Daily Archives: 1 Jan 2017

Ugh…

‪Cursed jet lag. First it won’t let you stay awake and then it won’t let you go to sleep. Bad lag, bad. Time out for you!‬

Well, I’ve Made it to Nottingham…

And I’m worn out.  So I’m going to hang out, do nothing, and stay up as late as I can so I can kick the jet lag.

A Bit More, On Zwingli’s Birth

A full account of the event:

wildhaus

HULDREICH ZWINGLI, the Reformer of German Switzerland, was born on Thursday, January 1, 1484, in a house which still stands in well-nigh perfect preservation. It is in the hamlet called Lysighaus, i. e., Elizabeth house, ten minutes’ walk from the parish church of Wildhaus, or, as it was then called, Wildenhaus, a village in the Toggenburg Valley, in Switzerland, at its highest point, 3600 feet above sea-level, and about forty miles east by south of Zurich. It is perhaps twenty-five feet deep by thirty feet wide, and, like many other Swiss peasant houses, has a peaked roof and overhanging eaves. It is two stories high, has a hall running through the ground floor, and the large room on the right as you enter is shown as that in which the great event occurred.

Zwingli was not born in poverty, as his future fellow Reformer Luther had been seven weeks before, at Eisleben, twenty-five miles west of Halle, in Saxony; nor of common people, nor was he raised in the school of adversity.

On the contrary, the family were in comfortable circumstances, and were prominent in their community. The carved rafters in their living-room bear silent testimony to this fact, as the poorer people did not have them. But we are not left to that sort of evidence. Zwingli’s father was, as his father’s father had been, the Ammann, i. e., chief magistrate, or bailiff, of the village, and his father’s brother was the village priest; while his mother’s brother Johann became abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Fischingen; and a near relative was abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Old St. John’s, only two miles west from Wildhaus.

Further proof that Zwingli’s parents were well-to-do or could command money is the fact that Zwingli received about as good an education as the times afforded, and yet there is no evidence that his father or other relatives had to pinch themselves to bring this about.

Zwingli’s father was a farmer and raiser of flocks and herds. Three of Zwingli’s younger brothers and two of his older followed his father in these pursuits, but Zwingli himself left home too young to have had any practical acquaintance with the life, except perhaps for a few months.

The allusions he makes to his childhood are interesting, and it were good if they were more numerous. Thus he says: “We recognise the profound compassion of God in that He was willing to have His Son, in the tenderness of His youth, suffer poverty for our sakes, so that we, instructed by our parents from our earliest years, might bear even with joyfulness our evil things and deprivation itself.”

Again he says: “My grandmother has often told me a story about the way Peter and the Lord conducted themselves toward one another. It seems that they used to sleep in the same bed. But Peter was on the outside, and every morning the woman of the house would waken him by pulling his hair.”

Again: “When I was a child, if any one said a word against our Fatherland, I bristled up instantly.”

Again: “From boyhood I have shown so great and eager and sincere a love for an honourable Confederacy that I trained myself diligently in every art and discipline for this end.”*

Happy birthday, Huldrych!
________________
S. M. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531), pp. 49-51.

Zwingli Assumed the Pastorate of the Great Minster on 1 January, 1519

zwingli_marignano

But his name wasn’t the only one in consideration…

Strong as was the sentiment in Zurich in favor of Zwingli, there were not wanting those who from the start opposed his election. A personality so aggressive could not fail to make enemies.

Many hated him because of his views on the subject of foreign pensions; others whose sympathies were thoroughly Roman suspected his loyalty to the Church, and caught a faint vision of what his coming to Zurich would mean.

The opposition, though bitter and determined, because of the fewness of their numbers despaired from the start of accomplishing anything. As soon as it was known that Zwingli was under consideration several candidates were put forward for the place, and among them one Lawrence Fable, who preached a sermon in the Great Minster, and of whom the report was circulated that he had been chosen.

Zwingli at first was inclined to credit the report. Hitherto he had appeared quite indifferent to what was occurring at Zurich. The knowledge that unworthy persons were seeking to supplant him seems to have acted as a stimulus. At any rate, he now became interested to the extent of writing to Myconius in regard to his prospects. In a letter under date of December 2, 1518, assuming the truthfulness of the report with respect to Fable, he says,

“Well! I know the significance of popular applause. A Swabian preferred to a Swiss! Truly, a prophet is without honor in his own country.”

Myconius in reply the next day removes his false apprehension. “Fable will remain a fable; for they have learned that he is father of six boys and holds I know not how many livings.”  He then proceeds to assure him of the number and strength of his friends, and of his own unceasing activity in his behalf. He does not conceal from him the doings of his enemies, and mentions certain charges that were being circulated against his character.

“Although there is no one,” he says, “but praises your teachings to the skies, there are certain to whom your natural aptitude for music appears to be a sin, and thence infer that you are impure and worldly,” Again, he assures him that he has great reason to hope. “It is right that you should take courage and not despair. Even the canons who are opposed to you predict to themselves that you will be the next preacher.”

He closes with the exhortation, “Hope on, for I hope.” The election took place on the 11th of December, 1518, and Zwingli was chosen by a large majority. This event caused great rejoicing among his friends, except those at Einsiedeln, for whom it was a matter of the keenest regret.

The administrator of the Abbey, Baron Geroldseck, whose relationship with Zwingli had ripened into the warmest of friendships, was especially affected. Even the council of the canton were impressed to the extent of transmitting to Zwingli a letter of regret couched in the most respectful terms.*

Swabians… seriously?

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*Samuel Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (New York: Baker & Taylor Co., 1902), 71–73.

Waiting For the Nottingham Train

I’m here in Manchester waiting for the train that goes to Nottingham through Sheffield.  At least there’s ATT wifi in tons of places.  It looks like I should be in Nottingham around 1:30 this afternoon- 3 hours from now.

A Brief Bio of Zwingli, For His Birthday

Having been struck in the head, Zwingli collapsed to the ground. Stunned, he began to pray and to recite Scripture—‘do not fear those who can kill the body but fear him who can kill the soul in hell …’. As the last word passed beyond his lips and into the hearing of the Catholic soldier standing over him, the soldier struck again and this time the blow was fatal. Zwingli’s comrade in arms, hearing his last utterance and seeing the death blow, fled. The troops from Zurich were scattered like sheep without a shepherd and Zwingli died alone on the beautiful meadow near the Monastery of Kappel-am-Albis.

After the rout, the Catholic troops were looting the bodies and piling them for burning when one of them looked at Zwingli and recognized him. Announcing his find to his victorious comrades, incredible rejoicing broke out and many gathered at the place where Zwingli lie. They stripped him of his helmet and his clothing, chopped him into four pieces, threw his body in the fire, and watched gleefully as he burned to ash. So ended the life of the first of Switzerland’s reformers on the 11th of October, 1531; a life that had begun 47 years earlier on the 1st of January, 1484.

Zwingli was born in the little town of Wildhaus to Huldreich and Margarita Zwingli. To this day his birth home remains as both tourist attraction and subtle reminder of the powerful impact his existence made on the life of his beloved Switzerland. His father was the equivalent of a village elder and his rather large family was wonderfully pious. His mother was especially devoted and both of his parents were certain that Huldrych would be well suited to the Priesthood with his quick and witty mind and his native brilliance.

While young, Zwingli learned to love music and became proficient in the use of about 10 instruments. The oft repeated misrepresentation that Zwingli hated music was simply not true. When he engaged in Reform he simply saw so much Church music as self serving on the part of singers and musicians (organists in particular) that it actually distracted from true worship and so he banned it.

At ten years of age Zwingli was sent to Basel to study and then to Bern and Vienna (at around fifteen years of age) where he earned a Bachelor’s degree. By 1506 he had earned a Master of Arts at Basel’s famous University and then shortly after celebrated his first Mass at his hometown before moving to Glarus to take up his priestly office. It was while he was in that picturesque village that Zwingli poured himself into his studies of the Bible, led by the urgings of Erasmus, who was then the leader of learning in Switzerland and across western Europe. According to his own testimony, it was in 1515 that the ‘reformatory’ spirit began to stir in his heart so that when he moved to Einsiedeln (in 1516) to serve the congregation there, he was already pursuing the beginnings of Reformed thought.

At the end of 1518 Zwingli was approached by friends in Zurich who urged him to move there and serve as the Pastor of the largest church in the city, the Grossmünster, the ‘Great Minster’. There was opposition to this move, however by a few of the leaders of the Zurich church who had heard that Zwingli had engaged in inappropriate behavior with ‘a leading citizen’s daughter’. When he learned of the charge Zwingli wrote a fascinating letter to one of the members of the ‘Zurich search committee’ in explanation of the affair on the 5th of December, 1518, the following (excerpted)-

One of the most learned and amiable of our friends [Oswald Myconius] has written to me that a rumor has been spread in Zurich about me, alleging that I have seduced the daughter of a high official, and that this has given offense to a number of my friends. I must answer this calumny so that you, dear friend, and others, can clear my life from these false rumors … First, you know that three years ago I made a firm resolution not to interfere with any female: St. Paul said it was good not to touch a woman. That did not turn out very well.… As to the charge of seduction I needn’t take long in dealing with that. They make it out to concern the daughter of an important citizen. I don’t deny that she is the daughter of an important person: anyone who could touch the emperor’s beard is important—barber forsooth! No one doubts that the lady concerned is the barber’s daughter except possibly the barber himself who has often accused his wife, the girl’s mother, a supposedly true and faithful wife, of adultery, blatant but not true. At any rate he has turned the girl, about whom all this fuss is being made, out from his house and for two years has given her neither board nor lodging. So what is the daughter of such a man to me?… With intense zeal day and night even at the cost of harm to his body, [I] study the Greek and Latin philosophers and theologians, and this hard work takes the heat out of such sensual desires even if it does not entirely eliminate them. Further, feelings of shame have so far restrained me that when I was still in Glarus and let myself fall into temptation in this regard a little, I did so so quietly that even my friends hardly knew about it. And now we will come to the matter before us and I will cast off what they call the last anchor taking no account of public opinion which takes a poor view of open resort to loose women. In this instance it was a case of maiden by day, matron by night, and not so much of the maiden by day but everybody in Einsiedeln knew about her … no one in Einsiedeln thought I had corrupted a maiden. All the girl’s relations knew that she had been caught long before I came to Einsiedeln, so that I was not in any way concerned.… To close: I have written a good deal of facetious chatter, but these people don’t understand anything else. You can say whatever you think suitable to anyone who is concerned. (G.R. Potter’s translation and selection of the letter to Utinger, Z VII, 110ff).

Zwingli’s actions are naturally inexcusable to us, but they are actually quite tame among the practices of many 16th century priests, who were known to have large families, mistresses, and who engaged in various illicit behaviors simply because they had been granted a ‘papal indulgence’. That being said, this isn’t an attempt to justify, but to contextualize. Being ensnared by the village tart is not quite the same thing as pursuing various sexual conquests. Finally on the matter, it so troubled Zwingli that he regretted it his entire life, thoroughly repented of it, and never again engaged in such behavior.

Zwingli was in fact called to Zurich. He moved to the city at the end of December and assumed his duties on the first of January (his birthday), 1519. He immediately set in motion real reforming efforts beginning with abandoning the lectionary and instead preaching first through the Gospel of Matthew and then other New Testament texts. A wind of change had swept Zurich and it would never be the same because the theological landscape was forever altered by the arrival of the First Swiss Reformer.

But before long another wind blew into Zurich. An ill wind. The wind of the Plague, the black death. Up to two-thirds of the population of the city was wiped out between 1519 and 1520 before the disaster ran its course. Zwingli himself fell ill and during the course of his illness he penned one of his numerous songs: the so called ‘Plague Song’, which begins

To thee I cry:
If it is thy will
Take out the dart,
Which wounds me
Nor let’s me have an hour’s
Rest or Repose!
Will’st thou however
That death take me
In the midst of my days,
So let it be!

When disaster struck, Zwingli turned to God in faith and in pious trust. This was the kind of man which the city had called to be the Pastor of the Great Minster.

Reform began slowly but surely, first with worship. Lent was abandoned as a man made tradition in 1522 and by 1523 the Mass itself was replaced with ‘The Lord’s Supper’. Silver ‘Mass utensils’, cups, and bowls were replaced with common wood. Tables were set up in the Sanctuary so that the Supper more resembled a supper. Images were removed, worship was reorganized, and the Reform gained speed and strength through a series of public debates which Zwingli and his colleagues in Reform easily won.

But troubles soon would follow, with Zwingli being attacked from within the city by the ‘re-baptizers’, the Anabaptists, who wanted more change faster than either Zwingli or the city could bear. From without, rising clouds of disharmony within the world of Protestantism would burst into storm clouds when from the north Luther attacked Zwingli’s view of the Supper. And of course there was conflict aplenty with the ‘Old believers’, the Catholics still attached to Rome.

The last years of Zwingli’s life were spent in conflict. On the one hand the Radicals were denouncing him as the ‘great satan’, once marching in protest to his house next to the Great Minster and pummeling it with eggs, crying out ‘away with the dragon’. And on the other Luther spent the years 1526–1529 insulting and denouncing him for his view of the Lord’s Supper. At one point in this period Zwingli became so depressed that he tearfully offered his resignation to the city Council but they wisely refused it.

The rift with Luther over the Lord’s Supper resulted in what is perhaps the most famous gathering of the 16th Century, the Marburg Colloquy. There, at Marburg in 1529, Philip of Hesse summoned Luther and Melanchthon, Zwingli and Oecolampadius (and others less well-known) to discuss and, if possible, come to agreement on their view of the Supper so that ‘Protestantism’ could present a united front against the Catholics. Philip, as a politician, was naturally more interested in consolidating Protestantism for military purposes than he was in solving the problem of Eucharistic disagreement. His effort failed. Miserably. By the end of the three days of discussion, the participants had agreed on a number of issues but concerning the Lord’s Supper there wasn’t, and still isn’t, agreement between the Reformed descendents of Zwingli and the Lutheran descendants of Luther. The resultant document was signed by all participants and states, in its final article:

Concerning the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ

Fifteenth, we all believe and hold concerning the Supper of our dear Lord Jesus Christ that both kinds should be used according to the institution by Christ; also that the mass is not a work with which one can secure grace for someone else, whether he is dead or alive; also that the Sacrament of the Altar is a sacrament of the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and that the spiritual partaking of the same body and blood is especially necessary for every Christian. Similarly, that the use of the sacrament, like the word, has been given and ordained by God Almighty in order that weak consciences may thereby be excited to faith by the Holy Spirit. And although at this time, we have not reached an agreement as to whether the true body and blood of Christ are bodily present in the bread and wine, nevertheless, each side should show Christian love to the other side insofar as conscience will permit, and both sides should diligently pray to Almighty God that through his Spirit he might confirm us in the right understanding. Amen.

Martin Luther
Justus Jonas
Philip Melanchthon
Andreas Osiander
Stephan Agricola
John Brenz
John Oecolampadius
Huldrych Zwingli
Martin Bucer
Caspar Hedio

That desire for ‘Christian love’ never panned out. When Zwingli died, Luther rejoiced.

The greatest conflict, however, was and would remain with the Catholic Cantons. Reform was anathema to them and they simply refused Zwingli (and others’) attempts to persuade their citizens to leave the Catholic faith to become adherents of the upstarts. Leaders of the Catholic forces went so far as plotting to murder him had he attended a disputation in Baden. Getting wind of the plot, the Zurich City Council forbade him to attend, instead sending his colleague Leo Jud.

The situation with the Catholic Cantons came to a head in 1529 when they met the Reformed Cantons in the field at Kappel-am-Albis in battle. Zwingli was the Chaplain of the Zurich troops and arrived at the site heavy hearted that things had come to such a pass. Fortunately, a diplomatic solution was reached before casualties were suffered.

Two years later, though, the Catholic forces and the Reformed Zurichers returned to the same field with startlingly different consequences. So we return to where we began in this chapter: at the field of Kappel and the death of Zwingli.

Zwingli lived a tremendously full and productive life in spite of its temporal brevity. He wrote hundreds of tractates and books, many hundreds of letters, and preached thousands of sermons. He made incredible contributions to theology and his efforts on behalf of Reform laid the foundation for the work of his successor, Heinrich Bullinger, who can be rightly credited with taking the Reformed movement international.*

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*J. West, “Christ Our Captain”: An Introduction to Huldrych Zwingli. Quartz Hill, CA: Quartz Hill Publishing House.

A Day Full of Zwingli, Celebrating Zwingli’s Birth

First, what do you need to read in order to really know Zwingli (and actually know him- not like the pretenders who only know some snippet about him because that’s what they’ve heard from some silly Lutheran partisan or Wesleyan ignoramus)-

SOME INDISPENSABLE AIDS TO THE STUDY OF ZWINGLI

FOR A FULL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ZWINGLI: FINSLER, GEORG. Zwingli-Bibliographie. Verzeichniss der gedruckten Schriften von und über Ulrich Zwingli. Zürich: Orell Füssli, 1897.

FOR ZWINGLI’S WORKS

HULDREICH ZWINGLI’S WERKE. Erste vollständige Ausgabe durch Melchior Schuler und Joh. Schulthess. Zürich: Friedrich Schulthess, 1828–61. 8 vols. in 11 parts, with Supplement, 8vo.

The German writings: vol. i. (1522–March, 1524), 1828, pp. viii., 668; vol. ii., 1st part (1526–January, 1527), 1830, iv., 506; vol. ii., 2nd part (1522–July, 1526), 1822, viii., 531; vol. ii., 3rd part (1526–1531), 1841, iv., III. The Latin writings: vol. iii. (1521–1526), 1832, viii., 677; vol. iv. (1526 sqq.), 1841, iv., 307; vol. v., 1835, iv., 788; vol. vi., 1st part, 1836, 766; vol. vi., 2nd part, 1838, 340; vol. vii., 1830, viii., 580; vol. viii., 1842, iv., 715. Supplement by Georg Schulthess u. Gaspar Marthaler, 1861 (both German and Latin), iv., 74.

Vols, v., vi., parts 1 and 2, contain Zwingli’s commentaries, which are on Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Our Lord’s Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, James, Hebrews, and 1 John, all in Latin; vols. vii. and viii. contain the correspondence.

A new edition of the Complete Works is in preparation. It is greatly needed, although that now extant is worthy of the highest praise. It superseded the two previous editions, the first by Rudolf Gualther, Zwingli’s son-in-law, Zürich: Froschauer, 1545, 4 vols., 4to; the second is a reprint, Zürich: Froschauer, 1581, 4 vols., 4to.

FOR ZWINGLI’S THEOLOGY

M. Huldreich Zwingli’s sämmtliche Schriften im Auszuge. Zürich: Gessner, 1819. 2 vols., 8vo (pp. xxv., 555, 640).
Topically arranged by thorough Zwingli students. Very convenient to find out exactly what Zwingli said upon any theme, which the ample index enables one to do. The contents are entirely in a modern German translation of the original Latin and old Zurich German. A reprint with references to the Schuler and Schulthess edition of Zwingli mentioned above would be a worthy undertaking.

BAUR, AUGUST. Zwinglis Theologie. Ihr Werden und ihr System. Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1885–89. 2 vols., 8vo (pp. viii., 543; ix., 864).
The classic work on Zwingli’s theology.

FOR ZWINGLI’S BIOGRAPHY

Archiv für die schkweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte. Herausgegeben auf Veranstaltung des schweizerischen Piusvereins durch die Direction: Graf Theodor Scherer-Boccard, Friedrich Fiala, Peter Bannwart. Freiburg im Br.: Herder, 1868–75. 3 vols., 8vo (pp. lxxvi., 856; vi., 557; vi., 693).
These volumes tell the story from the Roman Catholic side.

BULLINGER, HEINRICH. Reformationsgeschichte nach dem Autographon. Herausgegeben auf Veranstaltung der vaterländisch-historischen Gesellschaft in Zürich von J. J. Hottinger und H. H. Vögeli. Frauenfeld: Ch. Beyel, 1838–40. 3 vols., 8vo (pp. xix., 446; viii., 404; viii., 371).  Bullinger was Zwingli’s successor; an honest man and a diligent collector of authentic material. He wrote in the Zurich Swiss German, which has to be learnt by those familiar only with the modern High German.

CHRISTOFFEL, RAGET. Huldreich Zwingli. Leben und ausgewählte Schriften. Elberfeld: R. L. Friderichs, 1857. 8vo (pp. xiv., 414; writings, 351).  The same translated by John Cochran: Zwingli; or, The Rise of the Reformation in Switzerland. A life of the Reformer, with some notices of his time and contemporaries, by R. Christoffel, Pastor of the Reformed Church, Wintersingen, Switzerland. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1858. 8vo (pp. vii., 461).  The translation omits entirely the selected writings of Zwingli, but otherwise is eminently satisfactory. The book itself is topically arranged, and is entirely reliable, but Christoffel gives no references, and so only one familiar with the writings of Zwingli knows whence his numerous and judicious quotations come. Christoffel made the transfusions of Zwingli’s treatises into modern High German, referred to below, and in the notes in this book.

EGLI, EMIL. Actensammlung zur Geschichte der Zürcher Reformation in den Jahren 1519–1533. Mit Unterstützung der Behörden von Canton und Stadt Zürich. Zürich: J. Schabelitz, 1879. 8vo (pp. viii., 947).  It is a pity that this book is so scarce. It should be reprinted. It collects innumerable items of great interest to the Zwingli student in the very language of the time, and presents a picture of Zurich life of all kinds by contemporaries. Its composition was a gigantic labour, only possible to youth, enthusiasm, and indefatigable, intelligent industry.

MOERIKOFER, JOHANN CASPAR. Ulrich Zwingli nach den urkundlichen Quellen. Leipzig: S. Herzel, 1867–69. Two parts, 8vo (pp. viii., 351; vi., 525). The author knew his subject thoroughly. His matter is arranged in short chapters, his references are mostly to manuscript sources, and singularly few are directly to Zwingli’s writings.

MYCONIUS, OSWALD. Vita Huldrici Zwinglii. This is the original life, very interesting but a mere sketch. The best edition is in the Vitæ quatuor Reformatorum [Luther by Melanchthon, Melanchthon by Camerarius, Zwingli by Myconius, and Calvin by Beza], edited by Neander, Berlin, 1841, pp. 14.

STAEHELIN, RUDOLF. Huldreich Zwingli. Sein Leben und Wirken, nach den Quellen dargestellt. Basel: Benno Schwabe, 1895–97. 2 vols., 8vo (pp. viii., 535; 540). The author, who died in 1900, was for many years Professor of Theology in the University of Basel and lectured upon Zwingli. The book has the calm strength of easy mastery of its materials. Only one thing detracts in the smallest degree from its usefulness to students of Zwingli,—the author frequently puts several references to the writings of Zwingli together at the bottom of the page in such a way that they are hard to separate. If these references could be assigned to the places where they properly belong, then Staehelin’s book would be in all respects beyond criticism. As it is, it will probably retain the first place among lives of Zwingli for years to come—at least until the appearance of that new edition of Zwingli’s Works so eagerly awaited.

STRICKLER, JOHANN. Actensammlung zur Schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte in den Jahren 1521–1532 im Anschluss an die gleichzeitigen eidgenössischen Abschiede. Zürich: Meyer u. Zeller, 1878–84. 5 vols., 8vo.  Vol. i. (1521–1528), pp. vii., 724; vol. ii. (1529–1530), 819; vol. iii. (1531, Jan.–Oct. 11), 647; vol. iv. (1531, Oct. 11,–Dec., 1532), 736; vol. v. (1521–1532), 172, with bibliographical appendix, 81.  Here are presented the raw materials of history in the shape of documents of all descriptions, chronologically arranged, as in Egli. The labour of compiling these volumes must have been immense.

VÖGELIN, J. K., GEROLD MEYER VON KNONAU, and others. Historisch-geographischer Atlas der Schweiz in 15 Blättern. Zürich: F. Schulthess, 1868. 2nd ed., 1870. Folio.

VÖGELIN, SALOMON. Das alte Zürich. Zürich: Orell, Fues & Co., 1828. New ed., much enlarged, 1878–90. 2 vols., 8vo (pp. xvii., 671; viii., 788). Invaluable, but so peculiarly arranged that consultation is difficult.

FOR THE LATEST ZWINGLI RESEARCHES

Zwingliana. Mittheilungen zur Geschichte Zwinglis und der Reformation. Herausgegeben von der Vereinigung für das Zwinglimuseum in Zurich. Zürich, 1897 sqq.  Two parts a year, edited by that tireless Zwingli student and scholar, Professor Emil Egli. Every Zwingli student should subscribe to it.

ZWINGLI TRANSLATIONS

Zeitgemässe Auswahl aus Huldreich Zwingli’s practischen Schriften. Aus dem Alt-Deutschen und Lateinischen in’s Schriftdeutsche übersetzt und mit den nothwendigsten geschichtlichen Erläuterungen versehen, von R. Christoff el, V.D.M. Zürich: Meyer u. Zeller, 1843–1846. 12 parts.

Translations of more or less complete selections into modern high German are given by R. Christoffel in the Appendix to his biography as mentioned above, and by C. Sigwart in the Appendix to his sketch of Zwingli (in Die vier Reformatoren, Stuttgart, 1862), pp. 336–406; of especial interest is the first Bernese sermon in 1528, pp. 381–405; the second Bernese sermon is translated by R. Nesselmann (Buck der Predigten, Elbing, 1858), pp. 689–692.

In old English translations appeared of Zwingli’s “Confession of Faith,” two translations (Zürich, March, 1543, and by Thomas Cotsforde, Geneva, 1555); of his “Pastor,” London, 1550; of his “Certain Precepts,” [which is the same as “The Christian Education of Truth “and “Eine kurze Unterweisung,” mentioned on previous pages] London, 1548; and “Short Pathway to the Right and True Understanding of the Holy and Sacred Scriptures,” [i. e., Zwingli’s sermon on the Word of God,] Worcester, 1550, translated by John Veron.1

There are several others more modern but these classics are indispensable for anyone interested in understanding Zwingli.  If readers are interested – I’m happy to send along some suggestions.

Reading Zwingli at first hand is now easier than ever before, simply by visiting the University of Zurich’s web page which contains his theological treatises and letters.  That, of course, is where everyone should start.  Zwingli’s theological treatises can be accessed here and his letters here.

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1Jackson, S. M. (1901). Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. xxi–xxvi).

The Biblioblogging Community Has Disintegrated, And So, Accordingly, Has Any Reason for the Carnival

There are still biblioblogs, but most of the first generation of bloggers have either succumbed to irregular posting or post nothing at all anymore.  The second generation has long ago withered into dullness.  And the third generation has returned to its first love- nothingness.

The heady days of blogging conferences have long passed and people hardly mention their conference participation anymore.  Book reviews seldom appear and when they do it’s usually just a mention of the blogger’s own book.  I.e., they blog reviews when those reviews are about their book, but they can’t be bothered with reviewing anyone else’s.

TV specials and archaeological news too have become simply the occasion, for most, to talk, again, about themselves.  If Bob is on TV Bob is happy to blog that fact but otherwise nothing occurs to Bob but Bob.

In sum, most blogs have simply devolved into avenues of self promotion.  Discussing the work of others has become passe.  Discussing advances in the field has become passe.  Discussing methodology has become passe.

For all of these reasons it have become virtually impossible to populate Carnivals with anything at all.  Carnivals were, once upon a time, a place where one could find the most interesting postings from a wide range of practicing bibliobloggers.  Now, there are so few bibliobloggers and so few postings by them that there is simply no reason to attempt to assemble their more interesting contributions.

Bibliobloggers have, by and large, forsaken their posts.  They have, by and large, curved in on themselves and withdrawn from the wider world.  They have retreated behind the safe walls of academia and there they hole up speaking only to themselves.

It’s fitting, I suppose, that the final Carnival posted by me was a reminiscence of SBL2016 (on 1 December).  And it was populated with tweets more than with posts because so few posts were actually written by any biblioblogger.

And yet I find it all a bit tragic.  Just when society needs to know what Christian academics and academic biblical scholars have to say, they’ve silenced themselves.  No one has silenced them.  They have silenced themselves.

Farewell, Biblioblog Carnival.  You were fun while you lasted.  But you’ve been well and truly starved to death by the indifference of the very people who should, by rights, be most interested in sharing biblical studies with the wider culture.