John Eck

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Johann Eck (born Nov. 13, 1486, Egg, Swabia, Germany–died Feb. 10, 1543, Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany, aged 56), originally Johann Maier von Eck, often Anglicized as John Eck. Early in his career Johann Maier adopted the name of his home village, Egg (or Eck), as his surname. He was a German Catholic prelate and Scholastic theologian. He studied at the universities of Heidelberg, Tübingen, Cologne, and Freiburg im Breisgau. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1508 and became a doctor of theology in 1510. In that year he began a lifelong career as professor of theology at the University of Ingolstadt. He is most famous as an early counterreformer who was among Martin Luther's most important interlocutors and principal Roman Catholic theological opponents.


Conservative Christian historians and apologists are mindful of this statement by John Eck addressed to Martin Luther, in the year 1521:[1]

"...there is no one of the heresies which have torn the bosom of the church, which has not derived its origin from the various interpretation of the Scripture. The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each innovator has drawn his deceptive arguments. It was with biblical texts that Pelagius and Arius maintained their doctrines. Arius, for instance, found the negation of the eternity of the Word—an eternity which you admit, in this verse of the New Testament—Joseph knew not his wife till she had brought forth her first-born son; and he said, in the same way that you say, that this passage enchained him. When the fathers of the council of Constance condemned this proposition of John HussThe church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect, they condemned an error; for the church, like a good mother, embraces within her arms all who bear the name of Christian, all who are called to enjoy the celestial beatitude."[2]

See also

Protestant Reformation



  1. Eck's statement here is supremely appropriate in light of Luther's refusal to submit to the judgment of the Church, the emperor Charles V, and the Pope, and the teaching of Paul in Romans 13:1-5.
  2. Martin Luther. Life of Luther (Luther by Martin Luther).

External links

Johann Eck, German theologian - Britannica Encyclopedia (

Johann Eck (Eckius)- Catholic Encyclopedia (

Johann Eck - Wikipedia