Who is Bernardinus de Moor? and why Translate his Commentarius? (Part 1)

Who is Bernardinus de Moor? and why Translate his Commentarius? (Part 1)

Bernardinus de Moor was born on January 29, 1709.  He studied at the great Dutch University of Leiden, which had been a center of Reformed scholarship from the time of its founding in 1575.  Its faculty had included some prominent Reformed theologians, such as Franciscus Junius (1592-1602), Franciscus Gomarus (1594-1611), Antonius Walaeus (1619-1639), Johannes Hoornbeeck (1653-1666), and Herman Witsius (1698-1708), among others.  De Moor attended at Leiden from 1726-1730, and had the opportunity to study under Johannes Wesselius (1712-1745), remembered for his Dissertationes academicæ, and Johannes à Marck (1689-1731).  De Moor was especially attached to à Marck, and à Marck, shortly before his death, asked De Moor to continue his work,[1] which he would indeed do.

After his time at Leiden, De Moor labored in the pastoral ministry at Ingen, Broek in Waterland, Zaandam, and Enkuizen.[2]  He was appointed as professor of theology at Franeker in 1744, but, before he was even able to deliver his inaugural address, he was appointed to succeed his former teacher, Johannes Wesselius, as professor of theology at Leiden, upon Wesselius’ death (1745); de Moor continued in this position for the rest of his life.

It seems that in his teaching method, De Moor honored the dying wish of his teacher and friend, Johannes à Marck.  The substance of De Moor’s lectures survives in his massive Continuous Commentary on Johannes Marckius’ Didactico-Elenctic Compendium of Christian Theology (1761-1778; in seven volumes).  As its title indicates, De Moor’s lectures were something of a running commentary upon the Compendium of à Marck, while also drawing upon and digesting the fruits of two centuries of Reformed theological thought.  De Moor’s Commentary is a masterpiece.

Why undertake such a massive labor?  Next installment



[1] J. Martin Bac, “Clear and Distinct Freedom:  A Compendium of Bernardinus de Moor (1709-1780) in a Cartesian Context,” Reformed Thought on Freedom, eds. Willem J. van Asselt, J. Martin Bac, and Roelf T. te Velde (Grand Rapids:  Baker Academic, 2010), 201.

[2] Willem J. van Asselt, Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism (Grand Rapids:  Reformation Heritage Books, 2011), 177.

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