1519-1605. Calvin's successor in Geneva as the head of Reformed Protestantism. Born at Vezelay, Burgundy, of a lesser noble family, his formal education was made possible by his uncle Nicholas, counselor to the Parlement of Paris. In 1534 he went to Orleans to study law, which licentiateship he received in 1539. He then went to Paris to practice law and there pursued his affinity for the classics. In 1548 he published a book of poems, Poemata Juvenilia, which reflected his interest in classicism and humanism. Later in life he edited these poems, expurgated some, and reissued the volume. While in Paris he was under some pressure from his family to be ordained, but his involvement with Claude Desnoz (whom he had privately married) complicated his situation.
After a severe illness in 1548-a physical as well as a spiritual crisis-he renounced Catholicism, became a Protestant, went to Geneva, and there publicly married Claude. In Lausanne he visited
Upon the invitation of Calvin, Beza went to Geneva in 1558 as a professor of Greek. In 1559 he was named rector and eventually taught theology in the
Throughout his life he maintained wide interests. In 1565 he published a Greek text of the NT, to which he added the Vulgate and his own translation. This biblical textual interest is further seen in his use of Codex Bezae and Codex Claromantus. He continued to defend the Reformed position as evidenced by his vigorous polemics with Ochino, Castellio, Morel, Ramus, the Zwinglians, Arminius, and others. He continued his activities in the Huguenot movement by serving as an adviser, and in 1571 by presiding over the National Synod of La Rochelle. After the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre* in 1572, he published De Jure Magistratu which argued for the right of the inferior magistrates to revolt against the government. In 1580 he published a history of the Reformed movement in France, and in 1582 he again published a work dealing with textual criticism, his second edition of the Greek NT. His biblical criticism influenced the
F. Aubert et al. (eds.), Correspondence de Theodore de Beze (1960-); H.M. Baird,