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Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Volume Set)

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Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Volume Set) [Hardcover]

John Calvin , John T. McNeill , Ford Lewis Battles
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1960 0664220282 978-0664220280

This is the definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church. All previous editions--in Latin, French, German, and English--have been collated; references and notes have been verified, corrected, and expanded; and new bibliographies have been added.The translation preserves the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin's writing, but also conforms to modern English and renders heavy theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and at the same time is eminently readable.

Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.

Frequently bought together

  • Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Volume Set)
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  • Aquinas on Nature and Grace: Selections from the Summa Theologica (The Library of Christian Classics)
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  • Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings
Total price: $155.14
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Latin (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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This is the new and definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church.

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Product details

  • Series: The Library of Christian Classics
  • Hardcover: 1800 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (June 1960)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664220282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664220280
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Customer reviews

Top customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Put: A Masterpiece December 7, 2016
By Andrew
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Calvin is a name you often hear as one of the greatest theologians of the Reformation and the Institutes make clear why.

Since there are already a number of reviews talking about the general significance of Calvin's Institutes and the general contents, I thought I'd make a few points in case you're hesitant to buy this phenomenal book:

1. This is a magnificent work of systematic theology and Calvin's famed exegetical skills are on full display. This book will give you both a big picture view with all the shining details that are brought out in Scripture. The work also builds on itself and lays the foundation in the beginning, so as you get past the first half of Book 1, you'll find yourself being able to follow his logic in the later parts of this work.
2. Yes, the language can be a bit wooden -- but it gets easier as you read and you'll come to appreciate the richness of the language.
3. The translator's footnotes are helpful and worth reading, especially the footnotes on differences between the Latin and French versions. Calvin was aware that those reading his French version may not have had as much of rigorous theological training as a Latin reader, and so he'll add or reformulate statements and comparisons to be more understandable to a lay person.

Being able to read this work is being able to sit at the feet and learn from one of the most spiritually gifted teachers in Christianity. It has already been an immense help in my faith by correcting incorrect thinking and will be a book I read and re-read for decades to come.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The benchmark of Reformed theology December 16, 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is Calvin's benchmark text of Reformed theology. Calvin is one of the magisterial giants on which the Reformation of the Christian church stands, and this work makes the reasons for his stature abundantly clear. Trained as a lawyer before becoming a pastor and theologian Calvin is logical, thorough and relentless in pressing his viewpoints on every aspect of faith addressed in this volume. And it should be added that Calvin is relentlessly biblical. There is no point in his theology that is not thoroughly grounded in scripture. He writes as one who is also well-acquainted with the church fathers as well as the theologians of his day, drawing deeply from that well of knowledge in both building up his position and refuting the positions that he believes are held in error. I read the Battles translation and the style of Calvin's writing comes across as very readable and accessible not just to pastors, theologians and educated lay persons, but to anyone who wants to understand Christian doctrine that is firmly Biblical, which, in a nutshell, is what Reformed theology is all about. I highly commend this enduring work. It is truly a timeless gift to the church.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, not what I expected March 2, 2011
By Ingles
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had a very negative view of Calvin before actually reading him. I saw him as cold, forbidding, nasty, etc. Now that I have read him, I know that he was brilliant, devout, easier to read than I imagined, and has more to say in one page than most writers have to say in entire volumes. As a commentator on the scriptures, he is unsurpassed in his integrity. He doesn't ignore any problem, has no agenda except to get at the truth of a passage, and gives attention to all serious objections. Reading him, you quickly sense that here is a theologian who will not lead you where he wants you to go, but will lead you to where the scriptures say to go. The sum of his theology is a magnificent view of life and existence that is majestic and is a perfect summary of the Bible.
Calvin isn't cold; he's actually passionately devout.
He isn't forbidding; he's far easier to read than you might think. Anyone with average intelligence can make their way through this book (and it will be worth it to do so).
He isn't nasty; he was a very holy man and his love for God and the church comes through on every page of this book.
I love Luther and used to think that he was the greatest theologian. I enjoy his explosive personality, wit, and sarcasm. Reading him is like reading a brilliant friend who can always be counted on to say something memorable, insightful, and profound. But I now think that Calvin was greater than Luther. While Calvin lacked Luther's very vigorous personality, Calvin's cool head and even temperament produced an intellectual tour de force with this book. Nothing written in the last three hundred years can come close to this book. Really, if you only read this one book of theology, you would need no other. It says it all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most important work on Reformed Theology I have read September 13, 2016
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The is arguably the single most important work on Reformed Theology available, yet I have encountered few who have read it. The printed text is nearly 1500 pages with little that is not challenging or demanding. This is not a quick read, but it is as important as any other writing outside the Holy Scripture.

I checked 4 stars for the content. This Kindle version was not very serviceable. Amazon has apparently recognized this and is stopping further sales until it is fixed by the publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By F. Gwin
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I spent years looking for a good, cheap version of the Institutes that wasn't bugged down by editing issues and translation problems. Thankfully, this translation by Henry Beverage is fantastic, the editing is perfect, and the price is cheap! If you know you want to read this, but are just looking for a good version/translation, this one is absolutely the best!!

Why should you read the Institutes of the Christian Religion? Even if you don't agree with Calvin on all of his points (who does?) you will definitely learn and be encouraged by reading this volume. Calvin's Institutes deserves a place in Christian history for several reasons:

First, Calvin was a very well read scholar who knew his Christian history and knew so much about the progression of Christian thought. This makes his volume contribute not only to the reformers in the 1500s, but also to the Great Conversation of theology throughout the history of the church. He has very valuable insight into several issues and it is clear he has spent a lifetime pouring over the passages he talks about.

Second, this is the most worship-filled book I have ever read. I have never learned to admire God's being/character (as well as his acts in history) this much from reading any other author. In other words, the amount of reverence and worship for God that Calvin shows in this book has seeped into my soul as well, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who not only wants to grow in knowledge, but also wants to grow in reverence of God.

Happy reading!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars No free will?
If there is no free will, then reasoning is destroyed. Any argument that Calvin presents would be done, not because it is logical, for clearly it is not, but because he was forced... Read more
Published 23 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wendy kamerud
I never thought about reading anything about Calvin and his commentaries. I love them and would relate this to anyone interested in buying a set.
Published 6 days ago by Wendy Kamerud
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
An interesting and complex read, but well worth the tome
Published 7 days ago by Mike McCandless
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic edition.
Henry Beveridge's translation of John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" is wonderful. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Book Fiend
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Settle for the Cheap Editions, This one is Great!
Make sure you purchase the correct edition. Amazon does not distinguish which edition is being reviewed. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Charles Noren
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are born-again, read this book in addition to your Bible!
Every Christian ought to know the contents of this book. I have read through the Bible several times, and listening to this on Audible has been rewarding. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael P.
3.0 out of 5 stars Rec'v'd only half of order
Rec'v'd volume 2 only - the book itself is a 4 star!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good price, great condition.
Published 2 months ago by VDB
5.0 out of 5 stars This is going to take time to study the over ...
This is going to take time to study the over 900 pages. Fascinated with Calvin in this year's celebration of the 500th anniversary of the protestant reformation.
Published 3 months ago by JoAnn Niemela
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Jack Richardson
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