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Although he was inclined to take the part of the magistrates, he knew how to defend the rights and independence of the spiritual power when occasion arose, without, however, conceding to it such a preponderating influence as did Calvin. Beza did not believe it wise for the Company of Pastors to have a permanent head.

Who was Theodore Beza?

He convinced the Company to petition the Small Council to have limited terms for the position of moderator. In the Council agreed to a weekly rotating presidency.

His activity was great. He mediated between the compagnie and the magistracy; the latter continually asked his advice even in political questions. He corresponded with all the leaders of the Reformed party in Europe. After the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre , he used his influence to give to the refugees a hospitable reception at Geneva. In , he wrote his De jure magistratuum Right of Magistrates , in which he emphatically protested against tyranny in religious matters, and affirmed that it is legitimate for a people to oppose an unworthy magistracy in a practical manner and if necessary to use weapons and depose them.

Without being a great dogmatician like his master, nor a creative genius in the ecclesiastical realm, Beza had qualities which made him famous as humanist, exegete, orator, and leader in religious and political affairs, and qualified him to be the guide of the Calvinists in all Europe.

In the various controversies into which he was drawn, Beza often showed an excess of irritation and intolerance, from which Bernardino Ochino , pastor of the Italian congregation at Zurich on account of a treatise which contained some objectionable points on polygamy , and Sebastian Castellio at Basel on account of his Latin and French translations of the Bible had especially to suffer.

Beza continued to maintain the closest relations with Reformed France. He was the moderator of the general synod which met in April, , at La Rochelle and decided not to abolish church discipline or to acknowledge the civil government as head of the Church, as the Paris minister Jean Morel and the philosopher Pierre Ramus demanded; it also decided to confirm anew the Calvinistic doctrine of the Lord's Supper by the expression: "substance of the body of Christ" against Zwinglianism, which caused a dispute between Beza and Ramus and Heinrich Bullinger.

He was also interested in the controversies which concerned the Augsburg Confession in Germany, especially after , on the doctrine of the Person of Christ and the sacrament, and published several works against Joachim Westphal , Tilemann Heshusius , Nikolaus Selnecker , Johannes Brenz , and Jakob Andrea. This caused him to be hated by all those who adhered to Lutheranism in opposition to Melanchthon, especially after As a matter of course the intended union which was the purpose of the colloquy was not brought about; nevertheless it called forth serious developments within the Reformed Church.

To adjust the matter, the magistrates arranged a colloquy between Huber and Musculus September 2, , in which the former represented the universalism, the latter the particularism, of grace. As the colloquy was resultless, a debate was arranged at Bern, April 15—18, , at which the defense of the accepted system of doctrine was at the start put into Beza's hands. After that time Beza's activity was confined more and more to the affairs of his home.

His wife Claudine had died childless in after forty years of marriage, a few days before he went to the Bern Disputation. He contracted, on the advice of his friends, a second marriage with Catharina del Piano, a Genoese widow, in order to have a helpmate in his declining years. Up to his sixty-fifth year he enjoyed excellent health, but after that a gradual sinking of his vitality became perceptible.

He was active in teaching until January The saddest experience in his old days was the conversion of King Henry IV to Catholicism, in spite of his most earnest exhortations In a false report was spread by the Jesuits in Germany, France, England, and Italy that Beza and the Church of Geneva had returned into the bosom of Rome, and Beza replied in a satire which showed that he still possessed his old fire of thought and vigor of expression. He died in Geneva. He was not buried, like Calvin, in the general cemetery, Plain-Palais for the Savoyards had threatened to abduct his body to Rome , but at the direction of the magistrates, in the monastery of St.

In Beza's literary activity as well as in his life, distinction must be made between the period of the humanist which ended with the publication of his Juvenilia and that of the ecclesiastic. Combining his pastoral and literary gifts, Beza wrote the first drama produced in French, Abrahm Sacrifiant; a play that is an antecedent to the work of Racine and is still occasionally produced today.

Later productions like the humanistic, biting, satirical Passavantius and his Complainte de Messire Pierre Lizet In his old age he published his Cato censorius , and revised his Poemata , from which he purged juvenile eccentricities. Of his historiographical works, aside from his Icones , which have only an iconographical value, mention may be made of the famous Histoire ecclesiastique des Eglises reformes au Royaume de France , and his biography of Calvin, with which must be named his edition of Calvin's Epistolae et responsa But all these humanistic and historical studies are surpassed by his theological productions contained in Tractationes theologicae.

In these Beza appears the perfect pupil or the alter ego of Calvin.

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His view of life is deterministic and the basis of his religious thinking is the predestinate recognition of the necessity of all temporal existence as an effect of the absolute, eternal, and immutable will of God, so that even the fall of the human race appears to him essential to the divine plan of the world. Beza, in tabular form, thoroughly elucidates the religious views which emanated from a fundamental supralapsarian mode of thought.

This he added to his highly instructive treatise Summa totius Christianismi. Beza's De vera excommunicatione et Christiano presbyterio , written as a response to Thomas Erastus's Explicatio gravissimae quaestionis utrum excommunicatio contributed an important defense of the right of ecclesiastical authorities rather than civil authorities to excommunicate.

Of no less importance are the contributions of Beza to Biblical scholarship. In he issued an edition of the Greek New Testament , accompanied in parallel columns by the text of the Vulgate and a translation of his own already published as early as Annotations were added, also previously published, but now he greatly enriched and enlarged them.

In the preparation of this edition of the Greek text, but much more in the preparation of the second edition which he brought out in , Beza may have availed himself of the help of two very valuable manuscripts. It was not, however, to these sources that Beza was chiefly indebted, but rather to the previous edition of the eminent Robert Estienne , itself based in great measure upon one of the later editions of Erasmus.

Beza's labours in this direction were exceedingly helpful to those who came after. The same thing may be asserted with equal truth of his Latin version and of the copious notes with which it was accompanied. The former is said to have been published over a hundred times. Although some contend that Beza's view of the doctrine of predestination exercised an overly dominant influence upon his interpretation of the Scriptures, there is no question that he added much to a clear understanding of the New Testament.

Theodore Beza appears as a character in the " Colloqui di Poissy ", an historical novel by Agostino di Bondeno Rome, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the village in Iran, see Beza, Iran.

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Tvbingae : Grvppenbach, Acta colloquii Montis Belligartensis : quod habitum est, Anno Christi Domino Friderico, Comite Wirtembergico et Mompelgartensi Tubingae : Gruppenbach, Praeside Illustrissimo Principe ac Domino, Dn. Acta colloquij Montis Belligartensis: quod habitum est, anno Christi.

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Theodorum Bezam, professorem Georgium Gruppenbachium, Ad acta Colloquii Montisbelgardensis Tubingae edita Responsionis, Pars altera , 1st ed. Geneva : Joannes Le Preux, Ad acta colloquii Montisbelgardensis Tubingae edita Theodori Bezae responsionis pars altera , 3rd ed. Genevae : Ioannes le Preux, Le Preux, Ad acta colloquii Montisbelgardensis Tubingae edita, Theodori Bezae responsionis, pars altera. Primary Sources titles, vols. Secondary Sources 2 Websites 1.