CALVIN: INTERPRETER OF THE PROPHETS

by BYRON G. CURTIS in Vol. 3 No. 2 / Oct 2017



Abstract
This article explores the hermeneutical principles behind John Calvin’s commentaries and lectures on Isaiah (1550/1559), Hosea (1557), the Minor Prophets (1559), Daniel (1561), Jeremiah (1563), and Ezekiel 1–20 (posthumous, 1565). Calvin is not the founder of historical-grammatical exegesis, the precursor of the historical-critical method, or a literalist. He crystallizes earlier medieval practices with his expanded sensus literalis. His use of history, grammar, allegory, anagogy, and analogy receive attention, as do the sources of Calvin’s historical and chronological errors. Calvin takes ancient Israel’s return from exile, Christ’s death and resurrection, and the church’s present condition as embraced within the literal sense of the prophetic word. This inclusiveness allures us as Calvin’s pastoral passion comes out and the prophetic word addresses us.



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