An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

British Calvinists: John Rainolds (1549-1607)

John Rainolds (aka Reynolds) (1549-1607) was a Puritan, he was one of the initiators of the King James Authorized Bible. He was born in Pinhoe, near Exeter.

Rainolds studied at Merton and Corpus Christi colleges at Oxford. When he graduated he became a tutor to Richard Hooker. Elizabeth I objected to Rainolds being appointed the Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, so Thomas Holland was given the post instead.

In 1593 he became the Dean of Lincoln Cathedral and then in 1598 he was elected president of Corpus Christi (1598-1607). He was one of the key Puritan members of the 1604 Hampton Court Conference in the early days of James I. 

The Hampton Court Conference was convened in response to the Millenary Petition - signed by supposedly 1000 Puritans. The Puritans had high hopes of James I as he was familiar with Scottish Presbyterianism. The Puritans expressed revulsion against several Episcopal ceremonies including the signing of the cross at baptism, bowing at the name of Jesus, and the wearing of the surplice and the cap. Unfortunately, the Puritans didn't win the backing of the king. Rainolds left the conference largely satisfied but the more radical Puritans were disappointed. 

The main gain of the conference was the initiation of the Authorized Version (KJV) of the Bible, but subscription to the Prayer Book was still enforced and the episcopal structure remained. Bancroft who succeeded Whitgift as the Archbishop of Canterbury was even more zealous that his predecessor in enforcing the Prayer Book and the use of copes, caps, hoods and surplices.

Some of Rainolds writings are available here:

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