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Brenz, Johann

(June 24, 1499–September 11, 1570). B. Weil der Stadt, near Stuttgart; d. Stuttgart. Educ. Heidelberg. Lectured on philol., philos., and Matthew when he met Luther* (Heidelberg Disputation*) 1518. Preached Luth. doctrine; forced to flee 1522. Settled at Hall, Swabia. Tried to help peasants after their defeat in Peasants' War* 1525. Celebrated Luth. Lord's Supper at Christmas 1525; wrote large and small catechisms 1528. Consistently supported Luther in Communion Controversy. Coauthor Syngramma Suevicum against Oecolampadius 1525. Attended Marburg Colloquy* October 1529. Supported Augsburg Confession (see Lutheran Confessions, A) 1530 against S Ger. mediating theologians (Bucer, etc.) and Zwingli. Introd. Luth. ch. orders in Brandenburg-Ansbach, Nürnberg, Dinkelsbühl, and Heilbronn 1532. Recalled to Swabia after restoration of Duke Ulrich 1534; chief reformer of Württemberg. Reformed the U. of Tübingen 1537. Attended meeting at Schmalkalden February 1537 (see Lutheran Confessions, B 2) and various colloquies: Hagenau* 1540, Worms* 1540–41, Regensburg* 1546. Work in Hall interrupted by Schmalkaldic War* 1546–47 and Interim* 1548. Forced to flee by Charles V* December 16, 1546; returned January 4, 1547. Narrowly escaped arrest June 24, 1548; hidden first at Hohenwittlingen Castle, later at Mömpelgard. Met Calvin.* Returned secretly to Stuttgart after his wife's death, but had to remain in hiding 18 months. Pardoned, he prepared the Confessio Virtembergica, which he took to the Council of Trent, March 1552; was not allowed to read it to the Council. Opposed Calvinist encroachment in Württemberg. Reformed the Palatinate 1553. Provost of Cathedral of Stuttgart 1554. Despite his staunch Lutheranism he retained a lively interest in Waldenses* and Huguenots.* Went to Paris and met Cardinal de Guise to obtain peace for Prots. in Fr., but in vain. In last yrs. (1568–69) helped Duke William of Jülich and Duke Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel introd. Luth. ch. orders. Buried under cathedral pulpit; Jesuits destroyed grave.

Brenz was Luther's most reliable friend in S Ger. Declined many calls in order to help safeguard confessional Lutheranism in Württemberg. Est. excellent educ. facilities for pastors (prep. schools still in existence). Orders of service simple. His was a deep piety, with pastoral concern for all Christians, but without compromise. WGT

See also Adiaphoristic Controversies.

W. Köhler, Bibliographia Brentiana (Berlin, 1904); J. Hartmann and K. Jäger, Johann Brenz, 2 vols. (Hamburg, 1840–42); H. Hermelink, “Johannes Brenz als lutherischer und als schwäbischer Theologe,” in Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirchenzeitung, III (August 31, 1949), 242–246; W. G. Tillmanns, The World and Men Around Luther (Minneapolis, 1959), pp. 146–147; Confessio Virtembergica, ed. E. Bizer (Stuttgart, 1952); Predigten des Johannes Brenz, ed. E. Bizer (Stuttgart, 1955); F. K. Wild, “Johannes Brenz's Leben,” Das Leben der Altväter der lutherischen Kirche, IV, ed. M. Meurer et al. (Leipzig and Dresden, 1864), 161–297; J. Hartmann, Johannes Brenz, in Leben und ausgewählte Schriften der Väter und Begründer der lutherischen Kirche, ed. J. Hartmann et al., VI, in vol. 3 (Elberfeld, 1862); Magister Johannes Brenz (St. Louis, 1894).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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