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Institutes of the Christian Religion; A New Translation by Henry Beveridge

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  9,512 ratings  ·  306 reviews
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Paperback, 636 pages
Published February 29th 2008 by Audubon Press (first published 1536)
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Dave In Schaff's history of the Christian Church, he gives this quote, and says it was written to the Queen of Navarre.

Here is the footnote: "This…more
In Schaff's history of the Christian Church, he gives this quote, and says it was written to the Queen of Navarre.

Here is the footnote: "This characteristic expression he uses repeatedly; for instance, in the work on the Necessity of Reforming the Church, in Opera, VI. 503: "Canis, si quam suo domino violentiam inferri viderit, protinus latrabit: nos tot sacrilegiis violari sacrum Dei nomen taciti aspiceremus? Et ubi esset illud: Opprobria exprobantium tibi ceciderunt super me (Ps. 69:9)?" And, again in the same book (fol. 507), with the addition, that a dog would rather risk his life than be silent."(less)
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Richard
Years ago I took a course in Reformation Theology for which this book was a required text. It was a good course, taught by a knowledgeable professor, who did not force us to read the entire book. After the course was over I determined to read the entire book, but abandoned it in frustration when I got to about p. 250. Last year, I had to use it for work and decided that, since that was the case, I was going to conquer it finally.

The book is a long treatise on systematic theology, meant to
...more
Douglas Wilson
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished Volume 1. The first time I read this I was still an Arminian, and I appreciated it then. Now I am simply amazed. What a treasure this is.
Husseyhousehold
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone alive today, wondering what God's Word teaches is necessary for our salvation.
Recommended to Husseyhousehold by: Dr. Frank Walker
I read Book One of the Four volumes in this edition, and learned that all the caricatures of Calvin and Calvinism are as far off the mark as equating a Christian with a Muslim terrorist of 9/11.

What most people call "hypercalvinism" is more often than not simply "Calvinism," or "biblical." The doctrine of election, far from being called "Calvinism," ought to be reclaimed as simply "truth." What is properly hypercalvinism, however, (i.e.: prayer and evangelism are unnecessary due to God being
...more
Steven Wedgeworth
This probably better than Bavinck, which means the best thing ever. Time and time again, I discover that Calvin has already thought about that question and settled it. This is an easy-to read edition as well.
justin
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if i ever finish this, i will immediately begin it again
Brent McCulley
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Last January I begin an adventure that I had no idea how arduous it would be. As I begun to dive into Calvin's magisterial Institutes of the Christian Religion, I set out before me an endeavour that would slowly but surely change the way that I think on manifold facets. Although I would love to expound an innumerable levels on Calvin's thought, and what I have learned from this past year, I would rather, for brevity's sake, share very briefly three principles that Calvin has taught me which have ...more
Jacob Aitken
I actually finished this a long time ago. Finished it several times, actually. If people read Calvin, they will soon learn that all their stereotypes of him are wrong. He said nothing on predestination that Aquinas didn't say, for example. Most adherents outside the tradition, if honest, must confess that they have not read calvin all the way through.

Even if one rejects Calvin's theology, one must still come to grips with his breakthroughs in epistemology. A head-in-the-sand approach is no
...more
John
John Calvin is likely one of the most vilified, misunderstood, and unread men still discussed today. His influence is remarkable, and his most famous work, Institutes, is his crowning achievement. This is an ambitious and towering work that attempts to set forth a systematic understanding of Scripture and a defense of Reformed doctrine against the apostate Catholic church.

What Calvin has given us, as Abraham Kuyper says, "Calvinism means the completed evolution of Protestantism, resulting in a
...more
Peter Bringe
I have now read this book twice (in 2009 and in 2011-2013). It is a classic work of Christianity, and one that I enjoy reading. It not only teaches systematic theology, but also practical theology, biblical theology, historical theology, and exhortations to the Christian life. And the humble spirit in which Calvin approaches his study is refreshing.

"When we see that the whole sum of our salvation, and every single part of it, is comprehended in Christ, we must beware of deriving even the
...more
Christian Barrett
I have dedicated six months to this book. I will not regret those months, for truly I have been edified by the words of Calvin.
[Name Redacted]
Well, he's certainly...pedantic? I find that Calvin somehow manages to approach a religion grounded in love, mercy, compassion, purity and fidelity as though it were a cold, joyless intellectual exercise. He lacks the zeal of Luther, the passion of Augustine, the skill of Aquinas, and even the intellectualism of Evagrius... Were he alive today I somehow think he would be busy working for the IRS or writing the fine print in legal documents. It amazes me that my ancestors were so passionate about ...more
Jesse
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening. Reading Calvin helped me to see why my understanding of the Bible had so many extra parts laying around after I had assembled it. I hope he can do the same for others.

I would recommend starting with the section on the differences/similarities of the old and new testaments in vol. 1
Scott
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magisterial. What is there to be said which hasn't already been said?
Genni
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Calvin wrote this tome to educate a king uneducated on the tenets of Christianity in the hopes that it would end persecution. I’m assuming Francis did not read it, but obviously many others have and have been influenced by Calvin’s theology.

The Institutes was carefully planned and executed, which is wonderful when you are looking to systematize something as complex as an entire religion. It was truly an accomplishment in this sense, I think. Within the work, Calvin’s determination to accept God
...more
Justin Evans
Let's be upfront about this: I came into this reading disliking Calvin. I dislike almost everything about him. I dislike his rigidity. I dislike his scriptura sola thing. I dislike the way he twists his theology to satisfy two claims

i) God can't change
ii) People are worthless

even though God changes throughout the bible and people wouldn't be worth saving if we were worthless. I dislike the way he ignores the obvious conclusion from his theology, which was nicely smirked at in James Hogg's
...more
Greg
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once I became a Christian, this book was immensely helpful in teaching me to think carefully and thoroughly about the Christian faith, instead of being satisfied with a few platitudes, some assumed familial traditions, and a load of cultural baggage.

This book is the foundation of what is referred to as the Reformed branch of the church. It convinced me that Scripture reveals a view of the church that is well described by so-called Reformed doctrine. After encountering this book, I can say that
...more
Douglas Wilson
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I finished Volume 2 of the other edition in October of 1985. And Volume 1 of the other edition in October of 1984.Finished Volume 1 Battles some time in mid-2009, and Volume 2 on December 26, 2009. What a magnificent architectural achievement.
Michael-jessica
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am actually reading the Henry Beveridge translation. Again, a book to be worked into your daily devotion time....3 pages a day will complete it in a year.
Peter Jones
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is no author living or dead that I turn to with as much profit as Calvin. This is Calvin at his best. Clear, pastoral, mean at times, balanced where you don't expect him to be, covering a vast array of Christian theology, rooted in the church fathers, relevant even today, organized, on and on. It is in my top five theology books of all time. If you haven't read it you should.
Jacob Rush
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need to go back and read chapters 6–11 in Book 4. But this is magnificent.
Joe
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The basics and glories of the Christian faith are clearly stated in this book by the man who has had much evil spoken about him, John Calvin. Isn't it just like the devil to destroy the reputation of a man of God. In a day when doctrine is looked at as something to be ignored because it divided, this book brings the truth to light that every Christian should rally around the Gospel.

For Nine hundred years the Gospel was walled up inside the Catholic church, behind teachings like the treasury of
...more
Donald Owens II
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-as-reference
I hesitate to review such an influential, comprehensive, volume. But recognizing that such reviews reveal more of the reviewer than the work, my thoughts may be of interest to my friends. I find this classic work deserves its fame and place. I noticed but a few weaknesses in reasoning, and at those points I realized his tendency to insult and belittle his detractors. This tendency, though doubtless common among his contemporaries, appeared to me to reduce his overall impact. Nevertheless I read ...more
Gretchen
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far, one of my favorite works in theology. I love John Calvin's style and straight-forward explanation of theology. He takes care to be clear and precise in his discussion, but at the heart of it all, you can see a deeply pastoral heart. He is a man devoted to the Glory of the Lord and what it means to be ravished by His majesty and wonder.
Jeremy
Book 1 (2009): Very devotional. Some of the helpful topics were the noetic effect of sin and images of deity.

Book 2 (2010): Some of the helpful topics were the effect of the fall on free will, the similarity of the OT and the NT, and the hypostatic union.

Read 4.20 several times, including once for class in Spring 2013, and once in March 5-6, 2015, for prelims.
Matt Mason
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Hard to put into words how great this was. Each page is marked by reverence for God and His self-revealing Word, lucid thinking, courage, and a grasp of historical theology. A theological and devotional masterpiece.
Todd
Superlative. Calvin completed "the Institutes" while still in his 20's. It is, I believe, the most beautifully composed theology outside of Scripture itself. This is systematic theology at its finest. It is theology in service to the church: doxological and devotional.
Becky Pliego
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, favorites
A favorite indeed. Always at hand.
Nathan Albright
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-2018
I likely would never have read this book, despite my considerable curiosity about Calvin and his religious system [1], had this book not been included as one of the twenty five books that all Christians supposedly should read. I also must state that I appreciated this book a great deal more than I expected to. That is not to say that this was an easy book to read or that I read it quickly--it took me more than a month to read this book all the way through and at times was a very difficult book ...more
Shawn Paterson
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnificent.
K.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a way to start off the year.

Honestly, I have no idea how to write a short review of this. To say its scope is massive would be an understatement, and to say that its articulation of Christian doctrine is magisterial is not exaggeration. I suspect that most Calvinists have not read Calvin, for if they had they would be aware of his breadth and depth of scholarship, and how that breadth and depth would be a hallmark of the early Reformed tradition even where later theologians departed from
...more
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John Calvin (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564), né Jehan Cauvin, re-translated from Latin Iohannes Calvinus into Jean Calvin in modern French, was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic ...more
“No one can travel so far that he does not make some progess each day. So let us never give up. Then we shall move forward daily in the Lord's way. And let us never despair because of our limited success. Even though it is so much less than we would like, our labour is not wasted when today is better than yesterday!” 56 likes
“We are not to reflect on the wickedness of men but to look to the image of God in them, an image which, covering and obliterating their faults, an image which, by its beauty and dignity, should allure us to love and embrace them.” 37 likes
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