Long overshadowed by Luther and Calvin, Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) is one of the most important figures in the Protestant Reformation and had profound effect on Western church history. The Honeycomb Scroll gives the most detailed English-language biographical treatment of Melanchthon to date, moving from his historical context and personal origins, through his childhood, education, and early career at Wittenberg during the dramatic events at the dawn of the Reformation (1497-1524).
Establishing the deep geopolitical and religious context of Melanchthon's early life, the volume then follows Melanchthon to the great halls of humanist learning at Heidelberg and Tubingen, where his studies and teaching career began and his faith was richly fostered. The pivotal moment comes in his appointment to the chair of Greek in Wittenberg where Melanchthon became a great ally and supporter of Martin Luther.
Melanchthon's role as key player in the advocacy for reform expanded through his involvement in the Leipzig Disputation, his visible representation of the evangelical cause in Wittenberg during Luther's absence at Worms and the Wartburg, and his struggle with the radical wing. The volume closes by looking ahead to Melanchthons contribution to the Augsburg Confession of 1530. Dr. Graybill has painted a humane and nuanced portrait of one of the most remarkable scholars and reformers of the Reformation era: a prodigy of energy and productivity. In this book, Melanchthon steps out of the shadow of Martin Luther and lives again in the turbulent first years of the German Reformation.
University of Oxford
Gregory Graybill has written a fine, vivid, scholarly yet readable biography of Philipp Melanchthon, which fills a large gap in recent English language writing on the Reformation. This is an ideal place to start to get to know a man whose influence on Reformation Europe was huge.
St. Mellitus College
What would it be like to have been Martin Luther's closest theological companion in the birth years of the Protestant Reformation? Greg Graybill answers this question in his deeply researched post-Oxford-doctoral work written (and illustrated) from Philipp Melanchthon's own personal homes in Germany. Welcome to the heart and mind of the Reformation! I warmly recommend this engaging study.
-Frederick Dale Bruner,
At long last Philip Melanchthon is pulled from the wings of the Reformation, not for a momentary bow as Luther's disciple, but as an auxiliary Reformer whose contribution to the Reformation was essential. Focusing on the titanic decade of 1515-1525 - when Melanchthon was only in his twenties - Greg Graybill surveys not simply Melanchthon's significance, but offers a portrait of his person - the key events that shaped his life, his friendships and indebtedness to the great Humanists of the day, and above all Melanchthon's extraordinary synthesis of content and style that was present in no other German-speaking Reformer. Something of that same content and style is present in Graybill's presentation, recovering not only a prodigious Reformer, but making the Reformation itself more three-dimensional.
-James R. Edwards,