The Works of John Knox - standard edition of Knox's text, collected and edited by David Laing. Six volumes, and approximately 3,700 pages.
The Logos Bible Software edition of The Works of John Knox is presented as an interlinear resource. The primary manuscript line is that of Laing's edition of Knox's Works. The secondary line is a modernization of Laing's word (where needed). The modernization serves to make Laing's edition more readable by today's reader.
- Title: The Works of John Knox (6 vols.)
- Author: John Knox
- Editor: David Laing
- Publisher: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
About John Knox
If you want to know more about the man, here is a condensed excerpt from Who's Who in Christian History also available for Logos Bible Software 4.
KNOX, JOHN (1514-1572) Scottish reformer
Born in or near Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland, Knox was the son of a middle-class farmer. After school at Haddington, Knox probably attended St. Andrews University, studying under John Mair, one of the leading Scottish scholars of the day and also a strong advocate of the conciliar ideal for the government of the church. On graduation, Knox took orders as a priest in the Catholic Church (1536), and apparently because of legal studies became a papal notary (1540). At the same time, while serving as a tutor to some landholders’ sons, he came into contact with a number of Protestant families.
How or when Knox himself became a Protestant is not known, for he never reveals anything about his conversion, but it is known that it was by 1545. At that time a certain George Wishart, a Scot who had spent some time in Switzerland and England, returned to his native land where he began preaching the gospel. In January 1545, after preaching in other places, he came to East Lothian where Knox acted as his bodyguard, carrying a two-handed sword. Despite Wishart’s acceptance by the local gentry, however, he was arrested by the earl of Bothwell and taken to St. Andrew’s, where after a trial before Cardinal Beaton he was burned at the stake as a heretic in March 1546.
In May 1546, partially as a reprisal for the execution of Wishart but more because of a conflict with some of the local lairds, Cardinal Beaton was murdered in his castle of St. Andrews, which the assassins then continued to hold against the forces of the government. It was to St. Andrews Castle that Knox felt he had to go, since he was under some harassment by the ecclesiastical authorities because of his former support of Wishart. Entering the castle in April 1547 with his young charges, the sons of his employers, he not only continued to teach them but was soon called to become the minister of the garrison and also began to preach in one of the local churches, since the government’s siege operations were not very rigorous. In this capacity he spoke out strongly against the Roman Catholic Church and also against the sinful lives of the castle’s garrison.
Although the conspirators hoped that the English would come to their rescue, they were disappointed in this, for instead of an English fleet, a French fleet appeared in June 1547 and forced them to surrender. Knox and the garrison were then carried to France where the gentlemen were imprisoned in Rouen and Mont St. Michel and the common individuals, such as Knox, were put in the naval galleys as slaves. But even while in this position Knox never lost hope, nor did he cease to occupy the position of a leader, as he kept in touch with the various lairds in their prisons, presumably with the help of some of the French Protestants.
In March 1549 Knox and Alexander Clerk were released from the galley Notre Dame, probably through the influence of England, now ruled by the Protestant Edward VI. Knox was placed in Berwick-on-Tweed as minister of the Protestant congregation, some of whom were Scottish Protestant refugees. In 1551 he was moved to Newcastle-on-Tyne where he became the first Protestant pastor. It was while in this position that he became acquainted with Elizabeth Bowes, wife of the captain of Norham Castle and mother of Marjorie, the woman who would become Knox’s first wife. His answers to Mrs. Bowes’s letters concerning her spiritual problems provide us with an intimate picture of the man himself and his spiritual struggles. His conflicts, however, were not just within, but were also with various opponents who did not accept the Reformed or Calvinistic position he now adopted. In 1550 he had to defend his attacks upon the Roman doctrine of the Mass before Tunstall, bishop of Durham. His vigor in attacking such doctrines led in turn to his being removed by the earl of Northumberland, head of the English government to the south of England. Although offered a bishopric in Rochester and a parish in London, he refused both, but continued to act as a preacher against the Anabaptists. At the same time he came into disfavor with Archbishop Cranmer for his criticism of the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper in the second Edwardian Book of Common Prayer and its requirement of kneeling to receive the elements.
In 1553 Edward VI died and was succeeded by his sister Mary, a staunch Roman Catholic. This brought the Reformation in England to a sudden halt, and within a short time Knox was back in France-this time as a refugee. While waiting in Dieppe to see what would happen in England he wrote a number of open letters to the Protestants, urging them to stand firm. He then took a short tour through Switzerland and settled in Geneva to study under Calvin’s direction.
Knox’s stay in Geneva was not long, for he soon received a call from the English refugee congregation in Frankfurt am Main to be their pastor. Reluctantly he consented under pressure from Calvin but soon found himself in trouble owing to the insistence of the English refugees in Strassburg that his congregation should use the English prayer book. When he refused, the English had him expelled from Frankfurt. He returned to Geneva to be followed by some two hundred members of his former congregation who set up what has been called the first Puritan congregation with a confession and form of service somewhat different from the Anglican one. Knox was elected to be the pastor of this body.
In the meantime, however, he had departed to Scotland where he preached for some months until the Roman Catholic bishops prepared to have him arrested and his Genevan congregation called for his return. He therefore left for Geneva, taking with him his wife and his mother-in-law. He was not left in peace, however; the following year (1558) he received another summons to go back to Scotland. But when he arrived in Dieppe ready to board ship, he received another letter telling him not to come since Mary of Guise, the queen regent, seemed more favorable to the Protestant cause. Thoroughly annoyed at this change Knox wrote
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