Beza, Theodore
(1519-1605)
   French Protestant reformer
   Theodore Beza was born in Burgundy, France, in 1519. Beza was honored as a Latin poet and wit. His family secured him an income as a clergyman, but he had become sympathetic to Protestantism and secretly married. Shortly thereafter, he had a spiritual crisis during an illness. He left France and moved to Geneva, where he became a close friend and confidant of John Calvin. In 1549, Beza assumed the post of professor of Greek at Lausanne. While there, he wrote De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis (1554), defending Calvin and the Geneva authorities for executing Michael Servetus on charges of heresy. In 1558, he returned to Geneva as professor of Greek. Following Calvin's death in 1564, he succeeded to his mentor's chair in theology.
   While Calvinism reigned supreme in Geneva, it faced hard times in France. Beza emerged as the chief defender of the French Protestants (Huguenots). He served as a chaplain in their army, advocated their cause in the courts of Europe, and on several occasions traveled into Catholic-dominated territory on their behalf. His most famous encounter with Catholic authorities occurred at the Colloquy of Poissy, a conference set up by the French queen Catherine de' Medici in 1561 in hopes of reconciling the factions that were tearing her kingdom apart. Beza and Peter Martyr Vermigli (1500-62) of Zurich represented the Reformed Church. Beza's opening presentation was well received until he began to discuss the Eucharist (Lord's Supper), provoking the Catholic cardinal of Lorraine to take the stand to refute what he called a blasphemous position. The colloquy did not succeed in its goal.
   Beza worked to perfect the Greek and Latin versions of the New Testament. In 1581, he gave Codex D (also known as Codex Bezae), one of the important manuscript copies of the Bible, to Cambridge University. Beza died in Geneva on October 13, 1605.
   Further reading:
   ■ Henry Martyn Baird, Theodore Beza. The Counsellor of the French Reformation (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1899)
   ■ Theodore Beza, The Christian Faith, trans. by James Clark (East Sussex, U.K.: 1992); , A Little Book of Christian Questions and Responses, trans. by K. M. Summers (Allison Park, Pa.: Pickwick, 1986)
   ■ John S. Bray, Theodore Beza's Doctrine of Predestination (Nieuwkoop: Bibliotheca Humanistica & Reformatorica XII, 1975)
   ■ Jill Raitt, The Eucharistic Theology of Theodore Beza (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1972).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beza, Theodore — ▪ French theologian French  Théodore de Bèze   born June 24, 1519, Vézelay, France died October 13, 1605, Geneva, Switzerland  author, translator, educator, and theologian who assisted and later succeeded John Calvin (Calvin, John) as a leader of …   Universalium

  • BEZA, Theodore — (1519 1605) A French Protestant biblical scholar, Reformed diplomat, and theologian who served as a professor at John Calvin s* Geneva Academy from 1558 to 1595, Theodore Beza made major contributions to New Testament textual studies and was a… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Beza, Theodore — (1519–1605)    Theologian.    Beza was born in Vézelay, Burgundy. His family had intended him for the priesthood, but at the age of twenty nine he formally embraced Protestantism. At the invitation of John calvin, he became Professor of Greek at… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • BEZA, THEODORE —    a French Protestant theologian, born in Burgundy, of good birth; professor of Greek at Lausanne; deputed from Germany to intercede for the Huguenots in France, persuaded the king of Navarre to favour the Protestants; settled in Geneva, became… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Beza, Theodore — (1519–1605). Swiss reformed theologian who succeeded John Calvin as leader in Geneva. He is remembered in biblical studies for having discovered a 5th cent. MS of the gospels and Acts (‘Codex Bezae’), which he presented in 1581 to the University… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • BEZA, Theodore — (1519 1605)    author of the first critical edition of the text of the NEW TESTAMENT and important CALVINIST theologian …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Beza, Théodore de — ► (1519 1605) Teólogo francés. Hombre de confianza de Calvino, le sucedió en 1564 al frente de la Iglesia calvinista. Es autor de una biografía de Calvino (1564) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Theodore Beza — (Théodore de Bèze or de Besze) (June 24, 1519 ndash; October 13, 1605) was a French Protestant Christian theologian and scholar who played an important role in the early Reformation. A member of the monarchomaque movement who opposed absolute… …   Wikipedia

  • Beza — Beza, Théodore de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Theodore de Beze — Théodore de Bèze Théodore de Bèze auch: Theodor von Beza (* 24. Juni 1519 in Vézelay, Burgund; † 13. Oktober 1605 in Genf) war ein Genfer Reformator französischer Herkunft. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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