John Calvin Murder?

rfields's picture

I have been reading that John Calvin is a murder... Does anyone know of a realable source that I can read to find information on this? What I have found thus far is two interperation on this topic, I want to read a primary source.

tomgroeneman's picture

note from Schaff's edition of the Institutes of the Christian Re

Here is the footnote from Schaff's edition of Calvin's 'Institutes'. It comes in the context of a chapter about the temporal powers of the Papacy. The argument is: How could Calvin criticize the Church of Rome when he himself was guilty of the same abuses?

" 120 D120 It is truly unfortunate that these sound sentiments were not heeded by Calvin himself, when, exactly six years before this definitive edition of 1559 was published, he asked the councils of Geneva to arrest the heretic Michael Servetus, brought charges against him, carried on the debate to prove that his heresy was threatening the Church of Christ, and approved of the verdict to put him to death (although he urged beheading instead of burning at the stake). Calvin even wrote a small book defending the death sentence upon Servetus. Today there is a monument on Champel, the hill upon which Servetus perished in the flames. It was erected on the 350th anniversary of the execution, by followers of Calvin. The inscription reads: As reverent and grateful sons of Calvin, our great Reformer, repudiating his mistake, which was the mistake of his age, and according to the true principles of the Reformation and the Gospel, holding fast to freedom of conscience, we erect this monument of reconciliation on this 27th of October 1903."

Servetus denied the orthodox understanding of the Trinity and Calvin had him executed.

Tom Groeneman