Thursday, June 10, 2010

Early Protestant Leader Heinrich Bullinger's Belief in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary: Primary Source Information

By Dave Armstrong (6-1-10)

One source is a "Sermon on Mary" from 1558, as noted in the German work, Das Marienlob der Reformatoren: Martin Luther, Johannes Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger (Gebundene Ausgabe), by Walter Tappolet (Tubingen, 1962); somewhere around pp. 275-290.

See a secondary reference to this from Google Books; also an additional reference to it.

Moreover, Bullinger wrote the Second Helvetic Confession in 1562. In its Chapter XI, it refers to "the ever virgin Mary" and "the Virgin Mary." In Chapter III it mentions "the Blessed Virgin."

Here is the original Latin version for Chapter XI, section 4 (complete):

4. Eundem quoque æterni Dei æternum Filium credimus et docemus hominis factum esse filium, ex semine Abrahæ atque Davidis, non ex viri coitu, quod Ebion dixit, sed conceptum purissime ex Spiritu Sancto, et natum ex Maria semper virgine: sicut diligenter nobis historia explicat evangelica (Matt. i. ). Et Paulus ait: Nullibi angelos adsumit, sed semen Abrahæ (Heb. ii. 16). Joannes item Apostolus, qui non credit, Jesum Christum in carne venisse, ex Deo non est (1 Joh. iv. 3). Caro ergo Christi nec phantastica fuit, nec cœlitus adlata, sicuti Valentinus et Marcion somniabant.

[italics in original; bolding added presently]

Thus, we have one proof from the Second Helvetic Confession: a primary source in its original Latin (and English translation), and another (the 1558 "Sermon on Mary") alluded to in a standard compilation of the Mariology of the earliest Protestant leaders, and in at least two additional works devoted to historic Mariology.


scotju said...

I don't see how the gang at The Boar's Nest, oh pardon, Boor's All, can take this. As a former Lutheran, I knew ML believed and taught the perpetal virginity of Mary, but now Bullinger! What next?

Dave Armstrong said...

The usual response is to say it is merely a remnant of the Catholic past of the first Protestants. To me it is simply a matter of history. I enjoy learning about facts that don't fit the stereotypes of what is "supposed" to be.