Zwinglius Redivivus

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If They Had Mentioned Zwingli Maybe I Wouldn’t Be So Critical…

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But how does anyone write an essay about the Reformation and ignore the great man?  That’s like talking about space exploration without talking about the Apollo program.

So anyway, because they ignored Zwingli, I’ll point out that the date is wrong unless they are thinking of 7th Day Adventist Churches- because the 25th is Saturday, the 26th is Sunday.  For shame, First Things, for shame (mostly for ignoring Zwingli).


I’ll tell ya how- You start by remembering Zwingli and not completely overlooking him…   *mumble*.

Written by Jim

October 24, 2014 at 15:47

Posted in Church History

Today With Zwingli

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On 24 October, 1529, Zwingli published his edition of the Marburg Articles – along with marginal notes of his own. It’s intriguing in that it allows readers to see what Zwingli thought of each article, in his own words along with the finalized agreed-upon edition which the participants signed. The title of the Flugschrift- Notae Zuinglii. Randbemerkungen Zwinglis zu den Marburger Artikeln von 1529.

So, for example, on the critical Article 15 (on the Supper)

[Zu Artikel 15 am Rand:] Nachtmal: Sic nos appellamus. Inferiores vocant sacrament des altars. Sacrament des waren, etc.: Sacramentum signum est veri corporis, etc. Non est igitur verum corpus. Fürnemlich: Principalis est manducatio spiritualis. In hac consentimus. Caput ergo religionis est salvum. Das wort von gott geben: hoc est, quomodo Christus suis verbis instituit. Hic religio monet, ne verba Christi velimus contemnere, sed illis uti quomodo hactenus usi sumus, deinde et mortem domini annunciare [vgl. 1.Kor.11,26]. Die gwüssen zuo glouben zuo bewegen: verbo scilicet domini passionis. Illud enim in hoc predicatur, ut sciamus, deum nobis esse propitium, quandoquidem filium suum pro nobis in mortem tradidit. Sed solus spiritus sanctus est, qui corda illuminat et per fidem iustificat. Idcirco in huiusmodi semper curavimus addi expositionem, qua intelligatur, fidem a solo deo esse. Est igitur huius loci sensus, usum sacramenti huius servari debere, quomodo Christus instituit. Instituit autem, ut memores simus, hoc est, annunciemus mortem eius, hoc est, gratias agamus et laudem demus ac gloriam propter hoc, quod pro nobis est crucifixus ac mortuus. Iam nimirum necessarium est, ut mors domini externo quoque verbo predicetur. Haec predicatio in hoc fit, ut pars confortetur, pars ad fidem informetur. Sed haec omnia non nostro verbo, etiamsi instrumentum sit, sed divina operatione in mentibus hominum perficiuntur.

Written by Jim

October 24, 2014 at 07:07

Posted in Church History, Zwingli

Book(s) Of the Week

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I mentioned these volumes back in the beginning of the Summer and I’ve finally made my way through them and had a bit of time to reflect on their significance.  If you go here and click the ‘Chapters’ tab you’ll have displayed the complete Table of Contents.

cover_dignitaetDie Studie untersucht anhand gedruckter und ungedruckter Werke und Materialien das historiographische Schaffen des Zürcher Reformators Heinrich Bullinger. Im Vordergrund steht die in den 1560er-Jahren entstandene handschriftliche »Reformationsgeschichte« des Zürcher Antistes, deren Entstehung, Quellengrundlage und Quellenverarbeitung im Kontext der geschichtstheologischen Voraussetzungen und methodologischen Ansprüchen, unter denen sich Bullingers historiographisches Schaffen vollzog, untersucht und vor dem Hintergrund der humanistischen und konfessionellen Geschichtsschreibung der Frühen Neuzeit historiographiegeschichtlich eingeordnet wird. Einen weiteren Aspekt bildet die Überlieferungs- und Rezeptionsgeschichte dieses für die spätere Reformationsgeschichtsschreibung fundamentalen Werkes. Neben dieser Analyse werden zahlreiche bislang unveröffentlichte Arbeitsmaterialien Bullingers historisch-kritisch ediert und detaillierte Beschreibungen der überlieferten Abschriften vorgelegt

I realize that the books are expensive.  But they are so very foundational for a good understanding of the history of the Reformation that they are seriously indispensable for any research library or researcher.  Primary sources are gloriously important and these volumes assemble them into one useful place.  These two books are the book(s) of the week.

Written by Jim

October 23, 2014 at 14:56

Today With Zwingli

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Bugenhagen had written Zwingli asking him to clarify his view of the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and on the 23rd of October in 1525 Zwingli obliged with his Responsio ad epistolam Ioannis Bugenhagii.

Peppered with Scriptural proofs, Zwingli shows Bugenhagen in meticulous detail why ‘hoc est’ in the celebration of the body of Christ in the Supper should be understood “significat”. ‘This signifies my body…’ etc.

Here’s a fun section:

Sic ergo didicimus, urgente nos rudium cura, qui non bene norunt, quid tropus significet, quomodo ista vox “est” debeat pro “significat” accipi. Videbam τροπικῶς dictum esse “hoc est corpus meum” [Luc. 22. 19], sed in qua voce tropus lateret, non videbam. Ibi dei munere factum est, ut duo quidam et pii et docti homines, quorum etiamnum tacebo nomina, ad Leonem nostrum et me conferendi de hoc argumento causa venirent; cumque nostram hac in re sententiam audirent, gratias egerunt deo (suam enim ipsi celabant, quod tum non erat tutum cuique communicare, quod in hac re sentiret), ac epistolam istam cuiusdam et docti et pii Batavi, quae iam excusa est anonyma, soluta sarcina communicarunt. In ea foelicem hanc margaritam “est” pro “significat” hic accipi inveni.

Zwingli’s view persuaded many but it didn’t persuade Luther or the other Catholics of Luther’s mindset. It never could, because Luther was far too chained to his mystical past.  Or, as Zwingli puts it in his colorful conclusion-

Non potest ex integro antichristus profligari, nisi et hoc errore labefactato corruat. Spectemus veri ante omnia faciem, non autoritatem hominum, quae nihil valere debet, ubi veritas illuxit.

That delightful phrase could be repeated daily concerning so many…

Written by Jim

October 23, 2014 at 07:48

The Acts of the Synod of Dort: Conference Announcement

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Die Johannes A Lasco Bibliothek in Emden lädt ein zur Präsentation des ersten Bandes der kritischen Edition der Akten und Dokumente zur Dordrechter Synode 1618/19: “Acta et Documenta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechtanae 1618–1619″ am 29. Oktober 2014 in Emden.  Die Präsentation findet statt im Anschluss an der öffentlichen Vortrag von Dr. Herman J. Selderhuis “Zwischen Heidelberg und Dordrecht, Emdens bedeutung für die Reformierte Kirche in den Niederlanden”.

Via Refo500- which has more info in English as well.


Written by Jim

October 23, 2014 at 06:11

Welcome to the Faculty, Doctor Luther

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On this day in 1512 Luther was welcomed to the faculty of theology at the University of Wittenberg as a newly graduated Doctor of the Bible.

luther_mocksLuther’s first lectures on the Bible, often referred to as Initium theologiae Lutheri (“The Beginning of Luther’s Theology”). Johann von Staupitz had persuaded Luther to pursue advanced studies to qualify for the degree of Doctor in Biblia and had moved Frederick the Wise to provide funds for promoting Luther’s doctorate on the promise that Luther would be a great asset to the University of Wittenberg as lecturer on the Bible. Staupitz himself had held this position with distinction but was now vacating it because of his duties as vicar general of the Augustinians. On October 22, 1512, the new doctor was with appropriate ceremony received as a colleague by the faculty senate and apparently immediately began his preparations for lectures on the Psalms.

These preparations included providing the Latin text of the Vulgate for the convenience of the students. Accordingly, Luther contracted with Johann Grunenberg to print, in a special edition with wide margins and generous interlinear spaces, the Latin text of the Psalter together with appropriate headings and short summaries of the contents of the individual psalms. Into the white space of one of these printed copies Luther then wrote his own interlinear and marginal notes, copied perhaps from slips of paper used during his preparation. These notes are the so-called glosses—brief explanations, mostly of a grammatical and philological nature, of individual words and phrases of the Biblical text.

The students were expected to enter into their own, identical copies of the Psalter what Luther dictated from his. This was the normal way to begin such lectures. The glosses would then be followed by the so-called scholia—a wider interpretation of as many phrases or statements of the text as the lecturer chose, touching theological concepts and questions near and far and providing a wide range of support from Scripture generally and from the works of previous recognized interpreters.

Again Luther had carefully written out his scholia in complete sentences, but in the lecture hall he may have spoken freely on the basis of his written plans, adding new ideas that came to mind and deleting whatever by that time may have seemed less appropriate. In the case of the first lectures on the Psalms only Luther’s own preparations, however, are extant, and we have no tangible record of what was taken down, and therefore actually said, in the lecture hall.

It is of course possible that Luther in this new role began by staying very close to his manuscript and then, as he felt moved by the power of the Word he was treating, dared to depart more and more from the planned program. In a letter to Georg Spalatin written when the lectures were about complete and when there was thought of publishing them, Luther refers to these lectures as mea dictata super Psalterium, but this hardly proves anything regarding the method of their delivery. The lectures seem to have begun about the middle of August 1513 and may have continued until the fall of 1515.*
*Luther’s Works, vol. 10: First Lectures on the Psalms I: Psalms 1-75, pp. ix–x).

Written by Jim

October 22, 2014 at 10:37

Posted in Church History, Luther

Today With Zwingli: A Friend of His Deceased Brother

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James [Zwingli] died a monk in the Scotch monastery in Vienna in the year 1517. Zwingli, writing to Vadian, June 13, 1517 (vii., 24), says: “God Almighty knows how much grief has been cast upon me by the sudden death of my brother, to whom you showed every attention that your kindest of kind hearts could suggest.”

John James a Liliis introduces himself to Zwingli in a letter from Paris, October 21, 1518 (vii., 49), as an intimate friend of Zwingli’s deceased brother James.*

Here’s the letter of introduction sent Huldrych Zwingli on this day in 1518-



*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 63–64).

Written by Jim

October 21, 2014 at 14:03

Posted in Church History, Zwingli


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