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DidCalvinMurderServetusM

Did Calvin Say He Exterminated Servetus?

Calvin is said to have said "I have exterminated Servetus the Spaniard" -- a partial quote. Some dispute this is true, and imply it was a forgery. 

 Because of this, someone wrote me that the quote should not be included in Rives' Did Calvin Murder Servetus? 

The extermination quote does belong to the official writings of Calvin and was not truly proven as spurious by Bonnett although the case was presented by him that it was a forgery as explained in http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2017/08/calvin-i-have-exterminated-michael.html

As that blog study shows, Voltaire quoted the original French, which  was “exterminate.” When translated into English  by Bonnet of this letter -- the person claiming it was a Forgery ---  he based it upon the letter preserved from the official writings of Calvin. Thus, that editor familiar with Calvin accepted the letter as true, and Bonnet rendered the key word as “smother.”
Many unaware that Calvin wrote in French ignore this, and make the claim of spuriousness relying on an English translation changing “exterminate” in French into Bonnet’s translation in English as ”smother.”
Regardless, whether smother or  exterminate, it shows the callousness and consciousness by Calvin of his intent to kill Servetus. The validity of Bonnet’s claim of forgery depends entirely upon whether Poet -- the person addressed -- only became a grand chamberlain 20 years later which in turn depends upon a single remark of Aubenas, or the validity of transcribing the letter’s true date. That hardly proves the case.
So you have the official writings of Calvin including this letter versus a stray remark about a date when Poet became grand chamberlain as a proof it is a forgery. Calvin defenders have a weak argument. They need proof of three things: Aubenas was right which should be easy to do from public records, and that the original editor did not have the original handwriting of Calvin in his possession at some point when he included this letter, and, if Aubenas' was correct, that the date on the letter was clear and not transcribed incorrectly.