Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Polanus Palooza

It was 400 years ago today that the "neglected theologian," Amandus Polanus von Polansdorf, a Reformed divine, who was born in December 1561 in the German city of Polansdorf, and died on July 13, 1610. In the words of my friend Wes Bredenhof, there ought to be a "Polanus Palooza" to commemorate this occasion.

A biblical commentator (Malachi, Daniel, Hosea, Ezekiel, Romans and some Psalms), and systematic theologian (he authored Partitiones theologiae (1590), which commences with 55 pages of Ramist charts, published in English under the title The Substance of Christian Religion; and the much larger Syntagma theolgiae Christianae (1609), described by Dr. R. Scott Clark as "one of the greatest works of 17th-century Reformed theology that most have never read," a synopsis of which has been translated by Pastor Bredenhof), he served as the Old Testament professor at Basel, Switzerland, where he also produced a German translation of the Old Testament. As he studied under Theodore Beza, so he also taught Johannes Woellebius, and was a major representative of late 16th century Reformed orthodoxy.

His available works online have been catalogued at the Post-Reformation Digital Library. Some portions of his writings have also been translated into English and are available online, though the paucity of translation work is regrettable. Polanus is among the commentators cited by Matthew Poole in his Synopsis Criticorum, the translation of which is ongoing. Robert Letham writes, "Polanus is a bridge between the pristine Reformed teaching and orthodoxy, scholastic in constructing theology with academic precision and logical rigor but, with a strong doctrine of God, oriented to christological, soteriological, and practical concerns" (Donald K. McKim, ed., Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith, p. 281). Let us not then forget to honor this great Reformed Biblical scholar and translator who warrants his own translation work, and a palooza 400 years after his translation into paradise.

No comments:

Post a Comment