Daily Archives: 25 Nov 2016

Remembering Johannes Oecolampadius…

Who died 24 November, 1531… just over a month after Zwingli was slaughtered by the Papist forces at Kappel-am-Albis.

Oecolampadius' statue in Basel (my photo)

Oecolampadius’ statue in Basel (my photo)

At the very time that these flourishing churches were falling to the ground, the Reform witnessed the extinction of its brightest lights. A. blow from a stone had slain the energetic Zwingli on the field of battle, and the rebound reached the pacific Œcolampadius at Basle, in the midst of a life that was wholly evangelical.

The death of his friend, the severe judgments with which they pursued his memory, the terror that had suddenly taken the place of the hopes he had entertained of the future— all these sorrows rent the heart of Œcolampadius, and soon his head and his life inclined sadly to the tomb. “Alas!” cried he, “that Zwingli, whom I have so long regarded as my right arm, has fallen under the blows of cruel enemies!”

oecolampadius2He recovered, however, sufficient energy to defend the memory of his brother. “It was not,” said he, “on the heads of the most guilty that the wrath of Pilate and the tower of Siloam fell. The judgment began in the house of God; our presumption has been punished; let our trust be placed now on the Lord alone, and this will be an inestimable gain.” Œcolampadius declined the call of Zurich to take the place of Zwingli. “My post is here,” said he, as he looked upon Basle.

He was not destined to hold it long. Illness fell upon him in addition to so many afflictions; the plague was in the city, a violent inflammation attacked him, and erelong a tranquil scene succeeded the tumult of Cappel. A peaceful death calmed the agitated hearts of the faithful, and replaced by sweet and heavenly emotions the terror and distress with which a horrible disaster had filled them.

Johannes OecolampadiusOn hearing of the danger of Œcolampadius, all the city was plunged into mourning; a crowd of men of every age and of every rank rushed to his house. “Rejoice,” said the reformer with a meek look, “I am going to a place of everlasting joy.” He then commemorated the death of our Lord, with his wife, his relations, and domestics, who shed floods of tears. “This supper,” said the dying man, “is a sign of my real faith in Jesus Christ my Redeemer.”

On the morrow he sent for his colleagues: “My brethren,” said he, “the Lord is there; he calls me away. Oh! my brethren, what a black cloud is appearing on the horizon—what a tempest is approaching! Be steadfast: the Lord will preserve his own.” He then held out his hand, and all these faithful ministers clasped it with veneration.

On the 23d November, he called his children around him, the eldest of whom was barely three years old. “Eusebius, Irene, Alethea, said he to them, as he took their little hands, “love God who is your Father.” Their mother having promised for them, the children retired with the blessing of the dying servant of the Lord. The night that followed this scene was his last. All the pastors were around his bed: “What is the news?” asked Œcolampadius of a friend who came in. “Nothing” was the reply. “Well,” said the faithful disciple of Jesus, “I will tell you something new.” His friends awaited in astonishment. “In a short time I shall be with the Lord Jesus.” One of his friends now asking him if he was incommoded by the light, he replied, putting his hand on his heart: “There is light enough here.”

oecoThe day began to break; he repeated in a feeble voice the 51st Psalm: Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to thy loving kindness. Then remaining silent, as if he wished to recover strength, he said, “Lord Jesus, help me!” The ten pastors fell on their knees around his bed with uplifted hands; at this moment the sun rose, and darted his earliest rays on a scene of sorrow so great and so afflicting with which the Church of God was again stricken.

The death of this servant of the Lord was like his life, full of light and peace. Œcolampadius was in an especial degree the Christian spiritualist and biblical divine. The importance he attached to the study of the books of the Old Testament imprinted one of its most essential characters on the reformed theology. Considered as a man of action, his moderation and meekness placed him in the second rank.

Had he been able to exert more of this peaceful spirit over Zwingli, great misfortunes might perhaps have been avoided. But like all men of meek disposition, his peaceful character yielded too much to the energetic will of the minister of Zurich; and he thus renounced, in part at least, the legitimate influence that he might have exercised over the Reformer of Switzerland and of the Church.1

1D’Aubigné, J. H. M. (1862). History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century, (Vol. 4, pp. 396–397).

The 444th Anniversary of The Death of John Knox

There’s a fantastic overview of Knox here- by the Germans!  I guess the Scots can’t be bothered with Knox these days (and anyway, he’d hate the Church of Scotland with a passionate fire only Knox himself could muster).

Als wuchtige Steinfigur ist John Knox auf dem internationalen Reformationsdenkmal in Genf verewigt. Auch in seiner Heimatstadt Edinburgh erinnert eine Statue in der St. Giles’ Cathedral an den Schotten. Genf und Edinburgh sind zwei Stationen im Leben des streitbaren und unbeugsamen Theologen, der sich als wichtiger Wegbereiter der Reformation in Schottland einen Namen gemacht hat.

Read the whole brief but spectacular piece.

Silent Night… Holy Night…


via facebook

You Didn’t Raise a Complaint When America Interfered With Elections Around the World…

So why are you complaining now that you think Russia may have done the same to us?  That’s the classic definition of hypocrisy.  So two passages from Scripture are offered to you:

  • You reap what you sow.
  • Do to others what you would have them do to you.

If you don’t like having it done to your vote, you should despise it when it happens to the votes of persons in other countries by your OWN government as it seeks and has sought to expand its power and influence by any means necessary.

If you weren’t offended then, don’t pretend you’re offended now.  You just don’t have the right.

Today With Zwingli: An Interesting Letter to Myconius

Myconio suo Zuinglius S.

myconiusIncertus animi sum, an mala, quę nobis occurrunt (si tamen mala sunt), tibi significanda sint, homini supra modum clementię misericordięque dedito; vereor enim, nisi pręmuniero pectus tuum ἀλεξιφαρμάκοις, ne in tristiciam immoderatam incidas, tam es nostri studiosus. At mea precor tu eo animo feras, quo ipse fero; fero autem nunc ęquiter, qui tamen primum in eiulatum et luctum plus quam fęmineum prorupi, quod scilicet affectu repentino atque improviso obruerer; at mox me recepi, ut iam rursus mihi constem. Deo sit gratia. Ęque itaque feras, ut tandem rem aperiam, mortem germani nostri Andreę, optimę indolis adolescentis et spei maximę, quem heu pestis, sanguini, ut reor, nostro et glorię invidens, ipso die Elisabeth [19. Nov.] necavit, ad summum post annum, modo vixisset, ad te iturum, ut et tibi et filio per eum licuisset sine sudore gręcari. At tantum abest, ut cum deo expostulem, ut et me offeram. Hęc satis. Epistolam tuam aduc expecto et cantiones illas multivarias Xilotecto commodatas, quas nostri quottidie postulant.

Vale, et me iam orbum ama, ut solitus es. Pestis alioqui nihil crudescit; nam intra mensem haud scio, an supra 4 aut 5 homines ea interierint. Salvos opto uxorem, liberos, Xilotectum, provisorem, omnes.

Ex Tiguro ipso die Katarinę virginis anno etc. MCCCCCXX. Non habito domi nostrę, compulsus amicorum suasionibus potius, quam mortis metu etc. Mox redibo. Hęc scribo, ne mireris literas  non solito more signatas. Salutat te Franciscus Zinggius.  Myconio suo, rhetori Lucernano. – Dem schuolmeister gen Lucern.

Who Biblical Scholars at SBLaar16 Think they Think Like…


Who most of them actually think like-


Who Biblical Scholars at SBLaar16 Think They Write Like…


Who most of them actually write like-


What Biblical Scholars at SBLaar16 Thought They Looked Like…

imagesAnd what they actually look like-

images (1)

Self delusion is always the worst delusion…

The Most Beautiful Movement in the Entire Oeuvre of Classical Music…

Is this one. I can never listen to it without getting a tear in the eyes. And I’ve listened to it hundreds of times. Maybe thousands.

Remember When Wipf And Stock Published Brunner’s Dogmatics…

And couldn’t spell the word ‘Doctrine’…  (from SBL 2014).


Someone Finally Understands Me

In a just-published study about how our ancestral needs impact our modern feelings, researchers uncovered something that will surprise few among the highly intelligent. While most people are happier when they’re surrounded by friends, smart people are happier when they’re not.


The Intersection of the Academy and the Pew – a public talk by Dr Jim West at Newman University

This guy sounds fantastic! I MUST go!!!

Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception

The early Church father, Tertullian, once wrote: “[w]hat indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church?” (De praescriptione, vii). Sometimes, some of my students take great pleasure in reminding me of this!

It is therefore a great pleasure to welcome to our shores someone who is amply qualified to guide us through this (often tempestuous) relationship and offer to you all…

…a very warm, post-Christmas, invitation to a public talk

The Intersection of Academy and the Pew

5th January 2017


Dr Jim West (Ming Hua Theological College)

Newman University

14.00 – 15.00


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