Philipp Melanchthon Paulus Spricht zu den Colossern and woodcut, 1551, 1564

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

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Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Melanchthon, Philipp, 1497-1560.
Title: Philipp Melanchthon Paulus Spricht zu den Colossern and woodcut, 1551, 1564
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 115
Extent: 1 item (on 2 leaves) + woodcut
Abstract:Contains one unpublished manuscript, signed and dated by Philipp Melanchthon.
Language:Materials entirely in German.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Additional Physical Form

The Philipp Melanchthon manuscript is digitized and available on the Pitts Theology Library website.

Related Materials

Part of the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection of Pitts Theology Library.


Philipp Melanchthon Paulus Spricht zu den Colossern, Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Cynthia Crouch, November 1987; Brandon Wason, October 2018.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Philipp Melanchthon, born Philipp Schwar(t)zerd on 16 February 1497 in Bretten, Germany was a prominent humanist who went on to become one of the early leaders of the German Reformation. He received a B.A. degree from Heidleberg University in 1511 and an M.A. from Tuebingen University in 1514. His quick learning abilities and translations of Greek classics earned him early recognition from such prominent humanists as Reuchlin and Erasmus.

Melanchthon met Martin Luther in 1518, when he arrived at Wittenberg University to teach Greek language and literature. While teaching, he studied and earned a Bachelor of Bible degree in 1519. He was never ordained as a priest and never took a higher degree. In 1521, Melanchthon in his Loci communes presented Protestantism's first systematic theology. In the 1520s he developed the educational program that was used to implement the Reformation in Germany. In 1527 he played a key role in drawing up the Articles of Visitation to be used by the government to survey, then to supervise, religious and moral life in the parishes of Saxony. At the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, he drew up the Augsburg Confession, recognized as the major symbol of the Lutheran Church.

Melanchthon's later years were filled with discord and are marked by misunderstanding. Upon Luther's death in 1546 he assumed the role of leader of the Reformation, but was unable to hold the already fragmented movement together. Publication of his 1548 letter to Catholic Statesman Christopher von Carlowitz, which criticized Luther, caused many to view him with distrust. Melanchthon arranged compromises acceptable to the Catholic Church during the Augsburg and Leipzig Interims. His last major effort to reconcile differences between Protestant and Catholic theologians occurred at the colloquy at Worms in 1557. Philipp Melanchthon died on 19 April 1560, and was buried in Wittenberg, in the Castle Church next to Martin Luther.

Biographical Source: The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, edited by Julius Bodensieck and, The Lutheran Cyclopedia, edited by Edwin L. Lueker.

Scope and Content Note

An unpublished manuscript signed and dated (1551) by Philipp Melanchthon. Written on three sides of two sheets, it is a meditation on the Third Chapter of Paul's Letter to the Colossians. The two leaves on which the meditation is written (19 x 29 cm.) show signs of insect damage and have been repaired with Japanese paper. The verso of the title page holds the inscription "C. S. V. R. mit Galt" near the top with a less readable second line. Near the bottom is the inscription "1551 mit Galt". For their protection, both pieces were encapsulated in mylar. A translation of the manscript follows.

[Page 1] Paul Speaks to | the Colossians | Chapter 3

The word of the Lord Christ | may in you dwell richly | in all wisdom and may it | you among yourselves teach and remind.

This speech (verse) is an earnest | command in which all men | are commanded that we God's | word should learn and often consider | should whether with reading or | with sermons hearing [Page 2] and is most necessary these reasons | to consider.

The first, God has himself revealed | by His own words in which | must one Him recognize and not other thoughts of | God judge.

The second reason, The given Scripture | is not only for learning necessary | but God will also thereby | effect it that the hearts might be changed | frightened comforted [and] living be made | In terms of this verse the Gospel | is God's power to salvation to all | who in it believe and who desire to God | to be converted and who desire comfort to have [Page 3] then must this the beginning | be in which you God's | word consider.

Therefore speaks Paul. It must | in us dwell that is it | must (in) us not a strange | guest be yes were this word dwells there dwells | at once also God Himself. | Would then that God in you | might dwell then would his word | in you dwell seriously (would it be) | learned and observed | be.

Phillipus Melan[..]


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Box Folder Content
1 1 Philipp Melanchthon, Paulus Spricht zu den Colossern manuscript, 1551.
1 2 Effigies Reverendi Viri, D. Philippi Melanchthonis, Expressa VVitebergae Anno M. D. LXIII by Lucas Cranach (1515-1586), 1561, impression 1564.
1 3 Letter from Heinz Scheible regarding the Melancthon manuscript item, 1995.