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Calvin's Commentary on Genesis

Discussion in 'Commentaries' started by VirginiaHuguenot, Oct 20, 2006.

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  1. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    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:

    Crossway:

    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?
     
  2. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

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  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    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?
     
  4. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    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:

    Crossway:

    Yep, that's what I'd like to know! :)
     
  5. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    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.
     
  6. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    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
     
  7. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    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.

    :agree: 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. :detective:
     
  8. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

  9. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

  10. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    I'm from Kentucky...go easy on me. English is hard enough!
     
  11. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Thanks much, bro! :lol:
     
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