JONAS, Justus. b. Nordhausen, Thuringia, 3 June 1493; d. Eisfeld, 9 October 1555. The son of the Burgomaster of Nordhausen, Jonas Koch, he studied law at the University of Erfurt (MA, 1510), with a period in Wittenberg (1511-15). As a young man, he was appointed Professor of Jurisprudence at Erfurt, and in 1519 Rector (in the rectorial ode he was playfully called ‘the just Jonas’, and thenceforth was known as ‘Justus Jonas’). He was encouraged by Erasmus to read the New Testament in the original Greek, and in 1520 he began the study of theology. Moving to Wittenberg, he became acquainted with Luther*, whom he accompanied to the Diet of Worms in 1521. The two men became close friends, and...
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