Once again we venture into the days of churches past in our way-back machine. We are finally making it out of the dark ages and into a time of reform. Today’s topic is the 16th century. So much happens in this century, it will dominate our discussion. So join us, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the rest as we examine the reformation.
In studying the reformation is important not to see the movement as a single movement started by one person. It truly was a perfect storm of new thinking coming from many different scholars in many different countries. And to top it off… they didn’t even always agree with each other!
Issues reformers disagreed about
- Infant baptism (Luther and Calvin supported)
- Transubstantiation (Luther still supported)
- Holy Icons (Luther still supported)
- Sacraments of penance, confession, and absolution
- Honoring the saints and Mary
- Trinity (Unitarians disagreed)
Timeline for The Reformation in the 1500s
- 1517 – 95 Theses of Martin Luther on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Saxony begins German Protestant Reformation
- 1518 – Ulrich Zwingli of Zürich, Switzerland teaches on justification, infant baptism, and transubstantiation.
- 1520 – Pope Leo X issued the Papal bull Exsurge Domine
- 1521 – Luther refuses to recant his works at the Diet of Worms
- 1522 – Luther’s NT, German NT translation
- 1524 – The Freedom of the Will published by Desiderius Erasmus
- 1525 – Anabaptist movement begins (non-infant baptisms, stance against oaths)
- 1526 – William Tyndale’s NT, English NT translation from the1516 Greek text of Erasmus (Textus Receptus), first printed edition, reflects influence of Luther’s NT in rejecting priest for elder, church for congregation.
- 1534 – Henry VIII established new independent entity Church of England.
- 1536 – Institutes of the Christian Religion written by John Calvin (Calvinism)
- 1536 – William Tyndale is martyred
- 1537 – The Matthew Bible by John Rogers used the Myles Coverdale‘s Bible and Tyndale’s NT
- 1539 – The Great Bible, by Thomas Cromwell, 1st English Bible to be authorized for public use in English churches, based on last Tyndale’s NT of 1534
- 1541 – John Calvin goes to Geneva
- 1542 – Roman Inquisition established by Pope Paul III
- 1545 – Catholic Council of Trent, counter-reformation against Protestantism, clearly defined an official theology and biblical canon
- 1553 – Michael Servetus founder of Unitarianism, burned at the stake in Geneva
- 1553-1558 – Queen Mary I of England persecuted reformers (238 burned at the stake)
- 1560 – Geneva Bible, first Bible with chapter and verse numbers
- 1560 – Scots Confession, Church of Scotland, Scottish Reformation by John Knox who had been studying at Geneva
- 1560-1598 – French Wars of Religion (over 2 million died)
- 1572 – John Knox, founded the Presbyterian Church, due to disagreement with Lutherans over sacraments and church government
- 1572 – The Bishops’ Bible, a revision of the Great Bible checked against the Hebrew text, 1st to be published in England by episcopal authority