Restoration of Christianity: An English Translation of "Christianismi Restitutio" by Michael Servetus (1511-1553) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2006
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
That Forsey continued to serve as Managing Editor and Project Director of this translation has now been verified by Angel Arcala, the Servetus scholar who wrote the text's superb forward. Forsey's determination to employ translators who stuck to what and how Servetus wrote shines throughout this work. For example, her editing never allows the language Servetus used to be recast into modern wording, thus giving the reader an authentic feel for the tone and the style of the 16th century. Only the errors made by Servetus himself are allowed here -- and even these are faithfully rendered into English by Christopher Hoffman and then copiously annotated by Marian Hillar.
As a cardiac surgeon, I was particularly impressed with how this book depicts the most famous portion of "Christianismi restitutio", the section that proves Servetus, not William Harvey, first understood how blood circulates from the lungs to the heart. A few short accounts of Servetus' discovery have appeared in English before, but those previous versions "do not render the correct meaning of the Servetus text ... and do not reflect the entire thought of Servetus." The present translation succeeds admirably.
My only hesitancy in giving this book a five-star rating aims at the Mellen Press for not putting Dr. Forsey's name on the cover. Hopefully Mellen can correct this omission in its second edition.
Alan T. Marty MD, FACS, FACC, FCCM, FCCP
Read this book to understand the idea that Michael Servetus was willing to die for, his idea of God. His theology was unlike any that came before it, one which he thought would be the basis for a Restored Christianity. But he was misunderstood, misrepresented, and brutally murdered because of his ideas.
His ideas are still misunderstood and misrepresented today. That is why the publishing of this book in English is so important. Servetus doesn't fit in almost anywhere (except with Swedenborg). He says the idea of three distinct persons in God tears God apart and leaves only a void, but he also affirms the divinity of Christ, unlike modern Unitarians. It seems so simple to defend the idea that God is One, and that He manifested Himself in the human form of Jesus Christ, but somehow many people think this idea is absurd.
What were the Protestants and Catholic leaders all so afraid of that they felt the need to snuff out this flame of theological reason. I believe they were afraid that Servetus' ideas were indeed what they claimed to be: a basis for the overthrow of the Christian tyrants' doctrine, and the basis for a New Christianity.
Expect to see how Servetus defends his doctrine with the scriptures, and enjoy his wrath against the abuse of Christ's message.
"May the Lord destroy all the tyrants of the Church. Amen"
More quotes from the book:
"In Christ there is not some portion of God, but the whole totality of God, the whole fulfillment of the Word and the spirit" (Restoration of Christianity, 105).
"God has revealed Himself to us, making Himself outwardly visible through the Word, yet internally perceptible through the spirit. Though He remains a great mystery in either case, He is yet such that humanity may see God Himself and possess Him. God was previously not visible, but now we shall see Him with His face unveiled, and, so long as we open the gate and step upon the road, we shall gaze upon Him as He shines in ourselves. It is time that we open that gate and this path of light . . ." (Preamble to Restoration of Christianity).
"For the heavenly Word made flesh on earth expressed the substance of flesh so that the flesh itself is said to be from heaven: because that flesh in itself actually has the divine substance from heaven" (Restoration of Christianity, 104).
This is not a quick read.