The Protestant Reformation could not have happened without Philipp Melanchthon. Melanchthon was Luther’s friend and intellectual sparring partner. By the time he was 21, he had already published many works, including a guide to Greek grammar. A master of the Greek language, he even changed his German name Schwartzerdt, to the Greek equivalent, Melanchthon.

Luther was 14 years older than Melanchthon, but the two became friends and colleagues in the Reformation cause. Luther was charismatic, Melanchthon was scholarly. Luther was impulsive and emotional, Melanchthon was organized. Melanchthon was the calm steady one. Luther was the face and energy of the Reformation, Melanchthon was the scholar.

When Luther was called to Augsburg in 1530 to defend his controversial teachings, it was Melanchthon who wrote the Augsburg Confession. After Luther died, it was Melanchthon that led the German Reformation movement. Philipp Melanchthon died in Lutherstadt Wittenberg in 1560 and was buried next to Martin Luther. Even in his death, Melanchthon remains at Luther’s side.

Martin Luther’s Right-Hand Man

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