Fun Facts From Church History: Luther’s Name

Most folk think that ‘Luther’ is a form of the family name ‘Luder’ and that Martin Luther simply took to spelling his name in the more modern format. Not so.  Rather, sometime after the 95 Theses made him well known he adopted the Greek name Ελευθηριυς and though he signed his work with that name […]

Fun Facts From Church History: The Real Saint Patrick

ST. PATRICK or Patricius (died March 17, 465 or 493) was the son of a deacon, and grandson of a priest, as he confesses himself without an intimation of the unlawfulness of clerical marriages. He was in his youth carried captive into Ireland, with many others, and served his master six years as a shepherd. […]

Fun Facts From Church History: Calvin’s Return to Geneva

On 14 March, 1542, Calvin wrote to Myconius “I value the public peace and concord so highly, that I lay restraint upon myself; and this praise even the adversaries are compelled to award to me.  This feeling prevails to such an extent, that, from day to day, those who were once open enemies have become […]

Fun Facts from Church History: Among His Siblings, Only Huldrych, James, and Andrew Were Literate

The names and order of the birth of the brothers and sisters of the Zwingli family were: Heini (also called Hainy or Henry), Klaus (or Nicholas), Huldreich (also called Ulrich), Hans, Wolfgang, Bartholomäus, Jacob (or James), Anna, Andrew, and an unnamed daughter. Of Heini there has been preserved one letter (viii., 430, 431), dated from […]

Fun Facts From Church History

Zwingli suffered from ulcers, and died of a halberd in the face. Luther suffered from gall stones, and died of liver disease. Calvin suffered from a plethora of illnesses, and died of only God knows what. What’s this mean?  That being a Reformer ruins your body. Don’t be a Reformer.

Fun Facts from Church History: Luther’s Dread

Luther left the Wartburg on March 1, 1522, arriving at Wittenberg on March 6. One of the first things he did was to preach a series of eight sermons, during the week beginning March 9, in an effort to counteract the extreme reforms which had been forced through by Karlstadt and Gabriel Zwilling.  Luther was […]

Fun Facts From Church History: The Publication of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament and Zwingli

You may not know this, but Erasmus’ edition of the GNT appeared on the 2nd of March, 1516.  Zwingli made a copy, by hand of course, of the Letters of Paul that same year.  Interestingly, and significantly, those marginal notes demonstrate that Zwingli was moving towards reform then (in 1516) before anyone had ever heard […]

Fun Facts from Church History

In the 16th century a distinction was made between the ‘poor’ and the ‘deserving poor’.  In general terms, the ‘deserving poor’ were members of one’s own Church community who lived properly and dressed properly and avoided gambling and promiscuity.  These persons were granted Church aid.  The ‘poor’, i.e., unworthy beggars and members of another faith […]

Fun Facts From Church History

On 25 February, 1559 Calvin wrote a little letter in which he … again spoke of the anxiety and distress which he suffered. The ministers were quarrelling with each other. He exhorted them not to read either the German Theology (La Théologie Germanique), or a little work, entitled ‘Der Neue Mensch”.* Calvin was a person […]

Fun Facts From Church History: Calvin Has Some Demands

Before he will return to Geneva, Calvin expects certain conditions to be met. On February 19, 1541, he says to them, ‘I beg you to bethink yourselves of all the means of wisely constituting your church, that it may be ruled according to the command of our Lord.’† Calvin was therefore anxious to make the […]

Fun Facts From Church History: Geneva and Castellio

Sébastien Castellio (1515–63), who was six years younger than Calvin, was a Savoyard by birth, had risen from very humble origins to distinction in humanistic learning at Lyons, had fled to Strassburg by reason of his Protestant sympathies, and, while there, had for a brief time been a member of Calvin’s household. Impetuous and rather […]