The Judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth-Century Debates over the Messianic Psalms

By G. Sujin Pak | Go to book overview

4
John Calvin
The Sufficiency of David

Scholars of John Calvin have often noted the importance of the Book of Psalms for his life and thought. The preface to his commentary on the Psalms is one of the few places where he gives some insight into his conversion to Protestantism and his personal life experiences. This preface also indicates the ways in which Calvin deeply identifies with the experiences of David and finds in David an inspiring example of true faith and the practice of prayer.1 Moreover, the Psalms occupy a central place in the worship life of sixteenth-century French Reformed churches, for Calvin emphasizes the use of the Psalter and the singing of Psalms in the public worship of the church.2

Calvin’s commentary on the Psalms was published in Geneva in 1557. He writes in the preface to this commentary that he lectured on the Psalms in Geneva during the five years prior to its publication. Indeed, he states reservations about writing a commentary—the foremost being that Martin Bucer had already written on the Psalms— and the eventual reasons for his doing so, which include the continual urging of his colleagues, the satisfaction he found in expositing the Psalms, and his fear that others would publish his previous lectures on the Psalms, which he himself considered incomplete. Perhaps most of all, Calvin increasingly found that the Psalms resonated with his own personal experience, so that he came to believe he might very well have some particular insights into understanding the Psalms.3

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The Judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth-Century Debates over the Messianic Psalms
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 3
  • 1- Medieval and Late-Medieval Interpreters - The Legacy of Literal Prophecies of Christ 13
  • 2- Martin Luther - Literal Prophecies Redeployed 31
  • 3- Martin Bucer - Christological Readings through Historical Exegesis 55
  • 4- John Calvin - The Sufficiency of David 77
  • 5- The Judaizing Calvin - The Debate of Hunnius and Pareus 103
  • Conclusion 125
  • Notes 141
  • Select Bibliography 193
  • Index 209
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