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Institutes of the Christian Religion [Hardcover]

By John Calvin (Author) & Henry Beveridge (Translator)
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Item description for Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin & Henry Beveridge...

Here in a convenient one-volume edition is John Calvin's magnum opus. Written as an introduction to the Christian life, the Institutes remains the best articulation of Reformation principles and is a marvelous introduction to biblical Christianity.

Publishers Description

Hendrickson offers a one-volume hardcover edition of one of Western Christianity's foundational works. Re-typeset into a clean and modern typeface, this edition is easy to read for the modern eye. This book will appeal to libraries, seminarians, pastors, and laypeople." Institutes of the Christian Religion" by John Calvin is an introduction to the Bible and a vindication of Reformation principles by one of the Reformation's finest scholars.

At the age of twenty-six, Calvin published several revisions of his "Institutes of the Christian Religion, " a seminal work in Christian theology that altered the course of Western history and that is still read by theological students today. It was published in Latin in 1536 and in his native French in 1541, with the definitive editions appearing in 1559 (Latin) and in 1560 (French). The book was written as an introductory textbook on the Protestant faith for those with some learning already and covered a broad range of theological topics from the doctrines of church and sacraments to justification by faith alone. It vigorously attacked the teachings of those Calvin considered unorthodox, particularly Roman Catholicism, to which Calvin says he had been "strongly devoted" before his conversion to Protestantism. The over-arching theme of the book--and Calvin's greatest theological legacy--is the idea of God's total sovereignty, particularly in salvation and election.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   1059
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.4" Width: 6.5" Height: 2.2"
Weight:   2.92 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2008
Age  18
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  1598561685  
ISBN13  9781598561685  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Calvin & Henry Beveridge

John Calvin

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564) was perhaps the preeminent theologian of the Reformation. Known best for his Institutes of the Christian Religion, he also wrote landmark expositions on most of the books in the Bible.

Alister McGrath (PhD, University of Oxford) is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, president of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and senior research fellow at Harris Manchester College in Oxford. He is also a noted author and coeditor of Crossway's Classic Commentaries series.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

John Calvin lived in Noyon. John Calvin was born in 1509 and died in 1564.

John Calvin has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Calvin's New Testament Commentaries
  2. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought
  3. Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)
  4. Commentaries by John Calvin
  5. God the Creator
  6. Harper Collins Spiritual Classics
  7. Pure Gold Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( C ) > Calvin, John
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Historical Theology
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Protestant Denominations

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Reviews - What do customers think about Institutes of the Christian Religion?

A note on the translation  Oct 14, 2008
It goes without saying that John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion is a classic.

But what of the translation? Which English translation is "best"? As far as I can tell, the two most frequently suggested English translations are the older Henry Beveridge translation and the newer John McNeill-Ford Lewis Battles translation. But does older imply outdated? Or is newer necessarily always better?

I'm not competent enough to decide. For one thing, I don't know Latin or French. For another, I'm not a John Calvin scholar, Reformation historian, or Reformed theologian.

However, here's what Reformed Christian scholar and philosophical theologian Paul Helm (who himself has studied and contributed several works on John Calvin) says:

"Incidentally, if you have the need of a translation of the Institutes, then the reissue of the Beveridge translation (newly published by Hendrickson) may be just the thing. It has new indexes, and has been 'gently edited', which means, I hope, only the removal of typos and other detritus. (I have not yet had the chance to check). Beveridge is superior to Battles in sticking closer to the original Latin, and having less intrusive editorial paraphernalia."

Likewise, here's another Calvin scholar, Richard A. Muller, on the two translations (from the preface of The Unaccommodated Calvin):

"I have also consulted the older translations of the Institutes, namely those of Norton, Allen and Beveridge, in view of both the accuracy of those translation and the relationship in which they stand to the older or 'precritical' text tradition of Calvin's original. Both in its apparatus and in its editorial approach to the text, the McNeill-Battles translation suffers from the mentality of the text-critic who hides the original ambience of the text even as he attempts to reveal all its secrets to the modern reader."

That said, I don't want to give the impression that I'm perfunctorily panning the McNeill-Battles translation with a pair of seemingly well-chosen quotations. Not at all. For instance, it might be helpful for some people to have the critical textual apparatus in the McNeill-Battles translation. Or, of course, it's possible to own and use both translations. Much depends on one's goal in studying Calvin and his Institutes. In any case, it'd be best to conduct some further research, perhaps by contacting Calvin scholars and translators and asking for their opinion on the matter.


For more balance, I think the following from J.I. Packer in the foreword to A Theological Guide to Calvin's Institutes is worth quoting, too:

"No English translation fully matches Calvin's Latin; that of the Elizabethan, Thomas Norton, perhaps gets closest; Beveridge gives us Calvin's feistiness but not always his precision; Battles gives us the precision but not always the punchiness, and fleetness of foot; Allen is smooth and clear, but low-key."
Concerned  Apr 8, 2008
I don't own this edition. I have the Library of Christian Classics (2 Volume Set) edition of the Institutes. At St. John's College, however, I've encountered many of my fellow students who have purchased this edition because of its price and quality at first glance. I admit that the price is amazing for such a large volume, but the editing is poor. The first printing of this edition has a glaring typo on the binding: the INSTITIUTES of the Christian Religion. Yikes. There are also several grammatical flaws in the translation. If you just want to cheaply plow through Calvin, you're find with this. But if you appreciate fine quality books, go for the Library of Christian Classics one (twice as expensive), or get the paperback edition.
A theological masterpiece  Mar 17, 2008
John Calvin died at the age of 54 and what a legacy he left behind- the whole commentary on the Bible, many theological disputations, confessions and catechisms. He was perhaps the finest expositor of the Bible who ever lived and The Institutes are a deep analysis of the Christian life. For those who tire of the fluff found in most contemporary Christian bookstores- I would invite you to buy this edition and read the chapters on election and providence for starters. His chapters on prayer are also remarkable and practical.

"He is moderately difficult but unsurpassable," were the words of the late, Dr. Edwin H. Palmer, of the NIV Bible fame.

Calvin wrote The Institutes for those who wanted to better understand the richness of the Bible and how to live it. It is no dry theological treatise. In a sense it is his own spiritual journey on paper. It is a manual for Christian living. He was a genius and careful scholar. I am glad he was a friend and not a foe. His logic and skills made him a terror to his enemies (wrote Dr. Loraine Boettner).

This book is solidly bound, has nice sized type and is affordable. The language has been updated slightly and it is well worth the price. The Battles's translation is THE set to buy but this book is such a fine price- it is worth getting to start off with.

It is also far and away the finest defense and explanation of the Reformation ever to have been penned and has a warm devotional feel woven all the way through it. Calvin knew the Bible as few ever have and it is a profound book worth serious study.
Good quality book  Jan 25, 2008
I'll let others weigh in on the (sometimes) controversial content of The Institutes, but this review is more about the quality of the book itself.

I am very impressed with the quality of the cover, spine, typeface, and size of this book, especially for the price. This book is almost textbook quality.

My only gripes are with the paper used for the pages and with the translation. The paper is fair quality, and seems to take a highlighter well without bleeding, but I still wish the pages were more textbook-y to match the quality of the cover and spine. The translation is a mid-19th century translation that has been hailed as accurate, but is now a bit stiff and stilted. I fully understand the price would be at least 3x if a translation was used that is not in the public domain, but it is still a negative.

This price vs quality cannot be beat for the full version of the Institutes. The quality of the paper is the only reason I went 4 stars instead of 5. This is a good buy!

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