« Prev Servetus at Vienne. His Annotations to the Bible Next »

§ 144. Servetus at Vienne. His Annotations to the Bible.

Villeneuve now repaired to Vienne in Dauphiné and settled down as a physician under the patronage of Pierre Palmier, one of his former bearers in Paris, and a patron of learning, who had been appointed archbishop of that see. He was provided with lodgings in the archiepiscopal palace, and made a comfortable living by his medical practice. He spent thirteen years at Vienne, from 1540 to 1553, which were probably the happiest of his fitful life. He conformed to the Catholic religion, and was on good terms with the higher clergy. Nobody suspected his heresy, or knew anything of his connection with the work on the "Errors of the Trinity."

He devoted his leisure to his favorite literary and theological studies, and kept the publishers of Lyons busy. We have already mentioned the second edition of his "Ptolemy", which he dedicated to Palmier with a complimentary preface.

A year afterwards (1542) he published a new and elegant edition of the Latin Bible of Santes Pagnini, a learned Dominican monk and pupil of Savonarola, but an enemy of the Reformed religion.10661066    The first edition of Pagnini had appeared at Lyons, 1528. The translation of the Old Testament rests on a good knowledge of Hebrew, and was much used by Protestants, e.g. Robert Olivetan in his French version. He accompanied it with explanatory notes, aiming to give "the old historical but hitherto neglected sense of the Scriptures." He anticipated modern exegesis in substituting the typical for the allegorical method and giving to the Old Testament prophecies an immediate bearing on their times, and a remote bearing on Christ. Thus he refers Psalms II., VIII., XXII., and CX. to David, as the type of Christ. It is not likely that he learned this method from Calvin, and it is certain that Calvin did not learn it from him. But Servetus goes further than Calvin, and anticipates the rationalistic explanation of Deutero-Isaiah by referring "the servant of Jehovah" to Cyrus as the anointed of the Lord. Rome put his comments on the Index (1559). Calvin brought them up against him at the trial, and, without knowing that the text of the book was literally taken from another edition without acknowledgment, said that he dexterously filched five hundred livres from the publisher in payment for the vain trifles and impious follies with which he had encumbered almost every page of the book.10671067    Willis (p. 142) charges Servetus with gross plagiarism, since his edition is a literal reprint of the edition of Melchior Novesianus of Cologne, 1541, while he declared in the preface that his text was corrected in numberless places by himself,

« Prev Servetus at Vienne. His Annotations to the Bible Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection