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Calvin’s Reception Of Paul

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Chapter Summary

Paul's letter, for Calvin, provides the key that unlocks the meaning of the Old and New Testament. This chapter considers first the sources for Calvin's attraction to and approach to Paul. After these preliminary observations, it investigates Calvin's reception of Paul in his biblical exegesis, the role of Paul in his reformation agenda, and the ways in which Calvin can be considered a "Pauline theologian." Calvin's extended engagement with the "biblical Paul" in his lectures, sermons, and commentaries on scripture constitutes the point of departure for our investigation into the character of his reception of Paul. Justification of church reform was obviously a major theme in Calvin's writings beginning with the dedicatory epistle to the very first edition of the Institutes in 1536. The final brushstroke filling out this sketch of Calvin's reception of Paul traces the contours of how Paul functioned as Calvin's central theological authority.

Keywords: Calvin's reception; church reform; New Testament; Old Testament; Paul

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