Salmuth, Johann (b. 1552)
Johann Salmuth, court chaplain at Dresden, Germany, an opponent of the Anabaptists, the son of Heinrich Salmuth who was Superintendent of Leipzig and professor of theology at the local university. He published a Calvinist edition of the Bible in 1591, in which he attacked Luther and mingled attacks on the Anabaptists into his accusations. Like a red thread the struggle against the Anabaptists goes through his entire Bible. The line of demarcation between Calvinism and Anabaptism is drawn exceedingly sharply. The editors rejected the Anabaptist position on the oath (Deuteronomy 6:13). In opposition to the Anabaptists they recognized the legitimacy of just wars (Deuteronomy 20:1). They opposed the Anabaptist separation of church and state, stating that it is the duty of the government to take the work of the Reformation in hand and that participation in the work of the government is a service to one's neighbor which promotes the glory of God (Genesis 41:40; Numbers 36:1). They specifically attacked community of goods as introduced by the Anabaptists (Numbers 32:5), arguing that riches do not necessarily lead to unbelief (Genesis 13:2). Also in opposition to the ascetic earnestness of the Anabaptists, they frequently advocate a certain joy in the world; to be happy is not wrong as the Anabaptists fanatically believe, only one must not forget God and one's neighbor in being happy (I Chronicles 13:40). And in the reference to Thomas Müntzer (Judges 7:18) and the Peasants' War (Numbers 16:3) a warning was given against the abuse of Christian liberty: revolt is not at all permissible and even against a tyrant the people have no right to rebel (I Samuel 8:5). Here the comment is expressly added: "To refute the seditious conduct of the Anabaptists on the annihilation of temporal regents."
Lebue, Hans. "Die sachsische calvinistische Bibelausgabe vom Jahre 1591." in Archiv fur Reformationsgeschichte 27 (1930): 56.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Vol. 4. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 408-409. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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