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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, November 23

615
Death of the Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus at Bobbio, Italy, in one of the many monasteries he had founded.
1406
Death of Nicodemus of Tismana. As a young nobleman he had gone to Mt. Athos in Greece where he became a monk and priest. Upon his return to Romania, he had established a monastic community, then moved to Vodita where he built a church. He attempted to reconcile Serbian and Byzantine churches and founded another monastery at Tismana whose monks copied books.
1585
(or 20th) Death in London of Thomas Tallis, composer of fine Christian music, including the highly regarded Lamentations of Jeremiah and a number of psalm settings.
1654
French thinker Blaise Pascal undergoes a profound religious conversion, which he records on paper, giving the date and time, followed by the mystical words: "Fire. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Certitude, certitude, joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ..."
1846
James Evans, having served as a missionary to Canadian Indians, collapses unexpectedly while in England and dies instantly at forty-five years of age. He had been under tremendous strain from sexual allegations brought against him by liquor traders furious at his preaching. A memorable incident in his life had been his accidental shooting of an Indian convert. Friends urged him to flee. James, however, located the man's family, explained what had happened and offered himself for adoption in the man's place. The mother was so impressed that a white man would care about the feelings of an Indian family, she let James live. For the rest of his short life, James shared his income with her.
1872
Death of John Bowering who wrote the hymn "In the cross of Christ I Glory."
1906
Death of William Wrede, German Lutheran scholar who had taught New Testament at the universities of Gottingen and Breslau. He contended that the Gospels represented the theology of the primitive church rather than a true biographical history of Jesus and that the Paul was the real founder of first-century Christianity.
1938
Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula is sent to Kitengule-Mwibara where he begins his ministry as an ordained minister. He will become the first bishop of the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania.
1947
E. L. Sukenik of Jerusalem's Hebrew University first received word of the existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The documents, dating between 200 BC and AD 70, had been accidentally discovered the previous winter (1946-47) by two Bedouin shepherds in the vicinity of Qumran.
1970
Pope Paul VI issued a decree barring cardinals over the age of 80 from voting for a new pope.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"