Johannes Wolleb

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Johannes Wolleb (Wollebius) (1589–1629) was a Swiss Protestant theologian. He was a student of Amandus Polanus, and followed in the tradition of a Reformed scholasticism, a formal statement of the views arising from the Protestant Reformation.[1]

Johannes Wolleb.png

He was the successor of Johann Jakob Grynaeus at Basel Cathedral. The Compendium Theologiae Christianae of 1626 is his major work; it is shorter than the Syntagma Theologiae Christianae (1609) of Polanus, and served as an abridgement and development. It was translated into English by Alexander Ross, as Abridgement of Christian Divinitie (1650).[2]

Wolleb influenced the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms.[3] His Compendium, with William Ames's Medulla, and Francis Turretin's writings, were used as textbooks into the 18th century and beyond.[4] In the late 17th century, Wolleb's system began to displace Ames's in favour at Harvard University.[5] Students at Yale University in the early 18th century used to study the Abridgement every Friday afternoon;[6] the books by Wolleb and Ames were written into the university Regulations (1745).[7] In April 1784, the Compendium Theologiae was replaced with work from the new dissenting academies in England. Philip Doddridge (1712-1749) whose "Course of Lectures on Pneumatology, Ethics and Divinity became the new primary text for the divinity. Harvard began to separate the Divinity School from the 'other views'. This action placed the Divinity school's use of Wolleb's works squarely into the newly formed Divinity school at Harvard. Quincy, Josiah. History of Harvard University Vol ii. Boston. 1860 p 260.


  1. ^ John Wheelan Riggs, Baptism in the Reformed Tradition: An Historical and Practical Theology (2002), p. 87.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Donald K. McKim, David F. Wright, Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith (1992), p. 398.
  4. ^ Ernest Gordon Rupp, Religion in England, 1688-1791 91986), p. 176.
  5. ^ Amy Plantinga Pauw, "The Supreme Harmony of All": The Trinitarian Theology of Jonathan Edwards (2002), p. 61.
  6. ^ [1] Archived October 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^

Further readingEdit

  • Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Historical Theology: An Introduction (2000), pp. 324–8.
  • Werner Raupp: Wolleb, Johannes, in Killy Literaturlexikon Autoren und Werke des deutschsprachigen Kulturraumes, Vol. 12, Berlin/Boston 20112, p. 564.
  • Werner Raupp: Wolleb, Johannes, in Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz (HLS), Vol. 13, Basel 2014, pp. 581–582 (auch online:

External linksEdit

  • Matthias Freudenberg (1998). "Johannes Wolleb". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 14. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 47–50. ISBN 3-88309-073-5.
  • Works by Johannes Wolleb at Post-Reformation Digital Library
  • Wolleb, John (1660) [1626]. Christianæ theologiæ compendivm [The Abridgment of Christian Divinitie] (in Latin). Translated by Alexander Ross. London: T. Mabb for Joseph Nevill.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Johann Jakob Grynaeus
Antistes of Basel
Succeeded by
Theodor Zwinger the Younger [de]