Thursday, May 6, 2010

Calvin on interpreting the Bible

Recently I reviewed Bruce Gordon's biography of John Calvin. This post is part four of a short series of snippets from the book.


Calvin used all the means available to him to interpret the Bible, including the methods he learned as a humanist. And yet he encountered the living, Triune God in the scriptures. He placed great emphasis on seeing how the church fathers had interpreted the Bible, and his knowledge of their writings was incredible. “He saw himself engaged in a sustained conversation with ancient and contemporary interpreters, none of whom was infallible. It was a conversation in the service of the Church, guided by the Spirit and grounded in the Word of God” (p.108).

“Calvin, like the other reformers, understood that scripture could not stand without a framework of interpretation” (p.108).


Bruce Gordon, Calvin (New Haven [Conn.] and London: Yale University Press, 2009).

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