Calvinus iudaizans, Hoc est iudaicae glossae et corruptele, quibus Johannes Calvinus illustrissima scripturae sacrae loca & testimonia, de gloriosa trinitate, deitate Christi & Spiritus Sancti, cum primis autem vaticinia Prophetarum de Adventu Messiae, nativitate eius, passione, ressurectione, ascensione in coelos & sessione ad dextram Die, detestandum in modum corrumpere non exhorroit. Addita est corruptelarum confutatio

Autore: HUNNIUS, Aegidius the Elder (1550-1603)

Tipografo: Widow of Matthäus Welack

Dati tipografici: Wittenberg, 1593

8vo (148x90 mm). 739 [i. e. 191 with numerous errors in the pagination], [1 blank] pp. Collation: A-M8. Title printed in red and black. Late 18th-century red morocco, spine with five raised bands, gilt compartments and green title morocco label, panels with gilt ornamental borders, gilt inside dentelles, gilt edges, red sprinkled endpapers (very lightly rubbed). Anciently repaired small hole (not touching the printing) on the title page, slightly uniformly browned, a very good copy.


TWO DIFFERENT EDITIONS of this work were printed in 1593, the year of death of the printer Mathias Welack: the likely first (A=VD 16, H-5997) and its immediately following edition (B=VD 16, H-5998, our copy). On the titlepage of A, we read the imprint ‘VVITEBERGAE, / Ex Typographia Matthæi VVelachi. / Anno m.d. Xciii.', whereas B has ‘VVITEBERGÆ, / Excudebat Vidua Matthæi VVelachi. / Anno m.d. Xciii.' From a closer inspection it is evident that whole work A has been reset. B has a completely different typographical ornament on the title page and the woodcut tail piece at the end is missing in A, which has a four-line errata instead. Furthermore, in A leaves M7 and M8 are blank, whereas in B they are printed. Could that lead to the conclusion that Calvinus iudaizans (A) was one of the very last major works printed by Matthäus Welack and B one of the first major works printed by his widow? The Calvinus iudaizans was reprinted by Magdalena Welack in 1595, and in the same year issued in a German translation at Frankurt a.M. by Johann Spiess.

Matthäus Welack is traceable as a printer in Wittenberg since 1576, year in which he took over the press of Johann Schweitel. He printed primarily theological works and nearly all theses for the Wittenberg theological faculty. In 1579 he married Magdalena Geiersberg. He probably died in October or November 1593. His woodcut device shows the evangelist Mathew (cf. H. Kühne, Die Signets der Wittenberger Drucker und Verleger vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert, in: “Marginalien. Zeitschrift für Buchkunst und Bibliophilie”, 135, 1994, p. 9). The first imprints signed by his widow Magdalena were issued in late November 1593. She was active until 1596, when she sold the printing firm to Samuel Selfisch (cf. U. Schirmer, Buchdruck und Buchhandel im Wittenberg des 16. Jahrhunderts, in: “Buchdruck und Buchkultur im Wittenberg der Reformationszeit”, S. Oehmig, ed., Leipzig, 2015, p. 188; see also C. Reske, Die Buchdrucker des 16. Und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebiet: auf der Grundlage des gleichnamigen Werkes von Josef Benzing, Wiesbaden, 2007, p. 1004).

With Hunnius' publication of Articulus de Trinitate (1589) begun his polemic with the Heidelberg Protestant theologian David Pareus (Wängler, 1548-1622), to whom Calvinus iudaizans is addressed, and in which he accused Calvin of undermining the biblical basis for the doctrines of the trinity and the divinity of Christ, opening the door for Anti-Trinitarians and modern Arians. Hunnius continues his attack on Calvin with a more thorough criticism in the present work. “In the Calvinus Iudaizans, Hunnius goes through the Old and New Testament passages traditionally used to support the doctrines of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ. In each case, he cites direct quotations from Calvin's exegesis of these passages to take issue with what he sees as the ways Calvin undermines the Trinitarian and Christological teachings contained in these scriptures. Thus, Hunnius aims to give solid proofs from Calvin's own exegesis for his contention that he weakens the exegetical foundations of the key Christian doctrines of Trinity and the divinity of Christ. Hunnius begins his treatise on the judaizing Calvin by clarifying to Pareus that he has not accused and does not accuse Calvin of Arianism per se but, rather, of ‘offering an opportunity' and ‘opening a window' to lay a foundation for Arian impiety. Thus, he contends that Calvin distorts Scripture and drags it away from its genuine sense. Furthermore, decries Hunnius, Calvin not only ‘arrogantly looks down upon and mocks' the interpretations of the ancient and recent church fathers but also ‘in nothing does he inform himself of the sacred interpretations of the evangelists and apostles, badly mocking these and having no respect [for them].' Hunnius proceeds first by pointing to biblical passages that the church fathers and the apostles interpret concerning the Trinity and that Calvin does not. Then he turns to biblical passages traditionally read concerning Christ's deity that Calvin does not apply in this way. Finally, he turns to biblical texts traditionally read as prophecies of Christ's passion, resurrection, and ascension that Calvin does not employ in these ways... Pareus responds two years later to Hunnius's treatise with Calvinus Orthodoxus. Pareus takes issue with Hunnius's selective quotations of Calvin's exegesis of the biblical passages cited, arguing that he has deliberately left out other aspects of Calvin's exegesis - namely, the christological readings Calvin does give to these biblical verses. Furthermore, Pareus adds more examples of Calvin's exegesis to prove that in many cases, Calvin does maintain the traditional patristic reading of Scripture and upholds the doctrines of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ” (cf. G. Sujin Pak, The Judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth Century Debates over Messianic Psalms, Oxford, 2010, passim and especially pp. 104-106; see also D. C. Steinmetz, The Judaizing Calvin, in: “Die Patristik in der Bibelexegese des 16. Jahrhunderts”, Wiesbaden, 1999, pp. 135-145; I. Dingel, Calvin im Spannungsfeld der Konsolidierung des Luthertums, in: “Calvinus clarissimus theologus. Papers of the Tenth International Congress on Calvin Research”, H. Selderhuis, ed., Göttingen, 2012, pp. 132-140; and B.R. Merkle, Defending the Trinity in the Reformed Palatinate: The Elohistae, Oxford, 2015, pp. 124-148).

Ägidius (Gilg, Gilles) Hunnius, the eldest son of a master dyer, was born in Winnenden near Stuttgart. From 1563 to 1565 he attended the monastery schools in Adelberg and Maulbronn. Thanks to a scholarship grated by Duke Christoph of Württemberg, he was able to enroll at the University of Tübingen and received a scholarship from Duke Christoph von Württemberg. After he had obtained a degree in 1567, he became a tutor a the Tübingen monastery through the theologian Jacob Heerbrand, on whose recommendation he became professor of theology at the University of Marburg. Here Hunnius exerted himself to do away with all compromises and restore Lutheran orthodoxy. He gained many adherents, and the consequence was a split in the State Church of Hesse which finally led to the separation of Upper and Lower Hesse. The cardinal point of all controversies was the doctrine of ubiquity which Hunnius maintained in his writing De persona Christi (1585). Hunnius also advocated the introduction of the concord formula, but William IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel did not allow it. Therefore, William was very happy when Hunnius was made an offer by Duke Friedrich Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar in 1591 to go to the University of Wittenberg as a professor of theology.He arrived in Wittenberg in May 1592.  Shortly thereafter he was elected provost at the Wittenberg Castle Church on June 4 and became professor primarius of the faculty of theology and a member of the Wittenberg consistory. Hunnius himself took care of the further development of Lutheran orthodoxy in Saxony, also became court preacher at Dresden maintaining his position as pastor at the city church of Wittenberg, and later became general superintendent of the Saxon electoral circle. Heerbrand resigned from his post in Tübingen in 1599, Frederick I, Duke of Württemberg tied to call back Hunnius, butChristian II of Saxony managed to keep Hunnius in Wittenberg. Hunnius also turned down an offer as general superintendent in Leipzig in 1594. Hunnius was the main Protestant spokesman in the Lutheran-Catholic religious colloquy at Regensburg of 1601, which the Lutheran Philipp Ludwig, Count Palatine of Neuburg had called. The conference dealt with the question whether Scripture alone, without tradition, is the source and norm of faith.Probably because of excessive strain Hunnius died in 1603 in his Wittenberg house, while still writing poignant sermons on his deathbed. In his son-in-law, Helwig Garthe, Hunnius found a careful editor of his dogmatic writings, which were published in five volumes (1607-1609.Hunnius was one of the most important representatives of early Lutheran Orthodoxy. Even Martin Chemnitz praised him as a Lutheran theologian and his students recognized him as the authority of the fourth Lutheran generation (cf. M. Matthias, Theologie und Konfession. Der Beitrag von Ägidius Hunnius, 1550-1603, zur Entstehung einer lutherischen Religionskultur, Leipzig, 2004, pp. 37-48; see also Th. Mahlmann, Hunnius, Ägidius, in: “Theologische Realenzyklopädie”, vol. 15, Berlin 1986, pp. 703-707; and W.R. Russell, Aegidius Hunnius, in: “Oxford Encyclopedia of Reformation”, vol. 2, Oxford, 1996, p. 276).


VD 16, H-5998; Universal STC, no. 617797; M. Matthias, op. cit., p. 357, no. 76.