Johannes Oecolampadius (1482–1531) on the death of Christ


Johannes Oecolampadius (1482–1531) was a German Reformer. He had, to my mind at least, one of the weirdest surnames of all the Reformers, but this wasn’t his original surname – his real surname was Hussgen or Heussgen, a name first changed to Hausschein and then into the Greek equivalent, which is derived from οἶκος oikos, “house,” and λαμπάς (genitive, λαμπάδος) lampas, “lamp”, by which he came to be commonly known. Below he speaks of the death of Christ:

“To believe in God, is to have a constant trust in him, all other things and creatures set apart, and that shall cause us to love God truly, other else it is but a feigned hypocritical love. It followeth in the creed: And in Jesus Christ his only son. All mankind was damned utterly for their great and many offences, but Christ hath borne upon his back all our sins satisfying his Father for us, and delivering us from everlasting death, so that now we should live to our master Christ, who so ever doth inwardly believe this, will conform his life honestly according to the commandments of God, eschewing all manner of vice, so much as in him lieth…Wherefore did Christ due to deliver us from everlasting death. The exceeding great charity of God did not spare his only begotten son, but for us all did bestow him unto the most cruel death, that who ever doth believe in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life…

… which at the time appointed of the Father was made man with out any infection of sin, and lived with us in earth, And at last suffered for the sins of all the world. Learn my children patience: Christ did bear his cross upon his own back, was knocked and scoffed, was scourged, and was crowned with thorns…

Christ calleth sinners to himself daily, I mean dement [indecipherable word] of life is preached to all men for them to obtain forgiveness of their sins…

And your Father in heaven shall forgive your offences. We have remission of sins, where? In the cross, when as Christ suffered for all our sins, that is, the sins of all the the world. Think ye not their sins to be pardoned, which live in all wickedness and filthiness.”

– Johannes Oecolampadius (1482–1531), A Sarmon, of Ihon Oecolampadius, to yong men, and maydens, translated by John Fox


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