Fagius, Paulus

Fagius, Paulus (properly BUCHLEIN), was born at Rheinzabern in 1504. His studies were pursued at Heidelberg and Strasburg, where he became a great proficient in Hebrew, and was led into close acquaintance with Capito, Hedio, Bucer, Zell, and other learned reformers. In 1537 he entered the ministry, and was pastor at Isny until 1543. Here he studied Hebrew thoroughly under Elias Levita (q.v.) and also established a Hebrew press. In 1541, when the plague began to rage in Isny, he publicly rebuked those of the wealthy classes who forsook the place without making provision for the relief of the poor, and himself visited the sick in person, and administered spiritual comfort to them day and night, and yet escaped. On the death of Capito at Strasburg, the senate called Fagius to succeed him as professor and pastor there (1544). In 1546, Frederick II, the elector palatine, intending a reformation in his churches, called him to Heidelberg, and made him professor there. He opposed the Interim (q.v.), and when it was introduced he was compelled to leave Strasburg. In 1548 he accepted the invitation of Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, and came to England. He was nominated by the archbishop to the professorship of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge. Before he went to Cambridge he resided with the archbishop at Lambeth, where he was associated with Bucer. His labors while there, in addition to the preparation necessary for his professional office, are thus described by Strype: "As it has been a great while the archbishop's desire that the Holy Bible should come abroad in the greatest exactness, and true agreement with the original text, so he laid this work upon these two learned men, viz. Fagius and Bucer. First, that they should give a clear, plain, and succinct interpretation of the Scripture, according to the propriety of the language; and, secondly, illustrate difficult and obscure places, and reconcile those that seemed repugnant to one another. And it was his will and his advice that to this end and purpose their public readings should tend. This pious and good work, by the archbishop assigned to them, they most gladly and readily undertook. For their more regular carrying on this business, they allotted to each other, by consent, their distinct tasks. Fagius, because his talent lay in the Hebrew learning, was to undertake the Old Testament, and Bucer the New. The leisure they now enjoyed with the archbishop they spent in preparing their respective lectures. Fagius entered upon the evangelical prophet Esaias, and Bucer upon the Gospel of the evangelist John; and some chapters in each book were dispatched by them. But it was not long but both of them fell sick, which gave a very unhappy stop to their studies." He died at Cambridge November 13,1549. His body, along with Bucer's, was dug up and burnt in queen Mary's time. He wrote various books on Biblical and Hebrew literature, among which are Metaphrasis et Enarratio Epis. Paul. ad Romans (Strasb. 1536, fol.): — Sententiae sapientum Hebraeorum (Isny, 1541, 4to): — Annotationes in Targum (Isny, 1546, fol.): — Expositio literalis in IV priora Capita Geneseos, cui accessit Textus Hebraici et Paraphraseos Chaldaic. collatio, 4to (this and the last work reprinted in the Critici Sacri): — Precationes Hebraicae, ex libello Hebraico excerptae cui Nomen, Liber Fidei (1542, 8vo): — Tobias Hebraicus in Latinam translatus (1542, 4to): — Ben Syrae Sententiae Morales, cum succincto Commentario (1542,4to): — Isagoge in Linguam Hebraicam (Constance, 1543, 4to). — Middleton, Evang. Biography, 1:260; Melchior Adam, Vitae theolog. 1:99; Hook, Ecclesiastes Biog. 5:50.

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