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 Praelectiones in librum prophetiarum Danielis

(1,106 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
Praelectiones in librum prophetiarum Danielis'Lectures on the Book of the prophecies of Daniel' John Calvin Date: 1561 Original Language: Latin Description Calvin’s lectures on Daniel were part of a longer series of lectures he presented on the prophetic books. He also lectured in this series on Isaiah, Psalms, Minor Prophets, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel (dying before he completed this book). These lectures were different from the commentaries he produced. He wrote commentaries on all the Pauline epistles as …

Philip Melanchthon

(681 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
Biography Philipp Melanchthon was born Philipp Schwartzerdt in Bretten in 1497. He changed his name to Melanchthon, the Greek equivalent of Schwartzerdt (which means ‘black earth’) on the suggestion of his great-uncle, Johannes Reuchlin, the famous humanist and Hebraist. Young Philipp’s willingness to take up the suggestion, while possibly indicative of a care for his uncle, was surely characteristic of the scholarly interests that informed his youth. From an early age, he studied Latin and Greek…

 Praemonitio ad lectorem, preface to Theodor Bibliander’s Machumetis Saracenorum principis eiusque successorum vitae, doctrina ac ipse alcoran

(829 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
Praemonitio‘Warning to the reader’ Philip Melanchthon Date: 1543 Original Language: Latin Description Melanchthon’s preface, which he calls a ‘warning ( praemonitio)’, served to introduce Bibliander’s edition of the Qur’an. Produced at a time when Europe perceived herself to be under the dark cloud of aggressive Ottoman expansion, Bibliander’s publication was controversial and required support to make it to the publisher. The character of this fear is captured in Melanchthon’s title. In his eyes, as in those of muc…

 In Danielem Prophetam commentarius

(786 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
In Danielem Prophetam commentariusCommentary on the Prophet Daniel Philip Melanchthon Date: 1543 Original Language: Latin Description When Melanchthon’s commentary on Daniel appeared, Europe had been living with the Turkish threat for more than 100 years. Marching westward, they had taken Thessalonika in 1430 and Otranto in 1480. Advancing through the Balkans, they were at the gates of Vienna in 1529. This terrifying menace prompted numerous publications. Juan Luis Vives published De conditione vitae Christianorum sub Turca, and Luther Vom Kriege wider die Türken in 1529. In …

 Institutio Christianae religionis

(1,800 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
InstitutioInstitution de la religion chrétienne 'The Institutes' John Calvin Date: 1536-60 Original Language: French Description The  Institutio is a theological treatise. It went through five major Latin revisions, the first of which appeared in 1536 (the other major Latin editions appeared in 1539, 1554, 1550 and 1559). There was no French translation of the 1536  Institutio, but most of the later editions were translated into French, the definitive translation being the 1560  Institution de la religion chrétienne. In the  Calvini opera edition, the Latin Institutio of 153…

John Calvin

(686 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
Biography John (or Jean) Calvin was born in Noyon in Picardy, north of Paris, in 1509. As a young man he studied at the Collège de la Marche, in Paris. It is believed that, after completing his course, he entered the Collège de Montaigu. His movements during the mid-1520s took him from the University of Paris to the University of Orléans, University of Bourges and back to the Collège Royal in Paris. These movements were due, in part, to his changing his course of studies, at his father’s behest, from theology to law. At some point around this time, Calvin experienced an alteration of hi…

 Sermons sur le V. livre de Moyse, nommé Deutéronome

(1,320 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
Sermons sur le V. livre de Moyse, nommé DeutéronomeThe sermons of M. Iohn Calvin upon the fifth booke of Moses called Deuteronomie John Calvin Date: 1567 Original Language: French Description Calvin’s sermons on Deuteronomy are indicative of the preaching that occupied much of his day-to-day work in Geneva. They are also characteristic of many of the qualities that came to exemplify his handling of the biblical text, whether in sermons, lectures or commentaries. Calvin preached on nearly the entire Bible during his years in Geneva and Strasbourg. He took up the book …

Theological Discourse

(7,845 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ The Apostle Paul, revered by the vast majority of Renaissance humanists, would most likely have opposed their programme, or at least fundamental elements of it, for he declared in 1 Corinthians 2:1–5: When I came to you, brothers a…

Commentaries on the Bible and Patristics

(1,376 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ Although Neo-Latin biblical commentaries and patristics exhibit similarities with their predecessors and scholastic contemporaries, the qualities that distinguish them are sufficiently impressive to …

Neo-Latin Literature—France: The Seventeenth and Later Centuries: Contexts

(833 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ Although Neo-Latin has no definite starting point, introduced into Europe and the New World through the humanist reforms initiated in the Renaissance and gradually developed alongside the continuing …

Neo-Latin Literature—France: The Sixteenth Century: Contexts

(1,294 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ Monumental achievements distinguished the sixteenth century as enormously important in the history of European literature, and this was particularly true of French literature. Although giants such as…


(956 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ The sermon, an oration by a religious leader, is integral to the life of the Christian church. Its origin may be traced, in a certain sense, to the sermon Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, thou…