Olivetan

c.1506-1538. Protestant Reformer and cousin of John Calvin. His real name was Pierre Robert, and like his cousin he was a native of Noyon in Picardy and a student successively at Paris and Orléans, where he earned the nickname “Olivetanus” because he burned the midnight oil. An early French Protestant, he fled from Orléans to Strasbourg in 1528 following his evangelical conversion. Beginning in November 1531, he preached briefly at Neuchãtel, leaving the following year for Piedmont where he contacted the Waldensians.* Olivetan taught in Geneva from 1533 to 1535, but resigned to return to Italy, where he died. He is chiefly remembered for two things: his religious influence on young Calvin, and his translation of the Bible into French. Olivetan was one of several important sources which influenced his cousin toward evangelical Christianity. Further, his French Bible, originally prepared for the Waldensians of Piedmont, was the version used by the first-generation Calvinist Reformers as they preached the Gospel in France. Published in Neuchãtel in 1535, it contained a preface by Calvin in which for the first time he gave a public confession of his biblical faith.