Cloud of Witnesses

Cloud of Witnesses

Vincenzo Paravicino was one of the many Italians who lived in today’s Swiss Canton of Grisons. He was born in 1595 in Traona, in a scenic valley on the Italian side of the Alps, known as Valtellina. After completing his basic studies at Zurich’s Collegium Carolinum, he moved to the University of...
Wibrandis Rosenblatt – A Quiet Matriarch Wibrandis Rosenblatt (1504-1564) is often nicknamed “the Bride of the Reformation,” because she became successively the wife of four men, three of whom were famous Reformers. Her memory is often limited to this oddity, and her voice to a couple of letters...
Jan Hus is often considered a disciple of the English John Wycliffe and imitator of his views. In reality, much of his thought developed independently, along similar lines. Born in Husinec, southern Bohemia (approximately in the same area as today’s Czech’s republic), Hus studied at the prestigious...
On December 18, 1381, 15-year old Anne crossed the British Channel with her large entourage. It was a wretched time for travel, but she was on her last stretch of her 700-miles journey from Prague. It was the season for storms, but thankfully the winds rose only after her crossing, destroying her...
Anyone who felt perplexed – even outraged – the first time they read Romans 9 may identify with Thomas Bradwardine, a 14 th -century Archbishop of Canterbury. His age was, like ours, entrenched in Pelagianism, exalting man’s free will and ability to come to God on his own terms. That’s the...
On 24 July, 1536, Conrad Cordatus heard a lecture that troubled him deeply. While commenting on the Gospel of John, the Lutheran preacher Caspar Cruciger said, “Christ alone is the meritorious cause; meanwhile, it is true, in a way, that man must be active in a manner; we must be contrite, and must...
Around 392 AD, 57-year old Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, native of Spain, decided to examine his life. The years had flown by, and he found himself suddenly old. He was, in reality, old according the standards of his time, and his white hair (“the snow on my head” [1] ) stood as witness of the many...
Few Medieval Christians would profess to be in disagreement with Augustine of Hippo and his writings about grace. Yet, many praised him and contradicted him at the same time. Copyists were in part to blame. Given the high price of hand-copied books, many chose to produce collections of quotations...
“I found all the churches filled, in defiance of the precept of Truth, with those sluttish abominations - images. Since everyone was worshiping them, I undertook singlehanded to destroy them.” These were not the words of a Protestant Reformer. Their author was a ninth-century bishop, Claudius of...
Little is known about Ratramnus. He was a Benedictine monk at Corbie Abbey, in Picardy, France, who had gained an excellent reputation as scholar and writer. Besides his work on the Lord’s Supper ( On the Body and Blood of the Lord ), he wrote several books, including a popular treatise in four...