REJOICING OVER A TASK COMPLETED: READING CALVIN’S 1,328 PAGES ON THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS

sharperiron.org | 4/17/2019 | Staff
marisha (Posted by) Level 3
Used with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com.

Rejoice with me, for I have finally completed a task begun 19 years ago—the reading of all three volumes of Calvin’s commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. I began vol. 1 (477 pp.) on February 15, 2000, and completed it on June 19 of that year (see review and extended quotations in As I See It 3:9). I began vol. 2 (456 pp.) sometime in 2012, and completed its reading on February 8, 2013 (review and quotations, As I See It 16:3). I launched into vol. 3 (395 pp.) shortly thereafter, but made small progress, and soon set it aside. Then, in February of 2018, I picked it up again, and attacked it off and on.

Comments - Olivet - Discourse - Matthew - Mark

The comments on the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 22) were very long and very tedious, doubly so because Calvin’s amillennialism and denial of a future 7-year Tribulation rendered his interpretation completely unsatisfactory—it almost made me set the task aside again. But I “persevered unto the end,” and finally, March 16, 2019, I completed the final page of volume 3.

Throughout vol. 3, and as well as in the other two, it is always Calvin’s conviction that the Bible has Divine authority and is therefore entirely true. Anyone who pretends that this Reformer was soft on Biblical infallibility is either misinformed or simply lying. He avoids allegory and spiritualizing the text, and seeks to present a straightforward exposition of the text as he understands it. Sometimes the comments seemed to have too little exposition and too much “application” (vague and general commonplace platitudes). Calvin repeatedly addresses Papal errors and departures from Biblical teaching, and unhesitatingly exposes these errors in practice and in doctrine. He rejects strongly both...
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