Christian Cyclopedia

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Black Canons.

Canons regular of Augustine of Hippo. So called because of black attire.

Black Fast.

Fast during Lent and before ordination practices up to 10th c. Food was restricted and stipulated to be eaten in evening.

Black Friars.

Name given Dominican Friars because of black attire. See also Dominicans.

Black Monks.

Benedictine monks; so called because of black attire.

Black Pope.

Popular name for the Superior General of the Society* of Jesus.

Black Rubric.

Name applied by High Churchmen to a statement introduced 1552 at the end of the Order of Holy Communion in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer; it reads in part: “[By kneeling] no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood.” When the practice of printing the rubrics* in red was introduced in the 19th c., this statement, improperly called a rubric, was printed in black.

Blackstone, William Eugene

(1841–1935). B. Adams, Jefferson Co., N New York; Meth. businessman; interested in reest. Palestine as a Jewish state; helped est. Chicago Heb. Miss. Wrote Jesus Is Coming.

Blackwood, Andrew Watterson

(1882–1966). B. Clay Center, Kansas; educ. Franklin Coll., New Athens, Ohio, Princeton (N. J.) Theol. Sem., and Xenia Theol. Sem. (see Pittsburgh Theological Seminary); ordained United Presb. 1908. Pastor Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Columbia, SC; Columbus, Ohio. Prof. Presb. Theol. Sem., Louisville, Kentucky; Princeton Theol. Sem.; Temple U., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Works include Preaching from the Bible; Doctrinal Preaching for Today; The Growing Minister; Preaching from Prophetic Books; The Preparation of Sermons.

Blahoslav, Jan

(1523–71). Bohemian Brethren* bp.; hist., grammarian, musician, poet; reconciled Christianity and humanism; tr. NT into Czech.

Blair, James

(ca. 1655–1743). B. Scot.; educ. Edinburg; Episc. Ch. of Scot. cleric; miss. to Virginia 1685; commissary for Virginia (highest ch. office in the colony) 1689; cofounder Coll. of William and Mary, Williamsburg; its 1st pres. 1693–1743; pres. Virginia Council, acting gov. Virginia 1740–41; minister Jamestown Ch. 1694; rector Bruton Parish, Williamsburg. See also Protestant Episcopal Church, 1 a.

Blake, William

(1757–1827). Eng. visionary, mystic, poet, artist, philos. Best-known works: Songs of Innocence; Songs of Experience; The Everlasting Gospel; The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; The Four Zoas; Jerusalem; Prophetic Books; Milton.

J. Bronowski, William Blake and the Age of Revolution (New York, 1965).

Blanchard, Charles Albert

(1848–1925). B. Galesburg, Ill. Congregationalist. Educ. Wheaton Coll. and Chicago Theol. Sem.; agent and lecturer National* Christian Assoc. 1870–72; principal Preparatory Dept. Wheaton Coll. 1872–74; prof. various subjects; pres. Wheaton Coll. 1882; pres. coll. section Ill. State Teachers Assoc. 1894; pres. Nat. Christian Assoc. 1903–04. Wrote Modern Secret Societies; Light on the Last Days; Getting Things from God; Visions and Voices.


(d. 177). Young female slave and Christian martyr; renowned for steadfastness and endurance while tormented to death during persecution at Lyons.

Blandrata, Giorgio

(Biandrata; ca. 1515–88). It. physician; defended anti-Trinitarian views against Calvin and Beza; introduced Unitarianism in Poland and Transylvania. See also Socinianism, 1; Socinus.

Blankenbuehler, Lorenz F.

(February 7, 1886–February 21, 1964). B. Webster City, Ia.; grad. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1911; prof. Conc. Coll., Portland, Oregon, 1911–21; Conc. Coll., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1921–41; head CPH ed. dept. 1941–52; prof. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1952–56; ed. The Lutheran Witness 1952 to 60; ed. em. 1960–64. Managing ed. Lutheran Scholar 1943–56; mem. Intersyn. Com. on Hymnology and Liturgics 1929–56; collaborator on The Lutheran Hymnal.

Blarer, Ambrosius

(Blaurer; 1492–1564). Educ. Tübingen; joined Luth. movement; later sided with Zwingli, whose extreme position on the Lord's Supper, however, he did not share; helped reform Württemberg; continued in mediating tendency; spent last yrs. in Switz. See also Grynäus, 1; Schnepf, Erhard.

Blarer, Thomas

(1499–1570). Brother of Ambrosius. Studied under Luther and Melanchthon. Accompanied Luther to Worms 1521. Introduced reformation in Konstanz which ended with battle at Mühlberg.


Speech, thought, writing, or action manifesting irreverence toward God or anything sacred (Ps 74:10, 18; Is 52:5; Rv 16:9, 11, 21). Expressions of contempt for destiny or deity are commonplace in primitive religion. False charges of blasphemy brought against Jesus (Mt 26:64–66; Jn 10:33), Stephen (Acts 6:11). Saul compelled Christians to blaspheme (Acts 26:11). Transgressions of God's people caused God's name to be blasphemed (Ro 2:24). Blasphemy is to be distinguished from atheism, sacrilege, and criticism of religion. But in moral theol., it is often regarded as a sin against the virtue of religion. In 16th and 17th c. Eng. it was dissent from the current religious dogma.

Blasphemy was severely punished under Jewish (Lv 24:16: 1 K 21:10), Greek (considered a crime against God and soc.), Justinian, medieval laws. In most countries it is still forbidden by law; since the Enlightenment, however, it is regarded as an offense against soc. rather than God. Christians regard it as a grave or mortal sin. EL

G. D. Nokes, A History of the Crime of Blasphemy (London, 1928).

Blass, Friedrich Wilhelm

(1843–1907). Ger. classical scholar. Wrote Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch and Philology of the Gospels.

Blastares, Matthew

(fl. 1335). Monk of Thessalonica; wrote handbook Syntagma of canon law.

MPG, 144, 960–1400.

Blaurock, Georg

(d. 1529). Monk; later leader of Swiss Anabaps.; burned in persecution at Innsbruck.

Blavatsky, Elena Petrovna

(1831–91). Theosophist; b. Russia; d. London. Traveled extensively, esp. in Am. and India. Studied spiritism, occult and cabalistic literature, sacred writings of India. With Henry Steel Olcott founded the Theosophical Soc. in New York 1875. Claimed miraculous powers, which were proved fraudulent. Wrote Isis Unveiled; The Secret Doctrine; The Key to Theosophy. See also Theosophy.

Bleby, Henry

(March 16, 1809–May 22, 1882). B. Winchcomb, Eng.; sent by Wesleyan Meth. Miss. Soc. to Jamaica; wrote on miss. work in W Indies.

Bleek, Friedrich

(1793–1859). Prof. Bonn; pupil of DeWette,* J. A. Neander,* and Schleiermacher.* Wrote critical studies of NT from conservative point of view.

Blemmydes, Nicephorus

(1197–1272). E. Orthodox theol.; sought to reunite E and W church.

MPG, 142, 527–1622.


State of bliss of believers, veiled and imperfect in this life (Kingdom of Grace), perfect and eternal in heaven (Kingdom of Glory). Effected and sealed by the Gospel, appropriated and enjoyed by faith. Consists in spiritual joy, happiness, peace, hope, restoration of divine image in man, eternal glory (1 Co 2:9; Mt 5:3–12; Ro 4:6–8; Ps 16:11; 17:15; 23; 92:12–14; 128; Jb 36:11; Dt 28:1–14; Eph. 1:3; 2 Ptr 1:2–4; Rv 14:13; 1 Jn 3:2).

Blessig, Jean Laurent

(1747–1816). Prof. U. of Strasbourg; mem. of bd. of dir. of “Church of the Augsburg Confession” in Alsace, the theol. and structure of which he strongly influenced.

Blessing and Cursing.

Blessing (benediction) and cursing are both used effectively in Christ's kingdom, as will be evident on the Last Day (Mt 25:31, 41; 1 Co 16:22). God blessed by bestowing temporal and spiritual benefits on men (Nm 6:22–27; Gn 1:22; 2: 3; 9:1–7; Ps 103). Men bless God by praising and thanking Him (Ps 103); they bless their fellow men by invoking God's favor on them (Gn 27:27–29; 48; 49; Dt 33; Ps 129:8).

Cursing is solely a prerogative of God (see Anathema). God's curse rests on sinners till they have forgiveness (Dt 27:15–26). All cursing by men, except their pronouncement of God's curse on sin and unbelief, is sinful and forbidden.


1. Till 17th c., work among blind was regarded as charity. Since then educ. of blind has become highly developed science. Special laws protect and provide for blind; increasing numbers of vocations are open to them. Institutions for blind originated early in 19th c.; various organizations and associations are dedicated to their care.

2. Of ca. 20 million blind, most live in undeveloped countries. Hence Christian missions paid special attention to work among blind, as in China, where religion forbade acceptance of blind girls into the family. In US, Christian churches, Jewish organizations, YMCAs, service clubs (Lions, Rotary, etc.) work among the blind. Helen Keller* esp. directed attention to the blind.

3. In 1900 five systems of embossed type were in use among blind in US. In 1933 Grade 2 was adopted as standard Eng. Braille throughout the world. The ch. also began with systematic organized work among blind not many yrs. ago. The Soc. for Promotion of Ch. Work Among the Blind was organized in Prot. Episc. Ch. 1903. John Milton Soc., inc. 1928, serves most Prot. churches; RC branch inc. 1908.

4. In 1923 the Mo. Syn. directed the Miss. Bd. for the Deaf to investigate possibility of pub. religious magazine in Braille. In 1926 first issue of Lutheran Messenger for the Blind appeared. Special Bd. of Miss. for the Blind was elected 1947. Since then work among blind has expanded considerably. LCMS now has one of largest religious libraries for blind. Over 1,000 Braille vols. have been transcribed by volunteers. Large talking book dept. has been added, including tape recordings. LCMS now pub. 4 magazines for blind: The Lutheran Messenger in Braille; The Lutheran Herald in Moon; Der Bote in Ger., and Teen Time, which appears in Braille and Sight Saving. Ca. 500 volunteer transcribers emboss into Braille S. S. materials, library books, music notations, and special requests. Through its Board for the Blind the LCMS is able to supply religious Braille material to for. missionaries in almost any language.

The Luth. Braille Evangelism Assoc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, pub. the Christian Magnifier and other religious literature in Braille. WHS

H. Best, Blindness and the Blind in the United States (New York, 1934); G. Farrell, The Story of Blindness (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1956).

Blix, Elias

(1836–1902). Norw. hymnist; prof. Christiania (Oslo) 1879; minister of culture 1884–88. Pub. Nokre Salmar and Salmar og Songar.

Blodget, Henry

(1825–1903). Cong. for. miss. B. Bucksport, Me.; educ. Yale Coll. and New Haven and Andover Theol. Seminaries. Sent by ABCFM to China 1854; stationed at Shanghai, Tientsin, Peking. Mem. of com. which tr. NT into Mandarin; tr. 194 hymns and other theol. works.

Blomfield, Dorothy Frances

(Mrs. G. Gurney; 1858–1932). Wrote “O Perfect Love, All Human Thought Transcending” for sister's wedding 1884.

Blondel, David

(ca. 1590–1655). Huguenot ch. hist.; country pastor in Fr.; prof. Amsterdam. Wrote in defense of Ref. polity and against episcopacy. Most important work: Pseudo-Isidorus et Turrianus Vapulans. See also Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.

Blondel, Maurice

(1861–1949). Fr. philos.; devout RC In L'Action he holds that the human will, which produces action, cannot be satisfied by finite good; hence a discrepancy bet. capabilities and will. From this point he developed an argument for existence of God based on volition. Assoc. with Modernist Movement.

Blondus, Flavius

(1392–1463). Humanist; hist.; archaeologist; secy. to popes; important in development of modern historiography.

Blount, Charles

(1654–93). Deist; b. Upper Holloway, Eng. Works include Anima mundi; The Two First Books of Apollonius Tyaneus; Oracles of Reason; Great Is Diana of the Ephesians. See also Deism, III 4.

Blow, John

(ca. 1648[49?]–1708). Composer; b. North Collingham, Nottinghamshire, Eng.; teacher of H. Purcell*; organist Westminster Abbey 1669–79, 1695–1708. Works include services; anthems; secular compositions.

Bloxam, John Rouse

(1807–91). Angl. assoc. of J. H. Newman. Originator of ceremonial revival in Angl. Ch. Leader in Tract Movement.


1. Christian Gottlieb (1779–1838). B. Stuttgart; d. Basel. Uncle of J. C. Blumhardt. Secy. Deutsche Christentumsgesellschalt*; with C. F. Spittler founded Basel Bible Soc. 1804; dir. Basel Missionary Society.* Wrote Versuch einer allgemeinen Missionsgeschichte der Kirche Christi, 5 vols.; founded Evang. Missionsmagazin and Heidenbote. 2. Johann Christoph (1805–80). Educ. Tübingen; teacher at Basel Miss. Inst. 1830; pastor Möttlingen 1838. Gained fame as one who could cure by prayer; first reported cure was that of demoniac girl. In 1853 bought royal watering place Ball (Bad Boll), where all kinds of sufferers from all ranks of soc. and all countries flocked to be cured. In 1869 and 1872 he was joined by his sons. 3. Christopher Friedrich (1842–1919). Continued work of father Johann.

F. Zündel, Johann Christoph Blumhardt, Ein Lebensbild, rev. H. Schneider, 16th ed. (Giessen, 1954); E. Jäckh, Blumhardt, Vater und Sohn und Ihre Botschaft (Berlin, 1924–25).

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

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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