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The Spiritual Marriage between Christ and His Church and Every One of the Faithful (Zanchi)

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Developing from Girolamo Zanchi’s exegetical labors through Ephesians, Spiritual Marriage draws readers into the rich theological of doctrine of union with Christ. Following the lead of the apostle Paul, Zanchi demonstrates how our earthly marriages fulfill their truest purpose by drawing our attention toward the spiritual marriage between Christ and His Church. By paying attention to the Genesis account of Adam’s marriage to Eve, to pertinent Old Testament laws, and to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, we begin to understand something of that higher and heavenly union. This new translation helps us better understand the great mystery of Christ and His bride.

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Table of Contents: 

Introduction: Girolamo Zanchi (1516–1590) and Spiritual Marriage

The Spiritual Marriage between Christ and His Church and Every One of the Faithful

Dedicatory Epistle


1. The Creation of Eve and Her Marriage to Adam
2. The Doctrine of Carnal Marriage
3. The Doctrine of Spiritual Marriage
4. The Final Causes of the Spiritual Union
5. The Duties of the Husband and of the Wife



Girolamo Zanchi (1516–1590) was an influential Reformed pastor and professor. Originally from northern Italy, he was converted under the ministry of Peter Martyr Vermigli and subsequently fled north to Protestant Europe. As an instructor and churchman at Strasbourg, Chiavenna, Heidelberg, and Neustadt, Zanchi became a prolific and pioneering Reformed scholastic theologian who sought to wed pious devotion with precise language.



“Readers are in for a feast with Patrick O’Banion’s translation of Girolamo Zanchi’s Spiritual Marriage Between Christ and His Church. Little known today but a giant in his own day, Zanchi richly unpacks the doctrine of union with Christ with exegetical rigor, theological insight, and practical counsel. Those who want a deeper understanding of this all-important doctrine would do well to study carefully this small book.” — J. V. Fesko, Harriet Barbour Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

“This treatise is a most edifying and interesting work for which Patrick O'Banion is to be sincerely thanked. O’Banion did not just provide a cursory English translation, but one that involved a tremendous amount of scholarship that clearly shows his devotion to the cause of Christ, which Girolamo Zanchi himself expresses so well in this short work. Before you read Zanchi himself, read O’Banion’s Introduction. It is essential reading to help you appreciate the man, Zanchi, and his richly thoughtful reflections on Ephesians Five and the marriage bond between Christ and his people, the Bride of Christ. This little book is a true treasure.” — S. M. Baugh, professor emeritus of New Testament, Westminster Seminary California

“This fine translation opens a window into the heart and mind of one of Reformed Scholasticism’s little known but most capable champions. Numerous stereotypes about Protestant Orthodoxy—as dry, gloomy, pedantic—cannot survive a careful reading of Jerome Zanchi’s Spiritual Marriage. The rigor of Zanchi’s thought, the depth of his Christ-centered piety, and the fertility of his exegetical imagination mark him as a rich resource for Christian reflection today. We owe a huge debt to Patrick O’Banion for resurrecting Zanchi from the undeserved obscurity to which he has heretofore been consigned.” — John L. Farthing, emeritus professor of religion and classical languages, Hendrix College

“Girolamo Zanchi (1516–1590) was not only a prominent professor of Reformed dogmatics, but also a skilled exegete of Scripture. This treatise on The Spiritual Marriage of Christ and His Church presents a mature fruit of Zanchi’s reading of Ephesians 5, marrying a careful analysis of the text with an edifying spiritual application to the doctrine of salvation by union with Christ. Patrick O’Banion’s excellent translation transmits to the reader the fresh clarity and rich detail of Zanchi’s argument. A precious gift to the Church.” — Dolf te Velde, associate professor of systematic theology, Theological University Kampen / associate professor of historical theology, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven