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Philip Melanchthon

1497-1560. German Reformer. Born in Bretten, Baden, the son of George Scharzerd, he was given the Greek-derived name “Melanchthon” by his great-uncle, [[Johannes Reuchlin]],* because of his aptitude in languages and humanistic interests. He attended the grammar school at Pforzheim and went on to graduate from the universities of Heidelberg, Tübingen, and Wittenberg. In Tübingen he was a member of a humanistically oriented circle of friends and came to the attention of Erasmus.* Reuchlin recommended him to the elector Frederick the Wise* as professor of Greek at the University of Wittenberg, where he soon embraced Luther's* cause. In his inaugural address at Wittenberg in 1518 he made a strong plea for the classics and the reform of studies. In his B.D. thesis of the following year he defended the proposition that the Scriptures alone are authoritative, not the decrees of popes and councils. In that same year he accompanied Luther to the Leipzig Disputation.* He published Luther's early