Back In Print: Beza On The Christian Faith

Theodore Beza (1519–1605) was one of the most significant Reformed theologians in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He was a humanist (a classics scholar), Calvin’s successor in Geneva, a New Testament scholar, minister, and a teacher in the Genevan Academy. From his post in Geneva, he influenced generations of Reformed pastors across Europe and the British Isles. The older view of Beza, now discredited in the academic literature, was that he was the corrupter of Calvin’s pure, warm, gracious biblical theology, piety, and practice. This view, though largely discredited among scholars, is still held by pastors and laity who learned the older story and who have not read Beza for themselves (choosing instead to rely on the secondary literature) and who have not kept up with the modern scholarship (e.g., Richard Muller’s work since 1978).

This little popular book is a terrific introduction to the Beza of history (as distinct from the Beza of the pre-1978 literature). Here you will find a gentle, gracious, Protestant account of the Christian faith written by a son to his father. Like most of the French in the period, Beza was born and baptized into the Roman communion but like many others (Calvin included) he found the Reformation in his 20s and became a leading proponent of it in the following decades. This volume is well worth your time.

It’s available from James Dickson books in the UK. For Americans the book (plus shipping) costs (at current exchange rates) just short of $15.00. It is worth all of that and more.

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  1. Excellent. Let me know if you hear of a stage play of Beza’s “Abraham sacrifiant” being performed or filmed. 🙂

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