Calvin and Beza

Theodore Beza, Calvin’s close friend and successor in Geneva, was the quintessence of French politeness. He was the best fitted of all the Reformers to stand and defend Protestantism before the King and Queen of France. He was not only a Christian gentleman, he was also one of the most learned scholars of his day. And, he was the last of the 16th century Reformers, living more than a quarter of a century after the others had died.

Beza was born in Vezelay, France on June 24, 1519. He went to school at Orleans and studied under Melchior Wolmar who had such an impact on Calvin ten years earlier. Now he was the teacher of the boy who would be Calvin’s successor. Wolmar influenced Beza to read the Bible, thus preparing him for Protestantism and the Reformed Faith. Beza was not converted immediately, but Wolmar’s influence never left him, keeping him from becoming a man of loose morals, as were most young French gentlemen. Wolmar was to Beza what Wyttenbach was to Zwingli.