Inspiring Words on Jesus From John Calvin

  17 views

John Calvin wrote the preface for his cousin's translation of the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into French. Known as the Olivétan Bible of 1535, it got its name from Pierre Robert, also known as Olivétan (1506-1538). In section 12 of the preface, he enthuses on the benefits of Christ in a fashion not unlike a lover waxing eloquent on the wonders of the beloved. It certainly is a challenge to fashion lover's of Christ in our discipleship efforts. In Calvin's own words:

It follows that every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone. For, he humbled himself to exalt us. He made himself a servant, to set us free. He became poor, to enrich us. He was sold, to buy us back; captive, to deliver us; condemned, to absolve us; righteousness; marred that we may be made fair; He died for our life. [This He did] in such a way that by him hardness is softened, wrath appeased, darkness turned into light, fear reassured, despisal despised, debt cancelled, labour lightened, sadness made merry, misfortune made fortunate, difficulty easy, disorder ordered, division united, ignominy ennobled, rebellion subjected, intimidation intimidated, ambush uncovered, assaults assailed, force forced back, combat combatted, war warred against, vengeance avenged, torment tormented, damnation damned, the abyss sunk into the abyss, hell transfixed, death dead, mortality made immortal. In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and kindness all misfortune. For all these things which were to be the weapons of the devil in his battle against us, and the sting of death to pierce us, are turned for us into exercises which we can turn to our profit. So we can boast with the apostle, saying, O hell, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? And thence it comes that by such a Spirit of Christ promised to the elect, we live no longer, but Christ lives in us; and we are by the same Spirit seated among those who are in heaven, so that for us the world is no more, even while our conversation is in it; but we are content in all things, whether country, place, condition, clothing, meat, and all such things. And we are comforted in tribulation, joyful in sorrow, glorying under vituperation, abounding in poverty, warmed in our nakedness, patient amongst evils, living in death.

Source: W.H. Neuser, “The first outline of Calvin’s theology – the preface to the New Testament in the Olivétan Bible of 1535,” Koers 66, no. 1 & 2 (2001): 23–38 [here 36–37].

Posted in:
Image Credit

The Network hosts user-submitted content.
Posts don't necessarily imply CRCNA endorsement, but must comply with our community guidelines.

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.