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Benedictus Aretius (1505-1574) on the Death of Christ

May 26, 2009


1) Benedict Aretius has similar expressions on1 Tim. ii. “Christ,” says he, “died for all, yet notwithstanding all do not embrace the benefit of his death, because by their own wickedness, and the corruption of their nature, they despise the offered grace.

Source: John Davenant, Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 338.

2) Observe then that, to whom the fruit of Christ’s death belongs, then in what that deliverance consists. That deliverance belongs to all who were subject to bondage in thsn life. Now we were all [subject], therefore this deliverance belongs to all. The deliverance also is said to be general or pertaining to all because it pertains to the whole human race, although all do not know or acknowledge the benefit, nor accept it with a grateful mind. Thus it comes to pass that this deliverance is efficacious only in the faithful—Ad Heb ii.

Source: “The Atonement of Christ,” in  Biblical Notes and Queries, (Edinburgh: George Adam Young & Co., 1869), 278-279.

Notes:  Richard Muller in his recent 2008 Mid-America lectures, Varieties of Hypothetical Universalist, has identified Aretius as a non-Amyraldian hypothetical universalist.

It must be kept in mind that very few of Aretius’ works have been translated into English and so we must now rely on secondary sources.

Biographical material:

Benedictus Aretius (1505-1574); studied at Strasburg and Marburg; served as professor of logic at Marburg and, beginning in 1564, as Wolfgang Musculus’ successor as professor of theology in Bern. His major dogmatic work was Examin theologicum (1557) and SS. theolgiae problemata, seu loci comunes (1573). Richard Muller,  Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics 1:42 [first edition].

Some titles by Aretius, demonstrating his influence:

Sermones tres de coena Domini.

In d. Mosis Pentateuchum, hoc est, priscam dei legem, Benedicti Aretii theologi Bernesnis commentarii breues ac dilucidi

Commentarii in Evangelivm Matthaei

Commentarii in euangelium Domini Nostri Iesv Christi secundum Marcum

Commentarii in evangelium Domini Nostri Iesu Christi secundùm Lucam

Commentarii in qvatvor Evangelistas : a Benedicto Aretio Bernensi … conscripti.

Commentarii in sacram Actuum Apostolicorum historiam : facili & perspicua methodo conscripti

Commentarii in Epistolam D. Pauli ad Romanos : facili et perspicua methodo conscripti

Commentarii in epistola D. Pauli ad Galatas

Commentarii in secundam epistolam D. Pauli ad Corinthios

Commentarii in Epistolas D. Pauli ad Philippenses, Colossenses et in utramque ad Thessal.

Commentarii in epistolas Pauli ad Timoth., ad Titum et ad Philem. … cum indice rerum memorabilium.

Commentarij in euangelium … secundum Ioannem

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