Reformation Wall (Mur de la Réformation) or Reformation Monument, was constructed from 1909 to 1917 to commemorate the 400th birthday of Jean Calvin. The wall, which is 325 feet long and 30 feet high, is located in the Parc des Bastions in Geneva, Switzerland and features 15-foot-tall statues of four Geneva luminaries:
Guillaume Farel - the first to preach the Reformation in Geneva
John Calvin - leader of the Reformation movement and spiritual father of Geneva
Theodore Beza - Calvin's successor, born in Vezelay (France) and known for emphasizing Calvin's doctrine of predestination
John Knox - Scottish preacher, friend of Calvin, and founder of Presbyterianism in Scotland
Behind the statues runs the motto shared by the Reformation and Geneva: Post Tenebras Lux ("After Darkness, Light”)
Tempestuous reformer from Gap, in the French Alps. He came to Geneva in 1532, and found many Reformation sympathizers. He was an encourager of Pierre Viret, the Swiss Reformer, and he persuaded Calvin to stay in Geneva as its Pastor.
The undisputed leader of the Reformation. Building on Luther's theology of grace through faith, he laid down the great principles of biblical religion, beginning with the knowledge of God, the creation, the fall, then redemption in Jesus Christ, the church, the sacraments, civil government, and the last things. He preached thousands of sermons and corresponded with hundreds of Christians in difficulty throughout Europe.
Known by his Latin name, Beza, this scholar-statesman was well respected in the great courts around the Continent. In his hands he holds the Leges Academiae, the charter of the great school of Geneva, a training center for the persecuted ministers of the French-speaking world. He was the President of that school and its most effective professor. His theological writings, on a vast array of subjects, continue to benefit the church today.
The only non-French reformer, he was only briefly in Geneva. During that time he was the pastor to English-speaking refugees fleeing persecution. He returned to his native Scotland and established a Protestant church there based on the Genevan model. His preaching was so strong it was said of him that in one hour he could put more new life into people than five hundred trumpets ringing without ceasing. He was the founder of Presbyterianism.
Other Names and Events Connected with The Reformation in France and Switzerland
French King François I (Valois King, reigned 1514-1547) Centralized France, battled against Charles V, Calvin wrote his Institutes
Preface to him. Marguerite d'AngoulÍme, afterwards Queen of Navarre, his sister, agreed with the Reformation and protected Protestant sympathizers, such as Lefèvre, at NÈrac.
Henri II (reigned 1547-1559) son of François I married Catherine de Medicis consolidated France against the English. Brought back the Guises, opponents of Protestants, from Italy, vs Spaniards
Henri de Navarre (Bourbon King, reigned as Henry IV 1589-1610) son of Jeanne d'Albret, Protestant gave up Protestantism, escaped the St Bartholomew's Day massacre, brought prosperity to France Edict of Nantes (1598) assured some toleration of religion
Louis XIV (Bourbon King, reigned 1643-1715) The "Sun King" was persuaded to revoke the Edict of Nantes (1685), persecuting Protestants and Jansenists Bible Editions and Translations. 1516
Erasmus publishes the Greek New Testament in a good new edition. He also translated the Bible into Latin, and made a paraphrase of it. 1522.
Martin Luther translated the NT, and in 1534 the entire Bible into German. Revised in 1545.
Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples revised the recension of Jean de Rely. The NT was done in 1523, the entire Bible in 1530, into French. Somewhat literalistic, the marginal notes show Protestant sympathies.
Pierre Robert Olivetan's translation of the Bible into French, the first done from the Greek and Hebrew, though inspired by Lefèvre. Latin preface by his cousin Calvin. 1535.
The 1553 edition was printed by Robert Estienne, and is the first to use chapters and verses. A revision of the Olivetan Bible became known as the Geneva Bible, and was the favorite of French Protestants for generations. 1588.