Chapter 3 Friedrich Breckling’s Paulus Redivivus (1688) and Catalogus Haereticorum (c.1697–1703)

In: Early Modern Prophecies in Transnational, National and Regional Contexts (3 vols.)
Viktoria Franke
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The Northern German theologian Friedrich Breckling (1629–1711) fled to the Dutch Republic in 1660. He became a Lutheran pastor in the Dutch town Zwolle, where his parish became a meeting point for dissenters like him. He was the author of a vast number of religious tracts. A first wave of publications appeared in the 1660s, a second wave in the 1680s. In his tracts, he presented himself as a “witness of truth”. He wanted to find new followers and instruct those who were already on his side. His competitors in the religious marketplace were other prophets and the established Lutheran church. This chapter offers a translation of one of Breckling’s tracts, Paulus Redivivus (1688) together with an unpublished manuscript, the Catalogus Haereticorum (c.1697–1703). The main theme of Paulus Redivivus is the conversion of the Jews, Turks and heathens. In the tract Breckling also defends Jacob Böhme. The Catalogus Haereticorum seems to have been the counterpart of the Catalogus Testium Veritatis, published in Gottfried Arnold’s Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie. In it, Breckling criticises his most important competitors in the religious marketplace and explains why he considered them to be evil. Whether or not the manuscript was ever intended for publication is unclear.

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