I want to begin making Calvin’s Commentaries my main reading. Start from Genesis and end with Jude hopefully finishing within a year. Of-course I will take breaks to read other things that interest me in the process.
This week I started with his commentary on 1 Corinthians. Calvin is always clear and to the point never leaving anything out. Everyone will profit reading his works.
Many think he is archaic and probably boring to read but truthfully I have an easier time reading Calvin’s works than many modern works by contemporary authors.
He covers base and does so fast displaying his wide knowledge of the Scriptures and through interaction with Church Fathers.
He quoted Chrysostom over 25 times, Augustine over 15 times, Ambrose about 10 times and others en passe.
Some of my favorite quotations were:
[Calvin on unqualified zealots] “Hence we must infer, that those are fanatics, and actuated by an evil spirit, who intrude themselves into the Church, while destitute of the necessary qualifications, as many boast that they are under the influence of the Spirit, and glory in a secret call from God, while in the meantime they are unlearned and utterly ignorant” –Calvin 1 Cor. Pg. 263
[On justification] “If the power of justifying depended on the dignity or merit of faith they might perhaps be listened to; but we do not teach that faith justifies, on the ground of its having more worthiness, or occupying a higher station of honor, but because it receives the righteousness which is freely offered in the gospel” –Calvin, 1 Cor. pg. 275
[on trifles] “most of persons fly into a rage about nothing” –Calvin, 1 Cor. Pg. 296
[The postmillennialism of Calvin. The very fact that Calvin says this on verse 28, shows that his view is not this one, only that he sympathizes with it.] “There would, however, be nothing out of place in understanding it as referring exclusively to believers, in whom God has now begun his kingdom, and will then perfect it, and in such a way that they shall cleave to him wholly.” –Calvin 1 Cor. 15 Vol.2 pg. 24. Please read this in its context and tell me what you understand.
By far my favorite chapter he exegeted was chapter 13. Many think of the Reformers as dry and technical only concerned about doctrine and possibly quibbling over every single word. But Calvin demonstrates his warmth and love for God’s word and what all of it says! Kudos to him, truly grateful for men like him!
I gave the commentary a 4/5 stars!!