Martin Biter, a German reformer, born at Schlettstadt, in Alsace, in 1491, died in Cambridge, England, Feb. 27,1551. His real name, according to some, was Butzer, but according to others it was Kuhhorn (Co whom), which, after the fashion among the learned of the time, he changed to a Greek analogue ( ox, and , horn). Sent at the age of seven years to a Dominican convent, he gave offence by the independence of his sentiments, and was obliged to seek an asylum in the house of a friend. Afterward removed to Strasburg, he became acquainted with the writings of Melanchthon and Luther. After conferences with the latter he espoused the principles of the reformation, and married. In 1523 he became pastor in Strasburg, and was for 20 years one of the chief leaders of the reformation. He was inclined to favor the sentiments of Zwingli rather than those of Luther, though he was always a pacificator between them. To the conference of Smalcald Bucer had brought a confession known in history as the confession of the four cities, from Constance, Memmingen, Strasburg, and Lindau, which did not agree with the language of the memorable 15th article of the Augsburg confession. Bucer introduced into the confession an acknowledgment of a " presence of Christ for the hand and mouth," and so the four cities were saved to the league of Smalcald. In 1548 he was summoned to Augsburg to sign the Interim, an act by which Charles V. sought to make a temporary peace between the Catholics and Protestants until he should call a general council.
Bucer refused to sign this document, and rendered himself obnoxious to Charles. On the invitation of Cranmer he went in 1549 to England, where he was immediately appointed professor of theology at Cambridge. He lived only two years after his removal. After he had been dead six years his body was dug up in the reign of Mary, and chained upright to a stake, in company with that of Fagius (who had left Germany at the same time and for the same reasons), and burned, and his tomb was demolished. Under Elizabeth the tombs of Bucer and Fagius were rebuilt. Bucer's writings are numerous, both in Latin and German. A complete edition of them, to appear in 10 volumes, was projected at Basel in 1577, but only one volume was published.