Theodore Beza was a French Calvinist Protestant theologian, reformer and scholar who played an important role in the Protestant Reformation.
31 Facts About Theodore Beza
Theodore Beza was a disciple of John Calvin and lived most of his life in Geneva.
Theodore Beza's father had two brothers; Nicholas, who was member of Parliament at Paris; and Claude, who was abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Froimont in the diocese of Beauvais.
Theodore Beza was received into Wolmar's house, and the day on which this took place was afterward celebrated as a second birthday.
Young Beza soon followed his teacher to Bourges, where the latter was called by the duchess Margaret of Angouleme, sister of Francis I At the time, Bourges was the focus of the Reformation movement in France.
Theodore Beza spent two years in Paris and gained a prominent position in literary circles.
Theodore Beza was received by John Calvin, who had met him already in Wolmar's house, and was married in the church.
Theodore Beza was at a loss for immediate occupation so he went to Tubingen to see his former teacher Wolmar.
Theodore Beza found time to write a Biblical drama, Abraham Sacrifiant, in which he contrasted Catholicism with Protestantism, and the work was well received.
In defense of Calvin and the Genevan magistrates, Theodore Beza published, in 1554, the work De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis.
In 1557, Theodore Beza took a special interest in the Waldensians of Piedmont, Italy, who were being harassed by the French government.
Theodore Beza completed the revision of Pierre Olivetan's translation of the New Testament, begun some years before.
Theodore Beza hastily issued a circular letter to all Reformed congregations of the empire, and went to Orleans with the Huguenot leader Conde and his troops.
At the request of Conde, Theodore Beza visited all Huguenot cities to obtain both.
Theodore Beza wrote a manifesto in which he argued the justice of the Reformed cause.
Theodore Beza went to Strasburg and Basel, but met with failure.
Theodore Beza had hardly been there fourteen days when he was called once more to Orleans by D'Andelot.
For 22 months Theodore Beza had been absent from Geneva, and the interests of school and Church there and especially the condition of Calvin made it necessary for him to return, as there was no one to take the place of Calvin, who was sick and unable to work.
Calvin and Theodore Beza arranged to perform their duties jointly in alternate weeks, but the death of Calvin occurred soon afterward.
Until 1580, Theodore Beza was not only moderator of the Company of Pastors, but the real soul of the great institution of learning at Geneva which Calvin had founded in 1559, consisting of a gymnasium and an academy.
Theodore Beza founded a law school in Geneva in which Francois Hotman, Jules Pacius, and Denys Godefroy, the most eminent jurists of the century, lectured in turn.
Theodore Beza did not force his will upon his associates, and took no harsh measures against injudicious or hot-headed colleagues, though sometimes he took their cases in hand and acted as mediator; and yet he often experienced an opposition so extreme that he threatened to resign.
Theodore Beza did not believe it wise for the Company of Pastors to have a permanent head.
Theodore Beza convinced the Company to petition the Small Council to have limited terms for the position of moderator.
Theodore Beza mediated between the compagnie and the magistracy; the latter continually asked his advice even in political questions.
Theodore Beza corresponded with all the leaders of the Reformed party in Europe.
Theodore Beza continued to maintain the closest relations with Reformed France.
Theodore Beza was interested in the controversies which concerned the Augsburg Confession in Germany, especially after 1564, on the doctrine of the Person of Christ and the sacrament, and published several works against Joachim Westphal, Tilemann Heshusius, Nikolaus Selnecker, Johannes Brenz, and Jakob Andrea.
Theodore Beza contracted, on the advice of his friends, a second marriage with Catharina del Piano, a Genoese widow, in order to have a helpmate in his declining years.
Theodore Beza was not buried, like Calvin, in the general cemetery, Plain-Palais, but at the direction of the magistrates, in the monastery of St Pierre.
Theodore Beza appears as a character in the Colloqui di Poissy, an historical novel by Agostino di Bondeno.