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Commentaries discuss Calvin's Commentary on Genesis in the The Literary Forum forums; What is the most faithful English edition of John Calvin's commentary on Genesis? I have the Baker edition, which I think is fairly standard, but ...

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Calvin's Commentary on Genesis

    What is the most faithful English edition of John Calvin's commentary on Genesis?

    I have the Baker edition, which I think is fairly standard, but in comparing it with the Crossway Classic edition, it's like I'm reading commentaries by two different authors. One might compare the commentary on Gen. 24.1, example:

    Baker:

    1. And Abraham was old. 1 Moses passes onwards to the relation of Isaac's marriage, because indeed Abraham, perceiving himself to be worn down by old age, would take care that his son should not marry a wife in the land of Canaan. In this place Moses expressly describes Abraham as an old man, in order that we may learn that he had been admonished, by his very age, to seek a wife for his son: for old age itself, which, at the most, is not far distant from death, ought to induce us so to order the affairs of our family, that when we die, peace may be preserved among our posterity, the fear of the Lord may flourish, and rightly-constituted order may prevail. The old age of Abraham was indeed yet green, as we shall see hereafter; but when he reckoned up his own years he deemed it time to consult for the welfare of his son. Irreligious men, partly because they do not hold marriage sufficiently in honor, partly because they do not consider the importance attached especially to the marriage of Isaac, wonder that Moses, or rather the Spirit of God, should be employed in affairs so minute; but if we have that reverence which is due in reading the Sacred Scriptures, we shall easily understand that here is nothing superfluous: for inasmuch as men can scarcely persuade themselves that the Providence of God extends to marriages, so much the more does Moses insist on this point. He chiefly, however, wishes to teach that God honored the family of Abraham with especial regard, because the Church was to spring from it. But it will be better to treat of everything in its proper order.
    Crossway:

    1. Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. Moses moves on to the subject of Isaac's marriage, for Abraham knew he was worn-out with old age. Abraham wanted to ensure that his son would not marry anyone in the land of Canaan. Moses specifically describes Abraham as old and well advanced in years; he realized in his elderly state that a wife must be sought for his son. Old age itself, which is not far from death, ought to make us put our family affairs in order. Then when we die, our family will be at peace, and the fear of the Lord will flourish. When Abraham realized how old he was, he thought it was time to take action for the future welfare of his son. Irreligious men, partly because they do not hold marriage in honor, partly because they do not recognize how important Isaac's marriage would be, are surprised that Moses, or rather the Spirit of God, would relate this in such detail. But if we read the sacred Scriptures with reverence, we will readily understand that there is nothing superficial about this event. Most men do not think the providence of God extends to marriages. But Moses is most insistent that it does. His main aim, however, is to teach that God honored Abraham's family in a special way because the church would spring from it.
    Moreover, neither one has the actual text that Calvin wrote on Gen. 38.8-10. The Baker edition says: "A line or two is here omitted, as well as the comment on the tenth verse." The Crossway edition says nothing about it. I have the actual text from other sources, but I would like to verify what is the most faithful English edition of Calvin's commentary on this book, ie., that is which most consistent with what Calvin actually wrote, and without omissions.

    Any thoughts?
    Andrew

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    Andrew

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    Contra_Mundum's Avatar
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    Andrew,
    It seems to me from the two exerpts above that the Crossway edition is just an English rewrite of the old CTS edition (Baker appears same as BoT version, same missing verse/comment). IOW, not a fresh translation. The sentences are simplified, the latinate phrasology/clauses shortened or repunctuated, etc. in the Crossway. But the newer is (to me) obviously based upon the older. I don't see how they could be as similar as they are if a new translation had been attempted. It is the dumbed down edition. Can you see Calvin speaking like that? I can't.

    Where can one find the unexpurgegated version?
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Bruce,

    Thanks, you may be right. Let me give another example from Gen. 24 (this is the chapter I happened to be looking at recently) in which the Baker edition has a specific comment by Calvin on v. 26 and the next specific comment is on v. 28, while Crossway has a comment by Calvin assigned to vv. 26-27.

    Baker:

    26. And the man bowed down his head. When the servant of Abraham hears that he had alighted upon the daughter of Bethel, he is more and more elated with hope. Yet he does not exult, as profane men are wont to do, as if the occurrence were fortuitous; but he gives thanks to God, regarding it, as the result of Providence, that he had been thus opportunely led straight to the place he had wished. He does not, therefore, boast of his good fortune; but he declares that God had dealt kindly and faithfully with Abraham; or, in other words, that, for his own mercy's sake, God had been faithful in fulfilling his promises. It is true that the same form of speech is applied to the persons present; just as it follows soon after in the same chapter, (Genesis 24:49,)

    "If ye will deal kindly and truly with my master tell me."

    The language is, however, peculiarly suitable to the character of God, both because he gratuitously confers favors upon men, and is specially inclined to beneficence: and also, by never frustrating their hope, he proves himself to be faithful and true. This thanksgiving, therefore, teaches us always to have the providence of God before our eyes, in order that we may ascribe to him whatever happens prosperously to us.

    28. And the damsel ran and told them of her mother's house. It is possible, that the mother of Rebekah occupied a separate house; not that she had a family divided from that of her husband, but for the purpose of keeping her daughters and maidens under her own custody. The expression may, however, be more simply explained to mean, that she came directly to her mother's chamber; because she could more easily relate the matter to her than to her father. It is also probable, that when Bethuel was informed of the fact, by the relation of his wife, their son Laban was sent by both of them to introduce the stranger. Other explanations are needless.
    Crossway:

    26-27. When Abraham's servant heard that he had come across the daughter of Bethuel, his hopes rose more and more. But he did not put this down to luck or chance, as ungodly men do, but gave thanks to God. He knew that it was the result of providence that he had been led straight to the place he was looking for. He did not, therefore, boast of his good fortune, but declared that God had shown his kindness and faithfulness to Abraham. In other words, for his own mercy's sake God had been faithful in fulfilling his promises. The language here is especially apt to describe God's character, both because he gratuitiously confers favors on men and also, by never frustrating their hope, demonstrates that he is faithful and true. This thanksgiving, therefore, teaches us always to have the providence of God before our eyes, so that we may ascribe to him whatever good things happen to us.

    28-32. It is probable that when Bethuel was told about the arrival of Abraham's servant, Laban was sent to meet the stranger.
    Where can one find the unexpurgegated version?
    Yep, that's what I'd like to know!
    Andrew

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    Contra_Mundum's Avatar
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    Andrew,
    As for the Gen 24 passage, I do not believe what you have there is a gap. There I think you really do have 26-27 put together. V 26 is a single line, one statement: "Then the man bowed low and worshipped the Lord." The following verse is his prayer, to which Calvin directs most of his attention in the comments. So, the Crossway is closer to what we (moderns) might expect from our commentary, when it puts "vv-26-27," whereas the older edition simply puts the next portion that Calvin comments extensively, and marks it with the single numeral "26". And per custom includes only a snippet of text to intruduce.
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
    Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12

    When posting friends, kindly bear those words of earthly wisdom in mind:

    Oh, that God the gift would give us
    To see ourselves as others see us.
    --Robert Burns, 1786 (modernized) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Sermons

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    Contra_Mundum's Avatar
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    I'd like to add that the excision of the comment on 38:9-10 is stupid, Victorian sentiment. Whiile I am far from blaming an entire generation for prudish behavior, these calvinists' reluctance to "tell it like it is" is frankly less biblical than their puritan forbears.

    rant on

    Let the "shocking passages" stand! Let them shock us today. Is it our fault that we cannot read Latin? Some fluttery dame might pick up Schaff's Church history and become faint if she has to read the outrages of the papacy? Oh! By all means, leave it in the Latin for the scholarly and erudite!

    end of rant
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
    Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12

    When posting friends, kindly bear those words of earthly wisdom in mind:

    Oh, that God the gift would give us
    To see ourselves as others see us.
    --Robert Burns, 1786 (modernized) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Sermons

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Andrew,
    As for the Gen 24 passage, I do not believe what you have there is a gap. There I think you really do have 26-27 put together. V 26 is a single line, one statement: "Then the man bowed low and worshipped the Lord." The following verse is his prayer, to which Calvin directs most of his attention in the comments. So, the Crossway is closer to what we (moderns) might expect from our commentary, when it puts "vv-26-27," whereas the older edition simply puts the next portion that Calvin comments extensively, and marks it with the single numeral "26". And per custom includes only a snippet of text to intruduce.
    Bruce -- Thanks again, that makes sense with respect to the numbering of the verses, but as far as the text goes the Crossway version of Gen. 24.28 looks like a vastly condensed version of the Baker text.

    I don't know much about the history of the editing process of Calvin's commentaries, but I'd like to feel confident when reading or citing to Calvin that it is his words rather than J.I. Packer's or somebody else's that I am reading or citing, and that I am getting the full scope of what Calvin said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    I'd like to add that the excision of the comment on 38:9-10 is stupid, Victorian sentiment. Whiile I am far from blaming an entire generation for prudish behavior, these calvinists' reluctance to "tell it like it is" is frankly less biblical than their puritan forbears.

    rant on

    Let the "shocking passages" stand! Let them shock us today. Is it our fault that we cannot read Latin? Some fluttery dame might pick up Schaff's Church history and become faint if she has to read the outrages of the papacy? Oh! By all means, leave it in the Latin for the scholarly and erudite!

    end of rant
    BTW, I once owned Calvin's commentary on Genesis in French. It was a modern edition by Editions Kerygma (the Reformed seminary at Aix-en-Provence) and it contained the passage in question. I sold it, however, to Tom Reid, librarian at RPTS. I may need to get another copy and brush up on my French again.
    Andrew

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    crhoades's Avatar
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    Skip the French and go for the Latin:
    http://www.instituutreformatieonderz...lish/home.html

    21,000 pages of the Corpus Reformatorum for around $315 USD.

    Or stick with the French:
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Book...i%3D60%26x%3D0
    Chris Rhoades -33
    Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (PCA) Nashville, TN-Under Care

    Vera theologia non theoretica, sed practica est; Finis siquidem eius agere est hoc est vitam vivere deiformem. - Martin Bucer
    ""True theology is not theoretical, but practical. The end of it is living, that is to live a godly life."

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhoades View Post
    Skip the French and go for the Latin:
    http://www.instituutreformatieonderz...lish/home.html

    21,000 pages of the Corpus Reformatorum for around $315 USD.

    Or stick with the French:
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Book...i%3D60%26x%3D0
    Merci beaucoup, mon frere!
    Andrew

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    crhoades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    Merci beaucoup, mon frere!
    I'm from Kentucky...go easy on me. English is hard enough!
    Chris Rhoades -33
    Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (PCA) Nashville, TN-Under Care

    Vera theologia non theoretica, sed practica est; Finis siquidem eius agere est hoc est vitam vivere deiformem. - Martin Bucer
    ""True theology is not theoretical, but practical. The end of it is living, that is to live a godly life."

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhoades View Post
    I'm from Kentucky...go easy on me. English is hard enough!
    Thanks much, bro!
    Andrew

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