Hermann Witsius

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Hermann Witsius
Hermann Witsius by Heymans.jpg
Born(1636-02-12)February 12, 1636
DiedOctober 22, 1708(1708-10-22) (aged 72)
EducationUtrecht University (1651-1654, 1655),
University of Groningen (1654-1655),
Leiden University
OccupationTheologian · Author · Professor · Minister
Notable work
The Economy of the Covenants between God and Man (1677)
Spouse(s)Aletta van Borchorn
Theological work
Tradition or movementDutch Reformed

Hermann Witsius (Herman Wits or in Latin Hermannus Witsius; 12 February 1636 – 22 October 1708, aged 72) was a Dutch theologian.


He was born at Enkhuizen. He studied at the University of Groningen, Leiden, and Utrecht. He was ordained in the ministry, becoming the pastor of Westwoud in 1656 and afterwards at Wormer, Goes, and Leeuwarden. He became professor of divinity successively at the University of Franeker in 1675 and at the University of Utrecht in 1680. Witsius became Chancellor of Utrecht University in 1686. In 1698 he was appointed to the University of Leiden as the successor of the younger Friedrich Spanheim. He died in Leiden.


While in his theology Witsius aimed at a reconciliation between the reigning orthodoxy and Covenant Theology (also known as federalism), he was first of all a Biblical theologian, his principal field being systematic theology. His chief work is entitled The Economy of the Covenants between God and Man (originally published in Latin: De oeconomia foederum Dei cum hominibus, Leeuwarden, 1677). He was induced to publish this work by his grief at the controversies between Voetians and Cocceians. Although himself a member of the federalistic school, he was in no way blind to the value of the scholastically established dogmatic system of the Church. In the end, he did not succeed in pleasing either party.


  • The Economy of the Covenants between God and Man (originally published as De oeconomia foderum Dei cum hominibus (in Latin), Leeuwarden, 1677).
  • Witsii, Hermanni (1739), De œconomia foederum Dei cum hominibus [The Economy of the Covenants between God & Man] (in Latin), libri quatuor: Ex..., Archive.

Besides his principal work he published:

Of his minor works, there have appeared in English


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