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The Servetus Challenge

Eisegesis and the Problematic of Differing Chronologies of Ecclesiastical Corruption

Joao Chaves

This piece focuses on how the challenge that Servetus’s Trinitarian thought posed to reformers in general and Calvin in particular illustrates the oftentimes overlooked similarities between their interpretative frameworks. Although many works on the Servetus-Calvin affair have been produced, such works focus on the dissimilarities between Servetus and Calvin. I will argue that there is a significant similarity between Servetus’s and Calvin’s hermeneutical presuppositions insofar as both thinkers not only do not acknowledge the tentative nature of their scriptural interpretations but also allow their respective hermeneutic to be guided by sources that were produced by people who belonged to a time when, according to their respective convictions, the church was still able to properly recognize true scriptural teaching.