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Chapter Three

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Chapter Summary

In the early 1560s, Thomas Erastus headed the cadre of academics, preachers, and court officials who prodded Elector Frederick III, the Pious, towards the Reformed camp. While Erastus had previously worked behind the scenes, the Heidelberg Lord's Supper disputation of 1560 pushed him into the spotlight. Communal metaphors were an important resource for Erastus in his effort to explain the symbolic nature of the Lord's Supper. The difference between Erastus's and Zwingli's theology of the Lord's Supper went beyond a mere difference in emphasis. Erastus offered an alternative opinion of how the sacrament influenced faith. The Gründtlicher Bericht illuminates the character of the emerging Heidelberg theology from the perspective of its most important early activist. Das Büchlein von Brotbrechen was a primitivist work, harking back to the early Zwinglian scripture principle that all church ceremonies had to be expressly commended in scripture.

Keywords: Das Büchlein von Brotbrechen; Gründtlicher Bericht; Lord's Supper; Thomas Erastus; Zwinglian scripture

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