Thomas More

“The king’s good servant but God’s first.”

Biographical Sketch

by Brandon Yi, Biola University


Summary of Life

1478Thomas More is born on February 6/7 in a prosperous family. Milk Street in London

1484- More attends St. Anthony’s school in London, a Latin grammar school where he was required to converse in Latin

1490- More becomes a page to John Morton and becomes lord chancellor of England.

1492- More is nominated by Morton for Canterbury College. More spends two years studying Aristotle’s Rhetoric and disputations involving public debate.

1493- More leaves Oxford without a degree and enters the field of law at the New Inn in England. He does well due to his past studies in disputation and oration.

1496- Lincoln’s Inn. More’s study of law led him to believe that judicial decisions are ultimately grounded in divine authority which is foundational to human society More prioritizes law in the governance of human affairs.

1499- More and Erasmus meet for the first time. They have a mutual interest in Renaissance humanism. “New Learning”: stresses noble human values and the capacity of man to transform himself and social structures.

1501- More lives in the Carthusian Charterhouse of London for 4 years. He participates in the monks’ spiritual exercises. He realizes here the transience of the things of this world and the passing nature of ambition and success but still embraces life as a journey of merit in efforts. He also begins to study Greek as well as Augustine’s work City of God. More’s core of his spiritual life begins with Life of John Picus where the passion of Christ is depicted. (Passion—Christ’s suffering and ostracizing and condemnation for his virtues)

1504- At age 27, More is elected to Parliament for one session.

1505- More determines that he is not called to be celibate or cloistered. He marries Jane Colt (16 years old). They have four children named Margaret, Elizabeth, Cecily, and John.

1508- More goes abroad to visit the universities of Louvain and Paris. He observes the humanist methods of research.

1509- More is a member of the Mercers’ Guild which is an association of London tradesmen. He is a negotiator and orator. Praise of Folly by Erasmsus. Firm defense of Catholic doctrine against the Protestant teachings.
1510- More is elected to Parliament as a representative of the City at Westminster.

1511- More’s wife, Jane, dies suddenly at age 22 maybe from influenza or childbirth. Within a month, More marries Alice Middleton. She is 8 years older than More. They are dedicated in forming a pious family. More beings to formulate a regular life of prayer, Scripture study, and church attendance.

1512- More serves as a governor and treasurer of Lincoln’s Inn.

1515- More journeys to Bruges in the spring and Antwerp in the summer in order to negotiate commercial and diplomatic treaties. He begins his work on Utopia.

1516 More becomes a member of the council of the Star Chamber. This council dealt with property titles. More completes Utopia in Latin in Louvain, Belgium which was edited by Erasmus.

1517- More goes to Calais to help with commercial disputes between French and English merchants. A second edition of Utopia is published. More is a member of the king’s Privy Chamber and is now in daily contact with Henry.

1518- Service to Henry VIII. More becomes master of requests under Henry. Erasmus sends More a copy of what has become known as Luther’s “Disputation” (Luther explains the fundamental creed of sola Scriptura. Luther rejects the teaching authority of the Church, the infallibility of papal decisions, and papal primacy by divine right.

1520- More aids in the negotiations for Charles’s visit to Canterbury and meets with Francis I in Calais to settle terms of peace between France and England. More is granted knighthood in the same year.

1521- Pope Leo X confers the title “Defender of the Faith” on Henry VIII for his anti- Luther tract, Assertio septem sacramentorum (Defense of the Seven Sacraments), edited by More.

1523- More is elected Speaker of the House of Commons. More writes his first work of apologetics when he composes Responsio ad Lutherum (Response to Luther)

1524- More is appointed high steward at Oxford University.

1525- More acts as principal negotiator in a truce with France. He begins to become watchful of merchants who are importing books by Luther and investigates the spreading of anti- Catholic tracts.

1526- More raids the German steelyard in order to search for Lutheran books and Bible translations. More assists Henry VIII in composing the Letter in Reply to Martin Luther.

1527- The King’s Council devises a censorship order against heretical books and preaching.

1528- More is commissioned by Bishop Tunstal to refute Luther’s books and heretical books.

1530- More meets with Henry VIII at a meeting of the King’s Council in Star Chamber to condemn heretical books. More’s proclamations against heretical books is issued.

1531- Henry VIII puts a new title to himself: supreme head of the Church of England. More wants to resign as lord chancellor.

1533- Pope Clement VII declared Henry and Anne’s marriage to be invalid and threatens to excommunicate Henry. More still continues to write in defense of the Church and papal authority.

1534- More is charged with treason. Anyone who has communicated with Elizabeth Barton face the threat of treason. She prophesied disaster for Henry. More is cleared. However, not long after, More is summoned to appear and swear allegiance to Henry as pope of the English church. More is imprisoned.

1535- Cromwell offers More another opportunity to reconsider but More refuses. More is interrogated several times until he is officially found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. More was too expert a lawyer and too confirmed in knowledge of self to be tricked into treason. However, Sir Richard Rich, one of Cromwell’s minions, found grounds to accuse More. He was to be cut down while still living. His bowels pulled from his body and burned in his sight. His genitals cut off with his head. His body was to be quartered and put on view to the public. But just before death, his sentence is just beheading for Henry feared riots would occur. More is hanged at Tower Hill.


  • Anthony’s school: learning Latin
  • Canterbury College, Oxford: studied rhetoric, disputations involving formal oratory and public debate
  • John Colet: spiritual advisor for More 1505
  • Erasmus: mutual interest in Renaissance humanism. Edits Sends More the copy of Luther’s Disputation.
  • Augustine: the two social orders—love of self and contempt of God vs. focus on God and abnegation to self. More spends his life trying to reconcile these two.
  • John Fisher: close friend of More who is a firm defender of Catholic doctrine against the Protestant teachings
  • Alice Middleton (2nd wife): establishes a pious family and leads More to institute a regular life of prayer, Scripture study, and church attendance. He becomes an affectionate, demonstrative father.


Thomas More was against the Protestants. Thomas More was not as infuriated with Luther as with the results of Luther’s work. More found the works to be heretical because they went against the beliefs and doctrines set by the Catholic Church. More believed in a united and peaceful body of Christendom. The Reformation was spreading new doctrine like disease and was contaminating the nation. Because the Reformation was attacking the Church, More felt the attack come straight to his own morals. More desired for all Christians to be under one head. This was the reason why More was quick to exterminate the writings of Luther and was always investigating the spread of Luther’s works. He believed that heresy was incurable and that it was his ultimate duty to the King to rid of heresy. When More dies, his concluding words were “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” His death resulted directly from his belief that no lay ruler could have jurisdiction over the Church of Christ.


  • Utopia 1516
    • The purpose for Utopia was to implement discipline. There is no real perfect society. There is always disagreement within peoples’ lives because everyone’s interests are somewhere else. The only real way to get the closest to the perfect place is by placing everyone under a certain discipline and that discipline is God’s instruction.
  • Sadness of Christ 1535
    • More writes with the theme of Christ. He was imprisoned and wrote this during the last months of his life. He writes that Christ is the one who gives comfort and strength in tribulation. We should only trust in the will of God. He seeks only what is good for us. There is eternal life that is promised to the saints. More is extremely fearful of his death, but meditating on the suffering and crucifixion of Christ gives More courage to face the prospect of his coming torture and death.
  • Responsio ad Lutherum 1523
    • More explains that he completely sides with Catholicism. More upholds the pope’s supreme spiritual authority. He invokes both the tradition and the historical identity of the church.
    • More is extremely outraged over the heretical teachings of Luther on the sacraments, celibacy, papal authority, the Mass, and the Peasants’ Revolt.
  • The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer 1532
    • More addresses the conflict between Roman Catholicism and Protestant Lutheranism:
      • Protestantism: inner prayer, faith alone, personal redemption through Christ
      • Catholicism: ritual worship, good works, and the sacramental system predicated on an ordained clergy.
      • More insists that the one, holy, Catholic Church is the only true embodiment of Christ’s mystical body on earth.
        • The Church is still holy in spite of the wickedness of some of its members and even hierarchy.

Secondary Works

Guy, John. Thomas More. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000

Reynolds, E. E. Thomas More and Erasmus. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 1965

Thornton, John F. & Varenne, Susan B. Saint Thomas More Selected Writings. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2003


Guy, John. Thomas More. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000

Reynolds, E. E. Thomas More and Erasmus. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 1965

“Sir Thomas More and the Heretics.” Sir Thomas More and the Heretics, History Today. Accessed November 16,2016.

“Thomas More.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2003

Thornton, John F. & Varenne, Susan B. Saint Thomas More Selected Writings. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2003



Theodore Beza (1519-1605)

Biographical Sketch

by Jordan Swigart, Biola University


 “Beza and Calvin shared an incredible affection for one another, such as resembles that of Paul and Timothy.”*

Summary of Life

  • Born on June 24, 1519 in Vézelay France to the royal governor of Vézelay, Pierre De Beza
  • When he was just three years old Beza’s mom, Marie Bourdelot, died
  • In 1528 he was sent to study in Orleans under Melchior Wolmar
  • At the age of 20 he received a degree in law from the University of Orleans
  • Married Claudine Denosse in 1544 in secret
  • He wrote a work of poetry called Juvenilia in 1548 and quickly became famous for the work
  • He became very sick after the publication of his book, which led him to a spiritual awakening
  • In 1548 he dropped everything and fled for Geneva with his wife, Claudine
  • In 1549 he became a professor at the University of Lausanne
  • In 1557 Beza asked to go with William Farel to plead for the Waldenses
  • He finished the revision of Olivetan’s translation (New Testament)
  • Beza accepted a chair position at the University of Geneva in 1558 after many years of being a professor
  • In 1559 Beza went on another journey because of the Huguenots, this time to Heidelberg
  • The Colloquy of Poissy happened in 1561 and Beza gave a speech at the conference
  • He served for seven months with the Huguenot army as treasurer and almoner until 1563
  • In 1564, John Calvin passed away and Beza performed the funeral. He then became Calvin’s successor and rector of the university
  • Theological Treatises (one of his main theological works) was republished by Beza in 1582
  • Claudine died in 1588 and Beza remarried a refugee from Genoa, Geneviève del Piano
  • Debated the Lutherans at the Bern Colloquy in 1588.
  • 1600 was the final year that he preached from the pulpit
  • Theodore Beza passed away in 1605 from old age, after suffering from hearing and short-term memory loss

Influenced by

  • Theodore Beza was influenced by John Calvin. He became his successor when Calvin passed away. He even took over at the Theological University that John Calvin started in Geneva. Beza took Calvin’s theology and expanded on the topics that Calvin did not go into depth about. Beza was a Calvinist and even wrote a biography on the life of John Calvin.
  • Melchior Wolmar also influenced Beza. Wolmar lived in Orleans and taught Beza Greek when he was in his teenage years. Wolmar eventually became apart of the reformed movement. One of Beza’s most famous works was dedicated to Wolmar.
  • It is probable that John Knox and William Farel influenced Beza (all of them being reformers from Geneva). They were older than him and were in Geneva at the same time that Beza was there. Farel traveled with Beza to help the Protestants that were experiencing persecution.


  • Beza influenced Jacobus Arminius because he studied under Beza in Geneva. Even though they have different beliefs about theology (Arminian and Calvinist Debate) there was a mutual respect for each other.
  • Beza influenced William Perkins, a Cambridge theologian and professor. Beza’s view on Supralapsarianism was something that Perkins views aligned with and he taught his students this view on theology.
  • William Ames from Cambridge was influenced by Beza’s explanation of Calvinism. This man would often debate and was a great conversationalist.
  • Franciscus Junius (the Elder) received much education from Calvin and Beza in Geneva. He became a minister and Latin Bible translator.
  • John Calvin was most likely influenced by Beza’s idea of predestination.

Known For

  • Known for Being John Calvin’s successor at the University that Calvin founded
  • Expanding on the ideas that Calvin didn’t go into too much depth about
  • Beza would place high value on others lives, even ahead of his own life. He would help Christians that were being persecuted by the Roman Catholics
  • The theological topic of Supralapsarianism
  • Skilled in debating and was a fantastic (and well respected) writer
  • Often times Beza is remembered as a “Hyper-Calvinist,” someone that took Calvin’s work and went too far with what Calvin was trying to portray.

Theology (Reformed)

  • His key theological concept and most famous was the idea of Supralapsarianism. Supralapsarianism is the logical order of decrees by God that looks through the vantage point of God’s eyes. He believed that God authorized the fall and condemns some to eternal life and others to eternal damnation before the fall of man ever occurred.
  • Reprobation (double predestination) is God choosing people to go to eternal damnation and eternal life based of His perfect and good will.
  • Imputation of Adam’s sin was something that Beza wrote about. This is different than man having a sinful nature. It is idea that the entire human race that has lived (and will live) has been condemned because of Adam’s sin in the garden.

Types of Works

Dramas (Musical), Satires, Polemical treatises, Greek & French Translations, Biographies (John Calvin), Political treatises, Theological treatises

Major Works (no publishing information found)

  • De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis (1554): Defense of Calvin and the Magistrates
  • Poemata juvenilia (1548): This was a poetry work that got Beza famous. They included poems about his childhood before he was a reformer.
  • Tractationes theologicae (1570-1582): Systematic Theology that showed Beza’s religious views.
  • Life of Calvin (1564): Discusses the Life of Calvin. There is much respect seen in this biography towards Beza’s mentor
  • Summa totius Christianismi (1555): His main writing on Supralapsarianism

Secondary Sources

  • Baird, Henry Martyn. Theodore Beza, the Counsellor of the French Reformation, 1519-1605. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1899. Print.
  • Mallinson, Jeffrey. Faith, Reason, and Revelation in Theodore Beza, 1519-1605. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003. Print.
  • Maruyama, Tadataka. The Ecclesiology of Theodore Beza: The Reform of the True Church. Genève: Droz, 1978. Print.


  • Beeke, Joel R. “Theodore Beza’s Supralapsarian Predestination.” Reformation and Revival Journal 12.2 (2003): n. pag. 2003.
  • Manetsch, Scott M. Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013.
  • Maruyama, Tadataka. The Ecclesiology of Theodore Beza: The Reform of the True Church. Genève: Droz, 1978.
  • Peters, F. E. The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2003.
  • Redding, Graham. Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ: In the Reformed Tradition. London: T & T Clark, 2003.
  • Summers, Kirk M. “Morality After Calvin: Theodore Beza’s Christian Censor and Reformed Ethics.” Barnes & Noble. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
  • Thomas, G. M. The Extent of the Atonement: A Dilemma for Reformed Theology from Calvin to the Consensus (1536-1675). Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock, 2006.




Lady Jane Grey

Biographical Sketch

by Adam Meadows, Biola University


Summary of life:

  • The exact day of Lady Jane Grey’s birth is unknown
  • For a long time people believed that she was born at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire in October 1537
  • However, more recent research indicates that she was born a little bit earlier, some speculate in London, either in late 1536 or in the spring of 1537
  • Her parents were Lord Henry and Lady Frances Grey
  • She was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII
  • Knowing that he was near death, King Henry VIII wrote his last will and testament
  • This will said that in the event that King Henry VIII’s children all die without children – meaning that there are no descendents left of King Henry VIII – then the throne should pass to the Suffolk line, the children of Henry’s younger sister Mary instead of his older sister Margaret.
  • When King Henry the VIII died, his only son was crowned as King Edward VI
  • Edward was only 9 years old when he ascended to the throne
  • Edward upon becoming sick and seeing his death as imminent, made the Device for the Succession
  • This document stated that Mary could not be crowned queen because she was the illegitimate child of King Henry VIII
  • Unfortunately the Device for the Succession almost would have prevented Elizabeth from sitting on the throne
  • John Dudley, a rich nobleman and the leader of King Edward VI’s council of advisors, moved quickly to prevent Mary from ascending to the throne
  • Dudley was an enemy of Mary’s and was also a protestant, so he was afraid for his life that Mary would become queen
  • Because King Edward VI’s Device for the Succession was not technically legal and was also in opposition to King Henry VIII’s will Dudley was essentially orchestrating a coup when he decided to put Jane on the throne
  • John Dudley decides to marry his son Guildford Dudley off to Jane Grey because he saw her as the best chance he had to get someone other than Mary on the throne
  • Jane’s parents were both eager to marry their daughter off to the Dudley’s because they were attracted to the Dudley’s wealth
  • Jane was opposed to marrying Dudley
  • Jane’s parents would beat and abuse her until she agreed to marry Dudley
  • Edward VI dies on July 6, 1553
  • He was 15 years old
  • Jane suspects the Dudley’s are trying to poison her
  • She leaves to stay with her cousin
  • Eventually they travel to Lyon where Jane is surprised to find her family waiting for her
  • They tell her that the king is dead
  • Waiting with them is a variety of nobles who tell Jane she is to become queen
  • She initially refuses to become queen
  • After some prodding Jane agrees to take the throne and they immediately leave to travel to the Tower of London
  • Once at the tower they meet the Lord Treasurer
  • He offers Jane the crown and royal jewels
  • She again refuses them, but eventually gives in
  • Upon being told they will have to have a new crown made for her husband Jane becomes fully aware of the fact that Dudley is using her as a pawn to make his son king
  • Jane, who does not like her husband Guildford, tells the Lord Treasurer that she will not make her husband king
  • She offers Dudley nothing higher than the title of duke
  • Upon hearing that Jane was to be made queen, Mary I went on the run
  • However, the commoners in England started to grow unsettled at Jane’s being named queen
  • The average English person of the time believed that Mary was the rightful heir to the throne and was largely unconcerned with the legal complexities of succession or with Mary’s catholicism
  • Those who had decided to put Jane on the throne go on the offense to settle the uprisings happening throughout England
  • The Bishop of London starts openly preaching against Mary
  • John Dudley decides to place Jane’s father – Henry Grey – at the head of a large manhunt for Mary
  • Jane, upset at the idea of her father being sent out to fight, pleads for the council to allow him to stay
  • At Jane’s request they allow Henry to stay and instead decide to have John Dudley be the one to lead the manhunt
  • In response to having both the church and the state condemning her and hunting for her Mary sends a letter demanding to be given her rightful title of queen on the same day as Jane’s coronation
  • John Dudley leads his army in an attempt to capture Mary
  • During this time most of the nobility abandons Jane
  • Most of these English nobles go to Charles V and try to persuade him that they had been forced to make Jane the queen
  • Mary is officially declared queen at 5 o’clock on Thursday, July 19, 1553
  • Mary takes England back
  • Jane is deposed
  • Jane is held prisoner in the Tower of London with her family and the Dudley’s
  • John Dudley’s wife is released from prison
  • Jane’s parents are both released from prison
  • While in prison Jane writes a letter to Mary admitting that she was guilty of taking the crown even though it did not rightfully belong to her, but claiming that she was merely a pawn in other people’s schemes
  • Mary feels sympathy for Jane
  • While she is held in the Tower of London, Mary treats Jane very well
  • Jane is provided an allowance, books, and she is free to roam the tower
  • Meanwhile, John Dudley is sentenced to die on August 18, 1553
  • Perhaps in an attempt to not be executed John Dudley decides to convert to Catholicism
  • John Dudley’s execution is stayed on day so he can have a final mass
  • He addresses the crowd and declares that he has converted and asks for prayer
  • Eventually Jane and all of Dudley’s children go on trial
  • At the trial they are all sentenced to death
  • Despite the sentencing, Mary chooses to not have Jane executed
  • During this period Mary announces her plans to marry Philip II of Spain
  • Afraid of Imperial influence in England, the commoners and many nobles now begin to lead a brand new uprising against Mary
  • Among the rebels is Jane’s father Henry Grey
  • After much prodding from her advisors, Mary decides to make an example of Jane
  • She orders Jane to be executed
  • Still not wanting Jane to die, Mary offers to let her live if she will convert to Catholicism
  • However, Jane, being strong in her protestant faith, refuses to convert to Catholicism and is sentenced to die
  • At a small private execution she is lead up the scaffolds
  • She was able to watch the scaffold being built from the window of her cell in the Tower of London
  • When she is standing at the scaffolds on her execution day, she addresses the crowd
  • “I do wash my hands in innocency, before God and the face of you, good Christian people this day. And now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you to assist me with your prayers.”
  • She then proceeds to read psalm 51
  • The execution then asks her for forgiveness as is the custom
  • Jane gives the executioner her forgiveness
  • She puts on her blindfold
  • With her blindfold on Jane is unable to find the block to place her head
  • She becomes very distressed and cries out
  • Someone from the crowd comes up and assists her with placing her head on the executioner’s block
  • Jane’s last words are, “Lord into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
  • After her execution she is buried between Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn.

Influence and Recognition:

  • Her parents gave her an excellent education
  • The name of her tutor was Mr. Aylmer
  • Both of Jane’s parents were incredibly strict
  • Mr. Aylmer was very kind to Jane and she was thankful for his gentleness compared to the way her parents treated her
  • She was a very good student and had become fluent in several languages including Greek, Latin, French, and Italian
  • She had frequent correspondence with other thinkers in the forms of letter
  • Amongst the people she would write to were: Heinrich Bullinger, Martin Bucer, and Roger Ascham
  • She was a strong Protestant that was very firm in her faith


  • Lady Jane Grey was not known for any major theological works
  • She mostly wrote letters which we can see her theology in
  • She had a reformed leaning and was influenced by much of the school of thought coming out of Zürich at the time

Secondary Works

  • I key place to look for secondary works is Documents of Lady Jane Grey and also to


Works Cited

“Grey, Lady Jane.” Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2016): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

Hoffert, Sylvia D. Jane Grey Swisshelm : An Unconventional Life, 1815-1884. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

Taylor, James D. Documents of Lady Jane Grey : Nine Days Queen of England, 1553. New York: Algora Publishing, 2004. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed November 9, 2016).

“Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey.” Publishers Weekly, 2016., 69, Literature Resource Center, EBSCOhost (accessed November 9, 2016).

Richard Hooker

Biographical Sketch

by Dylan Fredenburg, Biola University


Summary of Life[1] [2]

  • Born on or around March 25, 1554
  • Parents: Roger and Joan Hooker
    • Roger probably served as a religious leader in Ireland without being ordained

-Rarely home during the early years of Richard’s life

-Surrogate fathers stand in

  • Place of Birth: Not certain but most likely Heavitree just outside of Exeter.

-Probably around 8 years old Hooker moved to Exeter with his mother

-Mother’s early death

  • Probably raised on his wealthy uncle John Hooker’s estate in Exeter

-Received maternal attention from his aunt

  • Was not shipped off to trade school because he showed unusually high intellect and devotion to his studies
  • Uncle John helped him get into Corpus Christi College and Oxford
    • John financially supported him
  • Richard arrived at Oxford in 1568
    • Studied under John Rainolds, a follower of Calvin
    • BA in 1573, MA in 1577, Fellow in 1579
    • Known to be bright and self-controlled at Oxford
  • Appointed aster of Temple Church in England in 1585
  • Married Jean Churchman in 1588
  • Died November 2, 1600 after catching a cold on a trip to Gravesend
    • Buried at Bishopsbourne

Influence and Recognition

  • Richard Hooker was influenced by:
    • Aquinas’ Christology and reason [3] [4]
    • Negatively influenced by much of Calvin’s view of sacraments
    • Against Roman Catholic Church’s works and absence of laity in priesthood, but some Roman Catholics could be saved
  • Richard Hooker influenced:
    • Anglicanism: Major divide with Roman Catholic Church as the Catholics corrupted the English Church with their rituals and no emphasis of Scripture
    • Philosophers such as John Locke[5]
  • Known for his emphasis of Scripture and clear portrayal of his views in his works
  • Theological ideas include:
    • Sovereignty of God
    • Man’s reason is completed by God’s grace
    • Only mentions common grace once in Lawes
    • Justification by faith
    • Sola Scriptura:
      • All human action should be governed by Scripture


    • Types: Hooker’s works are theological treatises that expand upon his convictions as to what is true of man, God and Scripture.

Major Works:

  • Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
    • 8 books total with last 3 published posthumously
    • Possibly England’s first great work of philosophy and theology
      • Scripture alone is to govern all human conduct
      • Scripture gives unalterable Church government
      • English Church is corrupted by Roman Catholic Church rituals
      • Law is corrupt for not allowing lay elders
      • Bishops must not be unconditionally permanent in any church
    • Mostly dedicated to church order and government
    • Drew on Aquinas’ Natural and Eternal laws


  • Books 1-4 Of the Lawes
    • 1594
  • Book 5 Of the Lawes
    • 1597
  • Books 6+8 Of the Lawes
    • 1648 (Posthumous)
  • Book 7 Of the Lawes
    • 1662 (Posthumous)
  • Lifelong friend Edwin Sandys paid for the first five books to be published

Secondary Works:

  • Philip Bruce Secor’s Richard Hooker: Prophet of Anglicanism
  • Izaak Walton’s The Life of Mr. Richard Hooker


Brydon, Michael. The Evolving Reputation of Richard Hooker: An Examination of Responses, 1600-1714. n.p.: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Kindred-Barnes, Scott N. Richard Hooker’s Use of History in His Defense of Public Worship: His Anglican Critique of Calvin, Barrow, and the Puritans. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.

Reisman, Rosemary M. Canfield. “Richard Hooker.” Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (January 2016): Research Starters, EBSCOhost (accessed November 3, 2016).

Secor, Philip Bruce. Richard Hooker: Prophet of Anglicanism. n.p.: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, [Engl.]: Burns & Oates ; Toronto, Canada : Anglican Book Centre, c1999., 1999.

Voak, Nigel. Richard Hooker and reformed theology : a study of reason, will, and grace. n.p.: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2003.


[1] Philip Secor, Richard Hooker: Prophet of Anglicanism (Burns & Oates: Toronto, 1999), 1-42. Much of the information I gathered about Hooker’s early life was found in this text.

[2] Rosemary M. Canfield, Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (Salem Press: Pasadena, CA, 2016), s.v. “Richard Hooker.” This article offers insight into Hooker’s later life and his works.

[3] Scott Kindred-Barnes, Richard Hooker’s use of History in His Defense of Public Worship: His Anglican Critique of Calvin, Barrow, and the Puritans (Edwin Mellen Press: Lewiston, NY, 2011).

[4] Nigel Voak, Richard Hooker and Reformed Theology: A Study of Reason, Will, and Grace (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2003).

[5] Voak, Richard Hooker and Reformed Theology, Chapter 4.

[6] Canfield, “Richard Hooker.”

[7] Michael Brydon, The Evolving Reputation of Richard Hooker: An Examination of Responses, 1600-1714 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2006).

Jacobus Arminius: Dutch Reformed Theologian & Minister

Biographical Sketch

by Brad Watts, Biola University


Life Events

  • Born as Jacob Harmensen on October 10, 1560 in Oudewater, Netherlands
  • His father died when he was still an infant
  • He was adopted by the clergyman Theodore Aemilius who educated him
  • During this time his mother, brother, and sister were killed in the Spanish massacre in 1575
  • During that year, Arminius attended the University of Leiden
  • He was very successful in his studies there, his expenses were paid for by the school authorities in exchange for Arminius pledging his life to the church of Amsterdam
  • He also studied in Geneva under Theodore Beza
  • His expenses were paid for by the school authorities in exchange for Arminius pledging his life to the church of Amsterdam
  • During his studies he was taught by professors who had diverse views, in particular, Johann Kolmann was very vocal about his disagreement with the calvinist view of predestination. This may have been the starting point of Arminius moving away from calvinist ideas.
  • He became ordained in Amsterdam in 1588
  • He married Lijsbet Reael in 1590
  • He began preaching on the epistle to the Romans and focused more on “Justification by faith” instead of sovereign decrees.
  • In 1603 he became a professor of theology at the University of Leiden
  • Arminius was asked by the ecclesiastical senate of Amsterdam to respond to the anti-calvinist teachings of Dirck Coornhert
  • He found himself agreeing with Coornhert and began to change his views on predestination
  • Arminius and another faculty member, Gomarus, had different views on supralapsarianism which sparked a great debate between the two which divided the school. (This debate would eventually lead to the Calvinist-Arminian debate)
  • Arminius died in October 19, 1609.


  • John Calvin and Theodore Beza
    • Arminius was taught in the reformed tradition and took on Calvinist ideas such as an eternal decree, and double predestination early in his studies
  • Petrus Ramus and Rudolph Snellius
    • Arminius was influenced by Ramean philosophy which he was taught by Rudolph Snellius.
  • Johann Kolmann
    • Kolmann was against the high degree of election that was taught in Calvinism. He planted a seed in Arminius to think harder about the issue of double predestination.


  • Arminians
    • Arminianism is now the largest theological system in the U.S.
  • John Wesley
    • Wesley was greatly influenced by Arminius’s departure from Calvinism and followed in his footsteps.
  • Five-points of Calvinism
    • The 5 points of Calvinism were developed as a response to Arminian theology.


  • Prevenient grace
    • Divine grace for all that allows all to respond to gift of salvation with human choice
  • Synergistic Free will
    • Man must respond to God’s grace for there to be salvation. Grace is resistible.
  • The Five articles of Remonstrance
    • The divine decree of predestination is conditional, not absolute
    • The atonement is in intention universal
    • Man cannot of himself exercise a saving faith
    • The grace of God is a necessary condition of human effort, it does not act irresistibly in man
    • Believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace


Types of works: Arminius wrote theological writings reflecting his thoughts on topics such as predestination, free will, and grace

List of works

Arminius, Jacobus, James Nichols, William Nichols, and C.O Bangs. The Works of James Arminius: The London Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1986.

Secondary Works

Arminius, Jacobus, and John D. Wagner. Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God. Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock, 2011.

Brian, Rustin E. Jacob Arminius: The Man from Oudewater. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015.


“Jacobus Arminius.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Accessed November 01, 2016.

Arminius, Jacobus, James Nichols, William Nichols, and C.O Bangs. The Works of James Arminius: The London Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1986.

Olson, Roger E. Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006.

Brian, Rustin E. Jacob Arminius: The Man from Oudewater. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015.

Arminius, Jacobus, and W. Stephen Gunter. Arminius and His Declaration of Sentiments: An Annotated Translation with Introduction and Theological Commentary. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2012.

Arminius, Jacobus, and John D. Wagner. Arminius Speaks: Essential Writings on Predestination, Free Will, and the Nature of God. Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock, 2011.




Marguerite of Navarre

Biographical Sketch

by Gloria Tovar, Biola University


Summary of Life:

  • Birth date: April 11, 1492
  • Place of birth: Angoulȇme, France → raised in Cognac, France
  • Had a brother who was to be the future king of France, Francis I
  • Death: December 21, 1549 in Odos, France
  • Considered as one of the most elusive queens in French history; duchess of Alencon and queen of Navarre.
  • Well educated in languages (including Latin), philosophy, history, and theology, taught by her mother, Louise of Savoy, and by tutors. [1]
  • The first woman of the French nobility who carefully compiled from her complete works (a selection of poems, prayer, religious meditations, songs, biblical and secular [without biblical characters] plays, etc.) that she felt worthy to appear in print. [2]

Key dates and events:

  • 1509, married the Duke of Alencon
  • He was far less educated than she, described by one contemporary as a “laggard and a dolt.”[3]
  • 1525, the Duke was injured in the Battle of Pavia, in which Marguerite’s brother was captured.
  • Marguerite helped her mother negotiate the release of Francis I and the Treaty of Cambria, known as The Ladies Peace (Paix des Dames). [4]
  • 1527, married Henry d’Albret, King of Navarre.
  • Marguerite had influence on Henry, therefore he initiated legal and economic reforms, and the court became a haven for religious reformers.
  • Had one daughter, Jeanne d’Albret, and one son who died as an infant.

Influence and Recognition:

  • Erasmus influenced Marguerite, with his works of The Praise of Folly and The Education of a Christian Prince.
  • Marguerite was intrigued with Erasmus’s 1516 translation of the New Testament.
  • Although Erasmus expressed his admiration and paid homage to Marguerite in writing, his influence on her was short-lived.
  • Martin Luther deeply influenced and spiritually impacted Marguerite’s thought.
  • Martin Luther influenced her so greatly, that at Marguerite’s request, Luther’s writings (and those of European Reformist theologians) were translated and regularly sent to her[5]
  • This strengthened her belief “that the Scriptures…must be written in a language that common people, literate or not, could understand.” [6]
  • Though not certain, it seems like Marguerite of Navarre influenced Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII.
  • Marguerite of Navarre was known for helping negotiate the Treaty of Cambrai, also known as The Ladies Peace.
  • Marguerite was very well-educated and a Renaissance writer.
  • Theological idea: “Man must recognize and confess that he is a sinner; he is righteous when he knows that the only way to the divine grace of salvation is his absolute and total faith in God’s love through his son Jesus; and he is repentant when he stands humbly before God.” [7]
  • Works:

Types: poems, prayers (polemical/mystical), biblical comedies,

Major works:

  • Miroir de l’ame pecheresse (The Mirror of the Sinful Soul)—written after the death of her son.
  • L’Heptameron, also called The Heptameron—published after her death; contains a strong feature of satire directed against monks and clerics.

Secondary Works:

  • Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance by Patricia F. Cholakian and Rouben
  • Cholakian
  • The Life of Marguerite d’Angouleme by Martha Walker Freer


Fabbri, Kimberly. “Marguerite of Navarre – King’s College.” 2005. Accessed October 17, 2016.

Johnson Lewis, Jone. “Marguerite of Navarre – Women’s History.” 2015. Accessed October 17, 2016.

“Margaret of Angouleme | French Queen Consort and Poet …” Accessed October 17, 2016.

“Marguerite De Navarre – Poetry Foundation.” Accessed October 17, 2016.


[1] Johnson Lewis, Jone. “Marguerite of Navarre – Women’s History.” 2015. Accessed October 17, 2016.

[2] “Marguerite De Navarre – Poetry Foundation.” Accessed October 17, 2016.

[3] Johnson Lewis, Jone. “Marguerite of Navarre – Women’s History.” 2015. Accessed October 17, 2016.

[4] Johnson Lewis, Jone. “Marguerite of Navarre – Women’s History.” 2015. Accessed October 17, 2016.

[5] “Marguerite De Navarre – Poetry Foundation.” Accessed October 17, 2016.

[6] “Marguerite De Navarre – Poetry Foundation.” Accessed October 17, 2016.

[7] “Marguerite De Navarre – Poetry Foundation.” Accessed October 17, 2016.