Daily Archives: 2 Oct 2018

Biblical Studies Carnival 151 (September 2018)

Come on, Phil, sleep less man!

Reading Acts

Jim West DripI had a particularly busy Monday, and now it is a busy Tuesday before I get to the monthly Biblical Studies Carnival.

Jim West posted Biblical Studies Carnival 151 for September 2018 at Zwinglius Redivivus.  As always, Jim draws together a wide range of blogs and topics, he has a good eye for historical theology. He begins my drawing attention to Dan Wallace’s post on the importance of the biblical languages in theological education. I am aware of a graduate program (PhD classes in fact) which does not teach the languages, but how to use Bible Software. This is dangerous, like putting guns in the hands of people who do not know how to use them.

Next month Jacob Prahlow (@prahlowjacob) hosts the October Carnival (Due November 1) and in November 2018 (Due December 1) Bob MacDonald (@drmacdonald) will take a short break from his detailed analysis of…

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Modern Culture


Signs of the Times

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Modern Culture


Maybe… I Guess it Depends on the People in the House…

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Modern Culture


Flagshipping Biblical Studies…

And what heady days they were back in 1897 when we all gathered in Philadelphia to choose the journal we would call our standard bearer. The folk from Semitica were particularly rambunctious …

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Modern Culture


An Interesting Side Note to the Marburg Colloquy

The editor of the American Edition of Luther’s works writes

The Marburg Articles were dated October 3 by Luther in order to make the time of their composition coincide with the final day of the colloquy. Thus they were to be regarded as a tangible result of the meeting at Marburg. Actually the date of their composition was October 4.

It is worth noting, too, that the final negotiations had to be conducted with considerable haste because an epidemic of serious proportions, known as the “English sweat,” had broken out in Marburg. Anxiety about the rapid spread of the disease caused Philip of Hesse to speed up the proceedings, although he had originally planned that the colloquy was to extend over a period of “not less than eight days.” Consequently, the landgrave himself left Marburg early on October 5. Luther and his party departed on the same day in the afternoon. It is probable that the Zwinglians and the Strassburgers began their homeward journey on the same date, since all had been urged to leave as soon as possible.

Nothing ends a meeting like the ‘English Sweat’…

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Church History



Fun Facts From Church History: Luther’s Letter to Katy about the Marburg Colloquy

To my kind, dear lord, Catherine Luther, a doctor and preacher in Wittenberg

Grace and peace in Christ. Dear Sir10 Katie! You should know that our amiable colloquy at Marburg has come to an end, and we are in agreement on almost all points, except that the opposition insists on affirming that there is only simple bread in the Lord’s Supper, and on confessing that Jesus Christ is spiritually present there. Today the Landgrave is negotiating [to see] if we could be united, or whether, even though we continue to disagree, we could not nevertheless mutually consider ourselves brethren, and members of Christ. The Landgrave works hard on this matter.  But we do not want this brother-and-member business, though we do want peace and good [will]. I assume that tomorrow or the next day we shall depart from here and travel to our Gracious Lord in Schleiz/Vogtland, where His Electoral Grace has ordered us [to go].

Tell Mr. Pomer that the best arguments have been, in Zwingli’s case, that a body cannot exist without a location, therefore Christ’s body is not in the bread, [and] in Oecolampadius’ case, [that] this sacrament is a sign of Christ’s body. I assume that God has blinded them so that they had nothing else to offer.

I am very busy, and the messenger is in a hurry. Say “good night” to all, and pray for us! We are all still alert and healthy, and live like kings. Kiss Lenchen and Hänschen on my behalf.
October 4, 1529
Your obedient servant,

John Brenz, Andrew Osiander, [and] Doctor Stephen from Augsburg have also come here.
The people here have become almost mad with fear of the English fever; about fifty people fell ill yesterday, of whom one or two have [already] passed away.

Luther… so smart so much of the time.  And so stupid the rest.

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Zwingli


The First Full Day of the Marburg Colloquy- And The Language Barrier

marburgThe first general meeting of the conference occurred Saturday, October 2. At the very outset Luther gained an important advantage over Zwingli when, in deference to Luther’s wish, it was decided that the colloquy should be conducted in the German language. Compelled to rely upon his Swiss-German, Zwingli found himself seriously handicapped in the discussions, for the dialect which he spoke differed so from the German of his opponents that he found it difficult to understand and to make himself understood. He had all along hoped that the colloquy would be conducted in Latin.*

Swiss German in the 16th century was quite a bit different than Luther’s German. Here’s a snippet of Zwingli’s dialect:

Instruction uff die frommen, vesten, fürsichtigen unnd wysen unnser liebe getrüwen Alt Burgermeyster unnd mitträth herren Diethelm Röysten unnd Vly Fungken, was sy yetzt uff dem burgertag zuo Arow deß Straßburgischen burgrechten unnd anderer verständtnisen halb handlen unnd fürtragen söllenn, inen von Burgermeyster, den oberisten meysteren unnd heymlich verordneten räthen der statt Zürich zehandlen bevolchenn.

And here’s some Luther:

Gnad und frid von Gott unserm vater und herrn Ihesu Christo. Fuersichtigen weysen lieben herrn. Wie wol ich nu wol drey jar verbannet und ynn die acht gethan hette sollen schweygen, wo ich menschen gepott mehr denn Gott geschewet hett, wie denn auch viel ynn deutschen landen beyde gros und kleyn mein reden und schreiben aus der selben sach noch ymer verfolgen und viel blutts drueber vergiessen.

The use of such divergent dialects of German at Marburg was frustrating in the extreme to Zwingli, who frequently switched to Greek; and that annoyed Luther, who thought he was doing it to show off but he was simply striving to express himself in such a way that Luther and the others (all of whom knew Greek and Latin- it was their odd German which obfuscated things) could understand him.

Communication requires comprehension.  Things may have gone quite differently if the discussions had been held in Latin.  But, stubborn as he was, Luther wanted it in German…

S. Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (pp. 190–191).

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Church History, Zwingli


Fun Facts From Church History: The Landgrave and the Sermon on Providence Preached by Zwingli at Marburg

The Landgrave requested Zwingli, on January 25, 1530, to write out for him the sermon upon Providence which he had preached at Marburg, and Zwingli complied.*

Indeed he did, in a greatly expanded version which ran to book length.  Zwingli’s Sermon on Providence would appear in August of that same year.  Its full title- Ad illustrissimum Cattorum principem Philippum sermonis de providentia dei anamnema.

The dedication, rather lengthy, follows:

Illustrissimo principi Cattorum Philippo Huldrychus Zuinglius gratiam et pacem a domino et servatore nostro Christo Jesu.

Flagitas, quod iustius postulares aut repeteres, piissime princeps, sermonem, quem in aula tua Marcburgi habui. Cuius equidem praestandi tam promptus essem quam tu petendi, si voluntatem audiret memoria. Cur enim celsitudini tuae non ultro serviant omnium, qui nostram religionem aut dicendo aut docendo colunt, ingenia? Qum unus candide hoc agas, ut religionis crepundia et sancte alantur et tranquille adolescant. Unus recte expendisti unum nisi solum deum neminem recte nosse omnia; ad unius ergo sententiam hominis imprudenter constitui omnia. Unus, cum vides, quid apud religionis Christianae liturgos aemulatio et simultas, imo ut candide ac adperte omnia dicam: quid error et gloriae cupido possint, anxie caves, ne asseclarum grex ille, vitiorum etiam magistri aemulus, studio suo in dissidium aut tumultum aliquem erumpat.

Unus intelligis, si religionis summam probe teneamus, iam caeterarum opinionum diversitatem non tanti esse, ut earum causa funem charitatis [vgl. Hos 11, 4; Eph 4, 3], quo, velut Atheniensium contio miniata chorda, in unum spiritum ac mentem coimus, perfringamus. Unus, etiam cum πληροφορηθεὶς ac certus es de re, quam alii adhuc paulo incivilius et indoctius controvertunt, sancta quadam hypocrisi fluctuare te atque ambigere simulas, ut velut errantium socius, cum amicitia et comitate tum nominis tui praesidio atque securitatis spe, et ab errore avellas, qum te videant impigre veritatem, ut illuxerit, amplecti, et metu liberes, qum te velut portum prospiciant, ad quem adpellent, si quid pro mutata sententia periculi immineat. Hoc tandem est εἰρηνοποιεῖσθαι, hoc est: Christianae tranquillitatis artes pure et probe nosse, hoc est: pium principem praestare.

Adde, quo non iam doctis, sed universis simul tum populis tum principibus te suspiciendum et imitandum praebes, quod unus tanta moderatione ac benignitate tuos regis, ut solus videaris reliquos huc manuducere, ut discant pars imperare volentibus, pars parere aequis imperiis. Quae tua virtus, inquam, fides ac prudentia, quamvis iuvenis adhuc, efficiunt, ut, qui te non exosculantur, aut splendoris tui iubar nondum viderint, aut viso maligne invideant. Contra quorum vota, si pergas manere, quod esse coepisti, in eum modum crescere te faciet, qui incrementum dat, deus [nach 1 Kor 3, 7], ut et praesentibus et posteris nobile pietatis ac constantiae exemplum fias. Sed nunc ad me redeo: si, inquam, memoria reddere cuncta, quae tunc a nobis dicta sunt, et verbis et ordine posset, iam nihil optatius contingeret quam occasio ista morem tibi gerendi. Qum vero tam tenax ac fida memoria, qua forte Portius aliquis aut Seneca omnia resumeret, nobis negata sit, hunc in modum agam.

De providentia brevem, sed solidam, arbitror, summam in capita non plura septem digeram. Quae ubi perspexeris, credo si non sermonem ipsum, attamen argumentum idem ac materiam te accepisse fateberis, omnia rudi ac simplici Minerva. Tu, fortissime heros, interim rerum divinarum scientiam, interim innocentiam sic colas, ut omnes Cattorum principem catum sicut serpentem et simplicem sicut columbam esse, iuxta salvatoris Christi sententiam [vgl. Mt 10, 16], gaudeamus.

Is te servet reipublicae suae diu incolumem.

Amen. Tiguri, anno 1530.


It’s a remarkable work though more philosophical in tone than most of Zwingli’s works.  It is available, for free, in English, on Google Play from Google books.  Get it here.

*S. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (p. 334).

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Church History, Zwingli


Tigurinerchronik (3 Volumes)

Die dreibändige Ausgabe macht erstmals das historiografische Hauptwerk Heinrich Bullingers (1504–1575), die sogenannte «Tigurinerchronik», zugänglich. Das Werk vermittelt die Sicht des engagierten und belesenen Zwinglinachfolgers, der darin die Geschichte Zürichs mit jener der Eidgenossenschaft und Europas verquickt und aufarbeitet. Die Darstellung, die sich von vorchristlicher Zeit bis zur Reformation erstreckt, ist heilsgeschichtlich angelegt und versteht die Entwicklung des Christentums und der Kirche als Ausbreitung der Wahrheit (Antike), deren Verschüttung (Mittelalter) und der Wiederentdeckung (Reformation). Dabei erhält die Stadt Zürich hohe Bedeutung und ihre Reform die endgültige Legitimation.

Mit der vorliegenden umfangreichen kritischen Edition – Bullingers eigenhändiges Manuskript umfasst rund 1800 Folioseiten – steht der Forschung nun diese wichtige Quelle des 16. Jahrhunderts zur Verfügung.

Heinrich Bullinger Werke, Band WA4 = HI1
2018, 1854 (in drei Bänden) Seiten, 16.8 x 24.4 cm, Leinen mit SU.  ISBN 978-3-290-17851-2.  450,00 €

A review copy was graciously sent in July and I’ve now made my way through the work.

The three volumes in this set are comprised of the famous historical survey composed by Bullinger towards the end of his life titled the Tigurinerchronik (hereafter TC).  The Zurich Chronicles.  This work is not to be confused with the 3 volumes of Bullinger written on the history of the Reformation- his Reformationsgeschichte.  The two works differ in scope and in focus.

TVZ’s new critical edition of the TC is comprised of three volumes.  The first two are the work itself and the third is a tremendously important supplemental volume the contents of which I will describe shortly.

Volume 1 contains books 1-8 of the TC and is prefaced by a foreword, an introduction to the work, and a word of appreciation for the work’s many important supporters.  More precisely, Peter Opitz and Martin Rüsch take a couple of pages to set the stage for the work that follows.  The introduction, written by Hans Urs Bächtold, discusses Bullinger as historian, the TC’s development and history, the chief manuscripts incorporated into the present critical edition, and printed forerunners of the work.

The critical edition of the TC is offered exactly as presented in the oldest manuscripts, including morphologically and textually.  Readers will experience what the first readers experienced in every respect save the font utilized.  Modern Times Roman-esque print in used instead of the Fraktur-esque font of the first printed copies.  References to the original works are found in the margins so that interested researchers can find the source pages without any difficulty at all.  Sentences are also numbered so that locating a particular piece of information from the index is very simple.  Copious footnotes are also provided and these contain historical and linguistic/ textual information.  Also contained in the margins are subject indicators, so that readers can find matters of interest and follow the argument of the work at a glance.  These, naturally, originate with the first printed editions and are here faithfully reproduced.

The language is, naturally, the German of Bullinger’s Zurich.  Readers will need to have that language well in hand or at the very least be willing to look up uncertain words in the lexicon provided in the third volume.  There are also swaths of Latin.

Volume two of the massive work covers books 9 through 14 of the TC.  Appendices are included as well which include three supplemental historical documents:

  • Stiftsgeschichte
  • Schulsatzungen 1559
  • Großes Mandat 1550

Pages in the two volumes are numbered consecutively, so that volume two does not begin with page 1, but carries on where volume one left off.  This makes finding items referenced in the Index quite simple.

Concerning the Index, it is found in the third volume of the work and it too is very much a work to be consulted.  It begins with an overview, chapter by chapter, of the contents of the TC.  Second, readers will discover the very useful lexicon or glossary of unfamiliar terms.  Bullinger’s German, like Zwingli’s, was particular and at times idiosyncratic.  So a glossary is provided for terms that, while common in Zurich in 1575, are not so common any longer.

Third, a listing of printed sources is provided.  Fourth, hand written sources are listed.  Fifth, a modern bibliography is provided.  Next, an index of persons and places.  And finally, a series of photographic plates of Bullinger’s original hand written work.

This work is encyclopedic.  And it is brilliantly executed.  Besides simply reading through it as a narrative work (which readers certainly should do), it is also immensely useful for tracking down various persons and their doings from the perspective of Bullinger’s point of view.  So, for instance, one of the more interesting person (who nonetheless is hardly known outside of specialist circles) is one Conrad Hoffmann.  Hoffmann despised Zwingli and the entire time Zwingli and Hoffmann were in Zurich together (from 1519 till 1524 when Hoffmann left) (Hoffmann died in 1525), Hoffmann was Zwingli’s constant foe.

Making use of the index of persons, one can easily discover the places in the Chronicle where Hoffmann is mentioned:  380:28 (that is, page 320, line 28), 399:13, 1184:24, 1222:20, and 1229:16.   Reading through those passages one discovers that Bullinger is thoroughly capable of objectivity and rationality unimpinged by personal sentiments.  Bullinger, in other words, is an excellent historian.

And that, I suspect, is the key to the work.  That is, readers can take Bullinger seriously and they can take his historical reconstruction as unbiased and accurate.  The critical edition of the work opens it up to modern readers and by doing so opens up the history of Zurich in a way that contemporary history simply cannot do.  Accordingly, this work is indispensable for students of the Reformation.  Indispensable.  It cannot, and should not, be ignored.  Rather, it should be consulted and made use of.

Further, it belongs on the shelves of researchers and libraries around the globe.  If other acquisitions need to be set aside for budgetary reasons, this one should be obtained.  Tell your librarian, your spouse, your church, your neighbors, your family, and anyone who may have a little spare cash to pitch in and get it.

Now, if we can just get a critical edition of The Reformationsgeschichte!

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Book Review, Books, Church History, TVZ


When the Jehovah’s Witnesses Come Calling…

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Modern Culture


Methodology in the Use of the Old Testament in the New

This looks really interesting (and I’m glad Sue mentioned it in the previous post).

This volume considers three areas of methodological interest or focus with respect to the use of the Old Testament in the New, and contains several invited essays on each focus area. The first section sets the scene, by opening up an interdisciplinary conversation as to what insights Old Testament and New Testament scholars might glean from other related disciplines.

The following two sections look more closely at questions of context and of criteria. Firstly, several essays consider the notion of an Old Testament text’s ‘context’, and how contemporaneous authors such as Philo or the Qumran community conceived of, and attended to, the concept. The essays then turn their focus onto the criteria that can/should be used for determining Old Testament allusions or echoes, and the legitimacy for so doing, particularly responding to the work of Richard Hays and Greg Beale.

Right up my interest alley  (the OT in the NT).

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Books


The 2019 Old Testament in the New Testament Hawarden Conference

Via the undersigned-

It is once again time to start making firm arrangements for this year’s Hawarden Seminar on the OT in the New. This year’s meeting will take place at the usual venue, Gladstone’s Library Hawarden, from early evening on Thursday 11th April to just after lunch on Saturday 13th April 2019. I do hope many of you will be able to join us.

Highlights of this year’s programme will include:

So please start making your bookings and sending offers of papers.

1. To book your place.  The library staff are ready to receive our bookings in the usual way – i.e. by telephone (01244 532350 – UK; + 44 1244 532350 from outside UK) or email (, but not via the on-line booking facility (which cannot recognise our block booking). Please state clearly that you are part of the OT in NT seminar Group. Costs for the accommodation and all meals will depend on the type of room you book, but will be in the region of £175 – £250. Day rates are also available for those who live near enough to commute.

2. To offer a paper.  As agreed at our last meeting, we will be focusing particularly this year on the use in the NT of OT narratives or larger themes (rather than specific citations). We will therefore prioritise papers dealing with this aspect of the field. These can either be of 40 minutes or 25 minutes in length (please specify in your offer your preferred length). If there is space in the programme, we will also accept short papers (25 minutes only) on any other topic pertaining directly to the use of the OT in the NT. Proposals are warmly invited, from both established scholars and PhD students, so please email me with a provisional title and a short abstract by Saturday Friday 28th December 2018. I will let all proposers know whether or not their paper has been accepted by 21st January 2019.

Looking forward to seeing you in Hawarden in April, and wishing you all the best in the meantime,

Best wishes,

Professor Susan Docherty
Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism/Head of Theology
Newman University Birmingham

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Conferences


God Isn’t Interested in Explaining Things to You, Rebels

“Son of man, speak with the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says: Are you coming to inquire of me? As I live, I will not let you inquire of me. This is the declaration of the Lord GOD.’  “Will you pass judgment against them, will you pass judgment, son of man? Explain the detestable practices of their fathers to them.”  (Ezek. 20:3-4)

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Bible


The Marburg Articles

Wie sich D. Martin Luter &c. und Huldrich Zvingli &c. in der
Summa christenlicher Leer glychförmig ze sin befunden
habennd, uff dem Gespräch jüngst zuo Marpurg in Hessen
Luther, Martin
Getruckt zuo Zürich, [1529]
Zentralbibliothek Zürich
Signatur: 5.174,5
Persistenter Link:


The great thing about this is that the annotations are in Zwingli’s OWN HAND.

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Church History



Marburg, Day One

The following record of the exchange of the first day is from Simpson’s volume on Zwingli’s life. Day One shows that days 2 and 3 were pointless. Luther was incapable of understanding anyone but himself. It was his greatest weakness.

lutherLuther opened the discussion, and in a long speech protested that he differed from his opponents on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, and furthermore, would always differ, since Christ clearly says, “Take, eat: this is my body.” “They must prove,” said he, “that a body is not a body.” He maintained that there could be no question about the meaning of words so plain. He refused to admit the validity of any arguments based on reason or mathematics. “God,” said he, “is above mathematics, and his words must be received with reverence and obeyed.”

Œcolampadius replied to Luther by quoting certain passages from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. With the words, “This is my body,” he compared, “I am the true vine.” From a carnal manducation he led up to a spiritual, and declared that his view was not groundless or isolated, but rested upon the faith of Scripture.

Luther admitted that Christ used figurative language in the sixth of John and elsewhere, but denied that the words “This is my body” were a figure of speech. “Since Christ says ‘This is,’ it must be so.”

oeco24Œcolampadius: To believe that Christ is in the bread is opinion, not faith. There is danger of attributing too much to the mere elements.

Luther: We are bound to listen not so much because of what is spoken, as because of Him who speaks. Since God speaks, let us pigmies of men listen; since He commands, let the world obey, and let all of us reverently kiss the Word.

Œcolampadius: Since we have the spiritual eating, what need is there of the corporal eating?

Luther: I care not about the need, but since it is written, “Take, eat: this is my body,” we must believe, and do it without question.

Œcolampadius quoted from the sixth chapter of John the words, “The flesh profiteth nothing.” “If the flesh,” said he, “when eaten profits nothing, it must appear to us”—here Zwingli interposed and accused Luther of prejudice, because he protested that he would not be driven from his views. “Comparison is necessary,” said he, “in the study of the Scriptures. It is the Spirit that gives life. The Spirit and the flesh are at enmity with each other. God does not propound to us things that are unintelligible. The disciples were mystified by the thought of the carnal eating. Therefore Christ explained to them the spiritual significance of his words.”

Luther: The words are not ours, but the Lord’s; let them be obeyed. By means of these words the hand of the priest becomes the hand of Christ. I will not argue as to whether is means signifies. It is enough for me that Christ says, “This is my body.” To raise questions about this is to fall away from the faith. Wherefore believe the plain words, and give glory to God.

Zwingli: We indeed implore that you glorify God by abandoning your main proposition. I would ask whether you believe that Christ in the sixth chapter of John desired to reply to the question addressed to him?

Luther: We take no account of that passage; it has no bearing on the subject in hand.

Zwingli: No? Why, that passage breaks your neck.

Luther’s proclivity for literalness of interpretation now took an amusing turn. He received Zwingli’s jocose remark as a threat of personal violence, and addressing his friends complained bitterly of the murderous intimation of his opponent. Zwingli laughingly explained that his language was figurative, and had reference to his opponent’s arguments.

Œcolampadius now gave the argument a Christological turn. “The Church,” said he, “was founded on the words, ‘Thou art the Son of God,’ and not on the words, ‘This is my body.’ ”

Luther: I do not hold to this in vain. To me it is sufficient that Christ says, “This is my body.” I confess that his body is in heaven, and that it is in the sacrament also. I care not if it be contrary to nature, provided it is not contrary to faith.

Œcolampadius: In all things He was made like unto us. As He is wholly like the Father in His divine nature, so He is wholly like us in His human nature.

Luther: “The poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always,” is the strongest argument you have advanced to-day. Christ is as substantially in the sacrament as when He was born of the Virgin. Faith needs no figures of speech.

Œcolampadius: We know not Christ after the flesh.

Melanchthon: After our flesh.

Œcolampadius: You will not admit a metaphor in the words of institution, and yet contrary to the Catholic conception you allow a synecdoche.

Luther: In a sword and its scabbard we have an example of synecdoche. “This is my body.” The body is in the bread, just as the sword is in the scabbard.

Zwingli (quoting from the Epistles): “God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” “He was made like unto his brethren.” Therefore we must conclude that Christ had a finite humanity, and if his body is on high it exists in one place. [He here quoted from Augustine, Fulgentius, and others.] We must affirm, therefore, that Christ’s body is in one place, and cannot be in many.

Luther: In like manner you might prove that Christ had a wife, and that his eyes were black.  As to his being in one place, I have already declared to you, and I now repeat, I care nothing for mathematics.

zwingliZwingli began quoting additional passages from the Greek text to prove the finiteness of Christ’s nature. Luther, interrupting him, requested that he employ either Latin or German instead of Greek. “Pardon me,” answered Zwingli, “for twelve years I have read the New Testament in Greek.”

Luther: As in the case of a nut and its shell, so in the case of Christ’s body. I concede its finiteness. But God can cause it to exist in a place and not in a place at the same time.

As soon as Luther conceded that Christ’s body was finite, Zwingli caught him up and said: “Therefore it is local, exists in a place, and if so, it is in heaven, and hence cannot be in the bread.” Luther would not admit that it existed in a place, saying: “Ich will es nicht gehebt haben, ich will sie nichts.” (I will not allow it, I positively will not.)

Zwingli retorted: “Muoss man dann grad alles, was ihr wollend?” (Must everything be as you will it?)

Fortunately, as Collin informs us, they were interrupted at this exciting juncture by a servant of the Prince, who announced that dinner was served.

When the theologians assembled at the next session, Zwingli resumed the discussion where they had left off. “Christ’s body is finite,” said he, “therefore it exists in a place.”

Luther: Although it is in the sacrament, it is not there as in a place. God could so dispose of my body that it would not be in a place; for the sophists say that a body can exist in several places at the same time; e.g., the earth is a body, yet it does not exist in one place.

Zwingli: You argue from the possible to the impossible. Prove to me that the body of Christ can exist in several places at the same time.

Luther: “This is my body.”

Zwingli: You repeatedly beg the question. I might thus contend that John was the son of Mary, for Christ said, “Behold thy son.” We must ever teach, forsooth, that Christ said, “Ecce filius tuus, ecce filius tuus!” Behold thy son, behold thy son!)

Luther: I do not beg the question.

Zwingli: Scripture must be compared with Scripture and expounded by itself. Tell me, pray, whether Christ’s body exists in a place.

melanchthonBrenz: It does not.

Zwingli: Augustine says that it must exist in a single place.

Luther: Augustine was not speaking of the Supper. The body of Christ is present in the Supper, but not locally present.

Œcolampadius: If that is so it cannot be a true body. [Œcolampadius began quoting from Augustine and Fulgentius.]

Luther: You have Augustine and Fulgentius on your side, but the rest of the Fathers support our views.

“Please name them,” said Œcolampadius. Luther refused, but afterward prepared a list of references to passages in the Fathers which he thought favorable to his views.

It became evident to all that further discussion would be vain, and it was agreed to close at this point. The fruitlessness of the conference was a great disappointment to the Landgrave. He urged the disputants to come to some partial agreement at least. “There is but one way to effect that,” said Luther. “Let our opponents accept our views.” “That we cannot do,” replied the Swiss. Thus ended the discussion. Zwingli had looked forward to this meeting with strong hope of a final settlement of the differences which divided the Protestant Church, and was now overcome with disappointment. He sat apart from his friends and shed tears in silence, while the Landgrave and the Hessian divines redoubled their activities in a final effort to bring about an amicable agreement.

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Church History, Zwingli


Zwingli’s Opening Prayer at Marburg

marburg2This deserves to be repeated- and adopted by all of us whenever we engage in theological debate:

“Fill us, O Lord and Father of us all, we beseech Thee, with thy gentle Spirit, and dispel on both sides all the clouds of misunderstanding and passion. Make an end to the strife of blind fury. Arise, O Christ, Thou Sun of righteousness, and shine upon us. Alas! while we contend, we only too often forget to strive after holiness which Thou requirest from us all. Guard us against abusing our powers, and enable us to employ them with all earnestness for the promotion of holiness.”

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Zwingli


Wisdom from Erasmus

God made man unarmed. But anger and revenge have mended the work of God, and furnished his hands with weapons invented in hell. Christians attack christians with engines of destruction, fabricated by the devil. A cannon! a mortar! no human being could have devised them originally; they must have been suggested by the evil one. – Erasmus

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Posted by on 2 Oct 2018 in Modern Culture