Sunday, February 17, 2008

Phillip Melanchthon, Confessor (Feb. 16)

Missed this one yesterday...

Philipp Melanchthon (born on this date in 1497) was a brilliant student of the classics and a humanist scholar. In 1518 he was appointed to teach along with Martin Luther at the University of Wittenberg. At Luther's urging, Melanchthon began teaching theology and Scripture in addition to his courses in classical studies. In April 1530 Emperor Charles V called an official meeting between the representative of Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism, hoping to effect a meeting of minds between two opposing groups. Since Luther was at that time under papal excommunication and an imperial ban, Melanchthon was assigned the duty of being the chief Lutheran representative at this meeting. He is especially remembered and honored as the author of the Augsburg Confession, which was officially presented by the German princes to the emperor on 25 June 1530, as the defining document of Lutheranism within Christendom. Melanchthon died on 19 April 1560.[From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

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