Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy



Auf den kurzen (ungegründeten) Bericht von der Frage, ob der Herr Jesus, als er gestorben und tot gewesen, sich selbst aus eigner Kraft von den Toten auferwecket habe (so von einem Socinisten gestellt und im Jahr 1637 in Druck ausgangen), kurze und gründliche Antwort...


A brief and thorough reply to the short (groundless) discussion on the question of whether the Lord Jesus, who died and rose from the dead, was resurrected by His own strength (as asked by one of the Socinians and in 1637 appearing in print...



Origin of the work:
  1638 Leszno

  1638 Leszno

1651 Amsterdam



An anti-Socinian treatise, later translated by Comenius into Latin and published in 1659 under the title De quaestione utrum Dominus Jesus propria virtute a mortuis resurrexit responsum (A Reply to the Question, as to whether the Lord Jesus Rose from the Dead by His own strength, the Utrum Jesus).

At the end of the 16th century and in the first half of the 17th century Poland saw a major expansion of the Christian Socinian sect (also referred to as Unitarians and anti-Trinitarians). The Socinians did not recognise the Holy Trinity or Christ’s divinity; they advocated rather the idea of a single Divine Person. They also repudiated the sombre teaching of the Church on predestination and the inheritance of sin. In their view, Christ was a man given divine power for the purpose of the salvation of mankind, and raised by his martyrdom to the position of divine reverence. The Holy Spirit was seen as the power of God. Revelations were indeed a foundation of their faith, but were explained with reason. Socinian teaching explained several Christian elements more naturally and more comprehensibly than did that of the Evangelical churches, for which reason they attracted followers both in Poland (mainly from among the nobility) and abroad.





Comenius himself had previously been greatly attracted to Socinianism, and it required great effort before he could reject this temptation. In 1637 the Socinian Melichar Scheffer published his treatise Quaestio, utrum Christus propria virtute a mortuis resurrexit, an resuscitatus a Patre (The Question as to Whether Christ Rose from the Dead by His own Strength, or was Raised Up by the Father). This tract provoked indignation in the evangelical churches, and they called for someone to speak out against it. Comenius took the task upon himself in the treatise named above. Scheffer’s contention that the teaching of independent resurrection is denied by Scripture was rejected on the basis of the Gospel according to St John (2, 19). Against Scheffer’s claim that the Epistle to the Ephesians (1, 19-20) expresses the truth that Christ was raised up by God, Comenius answered that Scheffer’s conception was a Jewish or Mohammedan opinion. Scheffer had highlighted the absurdity of Christian teaching, that the dead could do something and yet still be dead. Comenius attempted to show from Scripture the dual nature of Christ – human and Divine – from which it follows that after the resurrection the human nature had died, leaving only the Divine.


For further study, see also:

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp285-287

Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Praha & Ostrava 1992, p205




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