A Learned Treatise of the Plague

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Theodore Beza

“With the outbreak of the coronavirus strain COVID-19, the Church is forced to ask questions we have not had to face since the recurring outbreaks of the bubonic plague.... The questions faced by Beza and Mr. Percival, and it is the wisdom of the Church to listen to her forefathers in the faith.” ~from Ben Castle’s Introduction

Look Inside the Book

In this short, but wise work, Reformer Theodore Beza deals with the question of how Christians should react to the plague. In his time, many Calvinists thought that because all things come to pass according to God's will, then taking precautions against the plague or avoiding sick people shows lack of faith in God's providence.

Beza takes a hammer to this fatalism and shows that, just because God decrees all things does not mean that we should not love our neighbor by all means within our power.

This treatise is a reminder that God's people have faced plague and contagion before, and that a faithful and loving response is possible for a Christian, no matter the time or place.

Ben Castle is pastor of a Grace Orthodoxy Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.

AUTHOR: Theodore Beza


TRANSLATOR: Edward Percivall

PAGE COUNT: 60 pages

SIZE: 5x7"

ISBN-13: 9781952410758

ISBN-10: 1952410754

BINDING: Paperback

PUB. DATE: October 12, 2020

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
David Payne

A Learned Treatise of the Plague

Zachary Kamin
I'm not smart, but I enjoyed it!

Beza's treatise has a lot of information that requires some context to appreciate more.
Nevertheless, the work has helped me calm those on the left who have gone crazy. And kick the complacent on the right who aren't willing to serve the sick in the church.

roberto boselli

Written almost 500 years ago and still “speaking” to our hearts. Strongly recommend to pastors and leaders.

Cassandra Andersen
Sooo hard to understand

I feel like I only understood about a quarter of Bezas overall points about how people of faith should view a plague taking over society. I wish the translator would have not just translated the text, but put it into modern English as well as maybe a separate section of the book. I’m glad I read it though... there’s some good things in there about how a person just needs to listen to God in trying times and obey Him, whether any other person of faith (or otherwise) agrees with it or not. He also says that simply abandoning those who are in their greatest hour of need just because we want to preserve our own life is selfish and not the example Jesus gave us. The black plague would kill people within 12 hours of showing symptoms, so what they were dealing with back then was literally nothing like now. I found these truths comforting during the fear and shame driven era we have found ourselves in.

Lyle Bearss
Beza's On the Plague

Encouraging read