the messengers to collect soldiers and money among his coreligionists, Beza was appointed to visit England, Germany, and Switzerland. He went to Strasburg and Basel, but met with failure. He then returned to Geneva, which he reached Sept. 4. He had hardly been there fourteen days when he was called once more to Orleans by D'Andelot. The campaign was becoming more successful; but the publication of the unfortunate edict of pacification which Conde accepted (Mar. 12,1563) filled Beza and all Protestant France with horror.


Calvin's Successor

For twenty-two months Beza had been absent from Geneva, and the interests of school and Church there and especially the condition of Calvin made it necessary for him to return. For there was no one to take the place of Calvin, who was sick and unable longer to bear the burden resting on him. Calvin and Beza arranged to perform their duties jointly in alternate weeks, but the death of Calvin occurred soon afterward (May 27, 1564). As a matter of course Beza was his successor.


Until 1580 Beza was not only moderateur de la compagnie des pasteurs, but also the real soul of the great institution of learning at Geneva which Calvin had founded in 1559, consisting of a gymnasium and an academy. As long as be lived, Beza was interested in higher education. The Protestant youth for nearly forty years thronged his lecture-room to hear his theological lectures, in which he expounded the purest Calvinistic orthodoxy. As a counselor he was listened to by both magistrates and pastors. Geneva is indebted to him for the founding of a law school in which Francois Hotman, Jules Pacius, and Denys Godefroy, the most eminent jurists of the century, lectured in turn (cf. Charles Borgeaud, L'Academie de Calvin, Geneva, 1900). François Hotman (August 23, 1524 - February 12, 1590), was a French Protestant lawyer and writer. ...


Course of Events after 1564

As Calvin's successor, Beza was very successful, not only in carrying on his work but also in giving peace to the Church at Geneva. The magistrates had fully appropriated the ideas of Calvin, and the direction of spiritual affairs, the organs of which were the "ministers of the word" and "the consistory," was founded on a solid basis. No doctrinal controversy arose after 1564. The discussions concerned questions of a practical, social, or ecclesiastical nature, such as the supremacy of the magistrates over the pastors, freedom in preaching, and the obligation of the pastors to submit to the majority of the campagnie des pasteurs.


Beza obtruded his will in no way upon his associates, and took no harsh measures against injudicious or hot-headed colleagues, though sometimes he took their cases in hand and acted as mediator; and yet he often experienced an opposition so extreme that he threatened to resign. Although he was inclined to take the part of the magistrates, he knew how to defend the rights and independence of the spiritual power when occasion arose, without, however, conceding to it such a preponderating influence as did Calvin.


His activity was great. He mediated between the compagnie and the magistracy; the latter continually asked his advice even in political questions. He corresponded with all the leaders of the Reformed party in Europe. After the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572), he used his influence to give to the refugees a hospitable reception at Geneva. 19th century painting by François Dubois The St. ...


In 1574 he wrote his De jure magistratuum (Right of Magistrates), in which he emphatically protested against tyranny in religious matters, and affirmed that it is legitimate for a people to oppose an unworthy magistracy in a practical manner and if necessary to use weapons and depose them. Written by Theodore Beza in 1574 under the title De jure magistratuum (Right of Magistrates), it emphatically protested against British tyranny in religious matters, and affirmed that it is legitimate for a people to oppose an unworthy magistracy in a practical manner and if necessary to use weapons and depose...


To sum up: Without being a great dogmatician like his master, nor a creative genius in the ecclesiastical realm, Beza had qualities which made him famous as humanist, exegete, orator, and leader in religious and political affairs, and qualified him to be the guide of the Calvinists in all Europe. In the various controversies into which he was drawn, Beza often showed an excess of irritation and intolerance, from which Bernardino Ochino, pastor of the Italian congregation at Zurich (on account of a treatise which contained some objectionable points on polygamy), and Sebastian Castellio at Basel (on account of his Latin and French translations of the Bible) had especially to suffer. Sebastian Castellio (also spelled Châtaillon and Castellión) (1515-1563) was a French preacher and theologian, and an important 16th century proponent of the concept of freedom of religion and conscience. ...


With Reformed France Beza continued to maintain the closest relations. He was the moderator of the general synod which met in April, 1571, at La Rochelle and decided not to abolish church discipline or to acknowledge the civil government as head of the Church, as the Paris minister Jean Morel and the philosopher Pierre Ramus demanded; it also decided to confirm anew the Calvinistic doctrine of the Lord's Supper (by the expression: "substance of the body of Christ") against Zwinglianism, which caused a very unpleasant discussion between Beza and Ramus and Bullinger. Moderator can refer to one of the following: neutron moderator moderator (communications) - Message Board Moderator The chairperson of a church court in Presbyterian churches (see Moderator of the General Assembly). ... Location within France La Rochelle is a city or commune of western France, and a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean (population 76,584 in 1999). ... Petrus Ramus. ...


In the following year (May, 1572) he took an important part in the national synod at Nimes. He was also interested in the controversies which concerned the Augsburg Confession in Germany, especially after 1564, on the doctrine of the person of Christ and the sacrament, and published several works against Westphal, Hesshusen, Selnecker, Johann Brenz, and Jakob Andrea. This made him, especially after 1571, hated by all those who adhered to Lutheranism in opposition to Melanchthon. Nîmes is a city and commune of southern France, préfecture (capital) of the Gard département. ... The Augsburg Confession, in Latin Confessio Augustana, is the central document of the Lutheran reformation, which was a reaction against the Roman Catholic Church. ... Rudolf Westphal (July 3, 1826 - July 10, 1892), German classical scholar, was born at Obernkirchen in Schaumburg. ... Nikolaus Selnecker or Selneccer (December 5, 1532, Hersbruck–May 24, 1592, Leipzig) was a German musician and theologian. ... Johann Brenz (1499-1570) was a German church reformer. ... Jakob Andreae (March 25, 1528–1590) was a significant Lutheran theologian, involved in the drafting of major documents. ...


The Colloquy of Mumpelgart

The last polemical conflict of importance Beza encountered from the exclusive Lutherans was at the Colloquy of Mumpelgart, Mar. 14-27, 1586, to which he had been invited by the Lutheran Count Frederick of Württemberg at the wish of the French noblemen who had fled to Mumpelgart. As a matter of course the intended union which was the purpose of the colloquy was not brought about; nevertheless it called forth serious developments within the Reformed Church.


When the edition of the acts of the colloquy, as prepared by Jakob Andrea, was published, Samuel Huber, of Burg near Bern, who belonged to the Lutheranizing faction of the Swiss clergy, took so great offense at the supralapsarian doctrine of predestination propounded at Mumpelgart by Beza and Musculus that he felt it to be his duty to denounce Musculus to the magistrates of Bern as an innovator in doctrine. To adjust the matter, the magistrates arranged a colloquy between Huber and Musculus (Sept. 2, 1587), in which the former represented the universalism, the latter the particularism, of grace.


As the colloquy was resultless, a debate was arranged at Bern, Apr. 15-18, 1588, at which the defense of the accepted system of doctrine was at the start put into Beza's hands. The three delegates of the Helvetic cantons who presided at the debate declared in the end that Beza had substantiated the teaching propounded at Mumpelgart as the orthodox one, and Huber was dismissed from his office.


Last Days

After that time Beza's activity was confined more and more to the affairs of his home. His faithful wife Claudine had died childless in 1588, a few days before he went to the Bern Disputation. Forty years they had lived happily together. He contracted, on the advice of his friends, a second marriage with Catharina del Piano, a Genoese widow, in order to have a helpmate in his declining years. Up to his sixty-fifth year he enjoyed excellent health, but after that a gradual sinking of his vitality became perceptible. He was active in teaching till Jan., 1597.


The saddest experience in his old days was the conversion of King Henry IV to Catholicism, in spite of his most earnest exhortations (1593). Strange to say, in 1596 the report was spread by the Jesuits in Germany, France, England, and Italy that Beza and the Church of Geneva had returned into the bosom of Rome, and Beza replied in a satire that revealed the possession still of his old fire of thought and vigor of expression. Henry IV (French: Henri IV; December 13, 1553–May 14, 1610), was the first of the Bourbon kings of France, reigning from 1589 until his death. ...


He died in Geneva. He was not buried, like Calvin, in the general cemetery, Plain-Palais (for the Savoyards had threatened to abduct his body to Rome), but at the direction of the magistrates, in the monastery of St. Pierre. Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German: Genf //, Italian: Ginevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland, situated where Lake Geneva (French Lac Léman) flows into the Rhône River. ...


Humanistic and Historical Writings

In Beza's literary activity as well as in his life, distinction must be made between the period of the humanist (which ended with the publication of his Juvenilia) and that of the ecclesiastic. But later productions like the humanistic, biting, satirical Passavantius and his Complainte de Messire Pierre Lizet . . . prove that in later years he occasionally went back to his first love. In his old age he published his Cato censorius (1591), and revised his Poemata, from which he purged juvenile eccentricities.


Of his historiographical works, aside from his Icones (1580), which have only an iconographical value, mention may be made of the famous Histoire ecclesiastique des Eglises reformes au Royaume de France (1580), and his biography of Calvin, with which must be named his edition of Calvin's Epistolae et responsa (1575).


Theological Works

But all these humanistic and historical studies ire surpassed by his theological productions (contained in Tractationes theologicae). In these Beza appears the perfect pupil or the alter ego of Calvin. His view of life is deterministic and the basis of his religious thinking is the predestinate recognition of the necessity of all temporal existence as an effect of the absolute, eternal, and immutable will of God, so that even the fall of the human race appears to him essential to the divine plan of the world. In most lucid manner Beza shows in tabular form the connection of the religious views which emanated from thin fundamental supralapsarian mode of thought. This he added to his highly instructive treatise Summa totius Christianismi.


Beza's Greek New Testament

Of no less importance are the contributions of Beza to Biblical science. In 1565 he issued an edition of the Greek New Testament, accompanied in parallel columns by the text of the Vulgate and a translation of his own (already published as early as 1556). Annotations were added, also previously published, but now he greatly enriched and enlarged them. See New Covenant for the concept translated as New Testament in the KJV. The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures, and, in recent times, also New Covenant, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written in the first centuries of... The Vulgate Bible is an early 5th century translation of the Bible into Latin made by St. ...


In the preparation of this edition of the Greek text, but much more in the preparation of the second edition which he brought out in 1582, Beza may have availed himself of the help of two very valuable manuscripts. One is known as the Codex Bezae or Cantabrigensis, and was later presented by Beza to the University of Cambridge; the second is the Codex Claromontanus, which Beza had found in Clermont (now in the National Library at Paris). The Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis (Gregory-Aland no. ... Codex Claromontanus is a 6th-century manuscript in an uncial hand on vellum of the Epistles of Paul and the Epistle to the Hebrews in Greek and Latin on facing pages (thus a diglot manuscript, like Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis). ...


It was not, however, to these sources that Beza was chiefly indebted, but rather to the previous edition of the eminent Robert Estienne (1550), itself based in great measure upon one of the later editions of Erasmus. Beza's labors in this direction were exceedingly helpful to those who came after. The same thing may be asserted with equal truth of his Latin version and of the copious notes with which it was accompanied. The former is said to have been published over a hundred times. Robert I Estienne (Paris 1503 – Geneva September 7, 1559), also known as Robert Stephens (Latin: Stephanus), was a 16th century printer in Paris. ... Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (also Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam) (October 27, probably 1466 – July 12, 1536) was a Dutch humanist and theologian. ...


Although some lament that Beza's view of the doctrine of predestination exercised too preponderating an influence upon his interpretation of the Scriptures, there is no question that he added much to a clear understanding of the New Testament.


External links

  • "The Two Parts of the Word of God: Law & Gospel" from The Christian Faith by Beza
  • "Faith and Justification" from The Christian Faith by Beza
  • "Jesus Christ the Son of God" from The Christian Faith by Beza
  • Concerning the Rights of Rulers Over Their Subjects and the Duty Of Subjects Towards Their Rulers, a treatise by Beza

This article includes content derived from the public domain Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1914. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge is a 1914 religious encyclopedia, published in thirteen volumes. ...


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