John Knox

John Knox (c. 1513 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer who was a leader of the country's Reformation. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

Born in Giffordgate, Knox is believed to have been educated at the University of St Andrews and worked as a notary-priest. Influenced by early church reformers such as George Wishart, he joined the movement to reform the Scottish church. He was caught up in the ecclesiastical and political events that involved the murder of Cardinal David Beaton in 1546 and the intervention of the regent Mary of Guise. He was taken prisoner by French forces the following year and exiled to England on his release in 1549.

While in exile, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England, where he rose in the ranks to serve King Edward VI of England as a royal chaplain. He exerted a reforming influence on the text of the Book of Common Prayer. In England, he met and married his first wife, Margery Bowes. When Mary I ascended the throne of England and re-established Roman Catholicism, Knox was forced to resign his position and leave the country. Knox moved to Geneva and then to Frankfurt. In Geneva, he met John Calvin, from whom he gained experience and knowledge of Reformed theology and Presbyterian polity. He created a new order of service, which was eventually adopted by the reformed church in Scotland. He left Geneva to head the English refugee church in Frankfurt but he was forced to leave over differences concerning the liturgy, thus ending his association with the Church of England.

On his return to Scotland, Knox led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility. The movement may be seen as a revolution, since it led to the ousting of Mary of Guise, who governed the country in the name of her young daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church, the Kirk. He continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary's reign. In several interviews with the Queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Catholic practices. When she was imprisoned for her alleged role in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley and King James VI was enthroned in her stead, Knox openly called for her execution. He continued to preach until his final days.

John Knox
Portrait of John Knox (4671577)
19th century engraving of Knox
Bornc. 1513[1]
Died24 November 1572 (aged 58 or 59)
Edinburgh, Scotland
OccupationPastor, author, reformer
Spouse(s)Majorie Bowes
Margaret Stewart
ChildrenNathaniel Knox (1)
Eleazar Knox (1)
Martha Knox (2)
Margaret Knox (2)
Elizabeth Knox (2)
Theological work
Tradition or movementPresbyterianism

Early life, 1505–1546

Statue of John Knox in New College Edinburgh
Statue of John Knox in New College Edinburgh by John Hutchison

John Knox was born sometime between 1505 and 1515[1] in or near Haddington, the county town of East Lothian.[2] His father, William Knox, was a merchant.[3] All that is known of his mother is that her maiden name was Sinclair and that she died when John Knox was a child.[4] Their eldest son, William, carried on his father's business, which helped in Knox's international communications.[3]

Knox was probably educated at the grammar school in Haddington. In this time, the priesthood was the only path for those whose inclinations were academic rather than mercantile or agricultural.[5] He proceeded to further studies at the University of St Andrews or possibly at the University of Glasgow. He studied under John Major, one of the greatest scholars of the time.[6] Knox was ordained a catholic priest in Edinburgh on Easter Eve of 1536 by William Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane. [7]

Knox first appears in public records as a priest and a notary in 1540. He was still serving in these capacities as late as 1543 when he described himself as a "minister of the sacred altar in the diocese of St. Andrews, notary by apostolic authority" in a notarial deed dated 27 March.[8] Rather than taking up parochial duties in a parish, he became tutor to two sons of Hugh Douglas of Longniddry. He also taught the son of John Cockburn of Ormiston. Both of these lairds had embraced the new religious ideas of the Reformation.[9]

Embracing the Protestant Reformation, 1546–1547

Knox did not record when or how he was converted to the Protestant faith,[10] but perhaps the key formative influences on Knox were Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart.[11] Wishart was a reformer who had fled Scotland in 1538 to escape punishment for heresy. He first moved to England, where in Bristol he preached against the veneration of the Virgin Mary. He was forced to make a public recantation and was burned in effigy at the Church of St Nicholas as a sign of his abjuration. He then took refuge in Germany and Switzerland. While on the Continent, he translated the First Helvetic Confession into English.[12] He returned to Scotland in 1544, but the timing of his return was unfortunate. In December 1543, James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault, the appointed regent for the infant Mary, Queen of Scots, had decided with the Queen Mother, Mary of Guise, and Cardinal David Beaton to persecute the Protestant sect that had taken root in Scotland.[13] Wishart travelled throughout Scotland preaching in favour of the reformation and when he arrived in East Lothian, Knox became one of his closest associates. Knox acted as his bodyguard, bearing a two-handed sword in order to defend him.[14] In December 1545, Wishart was seized on Beaton's orders by the Earl of Bothwell and taken to the Castle of St Andrews.[15] Knox was present on the night of Wishart's arrest and was prepared to follow him into captivity, but Wishart persuaded him against this course saying, "Nay, return to your bairns [children] and God bless you. One is sufficient for a sacrifice."[16] Wishart was subsequently prosecuted by Beaton's Public Accuser of Heretics, Archdeacon John Lauder. On 1 March 1546, he was burnt at the stake in the presence of Beaton.

Portrait of Knox from Theodore Beza's Icones[17]

Knox had avoided being arrested by Lord Bothwell through Wishart's advice to return to tutoring. He took shelter with Douglas in Longniddry.[18] Several months later he was still in charge of the pupils, the sons of Douglas and Cockburn, who wearied of moving from place to place while being pursued. He toyed with the idea of fleeing to Germany and taking his pupils with him. While Knox remained a fugitive, Beaton was murdered on 29 May 1546, within his residence, the Castle of St Andrews, by a gang of five persons in revenge for Wishart's execution. The assassins seized the castle and eventually their families and friends took refuge with them, about a hundred and fifty men in all. Among their friends was Henry Balnaves, a former secretary of state in the government, who negotiated with England for the financial support of the rebels.[19] Douglas and Cockburn suggested to Knox to take their sons to the relative safety of the castle to continue their instruction in reformed doctrine, and Knox arrived at the castle on 10 April 1547.[20]

Knox's powers as a preacher came to the attention of the chaplain of the garrison, John Rough. While Rough was preaching in the parish church on the Protestant principle of the popular election of a pastor, he proposed Knox to the congregation for that office. Knox did not relish the idea. According to his own account, he burst into tears and fled to his room. Within a week, however, he was giving his first sermon to a congregation that included his old teacher, John Major.[21] He expounded on the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel, comparing the Pope with the Antichrist. His sermon was marked by his consideration of the Bible as his sole authority and the doctrine of justification by faith alone, two elements that would remain in his thoughts throughout the rest of his life. A few days later, a debate was staged that allowed him to lay down additional theses including the rejection of the Mass, Purgatory, and prayers for the dead.[22]

Confinement in the French galleys, 1547–1549

John Knox's chaplaincy of the castle garrison was not to last long. While Hamilton was willing to negotiate with England to stop their support of the rebels and bring the castle back under his control, Mary of Guise decided that it could be taken only by force and requested the king of France, Henry II to intervene.[23] On 29 June 1547, 21 French galleys approached St Andrews under the command of Leone Strozzi, prior of Capua. The French besieged the castle and forced the surrender of the garrison on 31 July. The Protestant nobles and others, including Knox, were taken prisoner and forced to row in the French galleys.[24] The galley slaves were chained to benches and rowed throughout the day without a change of posture while an officer watched over them with a whip in hand.[25] They sailed to France and navigated up the Seine to Rouen. The nobles, some of whom would have an impact later in Knox's life such as William Kirkcaldy and Henry Balnaves, were sent to various castle-prisons in France.[26] Knox and the other galley slaves continued to Nantes and stayed on the Loire throughout the winter. They were threatened with torture if they did not give proper signs of reverence when mass was performed on the ship. Knox recounted an incident in which one Scot—possibly himself, as he tended to narrate personal anecdotes in the third person—was required to show devotion to a picture of the Virgin Mary. The prisoner was told to give it a kiss of veneration. He refused and when the picture was pushed up to his face, the prisoner seized the picture and threw it into the sea, saying, "Let our Lady now save herself: she is light enough: let her learn to swim."[27] After that, according to Knox, the Scottish prisoners were no longer forced to perform such devotions.[28]

In summer 1548, the galleys returned to Scotland to scout for English ships. Knox's health was now at its lowest point due to the severity of his confinement. He was ill with a fever and others on the ship were afraid for his life. Even in this state, Knox recalled, his mind remained sharp and he comforted his fellow prisoners with hopes of release. While the ships were lying offshore between St Andrews and Dundee, the spires of the parish church where he preached appeared in view. James Balfour, a fellow prisoner, asked Knox whether he recognised the landmark. He replied that he knew it well, recognising the steeple of the place where he first preached and he declared that he would not die until he had preached there again.[29]

In February 1549, after spending a total of 19 months in the galley-prison, Knox was released. It is uncertain how he obtained his liberty.[30] Later in the year, Henry II arranged with Edward VI of England the release of all remaining Castilian prisoners.[31]

Exile in England, 1549–1554

On his release, Knox took refuge in England. The Reformation in England was a less radical movement than its Continental counterparts, but there was a definite breach with Rome.[32] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, and the regent of King Edward VI, the Duke of Somerset, were decidedly Protestant-minded. However, much work remained to bring reformed ideas to the clergy and to the people.[33] On 7 April 1549, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England. His first commission was in Berwick-upon-Tweed. He was obliged to use the recently released Book of Common Prayer, which maintained the structure of the Sarum Rite while adapting the content to the doctrine of the reformed Church of England. Knox, however, modified its use to accord with the doctrinal emphases of the Continental reformers. In the pulpit he preached Protestant doctrines with great effect as his congregation grew.[34]

Knox, John.jpeg
John Knox portrait bearing the date 1572

In England, Knox met his wife, Margery Bowes (died c. 1560). Her father, Richard Bowes (died 1558), was a descendant of an old Durham family and her mother, Elizabeth Aske, was an heiress of a Yorkshire family, the Askes of Richmondshire.[35][36] Elizabeth Bowes presumably met Knox when he was employed in Berwick. Several letters reveal a close friendship between them.[37] It is not recorded when Knox married Margery Bowes.[38] Knox attempted to obtain the consent of the Bowes family, but her father and her brother Robert Bowes were opposed to the marriage.[39]

Towards the end of 1550, Knox was appointed a preacher of St Nicholas' Church in Newcastle upon Tyne. The following year he was appointed one of the six royal chaplains serving the King. On 16 October 1551, John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, overthrew the Duke of Somerset to become the new regent of the young King. Knox condemned the coup d'état in a sermon on All Saints Day. When Dudley visited Newcastle and listened to his preaching in June 1552, he had mixed feelings about the fire-brand preacher, but he saw Knox as a potential asset. Knox was asked to come to London to preach before the Court. In his first sermon, he advocated a change for the second edition of the Book of Common Prayer. The liturgy required worshippers to kneel during communion. Knox and the other chaplains considered this to be idolatry. It triggered a debate where Archbishop Cranmer was called upon to defend the practice. The end result was a compromise in which the famous Black Rubric, which declared that no adoration is intended while kneeling, was included in the second edition.[40]

Soon afterwards, Dudley, who saw Knox as a useful political tool, offered him the bishopric of Rochester. Knox refused, and he returned to Newcastle.[41] On 2 February 1553 Cranmer was ordered to appoint Knox as vicar of All Hallows, Bread Street in London, placing him under the authority of the Bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley. Knox returned to London in order to deliver a sermon before the King and the Court during Lent and he again refused to take the assigned post. Knox was then told to preach in Buckinghamshire and he remained there until Edward's death on 6 July.[42] Edward's successor, Mary Tudor, re-established Roman Catholicism in England and restored the Mass in all the churches. With the country no longer safe for Protestant preachers, Knox left for the Continent in January 1554 on the advice of friends.[43] On the eve of his flight, he wrote:

Sometime I have thought that impossible it had been, so to have removed my affection from the realm of Scotland, that any realm or nation could have been equal dear to me. But God I take to record in my conscience, that the troubles present (and appearing to be) in the realm of England are double more dolorous unto my heart than ever were the troubles of Scotland.[44]

From Geneva to Frankfurt and Scotland, 1554–1556

Statue of John Knox at the Reformation Wall monument in Geneva

Knox disembarked in Dieppe, France, and continued to Geneva, where John Calvin had established his authority. When Knox arrived Calvin was in a difficult position. He had recently prosecuted the execution of the scholar Michael Servetus for heresy. Knox asked Calvin four difficult political questions: whether a minor could rule by divine right, whether a female could rule and transfer sovereignty to her husband, whether people should obey ungodly or idolatrous rulers, and what party godly persons should follow if they resisted an idolatrous ruler.[45] Calvin gave cautious replies and referred him to the Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger in Zürich. Bullinger's responses were equally cautious; but Knox had already made up his mind. On 20 July 1554, he published a pamphlet attacking Mary Tudor and the bishops who had brought her to the throne.[46] He also attacked the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, calling him "no less enemy to Christ than was Nero".[47]

In a letter dated 24 September 1554, Knox received an invitation from a congregation of English exiles in Frankfurt to become one of their ministers. He accepted the call with Calvin's blessing. But no sooner had he arrived than he found himself in a conflict. The first set of refugees to arrive in Frankfurt had subscribed to a reformed liturgy and used a modified version of the Book of Common Prayer. More recently arrived refugees, however, including Edmund Grindal, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, favoured a stricter application of the book. When Knox and a supporting colleague, William Whittingham, wrote to Calvin for advice, they were told to avoid contention. Knox therefore agreed on a temporary order of service based on a compromise between the two sides. This delicate balance was disturbed when a new batch of refugees arrived that included Richard Cox, one of the principal authors of the Book of Common Prayer. Cox brought Knox's pamphlet attacking the emperor to the attention of the Frankfurt authorities, who advised that Knox leave. His departure from Frankfurt on 26 March 1555 marked his final breach with the Church of England.[48]

After his return to Geneva, Knox was chosen to be the minister at a new place of worship petitioned from Calvin. In the meantime, Elizabeth Bowes wrote to Knox, asking him to return to Margery in Scotland, which he did at the end of August.[49] Despite initial doubts about the state of the Reformation in Scotland, Knox found the country significantly changed since he was carried off in the galley in 1547. When he toured various parts of Scotland preaching the reformed doctrines and liturgy, he was welcomed by many of the nobility including two future regents of Scotland, the Earl of Moray and the Earl of Mar.[50]

Though the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, made no move against Knox, his activities caused concern among the church authorities. The bishops of Scotland viewed him as a threat to their authority and summoned him to appear in Edinburgh on 15 May 1556. He was accompanied to the trial by so many influential persons that the bishops decided to call the hearing off. Knox was now free to preach openly in Edinburgh. William Keith, the Earl Marischal, was impressed and urged Knox to write to the Queen Regent. Knox's unusually respectful letter urged her to support the Reformation and overthrow the church hierarchy. Queen Mary took the letter as a joke and ignored it.[51]

Return to Geneva, 1556–1559

Calvin Auditory
The Auditoire de Calvin where Knox preached while in Geneva, 1556–1558

Shortly after Knox sent the letter to the Queen Regent, he suddenly announced that he felt his duty was to return to Geneva. In the previous year on 1 November 1555, the congregation in Geneva had elected Knox as their minister and he decided to take up the post.[52] He wrote a final letter of advice to his supporters and left Scotland with his wife and mother-in-law. He arrived in Geneva on 13 September 1556.[53]

For the next two years, he lived a happy life in Geneva. He recommended Geneva to his friends in England as the best place of asylum for Protestants. In one letter he wrote:

I neither fear nor eschame to say, is the most perfect school of Christ that ever was in the earth since the days of the apostles. In other places I confess Christ to be truly preached; but manners and religion so sincerely reformed, I have not yet seen in any other place ...[54]

The title page of The First Blast from a 1766 edition with modernised spelling

Knox led a busy life in Geneva. He preached three sermons a week, each lasting well over two hours. The services used a liturgy that was derived by Knox and other ministers from Calvin's Formes des Prières Ecclésiastiques.[55] The church in which he preached, the Église de Notre Dame la Neuve—now known as the Auditoire de Calvin—had been granted by the municipal authorities, at Calvin's request, for the use of the English and Italian congregations. Knox's two sons, Nathaniel and Eleazar, were born in Geneva, with Whittingham and Myles Coverdale their respective godfathers.[56]

In the summer of 1558, Knox published his best known pamphlet, The first blast of the trumpet against the monstruous regiment of women. In calling the "regimen" or rule of women "monstruous", he meant that it was "unnatural". Knox states that his purpose was to demonstrate "how abominable before God is the Empire or Rule of a wicked woman, yea, of a traiteresse and bastard".[57] The women rulers that Knox had in mind were Queen Mary I of England and Mary of Guise, the Dowager Queen of Scotland and regent on behalf of her daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots. This biblical position was not unusual in Knox’s day; however, even he was aware that the pamphlet was dangerously seditious.[58] He therefore published it anonymously and did not tell Calvin, who denied knowledge of it until a year after its publication, that he had written it. In England, the pamphlet was officially condemned by royal proclamation. The impact of the document was complicated later that year, when Elizabeth Tudor became Queen of England. Although Knox had not targeted Elizabeth, he had deeply offended her, and she never forgave him.

With a Protestant on the throne, the English refugees in Geneva prepared to return home. Knox himself decided to return to Scotland. Before his departure, various honours were conferred on him, including the freedom of the city of Geneva. Knox left in January 1559, but he did not arrive in Scotland until 2 May 1559, owing to Elizabeth's refusal to issue him a passport through England.[59]

Revolution and end of the regency, 1559–1560

Preaching of Knox before the Lords of the Congregation
Preaching of Knox before the Lords of the Congregation (in the Parish Church of St. Andrew's, 10 June 1559) by David Wilkie[60]

Two days after Knox arrived in Edinburgh, he proceeded to Dundee where a large number of Protestant sympathisers had gathered. Knox was declared an outlaw, and the Queen Regent summoned the Protestants to Stirling. Fearing the possibility of a summary trial and execution, the Protestants proceeded instead to Perth, a walled town that could be defended in case of a siege. At the church of St John the Baptist, Knox preached a fiery sermon and a small incident precipitated into a riot. A mob poured into the church and it was soon gutted. The mob then attacked two friaries in the town, looting their gold and silver and smashing images. Mary of Guise gathered those nobles loyal to her and a small French army. She dispatched the Earl of Argyll and Lord Moray to offer terms and avert a war. She promised not to send any French troops into Perth if the Protestants evacuated the town. The Protestants agreed, but when the Queen Regent entered Perth, she garrisoned it with Scottish soldiers on the French pay roll. This was seen as treacherous by Lord Argyll and Lord Moray, who both switched sides and joined Knox, who now based himself in St Andrews. Knox's return to St Andrews fulfilled the prophecy he made in the galleys that he would one day preach again in its church. When he did give a sermon, the effect was the same as in Perth. The people engaged in vandalism and looting.[61]

St John's Kirk, Perth
Perth's St John's Kirk in modern times

With Protestant reinforcements arriving from neighbouring counties, the Queen Regent retreated to Dunbar. By now, the mob fury had spilled over central Scotland. Her own troops were on the verge of mutiny. On 30 June, the Protestant Lords of the Congregation occupied Edinburgh, though they were able to hold it for only a month. But even before their arrival, the mob had already sacked the churches and the friaries. On 1 July, Knox preached from the pulpit of St Giles', the most influential in the capital.[62] The Lords of the Congregation negotiated their withdrawal from Edinburgh by the Articles of Leith signed 25 July 1559, and Mary of Guise promised freedom of conscience.[63]

Knox knew that the Queen Regent would ask for help from France. So he negotiated by letter under the assumed name John Sinclair with William Cecil, Elizabeth's chief adviser, for English support. Knox sailed secretly to Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of England at the end of July, to meet James Croft and Sir Henry Percy at Berwick upon Tweed. Knox was indiscreet and news of his mission soon reached Mary of Guise. He returned to Edinburgh telling Croft he had to return to his flock, and suggested that Henry Balnaves should go to Cecil.[64]

When additional French troops arrived in Leith, Edinburgh's seaport, the Protestants responded by retaking Edinburgh. This time, on 24 October 1559, the Scottish nobility formally deposed Mary of Guise from the regency. Her secretary, William Maitland of Lethington, defected to the Protestant side, bringing his administrative skills. From then on, Maitland took over the political tasks, freeing Knox for the role of religious leader. For the final stage of the revolution, Maitland appealed to Scottish patriotism to fight French domination. Following the Treaty of Berwick, support from England finally arrived and by the end of March, a significant English army joined the Scottish Protestant forces. The sudden death of Mary of Guise in Edinburgh Castle on 10 June 1560 paved the way for an end to hostilities, the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh, and the withdrawal of French and English troops from Scotland. On 19 July, Knox held a National Thanksgiving Service at St Giles'.[65]

Reformation in Scotland, 1560–1561

Study for 'John Knox Dispensing the Sacrament at Calder House' by David Wilkie
Study for John Knox Dispensing the Sacrament at Calder House by David Wilkie. The work was intended as a companion to Wilkie's Preaching of Knox before the Lords of the Congregation above.[60][66]

On 1 August, the Scottish Parliament met to settle religious issues. Knox and five other ministers were called upon to draw up a new confession of faith. Within four days, the Scots Confession was presented to Parliament, voted upon, and approved. A week later, the Parliament passed three acts in one day: the first abolished the jurisdiction of the Pope in Scotland, the second condemned all doctrine and practice contrary to the reformed faith, and the third forbade the celebration of Mass in Scotland. Before the dissolution of Parliament, Knox and the other ministers were given the task of organising the newly reformed church or the Kirk. They would work for several months on the Book of Discipline, the document describing the organisation of the new church. During this period, in December 1560, Knox's wife, Margery, died, leaving Knox to care for their two sons, aged three and a half and two years old. John Calvin, who had lost his own wife in 1549, wrote a letter of condolence.[67]

Parliament reconvened on 15 January 1561 to consider the Book of Discipline. The Kirk was to be run on democratic lines. Each congregation was free to choose or reject its own pastor, but once he was chosen he could not be fired. Each parish was to be self-supporting, as far as possible. The bishops were replaced by ten to twelve "superintendents". The plan included a system of national education based on universality as a fundamental principle. Certain areas of law were placed under ecclesiastical authority.[68] The Parliament did not approve the plan, however, mainly for reasons of finance. The Kirk was to be financed out of the patrimony of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. Much of this was now in the hands of the nobles, who were reluctant to give up their possessions. A final decision on the plan was delayed because of the impending return of Mary, Queen of Scots.[69]

Knox and Queen Mary, 1561–1564

On 19 August 1561, cannon were fired in Leith to announce Queen Mary's arrival in Scotland. When she attended Mass being celebrated in the royal chapel at Holyrood Palace five days later, this prompted a protest in which one of her servants was jostled. The next day she issued a proclamation that there would be no alteration in the current state of religion and that her servants should not be molested or troubled. Many nobles accepted this, but not Knox. The following Sunday, he protested from the pulpit of St Giles'. As a result, just two weeks after her return, Mary summoned Knox. She accused him of inciting a rebellion against her mother and of writing a book against her own authority. Knox answered that as long as her subjects found her rule convenient, he was willing to accept her governance, noting that Paul the Apostle had been willing to live under Nero's rule. Mary noted, however, that he had written against the principle of female rule itself. He responded that she should not to be troubled by what had never harmed her. When Mary asked him whether subjects had a right to resist their ruler, he replied that if monarchs exceeded their lawful limits, they might be resisted, even by force.[70]

Stained glass window showing John Knox admonishing Mary, Queen of Scots[71]

On 13 December 1562, Mary sent for Knox again after he gave a sermon denouncing certain celebrations which Knox had interpreted as rejoicing at the expense of the Reformation. She charged that Knox spoke irreverently of the Queen in order to make her appear contemptible to her subjects. After Knox gave an explanation of the sermon, Mary stated that she did not blame Knox for the differences of opinion and asked that in the future he come to her directly if he heard anything about her that he disliked. Despite her friendly gesture, Knox replied that he would continue to voice his convictions in his sermons and would not wait upon her.[72]

During Easter in 1563, some priests in Ayrshire celebrated Mass, thus defying the law. Some Protestants tried to enforce the law themselves by apprehending these priests. This prompted Mary to summon Knox for the third time. She asked Knox to use his influence to promote religious toleration. He defended their actions and noted she was bound to uphold the laws and if she did not, others would. Mary surprised Knox by agreeing that the priests would be brought to justice.[73]

The most dramatic interview between Mary and Knox took place on 24 June 1563.[74] Mary summoned Knox to Holyrood after hearing that he had been preaching against her proposed marriage to Don Carlos, the son of Philip II of Spain. Mary began by scolding Knox, then she burst into tears. "What have ye to do with my marriage?" she asked, and "What are ye within this commonwealth?"[75] "A subject born within the same, Madam," Knox replied.[75] He noted that though he was not of noble birth, he had the same duty as any subject to warn of dangers to the realm. When Mary started to cry again, he said, "Madam, in God's presence I speak: I never delighted in the weeping of any of God's creatures; yea I can scarcely well abide the tears of my own boys whom my own hand corrects, much less can I rejoice in your Majesty's weeping."[76] He added that he would rather endure her tears, however, than remain silent and "betray my Commonwealth". At this, Mary ordered him out of the room.[77]

Knox's final encounter with Mary was prompted by an incident at Holyrood. While Mary was absent from Edinburgh on her summer progress in 1563, a crowd forced its way into her private chapel as Mass was being celebrated. During the altercation, the priest's life was threatened. As a result, two of the ringleaders, burgesses of Edinburgh, were scheduled for trial on 24 October 1563. In order to defend these men, Knox sent out letters calling the nobles to convene. Mary obtained one of these letters and asked her advisors if this was not a treasonable act. Stewart and Maitland, wanting to keep good relations with both the Kirk and the Queen, asked Knox to admit he was wrong and to settle the matter quietly. Knox refused and he defended himself in front of Mary and the Privy Council. He argued that he had called a legal, not an illegal, assembly as part of his duties as a minister of the Kirk. After he left, the councillors voted not to charge him with treason.[78]

Final years in Edinburgh, 1564–1572

St. Giles' Cathedral front
The High Kirk of Edinburgh, where Knox served as minister from 1560 to 1572[79]

On 26 March 1564 Knox stirred controversy again, when he married Margaret Stewart, the daughter of an old friend, Andrew Stewart, 2nd Lord Ochiltree, a member of the Stuart family and a distant relative of the Queen, Mary Stuart. The marriage was unusual because he was a widower of fifty, while the bride was only seventeen.[80] Very few details are known of their domestic life. They had three daughters, Martha, Margaret, and Elizabeth.[81]

When the General Assembly convened in June 1564, an argument broke out between Knox and Maitland over the authority of the civil government. Maitland told Knox to refrain from stirring up emotions over Mary's insistence on having mass celebrated and he quoted from Martin Luther and John Calvin about obedience to earthly rulers. Knox retorted that the Bible notes that Israel was punished when it followed an unfaithful king and that the Continental reformers were refuting arguments made by the Anabaptists who rejected all forms of government. The debate revealed his waning influence on political events as the nobility continued to support Mary.[82]

On 29 July 1565 when Mary married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, some of the Protestant nobles, including James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, rose up in rebellion. Knox revealed his own objection while preaching in the presence of the new King Consort on 19 August 1565. He made passing allusions on ungodly rulers which caused Darnley to walk out. Knox was summoned and prohibited from preaching while the court was in Edinburgh.[83]

Bas-relief of John Knox preaching at St Giles in Edinburgh before the court of Mary Stuart. From left to right: James Stewart (Moray), James Hamilton (Châtellerault), Lord Darnley, Matthew Stewart (Lennox), William Maitland (Lethington), William Kirkcaldy (Grange), James Douglas (Morton), Knox, and George Buchanan. Located on the Reformers' Wall, Geneva.

On 9 March 1566, Mary's secretary, David Rizzio, was murdered by conspirators loyal to Darnley. Mary escaped from Edinburgh to Dunbar and by 18 March returned with a formidable force. Knox fled to Kyle in Ayrshire, where he completed the major part of his magnum opus, History of the Reformation in Scotland.[84] When he returned to Edinburgh, he found the Protestant nobles divided over what to do with Mary. Lord Darnley had been murdered and the Queen almost immediately married the chief suspect, the Earl of Bothwell. The indictment of murder thus upon her, she had been forced to abdicate and was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. Lord Moray had become the regent of King James VI. Other old friends of Knox's, Lord Argyll and William Kirkcaldy, stood by Mary. On 29 July 1567, Knox preached James VI's coronation sermon at the church in Stirling. During this period Knox thundered against her in his sermons, even to the point of calling for her death. However, Mary's life was spared, and she escaped on 2 May 1568.[85]

The fighting in Scotland continued as a civil war. Lord Moray was assassinated on 23 January 1570. The regent who succeeded him, the Earl of Lennox, was also a victim of violence. On 30 April 1571, the controller of Edinburgh Castle, Kirkcaldy of Grange, ordered all enemies of the Queen to leave the city. But for Knox, his former friend and fellow galley-slave, he made an exception. If Knox did not leave, he could stay in Edinburgh, but only if he remained captive in the castle. Knox chose to leave, and on 5 May he left for St Andrews. He continued to preach, spoke to students, and worked on his History. At the end of July 1572, after a truce was called, he returned to Edinburgh. Although by this time exceedingly feeble and his voice faint, he continued to preach at St Giles'.[86]

After inducting his successor, Lawson of Aberdeen, as minister of St Giles' on 9 November, Knox returned to his home for the last time. With his friends and some of the greatest Scottish nobles around him, he asked for the Bible to be read aloud. On his last day, 24 November 1572, his young wife read from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.[87] A testimony to Knox was pronounced at his grave in the churchyard of St Giles' by James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton and newly elected regent of Scotland: "Here lies one who never feared any flesh".[88] After the churchyard's destruction in 1633 the precise site of Knox's grave cannot be established.[89]


In his will, Knox claimed: "None have I corrupted, none have I defrauded; merchandise have I not made."[90] The paltry sum of money Knox bequeathed to his family, which would have left them in dire poverty, showed that he had not profited from his work in the Kirk. The regent, Lord Morton, asked the General Assembly to continue paying his stipend to his widow for one year after his death, and the regent ensured that Knox's dependents were decently supported.[90]

Knox was survived by his five children and his second wife. Nathaniel and Eleazar, his two sons by his first wife, attended St John's College, Cambridge. Nathaniel became a Fellow of St John's but died early in 1580. Eleazar was ordained into the Church of England and served in the parish of Clacton Magna. He also died young, and was buried in the chapel of St John's College in 1591.[91] Knox's second wife, Margaret Stewart, got remarried to Andrew Ker, one of those involved in the murder of David Rizzio. Knox's three daughters also married: Martha to Alexander Fairlie; Margaret to Zachary Pont, son of Robert Pont and brother of Timothy Pont; and Elizabeth to John Welsh, a minister of the Kirk.[92]

Knox's death was barely noticed at the time. Although his funeral was attended by the nobles of Scotland, no major politician or diplomat mentioned his death in their surviving letters. Mary, Queen of Scots made only two brief references to him in her letters.[93] However, what the rulers feared were Knox's ideas more than Knox himself. He was a successful reformer and it was this philosophy of reformation that had a great impact on the English Puritans. He has also been described as having contributed to the struggle for genuine human freedom, by teaching a duty to oppose unjust government in order to bring about moral and spiritual change.[93]

Knox was notable not so much for the overthrow of Roman Catholicism in Scotland, but for assuring the replacement of the established Christian religion with Presbyterianism rather than Anglicanism. It was thanks to Knox that the Presbyterian polity was established,[94] though it took 120 years following his death for this to be achieved in 1689. Meanwhile, he accepted the status quo and was happy to see his friends appointed bishops and archbishops, even preaching at the inauguration of the Protestant Archbishop of St Andrews John Douglas in 1571.[95] In that regard, Knox is considered the notional founder of the Presbyterian denomination, whose members number millions worldwide.[96]

A bust of Knox is in the Hall of Heroes of the National Wallace Monument in Stirling.

Selected works

  • An Epistle to the Congregation of the Castle of St Andrews; with a Brief Summary of Balnaves on Justification by Faith (1548)
  • A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Idolatry (1550)
  • A Godly Letter of Warning or Admonition to the Faithful in London, Newcastle, and Berwick (1554)
  • Certain Questions Concerning Obedience to Lawful Magistrates with Answers by Henry Bullinger (1554)
  • A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God's Truth in England (1554)
  • A Narrative of the Proceedings and Troubles of the English Congregation at Frankfurt on the Maine (1554–1555)
  • A Letter to the Queen Dowager, Regent of Scotland (1556)
  • A Letter of Wholesome Counsel Addressed to his Brethren in Scotland (1556)
  • The Form of Prayers and Ministration of the Sacraments Used in the English Congregation at Geneva (1556)
  • The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women (1558)
  • A Letter to the Queen Dowager, Regent of Scotland: Augmented and Explained by the Author (1558)
  • The Appellation from the Sentence Pronounced by the Bishops and Clergy: Addressed to the Nobility and Estates of Scotland (1558)
  • A Letter Addressed to the Commonalty of Scotland (1558)
  • On Predestination in Answer to the Cavillations by an Anabaptist (1560)
  • The History of the Reformation in Scotland (1586–1587)


  1. ^ a b MacGregor 1957, pp. 229–231; Ridley 1968, pp. 531–534. Until David Hay Fleming published new research in 1904, John Knox was thought to have been born in 1505. Hay Fleming's conclusion was that Knox was born between 1513 and 1515. Sources using this date include MacGregor 1957, p. 13 and Reid 1974, p. 15. Ridley notes additional research supports the later date which is now generally accepted by historians. However, some recent books on more general topics still give the earlier date for his birth or a wide range of possibility; for example: Arthur. F. Kinney and David. W. Swain (eds.)(2000), Tudor England: an Encyclopedia, p. 412 (between 1505 and 1515); M. E. Wiesner-Hanks (2006), Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789, Cambridge University Press, p. 170 (1505?); and Michael. A. Mullet (1989), Calvin, Routledge, p. 64 (1505).
  2. ^ Reid 1974, p. 15
  3. ^ a b Dawson 2015, pp. 14, 150
  4. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 13
  5. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 16
  6. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 229–231. According to MacGregor, there is a "John Knox" recorded to have enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1522. However, the name John Knox was quite common, and the identification of the Glasgow student as the future reformer cannot be made with certainty. John Major was known to have taught at the University of Glasgow and later at the University of St Andrews. Given the birth date calculated by Hay Fleming, he would have been too young to have attended Glasgow at the time when Major was teaching there. The time when Major was teaching at St Andrews is consistent both with Knox being of university age and with a statement made by Theodore Beza that Knox was taught by Major at St Andrews.
  7. ^ Dawson, Jane (2016). John Knox, p. 19. Yale University press, New Haven & London. ISBN 0300219709.
  8. ^ Ridley 1968, pp. 19–21
  9. ^ Reid 1974, p. 24; Ridley 1968, pp. 26, 49
  10. ^ Reid 1974, p. xiv
  11. ^ Reid 1974, p. 31; Ridley 1968, p. 26
  12. ^ Reid 1974, p. 27; Ridley 1968, p. 41
  13. ^ Reid 1974, p. 13; Ridley 1968, pp. 33–34
  14. ^ Reid 1974, p. 29; Ridley 1968, pp. 39–40; MacGregor 1957, p. 30
  15. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 37
  16. ^ Ridley 1968, p. 43
  17. ^ Ridley 1968, p. frontispiece. Portrait facing title page. According to Ridley, this portrait is usually thought to be painted from memory by the Flemish painter Adrian Vanson and sent by Peter Young, an assistant of George Buchanan, to Beza.
  18. ^ Reid 1974, p. 34; Ridley 1968, p. 44
  19. ^ Reid 1974, p. 43; Ridley 1968, p. 53
  20. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 44–45; Ridley 1968, p. 52; MacGregor 1957, pp. 40–42
  21. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 43
  22. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 48–50; Ridley 1968, p. 56
  23. ^ Reid 1974, p. 52
  24. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 53–55; Ridley 1968, pp. 60–69
  25. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 45–47
  26. ^ Reid 1974, p. 55; Ridley 1968, pp. 66–70
  27. ^ Reid 1974, p. 57
  28. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 49–50
  29. ^ Ridley 1968, p. 75
  30. ^ Reid 1974, p. 68; Ridley 1968, p. 81. Reid suggests that some of Knox's friends may have appealed to the King of France. Ridley surmises that Knox's health was so poor that he was of no use for the galleys. Other theories include Guy 2004, p. 39 who claimed Somerset arranged for his release and safe conduct to London. Another theory by Marshall 2000, p. 30 proposes that Somerset conducted a prisoner exchange that included Knox to get back English military experts captured at St Andrews.
  31. ^ Jordan, W. K., The Chronicle and Political Papers of Edward VI, London (1966), p.38, Edward VI wrote the prisoners were previously released for his sake: CSP Scotland, vol.1 (1898), p.175 no. 347, Instructions for Holcroft, Harington & Leke, 19 May 1549, proposed exchange of all remaining Castilian prisoners.
  32. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 53
  33. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 71–74; Ridley 1968, pp. 88–89
  34. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 76–79; Ridley 1968, pp. 93–94; MacGregor 1957, p. 54
  35. ^ McGladdery 2004.
  36. ^ Richardson II 2011, p. 447.
  37. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 79–81; Ridley 1968, pp. 130–138
  38. ^ Ridley 1968, pp. 140–141; Reid 1974, p. 95. Reid notes that Knox's letters to Elizabeth changed in January 1553 when he started to address her as his mother rather than his sister. He speculates that Knox was betrothed to Margery in that month.
  39. ^ Reid 1974, p. 101; Ridley 1968, pp. 141–142, 161–163
  40. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 82–91; Ridley 1968, pp. 101–109
  41. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 92–93; Ridley 1968, pp. 115–119
  42. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 94–99; Ridley 1968, pp. 121–126
  43. ^ Ridley 1968, pp. 147–164
  44. ^ Ridley 1968, p. 165; Reid 1974, pp. 102–103
  45. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 68
  46. ^ Reid 1974, p. 111; Ridley 1968, pp. 178–188. The title of the pamphlet is A Faithful Admonition unto the Professors of God's Truth in England
  47. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 70
  48. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 123–127; MacGregor 1957, pp. 72–77
  49. ^ According to MacGregor 1957, p. 78, Elizabeth informed Knox that her husband, Richard, had died. According to Ridley 1968, pp. 265–266, however, Richard did not die until 1558 and Elizabeth left her husband to go with Margery and Knox.
  50. ^ Ridley 1968, pp. 223–227
  51. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 81–83
  52. ^ Marshall 2000, pp. 85–86
  53. ^ Ridley 1968, pp. 237–243
  54. ^ Reid 1974, p. 132
  55. ^ Laing 1895, pp. 143–148, Vol. 4; A reprint of the order of service, The Forms of Prayers in the Ministration of the Sacraments used in the English Congregation at Geneva (1556), is included in Laing's book. According to Laing, this order of service with some additions eventually became the Book of Common Order of the Kirk in 1565.
  56. ^ Laing 1895, pp. xvii–xviii, Vol. 1
  57. ^ Kingdon 1995, p. 197
  58. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 97
  59. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 96–112
  60. ^ a b Miles, Hamish. "gallery". Artware Fine Art. Artware Fine Art. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016. the large Preaching of Knox before the Lords of the Congregation (exh. RA, 1832; Tate collection); it went to Peel.
  61. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 116–125
  62. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 127
  63. ^ Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (1898), 231–2, no. 500: Knox, John, History of the Reformation, bk.2; Laing, David, ed., The Works of John Knox, vol. 1, (1846), 374–381.
  64. ^ Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol.1 (1898), pp.235–239.
  65. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 131–146
  66. ^ Bent's Monthly Literary Advertisor, (10 April 1841). "Register of Books, Engravings, Music &c": 57. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  67. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 148–152
  68. ^ Laing 1895, pp. 183–260, Vol. 2, The First Book of Discipline (1560)
  69. ^ MacGregor 1957
  70. ^ Guy 2004, p. 142; Warnicke 2006, p. 71; MacGregor 1957, pp. 162–172
  71. ^ From Covenant Presbyterian Church, Long Beach, California, United States
  72. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 174–184
  73. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 185–189
  74. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 191
  75. ^ a b Guy 2004, p. 176; MacGregor 1957, p. 195
  76. ^ MacGregor 1957, p. 196
  77. ^ Guy 2004, p. 177
  78. ^ Guy 2004, pp. 186–87; Warnicke 2006, p. 93; MacGregor 1957, pp. 198–208
  79. ^ "St Giles' Cathedral Edinburgh – The Reformation". Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
  80. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 222–223; Ridley 1968, p. 432
  81. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 208–210
  82. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 233–235
  83. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 238–239
  84. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 242–243; Ridley 1968, pp. 447–455
  85. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 246–248, 253; Ridley 1968, pp. 446–466; MacGregor 1957, pp. 213–216
  86. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 216–222
  87. ^ MacGregor 1957, pp. 223–225
  88. ^ Reid 1974, p. 283; Ridley 1968, p. 518
  89. ^ Wm. M. Taylor (31 January 2018). John Knox. BoD – Books on Demand. pp. 105–107. ISBN 978-3-7326-2740-0.
  90. ^ a b MacGregor 1957, p. 226
  91. ^ (Dawson, 2015, p 311)
  92. ^ Reid 1974, pp. 283–284; Ridley 1968, pp. 520–521
  93. ^ a b Ridley 1968, pp. 522–523, 527, 529–530
  94. ^ Ridley 1968, p. 528
  95. ^ (Dawson, 2015, p 301)
  96. ^ "John Knox – Presbyterian with a sword". Retrieved 19 October 2007. Extract from Galli, Mark, ed. (2000), 131 Christians Everyone Should Know, Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman, ISBN 978-0-8054-9040-4. There are many sources that mention John Knox as the founder of the Presbyterian denomination (see Stockton, Ronald R. (2000), Decent and in Order: Conflict, Christianity, and Polity in a Presbyterian Congregation, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 47, ISBN 0-275-96668-2 and Gitelman, Lisa (2003), New Media, 1740–1915, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, p. 88, ISBN 0-262-57228-1). It should be noted, however, that Knox's successor Andrew Melville could also be considered as the founder as it was under his leadership that the General Assembly of the Kirk ratified his Second Book of Discipline (see Cohn-Sherbok, Lavinia (1998), Who's Who in Christianity, London: Routledge, p. 205, ISBN 0-415-13582-6).


Primary sources

  • Laing, David, ed. (1895), The Works of John Knox, Edinburgh: James Thin, 55 South Bridge, OCLC 5437053.
  • Melville, James (1829), Diary of James Melville, Edinburgh: Bannatyne Club, OCLC 1697717.

Secondary sources

  • Dawson, Jane (2015), John Knox, London: Yale University Press.
  • Farrow, Kenneth D. (2004), John Knox: Reformation Rhetoric and the Traditions of Scots Prose, 1490–1570, Oxford: Peter Lang.
  • Gribben, Crawford, "John Knox, Reformation History and National Self-Fashioning", Reformation & Renaissance Review 8, no. 1 (April 2006): 48–66.
  • Guy, John (2004), My Heart is my Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, London: Fourth Estate, ISBN 978-1-84115-752-8.
  • Kingdon, Robert M. (1995), "Calvinism and resistance theory, 1550–1580", in Burns, J.H. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Political Thought 1450–1700, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-47772-7.
  • Kyle, Richard G., "John Knox: the Main Themes of His Thought", Princeton Seminary Bulletin 4, no. 2 (1983): 101–112.
  • _____ (1984), The Mind of John Knox, Kansas: Coronado Press.
  • MacGregor, Geddes (1957), The Thundering Scot, Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, OCLC 740182.
  • McGladdery, C.A. (2004). "Bowes, Robert (d. 1597)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3059. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • McEwen, James S. (2004), John Knox: The Faith of John Knox: The Croall lectures for 1960, Glasgow: University of Glasgow.
  • Marshall, Rosalind (2000), John Knox, Edinburgh: Birlinn, ISBN 978-1-84158-091-3.
  • Park, Jae-Eun, "John Knox's Doctrine of Predestination and Its Practical Application for His Ecclesiology", Puritan Reformed Journal, 5, 2 (2013): 65–90.
  • Reid, W. Stanford (1974), Trumpeter of God, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, ISBN 0-684-13782-8.
  • Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G. (ed.). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. II (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1-4499-6638-1.
  • Ridley, Jasper (1968), John Knox, Oxford: Clarendon Press, OCLC 251907110.
  • Walton, Kristen P. (2007), Catholic Queen, Protestant Patriarchy: Mary, Queen of Scots and the Politics of Gender and Religion, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, ISBN 9781403988355.
  • Warnicke, Retha. M. (2006), Mary Queen of Scots, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-29183-6.

Further reading

External links

1994 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1994 Georgia gubernatorial election occurred on November 8, 1994, to elect the next Governor of Georgia from 1995 to 1999. Incumbent Democratic Governor Zell Miller, first elected in 1990, ran for a second term. In his party's primary, Miller received three challengers, but easily prevailed with just over 70% of the vote. The contest for the Republican nomination, however, was a competitive race. As no candidate received a majority of the vote, John Knox and Guy Millner advanced to a run-off election. Millner was victorious and received the Republican nomination after garnering 59.41% of the vote.

The general election was a competitive race between Zell Miller and Guy Millner. Issues such as welfare reform, education, and the removal of the Confederate battle flag from Georgia's state flag dominated the election. On election day, Miller defeated Millner 51.05%-48.95% in the second-closest gubernatorial election in Georgian history – behind only the 1966 election – since Reconstruction due to the strong Republican wave of 1994. Although the state was becoming increasingly more Republican, Democrats would retain the Governor's mansion until 2003.

Biblical criticism

Biblical criticism is an umbrella term for those methods of studying the Bible that embrace two distinctive perspectives: the concern to avoid dogma and bias by applying a non-sectarian, reason-based judgment, and the reconstruction of history according to contemporary understanding. Biblical criticism uses the grammar, structure, development, and relationship of language to identify such characteristics as the Bible's literary structure, its genre, its context, meaning, authorship, and origins.

Biblical criticism includes a wide range of approaches and questions within four major contemporary methodologies: textual, source, form, and literary criticism. Textual criticism examines the text and its manuscripts to identify what the original text would have said. Source criticism searches the texts for evidence of original sources. Form criticism identifies short units of text and seeks to identify their original setting. Each of these is primarily historical and pre-compositional in its concerns. Literary criticism, on the other hand, focuses on the literary structure, authorial purpose, and reader's response to the text through methods such as rhetorical criticism, canonical criticism, and narrative criticism.

Biblical criticism began as an aspect of the rise of modern culture in the West. Some scholars claim that its roots reach back to the Reformation, but most agree it grew out of the German Enlightenment. German pietism played a role in its development, as did British deism, with its greatest influences being rationalism and Protestant scholarship. The Enlightenment age and its skepticism of biblical and ecclesiastical authority ignited questions concerning the historical basis for the man Jesus separately from traditional theological views concerning him. This "quest" for the Jesus of history began in biblical criticism's earliest stages, reappeared in the nineteenth century, and again in the twentieth, remaining a major occupation of biblical criticism, on and off, for over 200 years.

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, biblical criticism was influenced by a wide range of additional academic disciplines and theoretical perspectives, changing it from a primarily historical approach to a multidisciplinary field. In a field long dominated by white male Protestants, non-white scholars, women, and those from the Jewish and Catholic traditions became prominent voices. Globalization brought a broader spectrum of worldviews into the field, and other academic disciplines as diverse as Near Eastern studies, psychology, anthropology and sociology formed new methods of biblical criticism such as socio-scientific criticism and psychological biblical criticism. Meanwhile, post-modernism and post-critical interpretation began questioning biblical criticism's role and function.

Book of Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament, following Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to the book itself, it records six visions of the prophet Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, during the 22 years 593–571 BC, although it is the product of a long and complex history and does not necessarily preserve the very words of the prophet.The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes: (1) Judgment on Israel (chapters 1–24); (2) Judgment on the nations (chapters 25–32); and (3) Future blessings for Israel (chapters 33–48). Its themes include the concepts of the presence of God, purity, Israel as a divine community, and individual responsibility to God. Its later influence has included the development of mystical and apocalyptic traditions in Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.

Book of Ezra

The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible; which formerly included the Book of Nehemiah in a single book, commonly distinguished in scholarship as Ezra–Nehemiah. The two became separated with the first printed rabbinic bibles of the early 16th century, following late medieval Latin Christian tradition. Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews. Together with the Book of Nehemiah, it represents the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible.Ezra is written to fit a schematic pattern in which the God of Israel inspires a king of Persia to commission a leader from the Jewish community to carry out a mission; three successive leaders carry out three such missions, the first rebuilding the Temple, the second purifying the Jewish community, and the third sealing the holy city itself behind a wall. (This last mission, that of Nehemiah, is not part of the Book of Ezra.) The theological program of the book explains the many problems its chronological structure presents. It probably appeared in its earliest version around 399 BC, and continued to be revised and edited for several centuries before being accepted as scriptural in the early Christian era.

Book of Genesis

The Book of Genesis (from the Latin Vulgate, in turn borrowed or transliterated from Greek "γένεσις", meaning "Origin"; Hebrew: בְּרֵאשִׁית, "Bərēšīṯ", "In [the] beginning") is the first book of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) and the Old Testament. It is divisible into two parts, the Primeval history (chapters 1–11) and the Ancestral history (chapters 12–50). The primeval history sets out the author's (or authors') concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world which is good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History (chapters 12–50) tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, and through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, and God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of Moses and the Exodus. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind (the covenant with Noah) to a special relationship with one people alone (Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob).In Judaism, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs, primarily the need for salvation (the hope or assurance of all Christians) and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God.

Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and most of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars increasingly see them as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC.


The Deuteronomist, abbreviated as either Dtr or simply D, is one of the sources identified through source criticism as underlying much of the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament). Seen by most scholars more as a school or movement than a single author, Deuteronomistic material is found in the book of Deuteronomy, in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (the Deuteronomistic history, or DtrH), and also in the book of Jeremiah. (The adjectives Deuteronomic and Deuteronomistic are sometimes used interchangeably: if they are distinguished, then the first refers to Deuteronomy and the second to the history.)Among source-critical scholars, it is generally agreed that the Deuteronomistic history originated independently of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers (the first four books of the Torah, sometimes called the "Tetrateuch", whose sources are the Priestly source, the Jahwist and the Elohist), and the history of the books of Chronicles; most scholars trace all or most of it to the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), and associate it with editorial reworking of both the Tetrateuch and Jeremiah.

Granville, County Tyrone

Granville is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, about 2.5 miles (4 km) southwest of Dungannon.

Most of the village is within the townland of Derryveen (from Irish Doire Mhín, meaning 'smooth oak-grove'), although some of it extends into Cormullagh (from Cor Mullach meaning "round summit"). The name Granville comes from Thomas Knox, 2nd Earl of Ranfurly who named the village after his son, Granville Henry John Knox, who drowned in the River Tamar in St. Budeaux, Plymouth at the age of 16.It consists of an industrial estate, a shop, a housing estate, a number of private dwellings and several farms. The industrial estate includes the headquarters and main factory of Dunbia (formerly, known as Dungannon Meats) and one of the main plants of Linden Foods, also Westland Horticulture has its compost site and head office on the estate.

History of ancient Israel and Judah

The Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah were related kingdoms from the Iron Age period of the ancient Levant. The Kingdom of Israel emerged as an important local power by the 10th century BCE before falling to the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 722 BCE. Israel's southern neighbor, the Kingdom of Judah, emerged in the 8th or 9th century BCE and later became a client state of first the Neo-Assyrian Empire and then the Neo-Babylonian Empire before a revolt against the latter led to its destruction in 586 BCE. Following the fall of Babylon to the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE, some Judean exiles returned to Jerusalem, inaugurating the formative period in the development of a distinctive Judahite identity in the province of Yehud Medinata.

During the Hellenistic classic period, Yehud was absorbed into the subsequent Hellenistic kingdoms that followed the conquests of Alexander the Great, but in the 2nd century BCE the Judaeans revolted against the Seleucid Empire and created the Hasmonean kingdom. This, the last nominally independent kingdom of Israel, gradually lost its independence from 63 BCE with its conquest by Pompey of Rome, becoming a Roman and later Parthian client kingdom. Following the installation of client kingdoms under the Herodian dynasty, the Province of Judea was wracked by civil disturbances, which culminated in the First Jewish–Roman War, the destruction of the Second Temple, the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity. The name Judea (Iudaea) ceased to be used by Greco-Romans after the revolt of Simon Bar Kochba in 135 CE.

John Knox (meteorologist)

John A. Knox is a meteorologist who researches clear-air turbulence (CAT) and who also received media attention for discussing ways of calculating the mathematical constant e, together with inventor Harlan J. Brothers.

He is a professor at the University of Georgia and has been nationally honored for his undergraduate teaching.

John Knox House

John Knox House, popularly known as "John Knox's House", is a historic house in Edinburgh, Scotland, reputed to have been owned and lived in by Protestant reformer John Knox during the 16th century. Although his name became associated with the house, he appears to have lived in Warriston Close where a plaque indicates the approximate site of his actual residence.

John Knox Laughton

Sir John Knox Laughton, (23 April 1830 – 14 September 1915) was a British naval historian and arguably the first to argue for the importance of the subject as an independent field of study. Beginning his working life as a mathematically trained civilian instructor for the Royal Navy, he later became Professor of Modern History at King's College London and a co-founder of the Navy Records Society. A prolific writer of lives, he penned the biographies of more than 900 naval personalities for the Dictionary of National Biography.

John Knox Stewart

John Knox Stewart (October 20, 1853 – June 27, 1919) was a Representative from New York.

Stewart was born in Perth, Fulton County, New York on October 20, 1853. He moved with his parents to Amsterdam, New York in 1860 and attended the public schools and Amsterdam Academy. He was engaged in the manufacture of paper until 1885, when he engaged in the manufacture of textiles; sewer commissioner of the city 1885 - 1890; a director of the Farmers’ National Bank of Amsterdam and of the Chuctanunda Gas Light Co.; vice president of the Amsterdam Board of Trade; member of the New York State Assembly (Montgomery Co.) in 1890; elected as a Republican to the 56th and 57th United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1899, to March 3, 1903; resumed the manufacture of textiles and continued in that business until his death in Amsterdam, N.Y. and is buried in Greenhill Cemetery.

Kingdom of Judah

The Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew: מַמְלֶכֶת יְהוּדָה Mamléḵeṯ Yehudāh; Akkadian: 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 Ya'uda; Aramaic: 𐤁‬𐤉‬𐤕‬𐤃𐤅‬𐤃‎ Bēyt Dāwīḏ) was an Iron Age kingdom of the Southern Levant. The Hebrew Bible depicts it as the successor to the United Monarchy, a term denoting the Kingdom of Israel under biblical kings Saul, David and Solomon and covering the territory of two historical kingdoms, Judah and Israel; however, historians are divided about the veracity of this account. For the parallel history of the southern Kingdom of Judah and its northern neighbour, the Kingdom of Israel, see History of ancient Israel and Judah.

In the 10th and early 9th centuries BCE, the territory of Judah appears to have been sparsely populated, limited to small rural settlements, most of them unfortified. Jerusalem, the kingdom's capital, likely did not emerge as a significant administrative center until the end of the 8th century; before this the archaeological evidence suggests its population was too small to sustain a viable kingdom. In the 7th century its population increased greatly, prospering under Assyrian vassalage (despite Hezekiah's revolt against the Assyrian king Sennacherib), but in 605 the Assyrian Empire was defeated, and the ensuing competition between the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt and the Neo-Babylonian Empire for control of the Eastern Mediterranean led to the destruction of the kingdom in a series of campaigns between 597 and 582, the deportation of the elite of the community, and the incorporation of Judah into a province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.


Presbyterianism is a part of the reformed tradition within Protestantism, which traces its origins to Britain, particularly Scotland.

Presbyterian churches derive their name from the presbyterian form of church government, which is governed by representative assemblies of elders. A great number of Reformed churches are organized this way, but the word Presbyterian, when capitalized, is often applied uniquely to churches that trace their roots to the Church of Scotland, as well as several English dissenter groups that formed during the English Civil War. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ. Presbyterian church government was ensured in Scotland by the Acts of Union in 1707, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. In fact, most Presbyterians found in England can trace a Scottish connection, and the Presbyterian denomination was also taken to North America, mostly by Scots and Scots-Irish immigrants. The Presbyterian denominations in Scotland hold to the Reformed theology of John Calvin and his immediate successors, although there is a range of theological views within contemporary Presbyterianism. Local congregations of churches which use presbyterian polity are governed by sessions made up of representatives of the congregation (elders); a conciliar approach which is found at other levels of decision-making (presbytery, synod and general assembly).

The roots of Presbyterianism lie in the Reformation of the 16th century, the example of John Calvin's Republic of Geneva being particularly influential. Most Reformed churches that trace their history back to Scotland are either presbyterian or congregationalist in government. In the twentieth century, some Presbyterians played an important role in the ecumenical movement, including the World Council of Churches. Many Presbyterian denominations have found ways of working together with other Reformed denominations and Christians of other traditions, especially in the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Some Presbyterian churches have entered into unions with other churches, such as Congregationalists, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Methodists. Presbyterians in the United States came largely from Scottish immigrants, Scotch-Irish immigrants, and also from New England Yankee communities that had originally been Congregational but changed because of an agreed-upon Plan of Union of 1801 for frontier areas. Along with Episcopalians, Presbyterians tend to be considerably wealthier and better educated (having more graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita) than most other religious groups in United States, and are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business, law and politics.


Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy.

Scots Confession

The Scots Confession (also called the Scots Confession of 1560) is a Confession of Faith written in 1560 by six leaders of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. The text of the Confession was the first subordinate standard for the Protestant church in Scotland. Along with the Book of Discipline and the Book of Common Order, this is considered to be a formational document for the Church of Scotland during the time.In August 1560 the Parliament of Scotland agreed to reform the religion of the country. To enable them to decide what the Reformed Faith was to be, they set John Knox as the superintendent over John Winram, John Spottiswoode, John Willock, John Douglas, and John Row, to prepare a Confession of Faith. This they did in four days. The 25 Chapters of the Confession spell out a contemporary statement of the Christian faith as understood by the followers of John Calvin during his lifetime. Although the Confession and its accompanying documents were the product of the joint effort of the Six Johns, its authorship is customarily attributed to John Knox.

While the Parliament approved the Confession on 27 August 1560, acting outside the terms of the Treaty of Edinburgh to do so, Mary, Queen of Scots, a Roman Catholic, refused to agree, and the Confession was not approved by the monarch until 1567, after Mary's overthrow. It remained the Confession of the Church of Scotland until it was superseded by the Westminster Confession of Faith on 27 August 1647. However, the confession itself begins by stating that the Parliament "ratifeit and apprevit [the confession] as wholesome and sound doctrine grounded upon the infallible truth of God's word"; thus, though changes within societies may have diminished its relevance, believers hold that the authority of its statements is rooted not in parliamentary approval but in, as it says, "the infallible truth of God's word". In 1967, it was included in the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.'s Book of Confessions alongside various other confessional standards, and remains in the current Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Book of Confessions.

As the Confession of Faith Ratification Act 1560, the Confession remains part of Scots law.

Virgin birth of Jesus

The virgin birth of Jesus is the doctrine that Jesus was conceived and born by his mother Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit and without a human father. The Catholic church holds it authoritative for faith and Protestants regard it as an explanation of the mixture of the human and divine natures of Jesus, but the scholarly consensus is that its historical foundations are very flimsy.

Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann (born March 11, 1933) is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian who is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades. He is an important figure in modern progressive Christianity whose work often focuses on the Hebrew prophetic tradition and sociopolitical imagination of the Church. He argues that the Church must provide a counter-narrative to the dominant forces of consumerism, militarism, and nationalism.

Westminster John Knox Press

Westminster John Knox Press is a book publisher in Louisville, Kentucky and is part of Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, the publishing arm of the Louisville, Kentucky-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Their publishing focus is on books in:

theology, biblical studies, preaching, worship, ethics, religion and culture, and other related fields for four main markets: scholars and students in colleges, universities, seminaries, and divinity schools; preachers, educators, and counselors working in churches; members of mainline Protestant congregations; and general readers. Geneva Press publishes books specifically related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.