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Contributions of Commentaries on the Minor Prophets to the Formation of Distinctive Lutheran and Reformed Confessional Identities

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The essay explores the question of the evidence of distinct Lutheran and Reformed confessional practices of exegesis particularly concerning interpretations of Old Testament prophecy. It begins by outlining differences in Martin Luther and John Calvin’s practices of christological exegesis and vision of sacred history in their interpretations of the Minor Prophets. Next, it traces the evolution of these differences in a set of figures from the next generation of Lutheran and Reformed exegetes in order to discern whether consistent patterns emerge to indicate ways in which biblical interpretation shaped confessional identity. Through a survey of commentaries on the Minor Prophets by a set of next generation Lutherans (Philip Melanchthon, Aegidius Hunnius, Lucas Osiander, and Nicolas Selnecker) and next generation Reformed (David Pareus, Lambert Daneau, Johannes Drusius, and Johannes Piscator) the author provides a picture of how biblical interpretation did indeed play a significant role in the formation and expression of confessional identity in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.


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