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Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Genesis: Reformed Interpreters

Peter Martyr Vermigli

REFORMED: Bender, Brocardo,[1] Casmann,[2] Crotoaldus,[3] Fagius, Heidegger,[4] Lavater,[5] Marlorat,[6] Martyr,[7] Mercerus,[8] Musculus,[9] Œcolampadius,[10] Pareus,[11] Rivet,[12] Zwingli,[13] Gwalther,[14] Junius,[15] Pezel,[16] Strack.[17] English: Cartwright,[18] Schutte, Wheatæus, Willet,[19] Walker,[20] Lancellotus, Needler,[21] Gibbens,[22] Rossius, Lightfoot.[23]

John Lightfoot

[1] Jacopo Brocardo (c. 1518-c. 1594) was an Italian convert to the Protestant cause, and a Biblical interpreter. Although Brocardo is remember most for his apocalyptic views, he wrote Mysticam et Propheticam Libri Genesis Interpretationem, as well as commentaries on Leviticus and Song of Solomon.

[2] Otto Casmann (1562-1607) was a German Reformed philosopher and theologian. In his works on anthropology and natural philosophy, he sought to bring all into consistency with the teaching of Scripture, and of Moses in particular.

[3] Valentin Crautwald (1465-1545) was a German humanist and reformer. He was a close friend and associate of Casper Schwenckfeld, developing a “spiritualist” ideal that minimized external observances. Crautwald rejected the Lutheran view of the Lord’s Supper, and abberations in his Christology brought him into conflict with the Reformed. He wrote Annotationes in tria priora capita libri Geneseos.

[4] De historia sacra patriarcharum exercitationes selectæ.

[5] Ludwig Lavater (1527-1586) was a Swiss Reformed theologian, working closely in the circles of Heinrich Bullinger, his father-in-law. He was a prolific writer, commenting on many books of the Bible, including Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Ezekiel. Lavater was involved in producing a new, expanded edition of Peter Martyr’s commentary on Genesis.

[6] Augustin Marlorat (1506-1562) was an Augustinian monk and priest. After converting to Protestantism, he was called to a succession of pastorates. Ultimately, he was charged with treason in France, and executed. Marlorat commented on the entire New Testament, and portions of the Old, including Genesis (Genesis cum catholica expositione ecclesiastica), Job, Psalms, Song of Solomon, and Isaiah.

[7] Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) began his career as an Augustinian monk, preacher, and lecturer in Italy. Through personal study of the Scripture and the Reformers, he came to embrace the Protestant doctrines. He settled in England and served as Professor of Divinity at Oxford and as Canon of Christ Church. Unhappily, he was forced to flee from England as well, when Mary Tudor took the throne. He settled in Zurich and became Professor of Divinity there. Vermigili commented upon Genesis, In primum librum Mosis.

[8] John Mercerus (c. 1510-1572) was a French Catholic Hebraist, successor to Francis Vatablus as Professor of Hebrew and Chaldean at the Hebrew College, Paris (1549), a scholar and lecturer of great reputation in his day. He was suspected of having Calvinistic sympathies. He wrote In Genesin, primum Mosis librum, sic a Graecis appellatum, commentarium.

[9] Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563) was a Reformed theologian, serving as Professor of Theology at Bern (1549-1563). He has had enduring impacting through his Biblical Commentaries (including his commentary on Genesis, In Mosis genesim plenissimi Commentarii, in quibus veterum et recentiorum sententiæ diligenter expenduntur) and his Locos communes sacræ theologiæ.

[10] Johannes Œcolampadius (1482-1531) began his career as a cathedral preacher at Basel. During the first motions of reformation in Germany, he sided with Luther on many issues. He allied himself with Zwingli, and through preaching and debate he convinced the magistracy of Basel to embrace the Reformation. He was a man of considerable skill in Greek and Hebrew. Œcolampadius translated Chrysostom’s sermons on Genesis, and commented on Genesis 1-3 in the months leading up to his death.

[11] In Genesin Mosis commentarius.

[12] Andrew Rivet (1573-1651) was a Huguenot minister and divine. He ministered at Sedan and at Thouara; he went on to teach at the University of Leiden (1619-1632) and at the college at Breda. Rivet’s influence extended internationally throughout the Reformed churches and schools. He wrote Theologicæ et scholasticæ exercitationes centum nonaginta in Genesin.

[13] Farrago annotationum in Genesim.

[14] Although the son of a carpenter, Rudolf Gwalther (1519-1586) was raised (after the passing of his parents) by Heinrich Bullinger, and would eventually succeed him as Antistes of the Church of Zurich. Through his correspondence and Bible commentaries (including Genesis, das erste Buoch Mosis grundtlich und eigentlich vertetschet und mit newen Summarien aller Capitlen), Gwalther had international influence.

[15] Libri Geneseos analysis.

[16] Christoph Pezel (1539-1604) was educated in the Lutheran context of the universities of Jena and Wittenberg. In the internecine conflicts within the Lutheran Church, he sided with the Philippists, and was ultimately banished. Having already embraced the Swiss Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper, he moved from Melanchthon’s synergism to a fully Reformed view of the doctrines of grace, and introduced the Reformed confession to Nassau-Dillenburg and Bremen as a pastor and educator. He wrote In primum librum Mosis, qui inscribitur Genesis commentarium.

[17] Das Erste Buch des heiligen Propheten und Mannes Gottes Mosis Genesis genandt oder das Buch der Schöpffung.

[18] Christopher Cartwright (1602-1658) was an Anglican divine, ministering at York, and a Rabbinic scholar. He is noteworthy for his use of the Targums and the Rabbis in the interpretation of Scripture. His commentary on Genesis is entitled Electa Thargumico-Rabbinica, sive Annotationes in Genesin.

[19] Andrew Willet (1562-1621) was a product of Christ’s College, and he went on to serve the Anglican Church in various ministerial posts. Willet is remembered for his abilities as a commentator, being learned in language, history, and literature; and for his polemical writings against Roman Catholic doctrine. He composed commentaries on several books of the Bible, including Genesis, Hexapla in Genesin.

[20] George Walker (c. 1581-1651), an English clergyman of staunch Puritan and Presbyterian views, lived and ministered through the tumultuous times of the English Civil War. Walker was imprisoned by Archbishop Laud in 1638, but later released and restored by the House of Commons, and made a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines. He wrote The History of the Creation as It is Written by Moses in the First and Second Chapters of Genesis.

[21] Benjamin Needler (1620-1682) was an English Presbyterian minister. He was among the ejected ministers in 1662. He wrote Expository notes, with practical observations, towards the opening of the five first chapters of the first Book of Moses.

[22] Nicholas Gibbens (fl. 1600) was Cambridge-educated Puritan minister. He wrote Questions and Disputations concerning Holy Scripture.

[23] A few, and new observations, upon the booke of Genesis: The most of them certaine, the rest probable, all harmelesse, strange, and rarely heard off before.

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