Beza, Theodore bē´zə [key] (Théodore de Bèze), 1519–1605, French Calvinist theologian. In 1548 he joined John Calvin at Geneva and soon became his intimate friend and chief aid. From 1549 to 1558, Beza was professor of Greek at Lausanne, where he wrote De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis (1554), a defense of the conduct of Calvin and the Genevan magistrates in the notorious trial and burning of Servetus. In 1558 he became professor of Greek at Geneva, and in 1564 he succeeded Calvin in the chair of theology at Geneva. Beza came to be regarded as the chief advocate of all reformed congregations in France, serving with distinction at the Colloquy of Poissy (see Poissy, Colloquy of). He was of great importance in aiding the edition of the Greek and Latin versions of the New Testament, and he gave Codex D, or Codex Bezae, one of the most important manuscripts of the Bible, to the Univ. of Cambridge.
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