I was just receiving an update from The Bible Science Guy, in which he commemorates, in advance, Luther's 95 theses.
He is, correctly, considering Luther as a Creationist. Same goes for Zwingli with Oecolampadius, their "joint disciple" Bucer, his disciple Calvin and this one's associate or disciple Beza and his disciple Knox. It also goes for Luther non-Zwingli OWN dsciple Melanchthon. And for Bucer's non-Calvin disciple Cranmer. Here is what he says about all of these (perhaps not naming all of them, and the following points are direct quotes):
- They believed the book of Genesis was a book of actual history.
- They believed Yahweh created everything in six regular days only a few thousand years ago.
- They believed Adam and Eve were real people, the parents of the entire human race.
- They believed Adam’s sin brought death and a curse on all of creation.
- They believed a global Flood in Noah’s day destroyed the world and all life except for those in the Ark.
I am tempted to reply "well, so does Satan". James 2:19.
Seriously, none of these issues were controversial between this mainstream origin of Protestantism and Catholicism.
Pope Leo X who admonished Luther to retract certain theses (not all of the 95 and not only from the 95) by the bull Exsurge Domine and a few months later excommunicated him with the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem - he believed all these things too.
Thomas de Vio, known as Cajetan (from Gaeta, where he was bishop) and who before helping Pope Leo with Exsurge Domine had also already tried to admonish Luther in a debate - he did not doubt one of them.
Neither was any of these doubted by Pope St. Pius V, who excommunicated Elisabeth Boleyn as well as declare her a non-Queen, usurper and tyrant. Nor by St Robert Bellarmine : a modern day Jesuit who himself wants to take Genesis 1 - 3 non-literally looks back at St Robert as promoting a reading too close to Fundamentalism. And I could go on.
So, the mainstream Protestant reformers were not Creationist heros, while they were Creationists.
Some other reformers were less Biblical, like the uncle and nephew Sozzini. I am not sure whether they doubted any of these, except the part on original sin. But they did promote a liberal Bible reading in general.
Some of the mainstream reformers had been against "allegory". This did NOT concern putting any doubt on the literal truth of Genesis, it concerned whether the events in it (and in later parts of OT) also spell out prophetic allegories about Christ, the Church and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Four OT women are called blessed (three in Protestant Bibles) and two of them in a sense with some restriction added blessed among women (one in Protestant Bibles). The Catholic Church held, that while these literally lived and literally merited the word "blessed" in their own context, they were also allegories of the Blessed Virgin. And still holds so now.
Anything you have heard about Reformers fighting "allegory" is not about fighting for literal truth of six regular days, but fighting against allegoric truth of this or that OT type of the Blessed Virgin. The ones who did attack literal truth of the Bible were the Socinians, though not necessarily on text of Genesis, they considered Bible fallible and to be taken with correctives. And the Catholic Church condemned them as much as the Lutherans, at Trent. I am less sure how Biblical Thomas Münzer was, but I don't think he was for literal Bible truth either.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Vigil of Sts Simon and Jude
It seems I misread the martyrology, yesterday when I wrote this. Today is the vigil. Tomorrow the feast. I should have stated the date as Pope St Evaristus, Martyr.