Michael Servetus

Michael Servetus, alone, but trusting in Christ’s most sure protection.

Michael Servetus (29 September 151127 October 1553) was a Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and humanist, renowned in the history of several of these fields, particularly medicine and theology. He participated in the Protestant Reformation, and later developed a nontrinitarian Christology. Condemned by Catholics and Protestants alike, he was arrested in Geneva and burnt at the stake as a heretic by order of the Protestant Geneva governing council.

QuotesEdit

  • Poor people always lose in struggles
    • A sentence from his first edition of Ptolemy's Geography, published in 1535.
  • I have seen with my own eyes how the pope was carried on the shoulders of the princes, with all the pomp, being adored in the streets by the surrounding people.
    • Servetus’ doubts were reinforced when he attended the coronation of Charles V. The Spanish king was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Clement VII. The pope, seated on his portable throne, received the king, who kissed his feet. Awake! magazine, May 2006; Michael Servetus—A Solitary Quest for the Truth.
  • In the Bible, there is no mention of the Trinity. . . . We get to know God, not through our proud philosophical concepts, but through Christ.
    • At the age of 20, Servetus published his book On the Errors of the Trinity, a work that made him a principal target of the Inquisition. Awake! magazine, May 2006.
  • I do not agree or disagree in everything with either one party or the other. Because all seem to me to have some truth and some error, but everyone recognizes the other’s error and nobody discerns his own.
    • Said with respect to both Catholics and Protestants, On the Errors of the Trinity, Awake! magazine, May 2006; Michael Servetus—A Solitary Quest for the Truth.
  • Michael Servetus, alone, but trusting in Christ’s most sure protection.
    • While in prison, Servetus signed his last letter with these words.
  • If I have taken the word, by any reason, it has been because I think it is grave to kill men, under the pretext that they are mistaken on the interpretation of some point, for we know that even the chosen ones are not exempt from sometimes being wrong.
    • Written by Servetus in a letter to Oecolampadius, an hebraist of Basel.

Quotes about ServetusEdit

  • French humanist Sébastien Chateillon, referring to Servetus's death, wrote: “To kill a man is not to protect a doctrine, but it is to kill a man.”
    • Awake! magazine, May 2006; Michael Servetus—A Solitary Quest for the Truth.
  • The Spaniard, Servetus, contends in his tract that there is but one person in God. The Roman church holds that there are three persons in one essence. I agree rather with the Spaniard.
    • Sebastian Franck, protestant reformer.
  • Servetus’s death was the turning point in the ideology and mentality dominating since the fourth century.
    • The book Michael Servetus—Intellectual Giant, Humanist, and Martyr.
  • From a historical perspective, Servetus died in order that freedom of conscience could become a civil right of the individual in modern society.
    • The book Michael Servetus—Intellectual Giant, Humanist, and Martyr.
  • Michel Servet[us], . . . geographer, physician, physiologist, contributed to the welfare of humanity by his scientific discoveries, his devotion to the sick and the poor, and the indomitable independence of his intelligence and his conscience. . . . His convictions were invincible. He made a sacrifice of his life for the cause of the truth.
    • Reads an inscription on a monument to Servetus was erected in 1908 in the French city of Annemasse, some three miles [5 km] from the spot where he died.

External linksEdit

Michael Servetus Research Website with quotes and documents of Servetus's work and biography.

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Last modified on 13 April 2014, at 19:39