Zwingli’s View of the Apocrypha

An interesting proof of the extent of Zwingli’s reputation is a letter written to him from Ghent by John Cousard, who signs himself in Greek, “Bishop of the Brethren of the Common Life,” lamenting that Zwingli wrote so much in German, and asking him to have his writings in that language translated into Latin! Zwingli replied to it on August 31, 1531, and makes these remarks upon the Apocrypha:

“There are certain considerations which you adduce from the Apocryphal Books. These, I concede, contain some things that are worth reading; yet they never attain to that measure of authority that the Canonical Books have. They are more diluted and feebler, so that they appear rather as imitations of the former Scriptures than written in the peculiar fervour of the fresh spirit.”*

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*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 339–340.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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