BIBLIANDER (BUCHMANN), THEODOR: Swiss theologian and teacher; b. at Bischofszell (11 miles s.s.e. of Constance), Switzerland, 1504 (1509?); d. at Zurich Nov. 26, 1564. He studied Hebrew under Jacob Ceporinus in Zurich, in 1526 under Pellican and Œcolampadius at Basel, and later on under Capito. When Duke Frederick II of Liegnitz in 1527 asked for teachers for his high school, the Council of Zurich sent him Bibliander, who served there two years with distinction. He then returned home and was appointed Zwingli’s successor in the theological professorship at Zurich in 1531.
Bibliander’s specialty was linguistics, and he used to call himself homo grammaticus; he was versed in the Semitic dialects and was master of several modern languages. From the beginning his rendering of the Prophets was successful, was indorsed by Bullinger and Pellican, and caused J. H. Hottinger to call him the father of exegetical theology in Switzerland. He wrote also on Hebrew Grammar and on Comparative Linguistics. Perhaps the greatest sensation he caused was that produced by his publication of the Koran (1543, rev. ed., 1550); the magistrates at Basel tried to prohibit the book, but Luther interfered in defense of it and of the translator. Bibliander issued studies on the Gospel of Mark and the Protevangelium Jacobi, translating them into Latin. His works betray a rich historical knowledge. Especially worthy of mention in this regard are his De Ratione Temporum (1551) and Temporum Supputatio (1558). Most of his writings were never published, but are preserved in manuscript at Zurich.
Next to Bullinger, Bibliander appears as the most respected representative of the Church at Zurich. He participated in all theological and ecclesiastical discussions, preserving the heritage of Zwingli. He assisted in the publication of Zwingli’s and Œcolampadius’s letters (1536). In some treatises he openly attacked the Catholic Church and the Tridentinum (De Legitima Vindicatione Christianisimi, 1553), and antagonized the Roman propaganda, appealing to England as the land of Christian liberty. He advocated missions to the Jews and Mohammedans, and went so far as to start on mission work, being restrained only by Bullinger’s representations. He was made emeritus and given a pension in 1560.
Bibliography: A list of the writings of Bibliander is given in H. J. Leu, Allgemeines Lexicon, iv, 11-14, 20 vols., Zurich, 1747-65. For his life consult J.J. Christinger, T. Bibliander, ein biographisches Denkmal, Frauenfeld, 1867; E. Egli, Analecta reformatoria, vol. ii, Zurich, 1901.