New edition of Knox's First Blast


(Daniel Meyer) #1

Dear brothers,

I’m pleased to announce a new edition of John Knox’s First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, edited by yours truly. I’m releasing it into the public domain for unrestricted use.

I don’t agree with every application Knox makes nor necessarily with every source he quotes; but I believe that the biblical principle that leadership is male, which Knox hammers home in this work, is true, necessary, and timely; and that the church will be helped by Knox’s work.

I am getting close to finishing a companion audio book; and after that, Lord willing, I will make a response to the writings that got me wanting to study the Blast in the first place.

The book is available online at https://blast.pressbooks.com/, and you will also find links there to PDF, epub, and mobi files for your e-book reader, as well as an audio mp3. After you read the main work be sure to take a look at the appendix showing in Knox’s own words how and to what extent he later revised some of his applications when there was a godly queen on the throne of England.

Here is my editor’s preface…


In his First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women , John Knox works to establish his thesis that

To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature, contumely to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.

Or, put even more simply, that to have women ruling over men in society is unnatural, unbiblical, and destructive.

Within the past year, Knox’s First Blast has come under attack by Christians from certain quarters, who urge that its thesis must be rejected as false and unbiblical. For the one who wants to study the Blast to evaluate such claims, though, the options I found were:

  • a non-modernized edition on Google Books, too obscure for general study and interaction;
  • a modernized online PDF claiming full copyright restrictions, presumably for its updates in grammar and spelling; and
  • a couple of print edition books

None of these existing options served my goal of making this work available in accessible and unrestricted written and audio formats to facilitate pastors’ and churchmen’s ability to interact with Knox’s work; thus this new edition.

This edition is based on the 1878 edition edited by Edward Arber, and I am releasing it into the public domain. For this edition I have modernized grammar, spelling, and capitalization, and corrected references; I have also updated a few archaic words, especially words that have changed meanings confusingly since the time of Knox’s writing (for instance, I updated facts to deeds ). I have kept several other less common words, such as contumely and delation , when I couldn’t find a more common word that had the same force as Knox’s usage–in our day looking up such words in an online dictionary is the work of a moment for the reader, and I wanted to stay as close to the original as possible. I chose the King James Version (KJV) for all standalone Scripture quotes in the footnotes, due to the public domain status of the KJV in the United States. Emphasis is mine in all footnotes.

Where English translations of Knox’s references are in the public domain I have generally brought liberal amounts of the context of the source surrounding Knox’s quote into the footnote for ease of study; along with links, wherever possible, to the full work the quote comes from. As the careful reader will note, there are several references I have been unable to find. If you find one of the missing references (or any mistakes in my editing), please let me know and I’ll be happy to make the correction.

I pray that my work is useful to Christ’s church.

Soli Deo Gloria!


A proofreader or two needed for new Knox's blast edition
(Christopher Preston) #2

Thanks for doing this—excellent!


(Stephen Baker ) #7

Thank you, Daniel. Excellent work.


(Josiah) #10

So I was reading through this a bit in jail as I folded Bible studies, listening to some female inmates gossip with an officer who I am pretty sure is a lesbian about her lesbian ‘mirage’. Kind of prima facie evidence of Knox’s thesis, IMO. So far, I have seen plenty from Knox that would be liable to the “yea, but”s and the “what about”s, but I think I am in agreement with the general thesis.
Some thoughts this spurred in me. In corrections, inmates do some of the labor, but often are prohibited from labor due to our laws (which drives me crazy). So often it is the officers who are not only tasked with seeing to the safety and security of our inmates, but also the labor of taking out the trash and hauling the food to the sections. As a chaplain, my expected contribution is mostly ‘spiritual’. When there is a fight among inmates, or some other emergency situation, my job is mostly to stay out of the way, while the officers run towards it. When I think about it, this rubs me raw, as I see women rushing to danger, because our law has deputized them, while I am commanded to stand still. It’s enough to drive one crazy.
I respect the bravery of the officers, both men and women, while increasingly convinced that in our current environment, those women who take upon themselves this task are robbing themselves of their femininity to varying degrees… oh yea, that sort of sentiment was why I was looking forward to hrothgar’s hall :-p


(Daniel Meyer) #11

All, I’ve added an audiobook link at the book’s home page (see top of this post for the link). It’s a single MP3 file, just under two hours long.

Love,


(Tim Bayly) #12

In jail one day, being escorted by a female guard, we went by a cell door with a large window in it and there in the middle of the cell was a middle-aged man facing the door and in full view, buck-naked. Just another day’s work for the warden. I didn’t mind seeing the man naked. Locker room and all. Boundary Waters canoe trips. But I did find it utterly repulsive that our culture allows women to suffer such indignities, whether or not they themselves want them. Love what you wrote. May your job continue and may you one day get to save a woman from the inmate attacking her. Love,


(Jeremy Vander Galien) #17

I’ve read a quarter or so thus far. Thanks for this work, brothers!


(Daniel Meyer) #20

I’ve added an appendix that I hope will also be helpful, explanation below…

Knox published his First Blast when the godly in England and Scotland were suffering intense persecution at the hands of ungodly queens. After the God-fearing Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne of England late in 1558, Knox walked back from some of the First Blast‘s applications while continuing to stand for the work as a whole, as can be seen from the following exchanges…

Follow the book link at the original post at the top of this topic and you’ll find the new appendix.


(Henry Milewski) #21

Interesting appendix, here is Lloyd-Jones’ on (I’m guessing) the same thing:

Knox at times could indulge in a little casuistry. He put forward an explanation of how, in spite of the clear scriptural teaching on this question of a woman monarch, in the peculiar circumstances then prevailing it was allowable for Elizabeth in England and Mary in Scotland to act for the time being as monarchs. That was a bit of casuistry. However, his main position was the one stated in the first Blast. p275 The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors, Banner of Truth


(Joseph Bayly) #22

Great quote. Does he indicate anything about what he thinks of Knox’s position?


(Henry Milewski) #23

Here’s a fuller quote:

Also while at Geneva he published his famous treatise The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, the monstrous ‘government’ by women. John Knox believed that it was contrary to Scripture to have a Queen ruling over the people, and he produced specific statements from the Scriptures to justify his attitude. As the result of this, Knox mortally offended Queen Elizabeth I. She never forgave him; but he nevertheless prepared a second Blast which he did not actually publish.
This, again, is not only indicative of his courage and his independence of thought, but, I maintain, it is also a part of his essential Puritanism coming to the surface. I should add, perhaps, to make my story complete, that Knox at times could indulge in a little casuistry. He put forward an explanation of how, in spite of the clear scriptural teaching on this question of a woman monarch, in the peculiar circumstances then prevailing it was allowable for Elizabeth in England and Mary in Scotland to act for the time being as monarchs. That was a bit of casuistry. However, his main position was the one stated in the first Blast. p275 The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors, Banner of Truth

My take is that he agrees with Knox but is a little sheepish about it, speaking of Knox’s view at a distance, but also saying enough to signal that he agrees. I wonder whether Lloyd-Jones’ timidity/silence (to my knowledge) on this topic in large part set the course for his evangelical descendants here too, at least in Britain.