PHILIP MELANCHTHON, or MELANTHON (often incorrectly spelled Melancthon), born 1497; professor at Wittenberg, 1518 to his death, 1560. The foundation of Lutheran Systematic Theology was laid in his Loci Communes Rerum Theologicarum seu Hypotyposes Theologicæ (1521), which had its origin in a brief outline prepared for his own private use, and afterwards dictated to his students as an introduction to his lectures on the epistle to the Romans.
During the author’s life it passed through eighty editions, was greatly enlarged, and on certain points, as, for example, the Freedom of the Will, its doctrine was materially changed. For details, the English reader is referred to the article MELANCHTHON, prepared by the author of this sketch, in McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia, vol. vi.
The collection of Melanchthon’s works in the Corpus Reformatorum affords the student the best facility for the critical study of Melanchthon’s theology. It contains a reprint of each of the principal editions, as well as of several translations of the Loci. — Heinrich Schmid