Posted originally in 2018-
And a portrait of him I had never seen before:
Heute vor 520 Jahren, am 16. Februar 1497, wurde Philipp Melanchthon geboren. Humanist, Reformator, Praeceptor Germaniae („Lehrer Deutschlands“), Außenminister der Reformation, Vater der Ökumene – mit all diesen Titeln wurde Melanchthon im Laufe der Zeit bedacht. Er wirkte wie Martin Luther als Professor an der Wittenberger Universität und wurde dessen wichtigster Wegbegleiter. Melanchthonhaus WIttenberg – www.martinluther.de/de/besuch/museen/melanchthonhaus
Abb.: Reformatorengespräch, Adolf Schlabitz, nach 18999 (Detail Phlipp Melanchthon)
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
I’m a big fan of this portrayal of Luther and Melanchthon and others working on the translation of the Bible (Melanchthon has the little ‘b’ above his head- on our right facing us)
Darstellung der Bibelübersetzung (von Johann Martin Bernigeroth) mit Luther und Rörer aus einer Bibel, die 1741 in Züllichau erschien.
Erste Seite des Bandes der Mitschriften der Vorlesung Philipp Melanchthons über den Römerbrief (1548-1550), ThULB Jena, Ms. Bos. q. 24 h
Doppelseite aus Rörers Mitschrift der Römerbriefvorlesung Melanchthons von 1548-1550 (ThULB Jena , Ms. Bos. q. 24 h)
Our Saxon friends write
Aside from Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon is considered Germany’s most important Protestant reformer. Even as a child, he impressed others through his extraordinary aptitude for ancient languages. His mentor, Johannes Reuchlin, recognised this talent in 1509 by translating Philipp’s last name, ‘Schwarzerdt’ (literally ‘black earth’), into the Greek ‘Melanchthon’.
Over the years, he became one of Luther’s trusted collaborators in the cause of the Reformation. Together they composed countless Protestant treatises, developed educational and liturgical regulations, and worked on the translation of the Bible. Accordingly, Melanchthon also accompanied the Saxon electors to the decisive imperial diets (‘Reichstage’) in Speyer (1529) and in Augsburg (1530). He composed the most important Protestant confession, the Augsburg Confession, while in that city.
Bildnachweis: Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, 1537, by Lucas Cranach the Elder. / Melanchthon’s House in Wittenberg / Melanchthon’s Room in Wittenberg
PM is my favorite Lutheran.