Jerome Zanchius

Jerome Zanchius (1516-1590), Italian Protestant Reformation clergyman and educator, was born Jerome Zanchi in Alazano, the son of a nobleman on the 2nd of February 1516.

His father died in the plague of 1528 and his mother died only three years later. At age 15 he entered the monastery of the Augustinian Order of Regular Canons where he studied Aristotle, languages and divinity. He also attended the lectures on Romans given by Peter Martyr Vermigli, the greatest of the Italian Reformers.

In 1551, under growing persecution against the Reformation, he left Italy via Geneva and eventually accepted the professorship of Old Testament at the college of St. Thomas in Strasbourg where he began to teach in 1553 and continued to give excellent instruction for nearly 11 years. In 1563 he left the College and pastored the Italian Protestant congregation in the Grisons in the city of Chiavenna. Finally, in 1567 Prince Frederick III (1515-1576) prevailed upon Zanchius to accept a divinity professorship in the University of Heidelberg, joining Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583). In the year 1568 he entered on his new duties and in the same year received a doctor's degree. He held this post for 9 years when, at the death of Fredrick III, he chose to take the pastorate of the church at Neustadt an der Haardt. He remained there until his death on the 19th of November 1590, while on a visit to Heidelberg.

Zanchius was a voluminous writer whose works include, Confession of the Christian Religion and Observation on the Divine Attributes. He is perhaps best known for his book The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination, which is still in publication today.