Théodore Tronchin (theologian)

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Théodore Tronchin (Latin: Tronchinus) (1582–1657) was a Swiss Calvinist theologian, controversialist and Hebraist.

Théodore Tronchin, 1657 engraving.


He was born at Geneva on 17 April 1582, the son of Rémi Tronchin and Théodora Rocca, the adopted daughter of Théodore de Bèze.[1] He studied theology at Geneva, Basel, Heidelberg, Franeker, and Leiden. He became professor of oriental languages at the academy of Geneva in 1606; he was preacher there in 1608, and professor of theology in 1618.[2] He was rector in 1610.[3]

In 1618 he was sent with his colleague Giovanni Diodati to the Synod of Dort, as Genevan delegate. In 1632 he was army chaplain under Henri, Duke of Rohan, during his final campaign in Valtellina.[2] In 1655 he was one of the delegation that conferred in Geneva with John Dury.[4]

He died in Geneva on 19 November 1657. The theologian Louis Tronchin was his son.[2] His daughter Renée married the printer Pierre Chouet, and the theologian Jean-Robert Chouet was their son.[5]


He was an orthodox Calvinist, opposed to Amyraldism.[1]


He was asked to reply to the Jesuit Pierre Coton, who in Genève plagiaire (1618) had attacked the Genevan Bible translation, the Bible de Genève.[1] Benédict Turrettini answered quickly in 1618, to the early parts of the book; and Coton published a rebuttal. Tronchin's answer Coton plagiaire (also Cotton)[6] appeared at the beginning of 1620.[7]

Other works were:

  • De bonis operibus (1628);
  • Oratio funebria de Henrico duce Rohani (1638);
  • De peccato originali (1658).[2]

His 1628 funeral oration for Simon Goulart is known for the hint in it that Goulart knew the author of the Vindiciae contra tyrannos.[8]


  1. ^ a b c (French) Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse
  2. ^ a b c d "''Schaff-Herzog'' article". Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  3. ^ Stelling-Michaud, Suzanne (1980). "Le Livre du Recteur de l'Académie de Genève (1559-1878)". ISBN 9782600031929. 
  4. ^ With Daniel Chabrey, Philippe Mestrezat, Antoine Leger, François Turretin, Paul Bacuet, and Jean de Pan. Bodo Nischan, John M. Headley, Hans Joachim Hillerbrand, Anthony J. Papalas, Confessionalization in Europe, 1555-1700: essays in honor and memory of Bodo Nischan (2004), p. 221; Google Books.
  5. ^ Martin I. Klauber, Between Reformed Scholasticism and Pan-Protestantism: Jean-Alphonse Turretin (1671-1737) and enlightened orthodoxy at the Academy of Geneva (1994), p. 39; Google Books.
  6. ^ (German) BBKL page
  7. ^ Nicolas Fornerod, Gabriella Cahier, Philippe Boros, Matteo Campagnolo, Registres de la Compagnie des pasteurs de Genève, Volume 13; Volumes 1617-1618 (2001), p. xix; Google Books.
  8. ^ Hubert Languet, George Garnett (editor), Vindiciae contra tyrannos, or, Concerning the legitimate power of a prince over the people, and of the people over a prince (1994), p. xix; Google Books.

External links[edit]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1914). "Tronchin, Theodore". New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls. 

Academic offices
Preceded by
Giovanni Diodati
Chair of theology at the Genevan Academy
Succeeded by
Francis Turretin