Philip Melanchthon, 1497–1560

[Mentioned in Christian Healing, p. 2]

Philip Melanchthon, the Teacher of Germany and a layman leader under Martin Luther of the Reformation in Germany, was a precocious child. His father died when Philip was eleven, and soon after that his mother's uncle, the great scholar Reuchlin, directed the boy's education. It was Reuchlin who declared that so learned a youth should not be called by the name of Schwartzerd, meaning black earth, but by its Greek equivalent Melanchthon.

At fifteen Melanchthon received his B. A. at Heidelberg University. Three years later he was given an M. A. at the University of Tübingen and started lecturing on the classics.

By the time he was twenty-one, Melanchthon was by far the best humanistic scholar in Germany, and as such he was recommended by Reuchlin to the University of Wittenberg. Melanchthon arrived there to teach philosophy and Greek literature ten months after the publication of Luther's theses and soon came under his influence. Melanchthon's lectures on Hebrew and Greek grammar, logic and ethics, on the Psalms, on Matthew, Romans, and Titus, attracted students from every part of Europe. Melanchthon encouraged them to go to the sources of knowledge and in a study of Greek to find the interpretation of the Bible.

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Signs of the Times
October 25, 1958

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