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Theological classic by Van Mastricht to be translated

From Latin and Dutch to English


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The Dutch Reformed Translation Society (DRTS), most recently known for the translation into English and publication of H. Bavinckís Reformed Dogmatics, has now taken on the translation of lesser-known late seventeenth-century theologian Petrus van Mastrichtís Theoretico-Practica Theologia.

This work was especially influential in the Netherlands (via the Latin versions as well as the Henricus Pontanus Dutch translation of 1749-1753). In the British colonies in North America, leading theologian Jonathan Edwards praised this particular work above that of Turretin.

Van Mastrichtís method is to consider a loci of theology via an exegetical treatment proceeding to a series of didactic formulations, followed by a polemical treatment of objections that culminate ultimately in practical formulations for piety towards God and neighbour. Theoretico-Practica Theologia is divided into three parts, with the lionís share of the 1300 page classic being part one.

The $125,000 project will likely be divided into four volumes. With an estimated two million words to translate, it is anticipated that publication of the first volume may be 3-5 years away. Calvin Seminary Ph.D. student Todd Rester, an expert in Latin and Dutch, has been contracted for the translation.

Peter Van Mastricht (1630-1706) succeeded Gisbertius Voetius as theology professor at Utrecht. His major work was first published in Latin in 1655, preceding a Dutch edition by over 90 years. In the Netherlands, Dutch eventually overtook Latin as the language of instruction at universities in the eighteenth century.

DRTS is publishing the Spirituality Series this year, which will feature writings by eight seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch theologians (Taffin, Teellinck, Voetius, Hoornbeeck, Koelman, Udemans, Brakel, Schortinghuis and Van Lodestein).