Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2010-02 > 1267226805
Subject: Re: [S-I] Melancthon
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 23:26:45 +0000 (UTC)
Hi Hugh, We know nothing about them -- what country they lived in, what time frame, or what their educational background was. Yet you expect us to tell you why they used the name of this famous Protestant Humanist? We aren't gods or even spiritualists, my friend! As Data would say "Insufficient data to proceed".
Perhaps their best friend was named it, or even their dog. Perhaps there was a book on the shelf in which the name occured. They opened it at random and found this name. This COULD have occured, for my parents, both uneducated people of largely British origins (one German great grannie on my mother's side) who claimed to be Presbyterians and thus Calivinists but who never studied Calvin and thus could not be said to understand their religion, had on their shelves all their lives a series of books by the great humanists such as Erasmus. I don't think they got read <grin>! Esp. by me. So my parents could have opened the book and pointed. I am glad I am not named Erasmus.
Or they or a friend or relative was educated and knew and liked him and it was their way of letting the world know who they liked.
There is nothing to stop someone of British origins from reading the actual roots of his religion (which did not occur in Britain). It's not even illegal to read Luther and Calvin. People in Britain and from Britain like people elsewhere rarely let a stupid thing like ethnicity restrain their intellect. No one things "No, wait, I can't read that book or admire that man: I'm English and he's German." Well, no one under the age of 30 at least. And some of our ancestors were educated whether in a school or not. So they actually had thoughts and opinions that were not constrained by their ethnicity.
I think in the past there were sometimes fewer 'walls' and I absolutely DO know that Christians were expected to actually know their religion and its origins. My family has a dog-eared book by John Owen (famous English theologian with his own website: http://www.johnowen.org/ ) that belonged to a great great grandmother of English origins (CULMER, from Kent). She never went to college or probably high school, yet she or someone, perhaps her ancestors, read this book. She is somehow related to the famous Blue Dick Culmer, who was a general under Cromwell and infamous Calvinist minister and knew John Owen but this book is too recent --published in the late 1800s.
So I can ramble on and speculate but that is all it is without data, and even so, there are some things that unless the people involved wrote it down or told someone, you are not ever going to know without becoming a spiritualist and channelling them and asking them yourselves.
At some point, hopefully very quickly, when doing family history, we have to come to recognize when we have enough data to explain something and when we don't. In this case we do not. The only things to do is gather more data or embark on a trip to fantasyland. We've all been there but we don't always realize it <grin>.
It would be nice to say that clearly it indicates they were intelligent educated people but maybe the minister next door named his dog and his neighbors re-used it, so I don't think you can make this assumption. If you tell us the father taught theology at Harvard we can then make some assumptions, but otherwise you need to find yourself in inexpensive spiritualist and ring up the responsible parties and interrogate them directly.
----- Original Message -----
From: "H. Nevin" <>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 5:33:52 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [S-I] Melancthon
Thanks, Linda. I should have been more specific: how did the
Scotch-Irish pick up the use of the co-founder of Lutheranism in
On Feb 26, 2010, at 5:29 PM, wrote:
> " The German scholar and humanist Philip Melancthon (1497-1560) was
> the chief systematic theologian of the early Reformation and principal
> author of the famous Augsburg Confession of 1530."
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