Church History

Lesson 11 w/answersBirths of the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches: Mid-1500's A.D.

In the last lesson, we looked at the Reformation and the role that Martin Luther played. You will recall that we discussed how reformation had already begun in many areas prior to Martin Luther, one of those being Switzerland. Specifically, we spoke of Zwingli, the leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, meeting with Martin Luther and agreeing on 14 of Luther’s 15 Reformation Proposals. The one they could not agree on centered on the celebration of Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, and whether the elements actually became or were surrounded by Christ Himself (Luther’s Consubstantiation), or whether they were indeed simply symbols (Zwingli’s reformed position).


In this lesson, we’ll look at John Calvin, John Knox, some other church leaders, and the Puritans. We will also examine the formation of two new Churches -- the Anglican Church and the Presbyterian Church. In the next lesson, we’ll conclude our study by looking at the establishment of Churches in North America.

So once again, grab a good reference tool and consider the following:

  1. Who founded Presbyterianism?
    1. ANSWER: John Calvin who studied under Zwigli in Switzerland and would later pastor the large reformed (Presbyterian) church in Geneva. He would influence many others as we’ll see in later questions.
  2. What is Presbyterianism?
    1. ANSWER: The system of Church Government Developed by John Calvin. It specified the following:
      1. The pastor's role is for preaching and administering discipline within the church.
      2. The teacher's role is for teaching doctrine.
      3. The deacon'ss role is to administer works of charity.
      4. The role of the Consistory, a group of ministers and elders, is to supervise the theology and morals of the church and to punish wayward members of the church –- sometimes through death.
  3. In Scotland, Patrick Hamilton (1503-1528) and George Wishart (1513-1546) were both burned to death for religious reasons. What did they each do?
    1. ANSWER 1: Hamilton called the Pope the Anti-Christ.
    2. ANSWER 2: Wishart preached protestant doctrines.
  4. Influenced by George Wishart and a copy of Tyndale’s New Testament was a man named John Knox of Scotland. Why is he an important figure in church history?
    1. ANSWER: He led the reformation movement in Scotland that led to the end of the rule of the Pope over Scotland.
  5. In 1558, Knox published “The First Blast of The Trumpet Against The Monstrous Regiment of Women.” What was he writing about?
    1. ANSWER: That women do not belong in leadership roles.
  6. Who were William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale?
    1. ANSWER: Reformers who made scripture available in the common, language of the land in England.
      1. Tyndale published 2 editions, 6,000 copies each, of the English New Testament – he would later be burned at the stake in front of his wife and children.
      2. Coverdale published the first English version of the entire Bible.
  7. What role did King Henry the VIII play in the creation of the Anglican Church of England?
    1. ANSWER 1: He desired a son as a heir, could not have one through his wife Catherine, wanted a divorce to marry Ann Boelyn.
    2. ANSWER 2: He was tired of the Papacy’s influence in the governing of England.
    3. ANSWER 3: He was tired of seeing so much of England’s money going to Rome in the form of Papal taxes.
    4. ANSWER 4: He kept, however, the Catholic Doctrines in tact when he created the Anglican Church -– unlike the reformers of the day who broke from that doctrine in some areas.
  8. What did Henry the VIII authorize in 1536?
    1. ANSWER: That an “authorized” English version of the Bible be produced -- Coverdale.
  9. Scotland, Wales, and England now found themselves firmly in the middle of the Reformation movement. What was happening meanwhile in Ireland?
    1. ANSWER 1: The Irish remained fiercely loyal to the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church and turned violently against the British and British rule.
    2. ANSWER 2: During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, daughter of Ann Boelyn, they revolted.
  10. In 1560, how did the Puritans get their name?
    1. ANSWER: By trying to “purify” the Anglican Church from all things "pope-ish", meaning Pope-like -- anything tied to the Pope.
  11. In 1570, Thomas Cartwright, a Puritan Leader, opposed the Anglican approach of governing the church by Bishops. What did he propose instead?
    1. ANSWER: The establishment of a Presbytery, Elders elected by the church for governing the church. This marked the beginning of the Presbyterian Church in England.

So clearly now we can see the building blocks of the reformation movement and the establishment of the Protestant Faith beginning before Martin Luther, and building successively each upon the other. Next week the Church comes to North America.

Thanks to each of you once more for your continued commitment to this study. May God richly bless you this week as you continue to study with us.

In Christ,