Skip to main content

Feuding Fathers: How John Jewel Read Erasmus’s Jerome on the Origenist Controversy

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1
Figure 2

Notes

  1. Quoted from J. E. Booty, John Jewel as Apologist of the Church of England, London, 1963, p. 40. I follow Booty’s account of the Apologia’s genesis, pp. 36–55. The bishops involved in discussing the nuncio’s invitation to Trent were, according to the Spanish ambassador’s account, Jewel (Salisbury), Horne (Winchester), Young (York) and Parker (Canterbury). News of the ‘slanderouse report’ was sent by Nicholas Throckmorton, the English ambassador to Paris. For more on the incredibly fluid diplomatic and political situation concerning the possibility of some form of English representation at Trent, see C. Bayne, Anglo-Roman Relations 1558–1565, Oxford, 1913, pp. 66–116. Opinion in Catholic Spain in September 1560 was reported to be that Elizabeth would ‘not refuse to send to the generall counsaill’: C. Bayne, Appendix 22, letter from Chamberlain to Cecil, 6 September 1560.

  2. Booty, John Jewel (n. 1 above), pp. 42–4. In response to Throckmorton, Cecil wrote that he had ‘the Bishop of Sarum to fayne an epistle’, an eight-page pseudonymous Latin Epistola, printed in Paris in 1561, refuting such claims of English variety and pointing out the disagreements among the papists. The Apologia soon followed.

  3. John Jewel, Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, London, 1562; id., An Apologie or Answere in Defence of the Churche of Englande, transl. A. Bacon, London, 1564. Throughout I quote from the critical edition of Anne Bacon’s translation, ‘An Apology or Answer in Defence of the Church of England’: Lady Anne Bacon’s Translation of Bishop John Jewel’s ‘Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae’, ed. P. Demers, Cambridge, 2016. As Booty observed, Jewel quoted and referred to Bacon’s translation in subsequent polemic; see Booty, John Jewel (n. 1 above), p. 56.

  4. J.-L. Quantin, The Church of England and Christian Antiquity: The Construction of a Confessional Identity in the 17thCentury, Oxford, 2009, p. 31.

  5. Ibid., p. 40. Elizabethan appeals to the early church were, however, ‘virtually indistinguishable from continental Reformed orthodoxy’: ibid., p. 87.

  6. Ibid., pp. 19, 24–33.

  7. The True Copies of the Letters betwene the Reuerend Father in God Iohn Bisshop of Sarum and D. Cole, London, 1560, sig. Bvr. ‘Weightes and balance’ was Henry Cole’s phrase to describe the role the Fathers and councils played in their debate.

  8. John Jewel, The Copie of a Sermon pronounced by the Byshop of Salisburie at Paules Crosse, London, 1560, sig. Giiir–v. The printed text is that of the third iteration of this sermon, given on 31 March 1560. It is possible that the siege metaphor was not in the first 1559 iteration. For more on the sermons at Paul’s Cross in this period, see M. Morrissey, Politics and the Paul’s Cross Sermons, 1558–1642, Oxford, 2011. Jewel drew his metaphor from the Roman Republican victory at the siege of Cyzicus in 73BC. The Roman general Lucullus ‘shewed himself with his company, upon the syde of an hill, thence to geve courage to the Citizens within, that were besieged’, while the enemy general ‘made it to be noysed, and bare them in hand, that all that new companie of souldiers was his’. Yet the citizens ‘kepte the walles and yelded not’, and were saved: ibid., sig. Giiir. Jewel simplified this episode. For a fuller account, see Appian of Alexandria, Ῥωμαϊκά, XII.11, and Plutarch, Lucullus, IX.

  9. Jewel, Copie of a Sermon (n. 8 above), sig. Biir–v.

  10. Ibid., sigs Fivv-vr.

  11. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 49; id., Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Aiijv: ‘Clamant hodie passim nos omnes esse Haereticos, discessisse a fide, & nouis persuasionibus atque impijs dogmatis, Ecclesiae consensum dissipauisse: nos ueteres & iam olim damnatas haereses ab inferis rediuiuas restituere, & nouas sectas, atque inauditos furores disseminare: iam etiam in contrarias factiones & sententias distractos esse, nec ullo pacto potuisse unquam inter nos ipsos conuenire … ’

  12. Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), pp. 86–7; id., Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Ciiv: ‘Quod autem dicunt nos in uarias sectas abijsse, & uelle alios Lutheranos, alios Zuinglianos appellari, neque adhuc potuisse satis inter nos ipsos de summa doctrinae conuenire, quid illi dixissent si primis illis temporibus Apostolorum, & sanctorum Patrum extitissent? cum alius diceret, Ego sum Pauli: alius, Ego sum Cephae: alius, Ego sum Apollo … cum, ut author est Origenes, Christiani in tot iam factiones distracti essent, ut nomen tantum Christianorum commune, aliud autem praeterea nihil, Christianorum simile retinerent. … Cum Theophilus, Epiphanius, Chrysostomus, Augustinus, Rufinus, Hieronymus, omnes Christiani, omnes Patres, omnes Catholici, acerbissimis atque etiam implacabilibus inter se contentionibus conflictarentur?’ Jewel paraphrased 1 Corinthians 1:12 early on in this passage (‘hoc autem dico quod unusquisque vestrum dicit ego quidem sum Pauli ego autem Apollo ego vero Cephae ego autem Christi’). Later on in the same passage, he also pointed out that the Catholics disagreed with each other, noting the disagreement between schools of medieval thought like the Scotists and Thomists. A similar point was made in John Jewel, Epistola cuiusdam Angli, Paris, 1561, which was a forerunner of the Apologia, but not with the same examples; see Booty, John Jewel (n. 1 above), pp. 43–4. Later in the Apology Jewel also observed that more recent individuals like Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) and Cardinal Reginald Pole had ‘found fault, with many errors in the church’: Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 159.

  13. On the consensus patrum in the sixteenth century, see Quantin, The Church of England (n. 4 above), pp. 50–6; P. Fraenkel, Testimonia patrum: The Function of the Patristic Argument in the Theology of Philip Melanchthon, Geneva, 1961; W. P. Haugaard, ‘Renaissance Patristic Scholarship and Theology in Sixteenth-Century England’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 10, 1979, pp. 37–60. As Pierre Petitmengin points out, in the 16th century both Protestants and Catholics increasingly identified their opponents’ beliefs as those of ancient heretics. Jewel did not go so far as Petitmengin’s final example, William Whiston, an 18th-century theologian in the Church of England who identified the early church’s heretics as the truly orthodox primitive church, but he offered a different vision of argument among the traditionally orthodox Fathers in the early church in response to such typical mid to late 16th-century allegations of discord; see P. Petitmengin, ‘Les Haeretici nostri temporis confrontés aux hérésies de l’Antiquité’, in L’argument hérésiologique, l’Église ancienne et les Réformes XVIe–XVIIesiècles, ed. I. Backus, P. Büttgen and B. Pouderon, Paris, 2012, pp. 177–98. One Elizabethan example of the appeal to the common opinion of the Fathers can be seen in a ‘Letter from the bishops to queen Elizabeth for the removal of images out of churches’, in which the early church represented a unified opinion against images: ‘it is manifest that in the primitive Church images were not commonly used in churches, oratories, and places of assembly for religion, but they were generally detested and abhorred’: Parker Correspondence, Cambridge, 1853, p. 85. Fathers like Athanasius and Tertullian were quoted in agreement. The mere fact that Jerome translated a letter by a Greek Father against images in churches was said to make it ‘a likelihood that St Hierom misliked not the doctrine of the same’: ibid, p. 88. The manuscript copy printed in the Parker Correspondence is MS Cambridge, Corpus Christi College Library, 105, pp. 201–16. The Letter’s authorship is uncertain, but Jewel may have been involved in drafting it, as it adhered generally to his opinions on images in churches. For context and authorship, see W. P. Haugaard, Elizabeth and the English Reformation, London, 1968, pp. 190–2.

  14. Prosatori latini del Quattrocento, ed. E. Garin, Milan, 1952, p. 236: ‘ … dixerat hunc morem priscis doctissimis viris ac sanctissimis fuisse, ut in rebus fidei invicem sententiis discreparent, non ad pessundandam fidem, sed ad veritatem fidei reperiendam. Ita Augustinum et Hieronymum dissensisse, neque solum diversa sensisse, sed etiam contraria, nulla haeresis suspicione.’

  15. R. N. Watkins, ‘The Death of Jerome of Prague: Divergent Views’, Speculum, 41, 1967, pp. 104–29 (108).

  16. Lorenzo Valla, ‘Encomium of St. Thomas Aquinas’, in S. I. Camporeale, Christianity, Latinity, and Culture: Two Studies of Lorenzo Valla, ed. P. Baker and C. S. Celenza, Leiden, 2014, pp. 314–15: ‘Erunt itaque quinque paria theologiae principum ante thronum Dei et Agnum concinentia cum viginti quattuor illis senioribus. Canunt enim semper apud Deum scriptores rerum sanctarum. Primum par Basilius et Ambrosius, canens lyra; secundum Nazianzenus et Hieronymus, canens cithara; tertium Chrysostomus et Augustinus, canens psalterio; quartum Dionysius et Gregorius, canens tibia; quintum Damascenus et Thomas, canens cymbalis.’

  17. Ibid.: ‘laetum, hilarem, plausibilem cantum’.

  18. C. S. Celenza, The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians, and Latin’s Legacy, Baltimore, 2004, p. 129.

  19. Valla, ‘Encomium’ (n. 16 above), pp. 312–15: ‘Quorum vix scio quem cui praeferam in sua quemque dote mirabilem. … Nec Hieronymus ulla in parte cedit ingenio Augustini, in omni autem doctrinarum genere adeo maior ut mihi Augustinus tamquam mediterraneum mare, Hieronymus tamquam oceanus, quem pauci nostrorum navigant, esse videatur.’

  20. H. H. Gray, ‘Valla’s Encomium of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Humanist Conception of Christian Antiquity’, in Essays in History and Literature, ed. H. Bluhm, Chicago, 1965, pp. 37–51.

  21. Adrian VI to Erasmus, in Desiderius Erasmus, Opus epistolarum … , ed. P. S. Allen et al., 12 vols, Oxford, 1906–1958, V, Ep. 1324, pp. 143–50 (146): ‘stolidas rusticasque quam impias istas hereses, a Martino Luthero non quidem inuentas sed a priscis heresiarchis, quos catholica Ecclesia ac sancti Patres diuino proculdubio afflati Spiritu sepius condemnarunt, … Hieronimi tui, Augustini ceterorum Patrum sanctorum exempla et zelum laudabilem imitatus, racionibus fortissimis ac sanctarum Scripturarum authoritatibus confuderis, abstuleris, exploseris’.

  22. On Erasmus and Jerome, see J. F. Brady and J. C. Olin, ‘Introduction’, in Patristic Scholarship: The Edition of St. Jerome, Collected Works of Erasmus 61 (hereafter cited as CWE 61), Toronto, 1992, pp. xiii–xxxvii; L. Jardine, Erasmus, Man of Letters: The Construction of Charisma in Print, Princeton, 1993; N. Naquin, ‘“On the Shoulders of Hercules”: Erasmus, the Froben Press, and the 1516 Jerome Edition in Context’, PhD diss., Princeton University, 2013; H. Pabel, Herculean Labours: Erasmus and the Editing of St. Jerome’s Letters in the Renaissance, Boston, 2008; M. Vessey, ‘Erasmus’ Jerome: The Publishing of a Christian Author’, Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook, 14, 1994, pp. 62–99. Especially in his later patristic editions, Erasmus found inspiration in the ‘non-doctrinaire’ positions of Cyprian and Hilary of Poitiers and the very ‘fluidity’ of doctrine in the early church; see I. Backus, ‘Erasmus and the Spirituality of the Early Church’, in Erasmus’ Vision of the Church, ed. H. M. Pabel, Kirksville, 1995, pp. 95–114 (100, 112).

  23. A. T. Grafton, ‘On the Scholarship of Politian and Its Context’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 40, 1977, pp. 150–88, appendix B, ‘Beroaldo, St Jerome, and Multiple Explanation’ (pp. 187–8).

  24. Jerome, Apologia contra Rufinum, I.16: ‘Commentarii quid operis habent? Alterius dicta edisserunt, quae obscure scripta sunt plano sermone manifestant, multorum sententias replicant … ut prudens lector, cum diuersas explanationes legerit et multorum uel probanda uel improbanda didicerit, iudicet quid uerius sit et, quasi bonus trapezita, adulterinae monetae pecuniam reprobet.’

  25. Erasmus, CWE 61, p. 101. Jerome, Omnes quae extant … lucubrationes, 9 vols, Basel, 1537, II, p. 3: ‘His rebus factum est, ut sanctissimo uiro usque ad extremum uitae diem pugnandum fuerit cum excetra inuidiae: quae sic in illum & linguis & calamis debacchata est, ut fuerint qui sparserint epistolam uelut ab Hieronymo scriptam, in qua deploraret, quod aliquando Origenis errorem sequutus esset.’

  26. Jerome, Apologia contra Rufinum, I.3, II.11.

  27. He objected most extensively to the various appropriations of his works in a letter, ostensibly addressed to Pammachius and Marcellinus but clearly intended for a wider audience, his Apologia contra Rufinum (or, in the Erasmus edition, adversus Ruffinum).

  28. Erasmus, CWE 61, p. 73. Jerome, Omnium operum … tomus secundus, Basel, 1516, fol. 3r: ‘De libris Origenis ingens olim concertatio fuit inter eruditos.’

  29. Thomas Harding, A Confutation of a Booke intituled an Apologie of the Church of England, Antwerp, 1565, fol. 138v.

  30. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10–13, Jerome, Omnes …lucubrationes (n. 25 above). These four volumes comprise all 9 tomes. e.12.10 has tomi 1 – 3; e.12.11 has tomi 4 and 5; e.12.12 has tomi 6 and 7; and e.12.13 has tomi 8 and 9.

  31. N. R. Ker, ‘The Library of John Jewel’, The Bodleian Library Record, 9.5, 1977, pp. 256–65. Ker believed eighty-two of Jewel’s books to be at Magdalen. (There are two others not in Magdalen). Other patristic texts in Jewel’s library include Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.13.9 Eusebius, Evangelica praeparatio, Paris, 1544–45; e.8.1 Eusebius, Ecclesiastica historia, Paris, 1544; h.12.6-9 Bede, Opera, Basel, 1563; i.8.4 Prosper, Opera, Lyon, 1539. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, h.13.5-8 is Jewel’s copy of an edition of the councils edited by his Catholic contemporary, L. Surius, Concilia omnia, Cologne, 1567.

  32. Desiderius Erasmus, Ratio seu methodus compendio perveniendi ad veram theologiam, in Biblical Scholarship and the Church, ed. A. K. Jenkins and P. Preston, Aldershot, 2007, p. 255, section 21. Desiderius Erasmus, Les préfaces au Novum Testamentum (1516): avec des textes d’accompagnement, ed. Y. Delègue and J. P. Gillet, Geneva, 1990, pp. 114–16: ‘Quod nunc dicturus, haud scio an praecipuam allaturum sit utilitatem, si quis dextre praestiterit. Id est huiusmodi ut locos aliquot theologicos, aut tibi pares ipse, aut ab alio quopiam traditos accipias, ad quos omnia quae legeris, velut in nidulos quosdam digeras, quo promptius sit, ubi videbitur quod voles depromere, ut exempli causa, rem notem, de fide, de jejunio, de ferendis malis, de sublevandis infirmis, de cerimoniis, de pietate, atque aliis id genus. Nam ducenti aut trecenti fingi possunt. His in ordinem compositis, juxta rerum pugnantiam, aut affinitatem, ut in Copia quoque nostra quondam indicavimus quicquid usquam insigne est, in omnibus veteris instrumenti libris, in evangeliis, in literis apostolorum quod vel conveniat, vel dissonet, ad hos erit redigendum. Quod si cui visum erit, poterit ex antiquis interpretibus, postremo ex ethnicorum item libris huc conferre quod usui futurum existimarit. Hac usum fuisse ratione divum Hieronymum ex illius scriptis mihi propemodum videor animadvertere. Sive quid erit disserendum, aderit ad manum parata supellex, sive quid explicandum, facilis erit locorum collatio.’

  33. Jewel’s contemporaries also noted that he commonplaced. John Garbrand, ‘Epistle Dedicatorie’, Certaine Sermons preached before the Queens Maiestie … by the reuerend father John Jewel, London, 1583, sig. ¶ iiir. Garbrand noted that when writing his replies to Harding, Jewel ‘had purpose to set downe the aucthorities out of the Fathers, and the quotations, truely and playnely: whereas in times before, hee had gathered sundrie bookes of common places out of the Greeke, and Latine, and later writers, he did peruse afresh the authors themselues, and made euery where in them speciall markes, for the difference of such places, whereof hee made choyce. Those were all drawen forth, and layde to their themes by certeine scholers, who wrote them out by such direction, as he had giuen vnto them’: Booty, John Jewel (n. 1 above), p. 113.

  34. Jewel entered ‘en’ into the margins of other books, too, such as his copy of Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Oxford, Magdalen College Library, L.15.3). In this Jewel was like Matthew Parker’s secretary, John Joscelyn, who annotated a descriptive letter from John Bale with this word several times (MS Cambridge, University Library, Add. 7489). Booty also notes Jewel’s annotation scheme, John Jewel as Apologist (n. 1 above), pp. 112–14. Yet he reads ‘En’ as ‘Ex’, somehow signalling that the passage needed to be excerpted, and does not note that there are instances when pieces of Jewel’s annotation scheme stand alone (lone crosses, ‘en’, or underlining), which suggests that Jewel quite possibly returned to the text multiple times or perhaps had an amanuensis do so for him.

  35. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, L.15.3 Flacius, Catalogus, Basel, 1562, pp. 15–16; Oxford, Magdalen College Library, C.14.10(1), Bullinger, In Acta apostolorum, Zurich, 1556, p. 174. In the opera of Jerome ‘71’ is entered into Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus I, p. 77. Ker also noted annotations of ‘71’, ‘The Library of John Jewel’ (n. 31 above), p. 263.

  36. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, C.14.10(1), Bullinger, In Acta Apostolorum, p. 110.

  37. Erasmus, CWE 61, p. 19. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus I, sig. [AA]5r. Jewel also put a cross beside the passage and a faint bracket around the sentence containing Jerome’s and Rufinus’s names. Erasmus’s passage: ‘Atque hoc fuci genus nec Platoni displicuit, nec Origeni, nec alijs horum dogma sequutis. Certe obijcit hoc HIERONYMVS Ruffino, atque hic uicissim in HIERONYMVM regerit, malens alterum eodem conspurcare luto, quam in se coniectum lutum abstergere.’

  38. Jerome, Contra Rufinum, Letter to Pammachius and Marcella, I.18.

  39. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 203.

  40. Ibid. Jerome’s passage: ‘Indignantur quare Origenistas scripserim inter se orgijs mendaciorum foederari. Nominaui librum, in quo hoc scriptum legerim, id est, sextum Stromateon Origenis: in quo Platonis sententiae, nostrum dogma componens, ita loquitur.’

  41. Jerome, Letter to Pammachius and Marcella (Marcellinus in the Erasmus edition), I.18.

  42. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 194.

  43. Jewel, like his Catholic contemporaries discussed in S. Tutino, Shadows of Doubt: Language and Truth in Post-Reformation Catholic Culture, Oxford, 2014, also found reason to pull apart language and truth for the sake of religion.

  44. Erasmus, CWE 61 (n. 22 above), p. 24. Jerome, Omnes … lucubrationes (n. 25 above), I, sig. [AA5]v–[AA6]r: ‘Nos igitur, licet impare argumento, tum nullis adiuti commentarijs, quibus fidi poterat, tamen bona fide, quaque licuit diligentia, uitam sanctissimi uiri ex Prospero, Seuero, Orosio, Ruffino, tametsi calumniatore: & si qui sunt alij non omnino contemnendae fidei autores collegimus, sed potissimum ex ipsius Hieronymi libris, Hieronymum euestigauimus.’

  45. Ibid., p. 44. Jerome, Omnes … lucubrationes (n. 25 above), I, sig. [BB5]r: ‘Sunt qui Ruffino nonnihil tribuant. Mihi nec eruditio satisfacit, & mores olfacere uideor uirulentos ac uafros minimeque liberales.’

  46. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 189: ‘Hieronym. Origenista.’ ‘Eusebius aperte Arianus.’ Other examples of this include ‘Origenes Doctor Ecclesiarum’, an annotation on tomus II, p. 192, and ‘Origen. corruptus Euseb. Arianus. En’ on II, p. 193, and ‘Eusebius signifer Arianorum…Euseb. Arianorum princeps’, II, p. 199.

  47. Jewel did sometimes side with or against patristic opponents in his annotations – as when, reading Jerome against Augustine, he wrote with exasperation, ‘O Hieronyme.’ ‘Hoc est nugari, Hieronyme.’ Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, pp. 341, [3]42.

  48. Erasmus, CWE 61 (n. 22 above), p. 43. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus I, sig. BB [5]r: ‘266. Rufinus Arianus. Consuetudo cum Ruffino.’

  49. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus I, sig. BB [5]r: ‘Hieron. sycophanta. Gennad. de Hierony. Hic obtrectator.’

  50. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus I, p. 313. The passage underlined and bracketed is: ‘Hic scriptor non uidetur caruisse humanis affectibus. Nam diuum Hieronymum aperte mordet fauens Ruffino, & diuum Augustinum ut Polygraphum non sine fastidij significatione commemorat, uix eximens eum de numero haereticorum, nec ullum opus eius sine exceptione probat, praeter libros de trinitate.’

  51. Ibid., p. 316: ‘Hieronym. uocat obtrectatorem.’ Jewel also underlined the passage.

  52. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.11, tomus IV, p. 116.

  53. Ibid., p. 302: ‘Haec Homilia nec Eusebij Emisseni est, nec cuiusquam Catholici patris. Scripta est, ut apparet, ante trecentos aut quadringentos annos, vel a Guimando, vel ab Algerio, cum templum Dei conversum esset in speluncam latronum. Habet quaedam integra e Cypriano, quaedam ex Ambrosio.’

  54. Erasmus, CWE 61 (n. 22 above), p. 88. Jerome, Omnium operum … tomus secundus, Basel, 1516, fol. 189v.

  55. Washington DC, Folger Shakespeare Library, 178-014f, Jerome, Omnium operum Diui Eusebii Hieronymi…tomus primus [-nonus], Basel, 1516, II, fol. 189v. I am grateful to Anthony Grafton for pointing this example out to me. On Blarer’s Jerome, see H.-P. Hasse, ‘Ambrosius Blarer liest Hieronymus: Blarers handschriftliche Eintragungen in seinem Exemplar der Hieronymusausgabe des Erasmus von Rotterdam (Basel 1516)’ in Auctoritas Patrum: Zur Rezeption der Kirchenväter im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, ed. L. Grane, A. Schindler, and M. Wriedt, Mainz, 1993, pp. 33–53. On images as annotations in the early modern period, see A. Grafton and W. Sherman, ‘In the Margins of Josephus: Two Ways of Reading’, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 23.3, 2016, pp. 213–38.

  56. Not all early modern annotators of the Jerome edition were as inclined to follow Erasmus and Jerome; see A. Visser, ‘Irreverent Reading: Martin Luther as Annotator of Erasmus’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 48, 2017, pp. 87–109. As Visser points out, Luther found Erasmus’s philological efforts and general attitude to be disrespectful to the Fathers, even mocking. Luther was also critical of Jerome. When reading letters exchanged between Jerome and Augustine, he took Augustine’s side, accusing Jerome of using ‘false reasoning’ and willfully misunderstanding Augustine (p. 100). Jewel, by contrast, in general read without taking sides in patristic debates, though in the debates between Jerome and Augustine he sided with the latter, as did Luther (see n. 47 above). He was attentive to patristic ‘reasoning’ in argumentation, and he was certainly more favourable than Luther to Erasmus and Erasmian methods. For a modern edition of Luther’s annotations on Jerome, see Martin Luther, Annotierungen zu den Werken des Hieronymus, ed. M. Brecht and C. Peters, Cologne, 2000.

  57. Washington DC, Folger Shakespeare Library 178–014f, I, sig. β4v: ‘Erasmi de Ruffino iudicium.’

  58. Cambridge, Peterhouse College Library, H.9.12, tomus II, p. 192: ‘Origenes ferro truncabat genitalia.'

  59. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 192: ‘Origenes. En’. The passage in question is Jerome, Letter LXXXIV.8, Patrologia Latina, XXII, Paris, 1885, col. 749: ‘Vult aliquis laudare Origenem?’

  60. Cambridge, Peterhouse College Library, H.9.12, tomus II, p. 193: ‘Origenes poenitentiam agit ob scripta sua aedita.’ Jerome’s text is: ‘Ipse Origenes in epistola, quam scribit ad Fabianum Romanae urbis episcopum, poenitentiam agit cur talia scripserit.’

  61. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 193: ‘Origen. Corruptus Euseb. Arianus. En’.

  62. Ibid. He commonplaced these passages under ‘124’ and wrote, ‘124 Pamphilus. Stilus[.] En[.] Eusebius Pamphili. 124’.

  63. S. Mandelbrote, ‘Origen against Jerome in Early Modern Europe’, in Patristic Tradition and Intellectual Paradigms in the 17thCentury, ed. S.-P. Bergjan and K. Pollmann, Tübingen, 2010, pp. 105–35 (117).

  64. Ibid., pp. 116–17, 122.

  65. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 193: ‘Origen. Corruptus.’ In particular, Jerome noted that Didymus the Blind, who supported Origen generally and whose lectures both Rufinus and Jerome had attended, recognized that Origen had made errors.

  66. For the earlier example, see n. 12 above.

  67. Jewel, Apology, ed. P. Demers, p. 166. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. G ijr: ‘Et, ne plura ex Sacris scripturis exempla commemoremus, ac potius a Christo nato quemadmodum in Evangelio Ecclesia administrata sit, consideremus, olim Imperatores Christiani indicebant Episcoporum Concilia … . Cumque Ruffinus allegasset Synodum, quasi quae pro se faceret eius adversarius Hieronymus, ut eum refutaret, Ecce, inquit, quis eam Imperator iusserit conuocari.’ Bacon’s addition of ‘the heretic’ certainly clarifies the correct interpretation of Jewel’s locus for a reader encountering this passage — councils convoked by emperors are good and Jerome is correct, while Rufinus is wrong. For the relevant passage quoted by Jewel, see Jerome, Apologia contra Rufinum, II.19.

  68. Parker, ‘Preface’, in Jewel, Apology, ed. P. Demers, p. 43.

  69. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 87. On Jewel’s distinction between heresy and dissent in the Apology, see A. A. Gazal, ‘“A Crime So Heinous”: The Concept of Heresy in John Jewel’s Apology of the Church of England’, in Defending the Faith: John Jewel and the Elizabethan Church, ed. A. Ranson, et al., University Park PA, 2018, pp. 79–97 (83–6). On Bacon’s translation, see A. Ferron, ‘“Silence Is a Fine Jewel for a Woman”: Anne Cooke Bacon, Jewel’s Apology, and Reformed Women’s Publications’, in ibid., pp. 63–78, and Demers, ‘Introduction’, in Jewel, Apology (n. 3 above), pp. 1–34.

  70. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 166. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Gijr: ‘Omnino per annos quingentos Imperator solus agebat conuentus sacros, & Episcoporum Concilia celebrabat.’ W. M. Southgate, John Jewel and the Problem of Doctrinal Authority, Cambridge MA, 1962, pp. 133–4, argued that Jewel typically cited the councils to discuss the rise of papal authority, and that his ‘apparent slighting of conciliar authority’ more generally, including the ancient councils, was in order ‘to keep clear the distinction between the authority of the early councils and the authority of councils in general’. In the Apology Jewel was certainly careful to differentiate between councils that were not authoritative (because they were convened by a pope, for instance) and those first few that were.

  71. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 166. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Gijr: ‘Quod si Imperatoris Ferdinandi modestia tanta est, fortasse, quod artes Pontificias non satis norit, ut hanc iniuriam ferre possit, Pontifex tamen pro sua sanctitate, iniuriam illi facere, & ius sibi alienum arrogare non debebat.’

  72. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 154. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. F5v: ‘cur Episcopi & Abbates, non ita pridem in proximo Concilio Tridentino ita ad extremum decreuerunt: Salua semper in omnibus sedis Apostolicae authoritate?’

  73. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 152. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Fiiijv: ‘Nos quidem Concilia, & Episcoporum, doctorumque hominum conuentus & colloquia non contemnimus. Neque ea quae fecimus, prorsus sine Episcopis aut sine concilio fecimus. Plenis Commitijs [sic] res acta est, longa deliberatione, frequenti Synodo.’

  74. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), pp. 151, 182. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Fiiijr: ‘Atqui ipsi mandata Dei, & Aposto[lo]rum decreta uiolarunt, utque iam diximus, omnia prope, non tantum instituta, sed etiam dogmata primitiuae Ecclesiae dissipauerunt, nihil expectato sacro Concilio.’ Ibid., sig. H ijr-v. ‘Diximus nos … ab illa Ecclesia … discessisse: & ex sacris libris, quos scimus non posse fallere, certam quandam religionis formam quaesiuisse, & ad ueterum patrum, atque Apostolorum primitiuam Ecclesiam, hoc est, ad primordia atque initia, tanquam ad fontes redisse: Authoritatem autem in ea re, aut consensum Concilij Tridentini, in quo uideremus nihil recte, atque ordine geri, ubi ab omnibus in unius nomen iuraretur, ubi l[e]gat[i] principum nostrorum contemnerentur, ubi nemo nostrorum Theologorum audiretur, ubi aperte partibus atque ambitioni studeretur, non expectasse … ’

  75. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), pp. 183–4. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. Hiijr: ‘Neque nos consensionem & pacem fugimus: sed pacis humanae causa, cum Deo belligerari nolumus. Dulce quidem inquit Hilarius, est nomen pacis: sed aliud est inquit Pax, aliud seruitus: Nam ut, quod isti quaerunt, Christus tacere iubeatur: ut prodatur ueritas Euangelij: ut errores nefarij dissimulentur: ut Christianorum hominum oculis imponatur: ut in Deum aperte conspiretur, non ea pax est, sed iniquissima pactio seruitutis.’

  76. Zurich Letters, Cambridge, 1846, p. 113. For more on Jewel’s relationship with Peter Martyr Vermigli, see A. Ranson, ‘John Jewel’s Early Life: Developing a Community of Reformers’, in Defending the Faith: John Jewel and the Elizabethan Church, ed. A. Ranson, A. A. Gazal and S. Bastow, University Park PA, 2018, pp. 18–27 (20–25).

  77. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 161. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. F7v: ‘Itaque scimus multos saepe bonos uiros, & Catholicos episcopos, cum huiusmodi Concilia indicerentur, & aperte factionibus & partibus inseruiretur, & scirent se tantum lusuros esse operam, aduersariorum animos prorsus esse obfirmatos, nihil posse promoueri, mansisse domi. Athanasius, cum uocatus esset ab Imperatore ad concilium Caesariense, & uideret se ad infesta aduersariorum suorum odia uenturum esse, adesse noluit: Idem postea cum uenisset ad concilium Syrmianum, & ex hostium suorum ferocia, atque odio, animo rei euentum praesagiret, statim sarcinas collegit, atque abijt.’

  78. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 160. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. F7v: ‘Ioannes Chrysostomus, quamuis quaternis literis ab Imperatore Constantio uocatus esset ad Concilium Arrianorum, tamen domi se continuit.’

  79. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 87. See n. 12 above.

  80. C. Highley, Catholics Writing the Nation in Early Modern Britain and Ireland, Oxford, 2008, p. 27.

  81. P. Milward, ‘The Jewel-Harding Controversy’, Albion, 6.4, 1974, pp. 320–41 (323). On Jewel’s and Harding’s controversy, see also Booty, John Jewel (n. 1 above), pp. 58–82, and A. Ranson, ‘The Jewel-Harding Controversy: Defending a Champion’, in Defending the Faith: John Jewel and the Elizabethan Church (n. 69 above), pp. 119–38.

  82. John Jewel, A Defence of the Apologie of the Churche of Englande, containge an Answeare to a Certaine Booke lately set foorthe by M. Hardinge, and Entituled, A Confutation, London, 1567, p. 258.

  83. Ibid., p. 258. The Latin as Harding quotes it is ‘Ille cibus, qui sanctificatur per Verbum Dei, perque obsecrationem, iuxta id quod habet materiale, in ventrem abit, & in secessum eijcitur.’ For the original Greek, see John Jewel, Works, ed. J. Ayre, III, Cambridge, 1848, p. 515, n. 10.

  84. Ibid., p. 259.

  85. Ibid.

  86. Thomas Harding, A Confutation of a Booke Intituled an Apologie, Antwerp, 1565, fol. 137r. It is interesting to compare Harding’s and Jewel’s hypothetical time travel back to the patristic era with Melanchthon’s statement that, if the Fathers came alive in the present, they would change their interpretations when they saw how they themselves had been interpreted: ‘Quamquam si nunc reviviscerent, ac viderent sua dicta praetexi luculentis illis mendaciis, quae docent adversarii de opere operato, longe aliter se ipsi interpretarentur’, quoted in S. Hendrix, ‘Deparentifying the Fathers: The Reformers and Patristic Authority’, Auctoritas partum: zur Rezeption der Kirchenväter im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, eds. L. Grane, A. Schindler, and M. Wriedt, Mainz, 1993, p. 63.

  87. Harding, Confutation (n. 86 above), fol. 137r.

  88. Ibid., fol. [138]v, sig. MM2v.

  89. Ibid.

  90. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 200: ‘Hieron. in ead. fide in qua Ruffinus’.

  91. Jewel, A Defence (n. 82 above), p. 338. The same passage is repeated in id., A Defense of the Apologie, London, 1571, p. 378.

  92. Ibid. ‘Erasm in Praef. in Tom 2. Hieronymi’.

  93. Ibid. The same passage is repeated in Jewel, A Defense of the Apologie, London, 1571, p. 378, though ‘Wisedome’ is translated as ‘cunninge’. The Erasmus text in question can be found in CWE 61 (n. 22 above), p. 100 and in Jerome, Omnes … lucubrationes (n. 25 above), II, p. 3: ‘Iam seculum hoc omne, quo diuus uixit Hieronymus, incredibile dictu quantopere tumultibus ac factionibus haereticorum flagrarit, adeo ut illis temporibus ingeniosa quoque res fuerit, esse Christianum … . At illa aetate in chartis erat fides potius quam in animo, ac pene tot erant symbola, quot professores.’

  94. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, e.12.10, tomus II, p. 3. Jewel changed the marginal number beside the second quotation (‘illa aetate in chartis … ’) to 105, crossing out the 104 it originally had. Both passages are underlined in black ink, bracketed in red ink, and have a cross beside them as well as the commonplacing number. Jewel also wrote ‘En’ by the second passage, about how there were as many creeds as professors. I am grateful to Philipp Nothaft and Anthony Grafton for this reference.

  95. Haugaard, Elizabeth and the English Reformation (n. 13 above), p. 190. See also M. Aston, England’s Iconoclasts, Oxford, 1998, pp. 294–325.

  96. Oxford, Magdalen College Library, tomus II, p. 212: ‘Nonnullis in locis uidetur diuus Hieronymus secum pugnare.’

  97. A. Visser, Reading Augustine in the Reformation: The Flexibility of Intellectual Authority in Europe, 1500 – 1620, Oxford, 2011, pp. 13–28.

  98. Hendrix, ‘Deparentifying the Fathers’ (n. 86 above), p. 58.

  99. Southgate, John Jewel (n. 70 above), p. 126.

  100. N. Naquin, ‘“On the Shoulders of Hercules”’ (n. 22 above), pp. 115–35. For more on the historical Jerome, see M. H. Williams, The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship, Chicago, 2006.

  101. Naquin, ‘“On the Shoulders of Hercules”’ (n. 22 above), pp. 131–4. On Erasmus’s historical mistakes because of his exaggerated emphasis on the Origenist controversy, see ibid., p. 132.

  102. K. Eden, Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition, New Haven, 2005.

  103. Jewel, A Defence (n. 82 above), p. 28. Booty, John Jewel (n. 1 above), p. 56, discusses this quotation in full and other evidence of the Apologia’s Tridentine reception.

  104. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 160. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. F7v: ‘Itaque scimus multos saepe bonos uiros, & Catholicos episcopos, cum huiusmodi Concilia indicerentur, & aperte factionibus & partibus inseruiretur, & scirent se tantum lusuros esse operam, aduersariorum animos prorsus esse obfirmatos, nihil posse promoueri, mansisse domi.’

  105. See Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World, ed. K. Van Liere, S. Ditchfield and H. Louthan, Oxford, 2012; D. Levitin, ‘From Sacred History to the History of Religion: Paganism, Judaism, and Christianity in European Historiography from Reformation to “Enlightenment”’, Historical Journal, 55, 2012, pp. 1117–60; Quantin, The Church of England (n. 4 above).

  106. Jewel, Apology, ed. Demers (n. 3 above), p. 184. Jewel, Apologia (n. 3 above), sig. H iijr: ‘Est quaedam, inquit Nazianzenus, pax inutilis: est quoddam utile dissidium.’

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Madeline McMahon.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

I am grateful to Andreas Ammann, Anthony Grafton, Sam Kennerley and the anonymous readers of IJCT for their advice and comments on this paper. I would also like to thank Andreas, Sam, and Kirsten Macfarlane for the opportunity to present this paper and receive feedback at ‘The Reception of the Church Fathers and Early Church Historians c. 1470–1650’, a conference they organized on 23 September 2016.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

McMahon, M. Feuding Fathers: How John Jewel Read Erasmus’s Jerome on the Origenist Controversy. Int class trad 27, 379–402 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12138-019-00549-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12138-019-00549-9