Jacobus Faber

c.1455-1536. French humanist. Known also as Jacques Lefèvre d'étaples, or Faber Stapulensis, he was a native of Picardy. He spent some years in the schools of Italy, where he was influenced by Pico della Mirandola, and in Paris, where he studied classics. This awakened in him the importance of the language for the study of the Bible, which in turn helped him to create an interest for others and thus blaze a trail for Christian humanism. His Latin translation of Paul's epistles (1512), published with a commentary, resulted in his being branded heretic, especially to theologians of medieval outlook, on the questions of transubstantiation, justification, and the merit of good works. The Pauline translations and his earlier work on Psalms (1509) had some influence on Luther. Faber was subsequently denounced by the Sorbonne (1517-18) and by the government (1525), and had to flee to Strasbourg. Later he was given the protection of the queen of Navarre. He never accepted the Reformed doctrines on grace, justification, and predestination, but there is a link between him and the Anabaptists; a volume of mystical and prophetic writings he edited (1513), later bound with sermons by Tauler, are said to have been read by Thomas Münzer translation of the NT (1525) was ordered to be burnt with the French translations of the treatise of Erasmus. He had an interview with Calvin about the time of Calvin's conversion (1534) which may have proved of significance in the latter's break with Rome.