Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display

Calvin’s hermeneutic and the history of Christian exegesis

Armour, Michael Carl (1992) Calvin’s hermeneutic and the history of Christian exegesis. UNSPECIFIED.

[img] Text
Restricted to RUG campus

Download (15MB)


Even though John Calvin is often recognized as the first to write truly modern Biblical commentaries, little attention has been given to his place in the history of Biblical interpretation. Moreover, historians often draw on the Institutes exclusively to determine his view of Scripture. Few look at the far more extensive materials in his commentaries, sermons, and pamphlets. This study was undertaken to examine Calvin's hermeneutic as a response to patristic and medieval exegesis. His reaction to allegorical and typological interpretation in their writings were principal topics of inquiry. The investigation compared Calvin to earlier exegetes on three heremeneutic issues: the discontinuities between the Old and New Testaments; the degree to which Biblical language should be understood literally; and the extent to which a divine hand guided writers of Scripture. Calvin's resolution of these issues was contrasted to how Luther handled them. Also investigated were shifts in epistemelogical theory between Augustine and the Reformation. A single chapter was devoted to the lor.g-debated question of what Calvin meant when he spoke of Scripture as "dictated." The principal source documents for ascertaining Calvin's views were his 45-volume commentary on the Bible, supplemented by the institutes. The study identified a paradigm of spiritual progress at the heart of his theology. Virtually unprecedented in Christian thought, this paradigm pictured God's revelation as becoming progressively more sophisticated as humanity reached higher levels of maturity. Meshing magnificently with the secular concept of progress, emerging in Europe for the first time in Calvin's day, this paradigm became Calvin's tool for reconciling discontinuities between Old and New Testament views of God, ordinances of worship, and standards of morality for believers. The paradigm built on heremeneutic presuppositions which Luther had rejected, which in turn led to marked contrast between him and Calvin on the nature of Old Testament sacraments.

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosopy in History
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 14:32
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 14:32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item