Reformation Challenge: Biographical Descriptions -Reformers

Match one of these Reformers to their biographical description.

John Calvin, William Tyndal, John Knox, Jacque LeFevre, Martin Bucer, Ulrich Zwingli, Theodore Beza, Henry Bullinger, Thomas Cranmer, Philip Melanchthon, William Farel

1 – (1455-1536).  He never openly joined the Movement, but as a professor at the University of Paris in his lectures and Biblical commentaries on the epistles of St. Paul, he set forth the doctrine of justification by faith.  He published a New Testament in French in 1524 and a French translation of the Old Testament in 1528.  He was one of the greatest scholars of the day in Biblical Greek.

2 – (1484-1531).  In 1418 he was called a people’s pastor at Zurich Great Church and the next year he embarked on his career as a practical reformer, in cooperation with the magistrates of Zurich.  Between 1519 and 1525, he was able to bring that city into a more radical break with the Roman Church than Luther had been willing to accomplish.  More conciliatory in his outlook than Luther, he met him at Marburg in order to achieve an agreement on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, but was unable to reach such an agreement.  He died on the field of battle at Kappel in 1531 after his interest in reform became somewhat replaced by his Swiss patriotism.

3 – (1489-1553).  In 1553 he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury and pronounced the marriage of Henry and Katherine of Aragon null and void.  Under the protection of Henry VIII, he undertook the reform of the English Church.  Under Edward VI he made even greater strides in making the Church in England Reformed in Doctrine if not in structure.  He was instrumental in producing the First Book of Common Prayer in 1549 and the Second Book of Common Prayer in 1551 which did away with the Latin Mass entirely and set the Church of England on its course toward Calvinism.  In 1555 he was tried and convicted of heresy under Mary Tudor and was burned at the stake the following year.

4 – (1489-1565).  Expelled from France in 1524 he became the leader of a group of wandering evangelists in Switzerland.  In 1532 he settled in Geneva and was able to win that city but willingly surrendered his post of leadership realizing that the Lord had sent Calvin to Geneva for just such a leadership.  In 1538 he went into exile with Calvin.

5 – (1493-1536).  To accomplish his goal he was forced to leave England and first settled in Cologne, then in Worms and finally in Antwerp.  Here he produced his translation of the Old Testament into English.  Subjected to constant harassment by the agents of Sir Thomas More and the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was arrested, strangled and burned at the stake near Brussels before he was able to finish his translation of the New Testament.

6 – (1491-1551).  In 1521 he was released from his vows as a Dominican monk and the next year he was excommunicated after his marriage, an act which proclaimed his independence of the Roman Church.  The next year he fled to Strassburg in southern Germany.  He may well be called the Statesman of the Reformation because of his diplomatic activities on behalf of the Reformation.  Many scholars felt his greatest impact on the Reformation resulted from the fact that he gave a home to John Calvin from 1538 to 1541 while the latter was in exile from Geneva.

7 – (1497-1560).  A brilliant linguist, he soon became a staunch member of Luther’s group which was seeking to reform the German Church, and became Luther’s very able colleague in the cause.  In 1521 he published his “LOCI COMMUNES” which was the first systematic statement of Lutheran theology.  He also framed the Angsburg Confession, which was presented to the Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Angsburg in 1530.

8 – (1504-1575).  He was leader of the Second Phase of the Reformation in Switzerland when he succeeded Zwingli in 1531.  He supported the views of Augustine on election and predestination, feeling that they were more moderate than those of Calvin.  He also opposed the introduction of a Presbyterian system of church government into the Palatinate.  He was basically Reformed in his outlook and played an important role in the drafting of the Second Helvetic Confession of 1563.

9 – (1509-1564).  In 1536 the first edition of INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION was published in Basel.  It was a short work of several chapters, but it became very popular, serving as the text book for Reformation doctrine outside of Lutheran Germany in spite of the fact that its author was virtually unknown.  En route to Strasburg to visit Martin Bucer, he stopped in Geneva where William Farel persuaded him to take over the leadership of the Reformation of the church in that important city state.  Here he became the leader of the Reformation in Geneva and here many theologians came to sit at his feet, including many bishops from England, Knox from Scotland and others from many parts of Europe.  Known as the prince of exegesis, he wrote commentaries on every book of the Bible except THE REVELATION.  He also worked on his monumental INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, the definitive edition of which appeared in 1559 in four books and seventy nine chapters.

10 – (1514?-1572).  He brought the Reformation to Scotland.  Taken captive by the French, he returned to England in 1549 and took part in the reformation of the Church of England under Edward VI.  But when Mary succeeded to the throne he fled to Geneva where he came under the influence of Calvin and Beza.  After a short visit back to Scotland, he returned to Geneva and here wrote his: “THE FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET AGAINST THE MONSTROUS REGIMEN OF WOMEN,” aimed against Mary, Queen of Scots.  In 1559, he returned to Scotland and played a major role in drafting the Scottish Confession of 1560.

11 – (1519-1605).  Arriving at Geneva, he threw himself into the task of defending Calvin against his antagonist there, rising to the defense of the doctrine of predestination against Bolsec.  In 1556, Calvin invited him to become professor of Greek at the recently established Academy at Geneva and in 1559 he was made rector of this center of Reformed learning.  He also became involved in the Huguenot movement in France and exercised tremendous theological influence within the Reformed Movement.  At the death of Calvin, he became the leader of the Reformed Churches not only in Geneva, but on the continent of Europe as well.




1– Jacque LeFevre or D’Etaples                              7 – Philip Melanchthon

2 – Ulrich Zwingli                                                       8 – Heinrich Bullinger

3 – Thoman Cranmer                                                9 – John Calvin

4 – William Farel                                                       10 – John Knox

5 – William Tyndale                                                   11 – Theodore Beza

6 – Martin Bucer