Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who was Oecolampadius?

In John Flavel's The Mystery of Providence he speaks of a master builder named Oecolampadius. This name is not well known in our day; yet in his day, Johannes Oecolampadius was a trusted theological scholar. While not as revered in the annals of history as Zwingli, Luther, and Calvin the church has benefited that the Providence of God saw fit to keep this man from becoming a merchant. More is told of his Reformation life here:

The second period of Oecolampadius's life opens with his return to Basel in November 1522, as vicar of St Martin's and (in 1523) reader of the Holy Scripture at the university. Lecturing on Isaiah he condemned current ecclesiastical abuses, and in a public disputation (2oth of August 1523) was so successful that Erasmus writing to Zürich said " Oecolampadius has the upper hand amongst us." He became Zwingli's best helper, and after more than a year of earnest preaching and four public disputations in which the popular verdict had been given in favour of Oecolampadius and his friends, the authorities of Basel began to see the necessity of some reformation. They began wiih the convents, and Oecolampadius was able to refrain in public worship on certain festival days from some practices he believed to be superstitious. Basel was slow to accept the reformation; the news of the Peasants' War and the inroads of Anabaptists prevented progress; but at last, in 1525, it seemed as if the authorities were resolved to listen to schemes for restoring the purity of worship and teaching. In the midst of these hopes and difficulties Oecolampadius married, in the beginning of 1528, Wilibrandis Rosenblatt, the widow of Ludwig Keller, who proved to be non rixasa vcl gárrula vcl vaga, he says, and made him a good wife. After his death she married Capilo, and, when Capito died, Buccr. She died in 1564. In January 1528 ecolampadius and Zwingli took part in the disputation at Berne which led to the adoption of the new faith in that canton, and in the following year to the discontinuance of the mass at Basel. The Anabaptists claimed Oecolampadius for their views, but in a disputation with them he dissociated himself from most of their positions. He died on the 24th of November 1531.
Copied from: The Encyclopædia Britannica A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information By Hugh Chisholm

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