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Amsdorf, Nikolaus von

(Amsdorff; December 3, 1483–May 14, 1565). B. probably Torgau, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg; lectured there on theol. and philos.; canon and rector; friend of M. Luther,* under whose influence he turned from Aristotelianism* to Augustinianism.* With Luther to Leipzig 1519 (see Leipzig Debate), Worms 1521 (see Worms, Diet of). Called to Magdeburg 1524; reformed the city with C. Cruciger the Elder (see Cruciger, 1). Carried the Gospel to Goslar, Einbeck, Meissen, and many other cities. Extensive correspondence with Luther (first mention of “Ein* feste Burg” 1527). John* Frederick appointed him bp. of Naumburg-Zeitz 1542 because he was gifted, learned, of noble birth, and without a wife. Expelled from Naumburg as a result of the upshot of the battle of Mühlberg 1547, he went to Weimar; helped found university at Jena and took charge of the Jena ed. of Luther's works, which was to improve the Wittenberg ed.; fled to Magdeburg, where he joined other in opposing the Interim (see Interim, II); held an important position in Eisenach. See also Majoristic Controversy; Osiandrian Controversy; Synergistic Controversy. WGT

O. Lerche, Amsdorf und Melanchthon (Berlin, 1937); O. H. Nebe, Reine Lehre: Zur Theologie des Niklas von Amsdorff (Göttingen, 1935); W. G. Tillmanns, The World and Men Around Luther (Minneapolis, 1959), pp. 86–90; T. Pressel, Nicolaus von Amsdorf, in Leben und ausgewählte Schriften der Väter und Begründer der lutherischen Kirche, ed. J. Hartmann et al., VIII, part 5, in vol. 4, bound with his Justus Jonas (Elberfeld, 1862); E. J. Meier, “Nicolaus von Amsdorf's Leben,” Das Leben der Altväter der lutherischen Kirche, III, ed. M. Meurer et al. (Leipzig and Dresden, 1863), 105–270.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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