Images of the Reformation: State and Church

In 1567 Niels Nielsen Kolding wrote a book on the king’s role as God’s representative on earth. Nielsen was Frederik II’s court chaplain. In the new Lutheran faith, the king was appointed by God as the one most fit to rule. He had to ensure that God’s commands were upheld in his realm, and govern in accordance with the teachings of the Bible. This can be seen in the image above, where Frederik II is depicted as both the judging and punishing authority. He holds the sword and scales of justice, and has the Ten Commandments hanging on a chain from his neck.